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> Question For Guys Who Have Had Both Active And Passive Pickups
Praetorian
post Sep 19 2008, 02:10 AM
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What are the benefits of the active pickups that the passives don't have? I understand (sort of) the theory behind the actives...but what are the real life benefits? Also, actives need a battery source...so you have to carve another hole in the back of your guitar to fit a battery in?!


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ZakkWylde
post Sep 19 2008, 02:50 AM
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Passive Pickups are powered by the amp cable, active pickups get their power from a battery (but only when the guitar is plugged in so it does not drain fast). Active pickups have almost no humming or other noises and their output is higher than any other pickup which leads to more distortion and easier harmonics. On the other hand they sound a bit more clinic and sterile than passive pickups, who bring out the tone of the wood better. I like my Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio pickups but only with an active pickup I get a real singing and screaming tone.

The battery can be fitted under the volume and tone knobs so there is no need to drill extra holes.


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Emir Hot
post Sep 19 2008, 03:01 AM
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When I tried an active guitar I remember I had crazy long sustain, it never stops. It's because of the higher output signal as ZakkWylde said.


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RIP Dime
post Sep 19 2008, 04:08 AM
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I've had an 81 and 60 set before, I've also owned Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio, Dean USA pickups. In my expirience the real life benefits of EMGs is that it will make all your guitars sound very similar if you have the same set of EMGs in every one. The EMG sound is also very high quality, quiet, high output. But again, they can sound sterile, and lifeless, with a rather small dynamic range. IMO the bad out weighs the good, but for certain styles of music they work wonders.

And also Seymour Duncan have blackouts now, I've yet to try those.

This post has been edited by RIP Dime: Sep 19 2008, 04:09 AM


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Marcus Siepen
post Sep 21 2008, 10:46 AM
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For high gain sounds there is no better pickup than the EMG 81 in my opinion, it is exptremely powerfull but still very precise, the tone never gets muddy and the sustain is endless. Actually I also have to say that I don't find it sterile in any way... well, I just love that pickup wink.gif As somebody already mentioned you definitely don't have to cut any extra holes in your guitar, the battery always fits inside the little compartment for the tone and volume pots, so you would not have to worry about this. Another pro for active pickups is that you don't lose high frequencies when you are playing with long cables. But no matter what we are saying here, the best would be if you check out those pickups yourself. You should go to your local dealer and try some guitars with different pickups to get an idea yourself, after all this is always a matter of your personal taste, just because I love a certain pickup you don't have to like it as well wink.gif


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Praetorian
post Sep 23 2008, 11:38 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Sep 21 2008, 05:46 AM) *
For high gain sounds there is no better pickup than the EMG 81 in my opinion, it is exptremely powerfull but still very precise, the tone never gets muddy and the sustain is endless. Actually I also have to say that I don't find it sterile in any way... well, I just love that pickup wink.gif As somebody already mentioned you definitely don't have to cut any extra holes in your guitar, the battery always fits inside the little compartment for the tone and volume pots, so you would not have to worry about this. Another pro for active pickups is that you don't lose high frequencies when you are playing with long cables. But no matter what we are saying here, the best would be if you check out those pickups yourself. You should go to your local dealer and try some guitars with different pickups to get an idea yourself, after all this is always a matter of your personal taste, just because I love a certain pickup you don't have to like it as well wink.gif


Thanks Marcus! I have heard so many good things about the EMG 81/85 combo that I have to try them out in person.


This post has been edited by Praetorian: Sep 24 2008, 06:53 PM


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Gerardo Siere
post Sep 24 2008, 01:40 AM
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There is also this important thing for recordin, active cirtuits bost so high the signal that get less affected by electronic interference, also there is the thing that when you turn down the volume knob you are loosing high partials, if you like to pc record at home you can get a low impedance output from an active circuite and go directly to the soundcard.
I own a Vigier Arpege that has Bartolini pickups and I put the amp eq knobs in the middle and work all the tone from the guitar.


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vikingraider1
post Sep 24 2008, 08:44 AM
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I've got a set of EMG 81/85 Zakk Wylde Pickups on my Washburn WI66 and they really sound great through my Peavey 5150. But having said that I have a Bare Knuckle Warpig Humbucker on my USA Washburn Custom Shop which in my opionion is perhaps the best pickup on the market today for high-gain metal.

As always though, its down to personal taste. Try before you buy!


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Marcus Siepen
post Sep 24 2008, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE (Praetorian @ Sep 24 2008, 12:38 AM) *
p.s. Excalibur is one of the greatest songs of all time!!!


Too bad it is not a Blind Guardian song tongue.gif


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Oxac
post Sep 24 2008, 06:36 PM
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QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Sep 19 2008, 03:50 AM) *
Passive Pickups are powered by the amp cable, active pickups get their power from a battery (but only when the guitar is plugged in so it does not drain fast). Active pickups have almost no humming or other noises and their output is higher than any other pickup which leads to more distortion and easier harmonics. On the other hand they sound a bit more clinic and sterile than passive pickups, who bring out the tone of the wood better. I like my Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio pickups but only with an active pickup I get a real singing and screaming tone.

The battery can be fitted under the volume and tone knobs so there is no need to drill extra holes.


sorry bud, that's not true. Passive pickups need no power at all. How's that? It's pretty simple.

Passive pickups consist of a magnet and a coil. The magnet magnetizes the strings, so that when you hit the strings you induce an alternating current in the coil.

By "shaking" the magnetic field, the electrons starts to move (in the coil). Moving electrons = current. The amplitude of the current, amperes, depends on how hard you hit the string and result in a differance in volume. The frequency on the other hand is depending on what string/fret you hit, and result in a tone. The amplifier gets the signal from the pickup through the cable and then it raises the amplitude (you can have various effects to alter the curve), then it sends the current to a membrane that will vibrate at the same frequence as the string vibrated. Pretty cool imho biggrin.gif


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Praetorian
post Sep 24 2008, 06:53 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Sep 24 2008, 01:02 PM) *
Too bad it is not a Blind Guardian song tongue.gif


So it isn't! My mistake! I was searching for Blind Guardian songs on Youtube and there was a video of you guys and the music was Excalibur! I had never heard of Grave Digger before. I thought the music was mismatched with the video, but didn't think too much of it...that happens sometimes with Youtube.


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TheOldOnes
post Sep 24 2008, 07:21 PM
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I personally love my EMG's and the tone I get from them is quite nice - that said, I think much of the tone is more attributable to the player and how they can take advantage of the pickups they have (regardless of the pickup type).

I do have a question. I understand that EMG's can handle up to 27V and therefore one can hook, in series, up to 3 9V batteries. I have heard that the output is significantly boosted with 2 9V batteries with 3 9V batteries not much different from 2.

So - does anyone use a 2 9V battery configuration with their EMG's? And how do you set it up?
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