avatar

trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 361 Member Since: 11/10/2013

Lead

Mar 12 17 11:46 AM

Tags : :

Hi

Is it possible to replace EMG active pickups with a set of passive? and if so what would need to be done? would they fit the holes?

I have this guitar, which I love the color and playability of, but I really dont like these pickups and sound. I was thinking of putting in some fralen's or something different.

https://reverb.com/item/2437992-esp-ltd-deluxe-ec-1000-electric-guitar-in-swirl-blue-finish

and if its possible, i am not set on Fralens, but am looking for a great set that are in line with a sort of rock, not metla, chimey breakup sound? any suggestions for 2?

thanks much!

Last Edited By: trock Mar 12 17 11:55 AM. Edited 1 time

Quote    Reply   
avatar

seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,634 Member Since:26/01/2011

#1 [url]

Mar 12 17 11:53 AM

trock wrote:
Hi

Is it possible to replace EMG active pickups with a set of passive? and if so what would need to be done?


 

Yes. You'd be going to a much simpler setup, so it shouldn't be hard. You remove the EMG pickups and the battery, check to make sure the pot values are the same as used with passive pickups. I don't remember whether the pot values are the same. If they are you install the new pickups and wire according to the diagram for the pickups. If not, you'll have to change the pots as well.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,401 Member Since:04/02/2011

#3 [url]

Mar 12 17 4:54 PM

I'm not Seth, but I would look into a low-to-medium output PAF replica.

I really like the WCR "Crossroads" set, and the Wolfetone "Dr. Vintage". I have multiple sets of the latter in multiple guitars.

Lollar Imperials are also nice-sounding PAFs, and Curtis Novak and countless others are winding good pickups these days. I'd wager that right now is the best time in history to be shopping for electric guitar pickups, and it will probably never be this good again.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

podgorny

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,340 Member Since:27/01/2011

#4 [url]

Mar 12 17 5:42 PM

trock wrote:

Ill look into the POTUS on this.

 
Nobody loves passive pickups more than him. Just grab it by the p'ups, and swap 'em out. You'll hear a TREMENDOUS difference. This will make your guitar great again. 

Kyle Mann :: www.kylemann.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,181 Member Since:23/10/2013

#5 [url]

Mar 12 17 6:15 PM

Some thoughts...hopefully not too rambling.

You might want to see if you can check out a guitar shop, and play some guitars with Alnico II type magnets (Classic 57, 490, a lot of the boutique lower output buckers) vs guitars with Alnico V (Angus Young Signature, 498).

The Alnico II is a bit creamier, the Alnico V a bit more aggressive. The 57 classic (Alnico II) I have makes me think more of a "Zeppelin" sound, the 498T (Alnico V) I have in one of my guitars makes me think more "AC/DC".

I have some ceramic magnet "dirty fingers" in an older ES347 that I would never change out, and are very cool, though high output isn't as popular at the moment. Gibson's 500 and 496 are their current ceramic mag models. Can be quite a massive sound. Popular in the 70s.

I think it's fair to say those are the three basic different magnet types. For my taste, they all have a place. Then, you start getting into the variations where some are overwound, underwound, etc.

Sometimes a pickup that seems just perfectly matched to one guitar, may seem a little too mellow or too aggressive in another guitar. A naturally mellow guitar might be best spiked up by a 498/Alnico 5...or a naturally twangy guitar might be a little better with a smoother Alnico II. Or not, depending on what you're shooting for.

Just like Brad says, there are really great boutique options too - the WCR and Wolfetone read great on paper, and come highly recommended by many. The Lollars seem really popular with many guitar playing friends. I've had some Fralins and earlier era Seymour Duncans that were great.

Last Edited By: gtoledo3 Mar 12 17 6:41 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,634 Member Since:26/01/2011

#6 [url]

Mar 12 17 6:21 PM

Trock, I deliberately didn't mention any particular pickups because I'm a bass player and I really don't know about different humbuckers. I figured the guys who do would chime in...

