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> Changing Active Pickups To Passive Pickups
liveOASISforever
post Feb 26 2014, 10:22 PM
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Hi

I have a Schecter Hellraiser guitar which I love except for the pickups. It was my first guitar with active pickups EMGs 81 & 85. I liked them at first but as time went on I realised that it wasn't really my thing.Is it a expensive job to change the pickups for active ones and is it a skilled job. I don't really want to give my guitar to anyone that could make a mess of it.

Or are there any other options through active pickups that I should try first that might have more dynamics or are active pickups mostly the same.

Cheers Sean
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NPB1979
post Feb 26 2014, 10:58 PM
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You might wanna try different capacitors for the tone controls if you don't like the EMGs, that would change your sound for sure.
EMGs are the gold standard for active pickups.

Guitar pickup wiring is not that hard to do, and it's easy to fix if you mess it up. Look it up on YouTube.
You will need a new jack, vol, and tone knobs. The nice thing is that if you want, you can still sell the EMGs for a pretty penny on CraigsList or something and put that money toward some passive pickups, pots, and jack. Make sure you get CTS pots and switchcraft jacks... more expensive = more dependable in those arenas. You can use the same caps as you had in the EMGs or you can put new ones (oil caps, orange caps, all different values as options)


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Darius Wave
post Feb 26 2014, 11:07 PM
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With some help of GMC friends You could go through the pickups change on Your own. It's not that hard if You're careful and patient while soldering. Like said above. If You want to use passive pickups, You'll need to change all the pot's as well and probably solder the ground wire to the bridge (EMG advice to disconnect it but You have to make sure is it soldered or not at the moment) New jack (mono instead of stereo|) is not necessary (It's only a matter of wirring) but it's cheap enough so You don't have to destroy all connections from previous set-up.




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liveOASISforever
post Feb 27 2014, 07:56 AM
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Thanks NPB1979 and Darius smile.gif

Some great information there. Watched a couple of videos on YT and it doesn't look to difficult. I have lots of experience in soldering so that wouldn't be a problem in the slightest. I am most likely going to be going for a set of Bareknuckle pickups. Do you know if these would fit into a Schecter Hellraiser FR without any problem or am I best to get in contact with both Schecter and Bareknuckle.

Cheers Sean
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Darius Wave
post Feb 27 2014, 09:29 AM
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Just make sure about the spacing of pole pieces. FR has wider spacing and it's good to make sure they will nicely cover the spacing of the strings


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NPB1979
post Feb 27 2014, 02:58 PM
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I would contact Bareknuckle and let them know your guitar and model.
Sometimes with PAF style or other passive pickups, the pole pieces rarely line up to the strings, even though it's ideal that they do... something you never had to worry about with actives.


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 27 2014, 03:48 PM
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Bingo! Bop over to the bk site and email them. They are cool guys and can give all the details. Then you just have to decide on which bk to get. That's a tough call as they all rawk!
QUOTE (NPB1979 @ Feb 27 2014, 08:58 AM) *
I would contact Bareknuckle and let them know your guitar and model.
Sometimes with PAF style or other passive pickups, the pole pieces rarely line up to the strings, even though it's ideal that they do... something you never had to worry about with actives.


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liveOASISforever
post Feb 27 2014, 05:47 PM
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Thanks again everyone for your help. I will send BK a email and see what they say. smile.gif

It is a tough call Todd. I am still deciding which to go for. I am in no hurry to get this done so I will take my time and try to make the right choice.
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jstcrsn
post Feb 28 2014, 12:00 AM
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QUOTE (liveOASISforever @ Feb 27 2014, 07:56 AM) *
Thanks NPB1979 and Darius smile.gif

Some great information there. Watched a couple of videos on YT and it doesn't look to difficult. I have lots of experience in soldering so that wouldn't be a problem in the slightest. I am most likely going to be going for a set of Bareknuckle pickups. Do you know if these would fit into a Schecter Hellraiser FR without any problem or am I best to get in contact with both Schecter and Bareknuckle.

