When I got this guitar I had never had active EMG pickups before, i actually dont knwo anything about them. how they are made and why they seem to be mostly for metal etc?
I thought I could just back off n the volume or use a pedal or something and just get eh sound I wanted, but that hasn't happened so they must be very different?
The first Strat I built as a kid from mail order parts had the original "Overland" active pickups, which were the color of a Bandaid and had a large raised "EMG" moulded across the entire surface of the pickup. These were touted as the ultimate in sensitivity, low noise and "fidelity", and had none of the filtering used in later EMGs to color the sound (and specifically to emulate the response of passive pickups), in fact the resonant peak of the coils was somewhere around 22kHz, and the response below that was completely flat. These pickups sound exactly like a guitar string.
Exactly. Like. A. Guitar. String.
About 15 years later I put in a variety of passive Strat pickups... The instrument went from "sounding like a guitar string" to *feeling* like your favorite baseball mitt..
Modern EMGs are popular with "metal" because of the the incredible amount of gain those players use. The EMG have such low noise and complete lack of microphonics.
Years later I was looking into humbucker replacements and I tried dozens of available pickups, my favorites at the time were the Gibson AII "PAF" style (490s?) and - believe it or not - the passive EMG "Select" humbuckers, which I ultimately went with, putting those into a different Steinberger.