Quote    Reply   
avatar

trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 361 Member Since:11/10/2013

#7 [url]

Mar 12 17 9:08 PM

Cool, thanks all!

Thanks for the info, ill check some of the suggestions out and also see a luthier i know and see if he can do this if the pots don't match etc.

@ kyle - I actually thought i typed POTUS !

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,401 Member Since:04/02/2011

#8 [url]

Mar 12 17 10:15 PM

It can be a bit tricky to generalize AlNiCo 2 vs. 5, because it's only one of many inter-related factors. However, it's also valid, as they do sound somewhat different, sort of like maple and rosewood fretboards can sound different, and generalizations can likewise be formed. The thing is, either one can sound great.

As a(n overly) general rule, if I want a sort of idealized "PAF" thing, I very often tend to favor A2 by a little bit. If I want something a little hotter, a little throatier with a little more bite particularly when distorted, A5 might be the move. But it's only one of MANY variables-- it just happens to be one of the more easily quantifiable ones. Also number of turns, tightness of coil, magnet wire insulation, gauss strength of the magnet, straightness of charge (old PAF magnets were bulk-charged in a pile, and many actually had the field running a little bit "crooked" through the bar itself, and some correlate this with the 'better' PAFs!) etc etc etc.

In short, where I ultimately end up is that there are too many inter-related variables for me to try and use ANY of them in any sort of predictive way. Gauss strength plus number of turns can give you a relative idea of output, and that's about it. Anymore, I just choose the pickups whose sound I like as a complete package.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,542 Member Since:24/03/2013

#10 [url]

Mar 12 17 11:05 PM

Another factor that I think makes a significant difference to my ear: potted vs unpotted coils. I believe the Gibson 490 etc and 57 classics are potted, while most of the Burstbucker line (which I like a lot) and the boutique "vintage spec" pickups are generally not potted. Though I haven't tried as many different ones as some of you guys, for my taste I tend to prefer unpotted humbuckers. I almost never play with enough gain for microphonic squeal to be an issue, and I feel like potting takes some of the life out of the whole business.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,401 Member Since:04/02/2011

#11 [url]

Mar 12 17 11:57 PM

You're right Jesse, and it absolutely matters.

The original PAFs were not potted at all. If the coil is properly wound and taped (and not damaged), it will generally not have objectionable levels of microphony, at least not outside of extreme "triple rectifier on 10" scenarios.

Potting them does seem to change things a bit, sonically... perhaps a touch of microphony is positive, sonically.

Old Fender single coils WERE wax potted, all the way through... though sometimes they get a bit loose and more microphonic as decades pass.

The better handmade PAF copies will generally not be potted. My two sets of Wolfetone Dr. Vintage are completely unpotted, and I cannot make them squeal if I try. My WCR Crossroads set are also unpotted, but the covers are immobilized with respect to the coil with a dab of silicone, I believe. I can make the bridge pickup squeal a little bit if it's relatively loud with some distortion.

The mass-produced ones... the Gibson 490 series and their 57 classic (and I also thought the Burstbuckers, too, though I may be mistaken) are all wax potted.

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Mar 13 17 12:01 AM. Edited 2 times.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Mike Rivers

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,528 Member Since:13/10/2012

#12 [url]

Mar 13 17 7:23 AM

On a somewhat related note, I've been playing with the IK Multimedia MODO Bass physical modeling electric bass virtual instrument. One of the things it lets you do is swap pickups (their models of the stock pickups for the instruments they modeled). In trying to find something technically interesting to write about other than "they sound different so pick what you like" I've been looking at spectrograms. I made a MIDI track with a scattering of notes at uniform MIDI velocity and selected notes at a set of velocities to "play" a particular setup in a consistent way. Other than overall difference in sensitivity I'm seeing small differences in harmonic content and rate of decay of harmonics (mostly the third).

There's nothing particularly conclusive here, just validating that I'm not imagining hearing differences. I'd probably be more perceiptive if I actually played bass.



