Why do so many People Diss EMG Pups?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by OldSchool, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    I see all the time............" I'd Buy it.........but it has EMG's. "


    I don't get that. Is it becuase they look different? I've played Guitars that sounded phenomal with EMG's. I think SRV's oringinal Hamelitone had EMG's in it. I've played Arch Tops that kicked ass with them as well as Strats .


    They are no different than any other Pup made........they have their own character sure......but I think their only crime is they look different or immediatly get associated with Nu Metal. Ernie Ball should be given Kudos.........they use them all the time.

    Cool Pick ups IMO..................and I'm a Blues dude.........:cool:
     
  2. HHB

    HHB Member

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    I use em every week, just don't talk about em, why fight the tide and get all those " I guess you can't hear the diffrerence " comments
     
  3. teakwoodbetz

    teakwoodbetz Guest

    Personally, I like a weak pickup, so EMG's are way, way too hot for my taste. I don't give a damn about how they look.

    I do agree though they sound very sweet for what they are.
     
  4. JPF

    JPF Member

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    I've got EMG SAs in my Stratocaster, and love them for recording and playing live.

    Active pups are not everyone's cup of tea - if I wanted vintage sounds I would pass on the EMGs and get some Kinmans, Bare Knuckle, SDs, DiMs, Fenders, etc....

    But they wouldn't be as quiet ;)
     
  5. Mark C

    Mark C Supporting Member

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    I think they're great for running a lot of effects, but straight into an amp I find them kind of bland sounding.
     
  6. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    zakk gets killer tones with his.

    for me , my 8.1k / 7.9 brg and nk voodoo 59 pafs are everything i could wish for in a R9.
     
  7. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    True.........but Have you ever played a Zack Wylde LP striaght into a Fender Twin? I did at Guitar Center and was Floored with what was coming out of the amp. I found myself making it louder and louder until I was asked to chill out.............I was actually considering buying a GC credit card at that point.......I'm glad they talked me down, but I'm telling ya that combo sounded fantasic!!
     
  8. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wranger Staff Member

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    IMO, the frequency response is too flat and the response is too linear. Most everything that guitarists like about tubes is their non-linear behavior. To some extent, EMGs' "hi-fi" reproduction of the strings' vibration detracts from that.
     
  9. JPF

    JPF Member

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    Exactly - they can sound a bit sterile when played straight through a solid state or tube amp, in my case usually a Koch Multitone or a Trace Elliot Velocette, and occasionally a Marshall Bluesbreaker.

    But when chaining multiple effects in the signal path, the EMGs help keep things a LOT quieter - which is perhaps why effects-laden guitarists like David Gilmour like them so much.

    Add the active EMG mid boost circuitry and you can get them to howl like P90s on steroids, wind it down and raise the active high/low boost circuitry and it's spank city with extra presence and sparkle. In short, they can be quite versatile, and are amazingly so when installed in the EMG DG-20 configuration I have in my Stratocaster.

    But they are NOT ever going to sound like a nice set of vintage single coils pups regardless of what they're played through, in my experience. I love that sound as well, and have a seperate stock Strat for that, along with the CU22's positions 9 and 7

    Horses for courses.;):dude
     
  10. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wranger Staff Member

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    'Zactly
     
  11. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    Sounds like you got the basses covered! ;)


    They do sound wonderful in thier own right though........:dude
     
  12. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    I stuck some EMG sa into a Jap Strat I was working on they sounded great! I liked them!
     
  13. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Gold Supporting Member

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    I bought a heavy bodied Tele with them already installed, sheesh 15 years ago or so. Used them happily for crushing rock and blues. The tone knob works really well, as does the volume knob, so I really didn't have any of the fall back internet diss problems with them. But when compared to a good P-90, or a Duncan Broadcaster bridge pickup, they did sound very light in midrange. But the tone of those pickups, when full out, cuts through like you wouldn't believe.

    They migrated into a Thinline, where they served as major component of a great bar axe. It's such a pleasure having a truly noise-free guitar to fall back on, when the neon beer signs are close.

    I eventually wanted more low mid and warmth, didn't think or know about an additional midrange gizmo. I was on a little vintage kick, and just grew tired of thinking about the battery, and took them out. I do like them enough that they are still here in a baggy somewhere. There worth more in utility than I could ever hope to sell them for. So someday, they will match up with a mid-heavy darker sounding Tele sort of guitar, and they will rise again.
     
  14. Riscchip

    Riscchip Supporting Member

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    I had some in a tele for a while. Sounded great--very Gatton-ish, actually. Not at all sterile. Explosive and glassy with everything cranked, plenty of twang with the volume down a bit, very flexible tone control.
     
  15. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Member

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    I never met an active pup that I liked.
     
  16. Occam

    Occam Member

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    The comments above seem pretty genuine but I think a lot of people throw about the "sterile" term with EMG's without actual experience with them. Somebody mentioned linear and I think that's a lot more accurate term. I think of it in the same ways that jazz guys do when the plug into a polytone...it's a very accurate representation of string vibration and that either suits your ear or it doesn't. I rarely use EMG's lately because I've been going for more of a raw sound but even with a pair of 81's I was able to get beautiful clean tones with their EXG preamp which scoops the mids. For death metal it would be my number choice and if I was doing jazz stuff I'd highly consider them as well (or another active).
     
  17. Marty s Horne

    Marty s Horne Member

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    I had a Warmouth strat with EMG SA pickups and a Guild Nightbird with EMG 60s. They are quiet and a great choice for going through multiple effects but being basically a plug into a warm tube amp type guy, I find more warmth and a sweeter tone with a good moderate output passive pickup. There are really no absolutes though, just personal taste.
     
  18. c_mac

    c_mac Supporting Member

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    Aside from the Luke model, I am aware of no other guitar that Ernie Ball puts EMGs into.
     
  19. ChrisP

    ChrisP Member

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    I don't know...my buddy has a 80s Japanese Strat w/EMGs in it and I think it sounds great. Clean/Dirty whatever.

    It's also VERY quiet.
     
  20. tiptone

    tiptone Member

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    I had a set of EMG SAV actives in my swamp ash Strat, they were in it when I got it. I didn't really dig the tone with the mid boost up (it was wired to the bottom tone pot), so I ran with it all the way down all the time. Since that was the 'vintage sound' position I decided to swap them for a 'vintage-style' pickup Fralin Vintage Hots. I'm much happier with the Fralins, the SAVs never sounded _bad_, just not quite what I wanted.
     

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