What do I need to know re: swapping active pickups for passive?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Jessica, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Jessica

    Jessica Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I have an ESP LTD EC-1000 Deluxe.

    [​IMG]

    I want to swap out the EMG 81 bridge pup for a Gibson 57 Classic pickup.

    I know how to solder from tinkering with video game cartridges and just messing around with spare pickups in the past. I have always been able to get it right the first time.

    I do not, however, have actual knowledge about the electronic components involved with swapping pickups (pots, capacitors, pickups, etc.). I just read the installation instructions 10 times over, and do it piece by piece like a color-by-number.


    A few questions for the seasoned tinker'ers:

    1. Is it difficult to swap out an active pickup for a passive one?

    2. Do I need to change a lot in the wiring to prepare for the swap, or is it pretty much de-soldering one and putting in another?

    3. Do I need to change the pots? I don't know what value the current pots are (googling for the specs of this guitar doesn't give me the information either).

    4. Is it a pretty bad idea for me to attempt this on my own? I have swapped out a few humbuckers in the past by just following the included paper instructions, and I've gotten it right every time so far.

    5. The Gibson 57 pickup comes in 2-wire and 4-wire formats. I think I need the 2-wire one. Is this right?

    6. At some point, I would like to swap out the EMG 60 neck pup for a (get ready for it) Telecaster neck pickup. I was thinking I might be able to velcro it in place, since the humbucker slot is so much wider than a Tele slot. I don't mind if it looks strange. I just want to know if it's possible on this guitar.

    Thank you for your help. Cheers!
     
  2. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    1. No
    2. Newer EMGs are solder-less plug and play for the wiring, so you'll have to replace the wiring.
    3. EMGs used 25k pots, passive humbuckers typically use 500k, so you'll have to replace those as well.
    4. Depends on how comfortable you are with a soldering iron.
    5. Go with 2-wire unless you plan on doing coil splitting for single coil sounds.
    6. http://www.guitarfetish.com/Humbuck...its-Tele-Neck-Pickup-THREE-COLORS_p_4351.html
    [​IMG]
     
  3. majordanger

    majordanger Member

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    Depending on the guitar, it may not be hot swappable. My ESP had all the EMG stuff soldered in.

    You may find mixing the active and passive together to be more trouble than it's worth because of different cap and or values. Also the output levels and impedance will be really different between the two pups. If you are planning on doing both eventually, id just wait and do them both at the same time.
     
  4. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    To do it correctly you will have to swap out all of the electronic components plus you will need to drill for a bridge ground.

    Of course you could save yourself all of that trouble and buy my EC-1000 CTM which I have already converted to Dimarzio 36th Anniversary, top shelf electronics, etc. :)

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=1551689
     
  5. Jessica

    Jessica Member

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    Thanks so much for the helpful advice. It seems to be a bigger project than I originally anticipated. I'll post photos if I decide to move forward. Thanks again!
     

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