EMG pickups in my strat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by p.snail, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. p.snail

    p.snail Member

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    Hello,
    I have a '91 Fender Strat Ultra. I dearly love this guitar, but I hated the Lace Sensor pickups in it. I replaced them with two EMG S and an 81. I do not play metal. I did this because the EMG's are reliable and quiet. The single coils behave well with the humbucker and balance nicely. My only complaint is that sometimes it seem like there is this piezo type of quality to it and it's kind of annoying. It's not as noticeable on some amps as it is on others. My question is: Does it sound this way because the single coils are ceramic? Would I be better off putting in the SA's? If it is the Active pickups all together then should I switch to passives? The only problem there is they don't tend to balance well with humbuckers and they are NOISEY. I can't stand 60cycle hum. What would you do in my situation? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I had a Strat Ultra for a few years, great guitar but the roller nut always bugged me so I sold it.

    I've got nothing against EMG's , I used them a lot in the old days, but they have a weird rounded attack to my ears and I wanted something with a little more "bite"

    I think you would be better off with passive pups, there are a bunch of noiseless SC pups, personally I'd probably go with some DiMarzio's either the Virtual Vintage SC or the new Area 58/61.
    DiMarzio have great customer support, if you email them and ask for a HB that would balance well with the SC's you choose I'm sure they'd help you out.
     
  3. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    To my ears EMGs work well if you use a rack system and build your tone that way. Otherwise.... eh? I used to have them in an American Standard. There was something (soul?) profoundly missing

    Peace,

    jb
     
  4. nland

    nland Member

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    I have no opinion on EMGs or active pickups as I've never used them, but have been playing strats for 34 years now. My preference is passive pickups, and I always retain the stock pickups except on occassion where I bought a MIM strat and swapped out the stock pickups and went with DiMarzio's. A great choice. Gave the strat some nice bite and also some warmth, as well as being noiseless. Don't rule out some of the Fender Custom Shop pickups , especially the Fat 50's. There's alot of great choices out there that in my opinion will give you the sound you're looking for.
     
  5. emjee

    emjee Member

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    David Gilmour likes 'em in his strats. Knopfler, too. I think they sound great.
    I like them BECAUSE there is no "Bite" and that they ARE "Round" sounding. To each his own....

    Mg
     
  6. rich-96db

    rich-96db Member

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    Add the EMG-SPC (Strat Presence Control) and you'll love the EMG-S pickups a lot more. If you're into a cleaner sound add the EMG-EXP.

    I believe that Gilmour uses 3 EMG-SAs with both the EMG-SPC and the EMG-EXP control.
     
  7. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    EMG's sound fine to me if you use lots of processing, as do the Lace Sensors. But straight into an amp for "organic" vintage tones? Nope.

    I have a '91 Ultra too, and am on the fence about a pickup upgrade. Keep us posted on what you decide, and I will do the same. I think Ultras are great guitars, but the pickups are the weak link.

    Since I've abandoned the rack system, I've been less than thrilled with the tone of the Lace pups. One thing's for sure. It will be noiseless.
     
  8. p.snail

    p.snail Member

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    Gilmour is using the SA's. Those are Alnico. The S's are Ceramic. The Dimarzio's are Alnico also. I'm thinking I could just switch out the S's for SA's and that may get me there. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.
     
  9. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I know a couple guys who can play circles around me and they love EMG's. However, to me they sound sterile. Not musical at all.

    60hz hum doesn't bother me either. You can't really hear it much while playing, just between tunes. It didn't stop Jimi from using single coils, why should I complain?
     
  10. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I love EMGs myself. But you might want to try some DiMarzio stacked humbucker single coils.
     
  11. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    There are some good EMG's. To me, the SA's go a litttle to far the other direction from S's. I'd try the SAV's. these were my favorites when I used EMG's all the time. A more vintage wind, Alnico, with the SA preamp. Very good sounding stuff.

    Worked well with my Ampeg Reverbrocket i was using at the time.

    I did move to passive pickups, because for me, the passives 'color' the sound in a positive way for me, but I could've stayed with the EMG's and worked fine. I used the mid boost add on as well. What's that, the EXG, or the SPC...can't remember. LOL
     

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