Active to passive (ESP LTD EC-1000)

METAL

Member
Messages
338
I'm looking to swap the active EMGs I have in my ESP LTD EC-1000 for something passive. I'm looking for something more versatile that sounds less compressed with a more dynamic range. I still want something with a decently hot output. I'll be playing extreme metal all the way to pop rock to some bluesy stuff. I understand it may be difficult to find a set of pickups that can do everything I'm asking so to be more specific, I'll be playing metal and rock 80% of the time.

Also, how much should I expect to pay for the installation of a set of passive pickups if my guitar has actives?

Thanks in advance.
 

aldridt1

Member
Messages
190
The price to install the pickups should not be affected by the fact that you are changing from actives to passives.

This may be different if you were changing from passives to actives and needed some routing to make room for the battery or batteries, but this is not your situation.
 

Darkness

Member
Messages
2,428
I just picked up a Sweetwater exclusive EC-1000ET. It's built with a full U shaped neck, and is more like a LP than the typical metal/shred eclipse. However, the pups allow you to get old school rock and blues up to extreme metal (I'm a big black metal fan). They are Duncan SH-2 Jazz (neck) and SH-4 JB (bridge). To my ears, they are exceptional. The Evertune bridge puts the axe over the top.

I've no clue on the cost of installing passive pups like these in the Eclipse with EMG's, I just wanted to make the pup recommendation.
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,115
I had a ec1000t that came with Duncan alnico 2s (the aph2 without the slash endorsement) and they were a great match for the guitar.

OP- you'll need to replace all the pots in addition to the pickups as well. Active pickups use 25k pots... You'll want 500ks or lower.
 

Kdogg

Member
Messages
147
I would keep your current guitar stock, sell it, and purchase an EC-1000 with the passive Duncans. I just sold my EC-1000 with the EMG's on Craigslist. It literally sold in 24 hours. People love that guitar with the EMG's, and they are great, if that's your thing. I was in the same boat as you though, those pickups just didn't do it for me.

Just a thought.
 

TTHX

Senior Member
Messages
610
Just a heads up if you're changing pots to CTS pots. Unless you buy the CTS metric pots, you'll need to get the holes widened a bit. This may factor into the price depending on where you get it done.
 

EADGBE

Member
Messages
12,337
I'd suggest either a Duncan JB or DiMarzio super distortion for the bridge. And since you're going from EMGs to passive make sure they ground the bridge.
 

LTigh

Member
Messages
883
I would keep your current guitar stock, sell it, and purchase an EC-1000 with the passive Duncans. I just sold my EC-1000 with the EMG's on Craigslist. It literally sold in 24 hours. People love that guitar with the EMG's, and they are great, if that's your thing. I was in the same boat as you though, those pickups just didn't do it for me.

Just a thought.

+1 on this.

Yeah, it's a hell of a pain in the keister trying to mod an EC-1000 with actives into the exact same model they already make and sell that has passive Duncans. You'd have to rip out all the electronics, re-wire the whole thing and make sure there's a bridge ground, and have that unused cavity where the battery once sat. The passive model has the JB/'59 set already. Getting someone else to install those pickups in your original plan would cost around $30-$40 per pickup depending on your location and available talent, plus the price of the pickups and electronics-- which may add to the cost (pots, caps, jack, new wiring, possibly some drilling for the bridge ground).

The passive model has all that done for you and you don't have to gut out your guitar. The JB/'59s are very versatile and cover the gamut from shred to clean. If you HAVE to mod it in any way, I'd recommend a coil split for even more variations.

Pic related. It's an EC-1000 with Duncans.
IMG_20160506_211542327_zps22qpke34.jpg
 
M

Member 173903

+1 on this.

Yeah, it's a hell of a pain in the keister trying to mod an EC-1000 with actives into the exact same model they already make and sell that has passive Duncans. You'd have to rip out all the electronics, re-wire the whole thing and make sure there's a bridge ground, and have that unused cavity where the battery once sat. The passive model has the JB/'59 set already. Getting someone else to install those pickups in your original plan would cost around $30-$40 per pickup depending on your location and available talent, plus the price of the pickups and electronics-- which may add to the cost (pots, caps, jack, new wiring, possibly some drilling for the bridge ground).

The passive model has all that done for you and you don't have to gut out your guitar. The JB/'59s are very versatile and cover the gamut from shred to clean. If you HAVE to mod it in any way, I'd recommend a coil split for even more variations.

Agreed. Your current LTD EC-1000 will sell fast and then you can just get the passive version. Save yourself a lot of hassle. I just bought a pristine older SD-equipped EC-1000 and love playing it.
 

Mincer

Senior Member
Messages
4,596
I like the idea of a Jazz, but would go with a Custom for the bridge, or even more versatile, the 59/Custom Hybrid. They aren't as 'hard rock' focused as the JB, and can do more things well (they also split well). Remember to budget for replacement electronics, too.
 

Stev0Griffin

Trendsetter
Messages
1,844
+1 on this.