Cheers Sean

I would look into this, to go from active to passive you will need to change almost all your electronics and if you don't like it , sucks to be you.
this pick up has the alnico magnet which cleans up better and with the coil tap, I think you could get a good range
http://www.zzounds.com/item--EMG89

This post has been edited by jstcrsn: Feb 28 2014, 12:00 AM
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liveOASISforever
post Mar 1 2014, 11:11 AM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Feb 27 2014, 11:00 PM) *
I would look into this, to go from active to passive you will need to change almost all your electronics and if you don't like it , sucks to be you.
this pick up has the alnico magnet which cleans up better and with the coil tap, I think you could get a good range
http://www.zzounds.com/item--EMG89


Thanks for the advice mate. Yeah it would be really annoying if I didn't like it. I will have a look at that pickup and consider my options
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Azzaboi
post Mar 1 2014, 05:59 PM
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I highly recommend NOT going fully passive, but rather get the best of both worlds...

Get the EMG JH (James Hetfield) Humbucker Set!

This is based upon the active 81/60 EMG combo, but retains passive pickup qualities.

The neck pickup uses individual ceramic poles and bobbins with an enlarged core that gives it a more percussive attack, higher output and a fuller low-end response making it clean & fat and fast attacking.

The bridge pickup uses the same larger/taller core coil but has steel pole pieces, again for a tighter more percussive attack with less mutual inductance for a cleaner low-end.

They are solider-less, therefore just plug and play, easily swapped out.

Great cleans, tight percussive attack, and a distortion that feels more saturated which can work well with palm muting, etc.

The only downside I've had with these in my EMG M-II axe is that they can smudge and scratch the surface coating of them easily. However, they sound great for all types of music and I love the active/passive tone. Once the battery juice runs completely flat, it sounds just like a passive pup.



This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Mar 1 2014, 06:03 PM
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liveOASISforever
post Mar 3 2014, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Mar 1 2014, 04:59 PM) *
I highly recommend NOT going fully passive, but rather get the best of both worlds...

Get the EMG JH (James Hetfield) Humbucker Set!

This is based upon the active 81/60 EMG combo, but retains passive pickup qualities.

The neck pickup uses individual ceramic poles and bobbins with an enlarged core that gives it a more percussive attack, higher output and a fuller low-end response making it clean & fat and fast attacking.

The bridge pickup uses the same larger/taller core coil but has steel pole pieces, again for a tighter more percussive attack with less mutual inductance for a cleaner low-end.

They are solider-less, therefore just plug and play, easily swapped out.

Great cleans, tight percussive attack, and a distortion that feels more saturated which can work well with palm muting, etc.

The only downside I've had with these in my EMG M-II axe is that they can smudge and scratch the surface coating of them easily. However, they sound great for all types of music and I love the active/passive tone. Once the battery juice runs completely flat, it sounds just like a passive pup.



Hi mate

I did actually have a look at these the other day.It would be great to give them ago. Really unsure what to do now. Decisions decisions laugh.gif
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jstcrsn
post Mar 3 2014, 07:09 PM
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QUOTE (liveOASISforever @ Mar 3 2014, 06:32 PM) *
Hi mate

I did actually have a look at these the other day.It would be great to give them ago. Really unsure what to do now. Decisions decisions laugh.gif

don't worry, This is how we all feel after asking advice here , huh.gif
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NPB1979
post Mar 3 2014, 08:48 PM
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You should really know if you wanna go 100% active or passive before you make the jump. Alas, I was really happy with my EMGs and I got rid of them anyway just because I started winding my own pickups and wanted to see how they changed the tone of the guitar.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 3 2014, 09:40 PM
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If at all possible, get to some music stores and try some of these out in actual guitars through an actual amp/setup similar to what you have. Then trust your ears smile.gif


QUOTE (liveOASISforever @ Mar 3 2014, 12:32 PM) *
Hi mate

I did actually have a look at these the other day.It would be great to give them ago. Really unsure what to do now. Decisions decisions laugh.gif


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Darius Wave
post Mar 4 2014, 01:36 PM
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Anyway I think it's worth the risk. Nothing gives more knowledge and experience than own experiments. It could answer many questions You have in a best, possible way. The main question is "what is the difference between those two with your own style of playing". There are a few obvious profits for both types of pickups so it will never be easy to decide just like that. Otherwise we would consider "one and only truth" factor....and it's not


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SixStringSamurai
post Mar 6 2014, 09:53 PM
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FYI you'll also need new pots - actives generally use 25k pots while passive humbuckers are usually running 500k volume pots.


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