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Pickups & wiring Discussion about pickup types, replacements, recomendations, switching, wiring diagrams and sustainer systems for ANY guitar, JEMs included.

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Old 05-09-2004, 08:50 PM
TheShaman  is offline
 
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EMG pickup problems? Any help appreciated


I've got an ESP with 2 EMG pickups and the push/pull tone knob for the boost -- has been playing fine until recently, when I plugged it in to play and the sound started cutting in and out rapidly (almost like a tremolo effect). Just checked again, and it sounds okay for like a second and then starts "cycling" like that almost immediately -- turning knobs and switching pickups doesn't affect it.

I don't know diddly-squat about pickups or wiring but can do basic electrical stuff -- but I was wondering if anybody has run into anything like this and if so what might be causing it.

If necessary, I will take it to a professional -- but I'd hate to find out it was something simple that I could have done myself. I don't think it has a battery but I'll double-check -- anything else anyone can suggest?

EDIT: My other guitar (Ibanez RG1527) sounds just fine, so I know it's not my amp or my effects pedal -- but something with the ESP guitar.

Thanks in advance for any info.

DOUBLE EDIT: OK, so there is a 9v battery -- and it's dead as a doornail (the old touch to the tongue test never fails). So new question for the experts -- are all EMG pickups that way??? I don't remember reading anything that indicated the pickups were battery-assisted -- but obviously they are.
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Old 05-09-2004, 09:57 PM
RSVampire  is offline
 
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yeah EMG's are what they call "Active Pickups" where they use an electrical pre amp to boost the signal to the output jack. A normal "Passive Pickup" usues Electro-magnatism to generate sound. So for EMG's no battery - no pre amp - no sound. At least it's a 9V and not something only EMG can replace.
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Old 05-10-2004, 10:53 AM
TheShaman  is offline
 
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Thanks -- I've heard the terms "active pickup" used before but didn't put 2 and 2 together to understand what that truly meant until now.

Are there any standard/passive pickups that sound as hot as (or similar to) the EMGs? I'd rather not have to remove all those tiny screws every couple of months to change a 9v battery -- more of an inconvenience than anything -- I'd rather just be able to pick up my axe and play.

EDIT: I know the routing pattern is different and I'm not thinking about switching pickups in my ESP, more like trading the ESP in on something else.
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:42 PM
power freak  is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShaman
Thanks -- I've heard the terms "active pickup" used before but didn't put 2 and 2 together to understand what that truly meant until now.

Are there any standard/passive pickups that sound as hot as (or similar to) the EMGs? I'd rather not have to remove all those tiny screws every couple of months to change a 9v battery -- more of an inconvenience than anything -- I'd rather just be able to pick up my axe and play.

EDIT: I know the routing pattern is different and I'm not thinking about switching pickups in my ESP, more like trading the ESP in on something else.
The batteries I had in my EMGs lasted well over a year!
:P

I thought they lasted quite a while? It gives you a time on the EMG website. Maybe ESPs don't come with stereo jacks? Therfore would leave the battery on 24/7.

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Old 05-10-2004, 01:54 PM
The Dark Wolf  is offline
 
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First of all, it would probably be a good idea to unplug your ESP whenever you're not playing it. Alot of active type stuff on guitars turns on when plugged in, and obviously stays on until unplugged.

Batter life will be dependant on usage, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't get at LEAST 3 months of heavy usage out of a battery. 6+ months is probably a more realistic estimate.

And for changing batteries, man, it's a cinch. My RG2027 has an active preamp for the piezo section. Every 6 months or so, I have to unscrew 2 screws, pop out an old battery, put in a new one, and rescrew 2 screws. How complex is that? Changing strings is 10 times more complex.

EMG's tone is debateable, but as a nice alternative to the passives on the 1527, and for sheer power and output, I'd say they were keepers. Just remember to UNPLUG.
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Old 05-10-2004, 05:19 PM
The Madness Here  is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by power freak
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShaman
Thanks -- I've heard the terms "active pickup" used before but didn't put 2 and 2 together to understand what that truly meant until now.

Are there any standard/passive pickups that sound as hot as (or similar to) the EMGs? I'd rather not have to remove all those tiny screws every couple of months to change a 9v battery -- more of an inconvenience than anything -- I'd rather just be able to pick up my axe and play.

EDIT: I know the routing pattern is different and I'm not thinking about switching pickups in my ESP, more like trading the ESP in on something else.
The batteries I had in my EMGs lasted well over a year!
:P

I thought they lasted quite a while? It gives you a time on the EMG website. Maybe ESPs don't come with stereo jacks? Therfore would leave the battery on 24/7.

I've got my guitar wired so the battery is only powering one pickup at a time, and its a lithium battery. I'm at over three years with the same battery!
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Old 05-11-2004, 10:11 AM
TheShaman  is offline
 
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Thanks for the tips/replies -- especially unplugging which I haven't been doing although that might not be my problem (see below).

As for how hard it is to change, like I said before it's more of an inconvenience than anything -- although the battery is housed behind a panel on the back with like 6-8 screws, not just two.

Also, I realized that I do have passive EMG's -- H4's to be exact -- but the afterburner (push/pull knob adding boost/distortion) is what is battery operated, so I'm not sure if unplugging helps this or not. I've usually been playing with the afterburner on and then when I'm done just leaving the knob pulled out, so I'll try making sure it's off.

Finally, the real problem is probably just a cheap battery -- it was an off-brand that must have come straight from the factory, so we'll see how long the new one lasts.

I wouldn't trade in a guitar just because I had to remove a few screws -- but that on top of the fact that the tremolo is crap (IMHO) on top of the fact that the neck doesn't feel/play quite "right" the way I like, etc. makes me think about getting something else. Oh well -- lesson learned and as far as new guitars go I didn't spend a ton on this one. I'm -MUCH- happier with my RG1527 and have been playing it almost exclusively -- which is why when I did pick up the ESP and it was acting flakey it got me wondering.
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Old 05-11-2004, 10:25 AM
dex  is offline
 
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So you really have a LTD there......?as no ESP ever came with bad tremolo installed.......or EMG-Hz......

ilia
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Old 05-11-2004, 04:15 PM
The Dark Wolf  is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShaman
I'm -MUCH- happier with my RG1527 and have been playing it almost exclusively -- which is why when I did pick up the ESP and it was acting flakey it got me wondering.
I don't blame you! I think I'd play a Prestige 1527 a BIT more than an LTD myself, too!
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2004, 10:16 AM
TheShaman  is offline
 
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Yes, it's an LTD -- M202BB to be exact -- which has the lame "Floyd-Rose-esque" tremolo but the EMG's which aren't bad now that I know where the battery for the afterburner is.

My 1527 has me thinking seriously about a 1570 for a six string -- the ESP/LTD is built like a tank but the neck just doesn't feel quite right to me and I gotta have a good whammy bar.
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2004, 10:40 PM
pinto79  is offline
 
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Location: Delta, B.C., Canada
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Hey, The Madness Here, how did you wire it to only power one at a time?

This info would really help me!

Pinto
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