Yeah, it's a hell of a pain in the keister trying to mod an EC-1000 with actives into the exact same model they already make and sell that has passive Duncans. You'd have to rip out all the electronics, re-wire the whole thing and make sure there's a bridge ground, and have that unused cavity where the battery once sat. The passive model has the JB/'59 set already. Getting someone else to install those pickups in your original plan would cost around $30-$40 per pickup depending on your location and available talent, plus the price of the pickups and electronics-- which may add to the cost (pots, caps, jack, new wiring, possibly some drilling for the bridge ground).

The passive model has all that done for you and you don't have to gut out your guitar. The JB/'59s are very versatile and cover the gamut from shred to clean. If you HAVE to mod it in any way, I'd recommend a coil split for even more variations.

Pic related. It's an EC-1000 with Duncans.
IMG_20160506_211542327_zps22qpke34.jpg
I love that yours doesn't have that horrendous amount of abalone binding.
 

barely real

Member
Messages
133
Your guitar might have a bridge ground installed already, which would make the switch a bit easier/less invasive. I say "might" because I had two LTD ECs with active pickups -- an EC-331FR and an EC-1001FR (both Floyd models). The 331 had an unused bridge ground installed, the 1001 didn't. I've heard of other people with fixed bridge LTDs that got lucky and had a bridge ground already drilled and installed, despite the active pickups. Might be worth a check.
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,211
Hi! I did the exact thing you described with the exact same guitar and chronicled it here.

Changing the active pickups to passive pickups will probably cost a lot more than just changing out the pickups normally would. You have to replace the pots, redo the wiring, and will likely have to drill a grounding wire for the bridge. Make sure if you bring it to a tech that they are aware of that. I have heard that some of these guitars have a ground wire, but mine did not.

I tried to get a tech to drill a ground wire, but he said he didn't have the tools or knowledge and referred me to a luthier. I ended up pulling the stud myself and drilling a hole between the bridge pickup cavity and the bridge stud hole. I'm not terribly handy but I have a cordless drill and took my time. It worked perfectly.

Otherwise I would expect a tech to charge up to maybe two hours worth of time to do all that work. You may have to buy new pots, new knobs, and some wire (anywhere from $20-40 depending on the stuff used) in addition to the new pickups. So I wouldn't be surprised if the whole deal runs up to $400 including pickups.

Given that cost, you might be better off trying to find one of the passive models, which are already equipped with a Duncan JB and 59 combo which would be fantastic for what you are trying to play. Those don't need any mods assuming they are in good shape. I bought mine for a little over $400.

Another option would be to get a pair of the EMG 57/66 pickups, which are more of the vintage style pickups. I haven't used them, but you should be able to swap those out easily because the EMG's use quick connects.

Lastly, if you're somewhat handy and have some basic tools, you can rip the guitar apart and do it yourself like I did.

If you've got any questions feel free to ask or shoot me a message, happy to help!

 

c_mac

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,729
Have you considered different EMGs? I'm not sure what is stock in that guitar but the 57 and 66 models are being raved about. They are nothing like 81s. Might be worth a shot since your guitar is already setup for actives.
 

METAL

Member
Messages
338
Hi! I did the exact thing you described with the exact same guitar and chronicled it here.

Changing the active pickups to passive pickups will probably cost a lot more than just changing out the pickups normally would. You have to replace the pots, redo the wiring, and will likely have to drill a grounding wire for the bridge. Make sure if you bring it to a tech that they are aware of that. I have heard that some of these guitars have a ground wire, but mine did not.

I tried to get a tech to drill a ground wire, but he said he didn't have the tools or knowledge and referred me to a luthier. I ended up pulling the stud myself and drilling a hole between the bridge pickup cavity and the bridge stud hole. I'm not terribly handy but I have a cordless drill and took my time. It worked perfectly.

Otherwise I would expect a tech to charge up to maybe two hours worth of time to do all that work. You may have to buy new pots, new knobs, and some wire (anywhere from $20-40 depending on the stuff used) in addition to the new pickups. So I wouldn't be surprised if the whole deal runs up to $400 including pickups.

Given that cost, you might be better off trying to find one of the passive models, which are already equipped with a Duncan JB and 59 combo which would be fantastic for what you are trying to play. Those don't need any mods assuming they are in good shape. I bought mine for a little over $400.

Another option would be to get a pair of the EMG 57/66 pickups, which are more of the vintage style pickups. I haven't used them, but you should be able to swap those out easily because the EMG's use quick connects.

Lastly, if you're somewhat handy and have some basic tools, you can rip the guitar apart and do it yourself like I did.

If you've got any questions feel free to ask or shoot me a message, happy to help!


Thanks for the info everyone. My EC-1000 means a lot to me so selling it isn't an option for me. I think I'll either go with what you said, a set of EMG 57/66 or just keep it as it is. The EMG quick connect is very convenient and required no soldering at all.
 

LTigh

Member
Messages
883
Thanks for the info everyone. My EC-1000 means a lot to me so selling it isn't an option for me. I think I'll either go with what you said, a set of EMG 57/66 or just keep it as it is. The EMG quick connect is very convenient and required no soldering at all.

There's the new EMG Retro-Actives. They might give you that "more dynamic range with less compression thing" that you've been looking for.

Me, I just swapped out the regular 9 Volt battery with a 24 Volt Mod and got the same thing. Best $22 I ever spent modding a guitar with EMGs.
 




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