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 361 Member Since:11/10/2013

#13 [url]

Mar 13 17 8:42 AM

Thanks again everyone

So if i end up with some sort of humbucker style and shape, do you think those will fit in the holes for these active's? are all piciups in a certain type the same size by some sort of standard?

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,401 Member Since:04/02/2011

#14 [url]

Mar 13 17 8:52 AM

trock wrote:
Thanks again everyone

So if i end up with some sort of humbucker style and shape, do you think those will fit in the holes for these active's? are all piciups in a certain type the same size by some sort of standard?

Yeah, they should fit the same holes.

The active pickups, when first designed, were designed to be drop-in aftermarket replacements for passive systems, so they had a vested interest in using standard sizes.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,401 Member Since:04/02/2011

#15 [url]

Mar 13 17 8:52 AM

caveat-- what "should" be true isn't always what "is" true, "in theory vs. in practice," etc. But you should be fine.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,181 Member Since:23/10/2013

#16 [url]

Mar 13 17 9:11 AM

I have a slight feeling that some of the boutique-ish hum buckers sometimes get into a sonic territory that just doesn't feel "gibson PAF" to me. I personally don't like when they start getting to the underwound, microphonic side of things. Though this may be technically more accurate to the actual PAF period... I don't know.

NOT TO SAY that I don't like these qualities in some pickups. Just not what I am personally looking for out of a humbucker Gibson guitar.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,401 Member Since:04/02/2011

#17 [url]

Mar 13 17 9:25 AM

gtoledo3 wrote:
I have a slight feeling that some of the boutique-ish hum buckers sometimes get into a sonic territory that just doesn't feel "gibson PAF" to me. I personally don't like when they start getting to the underwound, microphonic side of things. Though this may be technically more accurate to the actual PAF period... I don't know.

NOT TO SAY that I don't like these qualities in some pickups. Just not what I am personally looking for out of a humbucker Gibson guitar.

Part of the issue here, I think, is that there is SUCH a wide range of what an "original PAF" sounds like. They were ALL over the map both in sound and construction and nearly every measurable parameter. Some of them sound amazing, some of them (IMO) not as good. And there are many different kinds of "good" and "not good," and the "best" is subjective. They're a little bit like Istanbul K Zildians in this regard.

Of the original PAFs, some had AlNiCo 2 magnets; some had AlNiCo 5. The coils were wound by hand on Leesona winders "until the bobbins are full", at the discretion of the ladies (usually) running the machines. Some of the winders (the Leesona 101) had a non-lobed cam. Others (the Leesona 102) had a lobed cam and therefore distributed wire more evenly (theoretically). Both (and others) were used to wind PAFs. As mentioned, the AlNiCo bars were charged in bulk in a pile, and there can be differences both in gauss strength and orientation. Other things changed over time, too, and now they're all 60 years old, to boot.

So each winder probably has their own frame of reference for what constitutes a "good PAF sound," and that perception will be better-informed in some than others. Then I'm sure there are many who know the construction techniques of the originals (roughly), but haven't spent significant time with an original, so they just stop when they reach whatever seems good to them.

Blasphemy I'm about to commit-- I think like with so much gear-related stuff (especially in the guitar world), the PAF mythos is SO over-wrought. About 50% of the originals were really good pickups, about 10% were or are stunning, perhaps. They were used on lots of famous records, though, and in lots of famous guitars, so there is PROFOUND expectation bias that a PAF is going to sound amazing. And, again, sometimes they do.

But man, it's just not worth all of the fussing and fretting, to me--especially not once the pickup is removed from the guitar and we're talking about that ONE part, as opposed to the sum of all of the parts. There are so many great pickups out there; I've gotten to the point where I'd rather just pick one and get on with it.

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Mar 13 17 9:32 AM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,542 Member Since:24/03/2013

#20 [url]

Mar 13 17 11:51 AM

I wasn't trying to throw shade on the discussion we're having here, btw. I like nerding out on this stuff as much as anyone. But then after I've spent some time learning the technical info, I want to get busy making music as soon as possible. :)

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help