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Thread: Please help cant get clean tone with active EMG’s

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    Please help cant get clean tone with active EMG’s

    Hi everyone, im new here, may be you can help me with a strange issue i get with active pickups, on a clean channel, no matter how far i set the pickup height, or turn down the guitar volume i cant have a clean sound on any amp, with a passive pickup no problem, it sounds like a kinda fart distortion briefly every time i play a note or chord, its EMG 57/66 and EMG Het Set all solderless, Sounds like too much output from the pickups, is there something to reduce pickup output level? Cant believe i cant get a clean sound out of these, there hot but... should be able to play clean, i did something stupid, i copper taped the cavity of the pickups, could it do that? New batteries and wiring is good, plugged direcly in amps, only bridge pickups do that on 2 guitars and a passive on another guitar dont do that... any idea?

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    "Thermionic Apocalypse" -JT nickb's Avatar
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    These things do push out a massive signal, maybe 10x that of a passive pickup so making it very easy to overdrive the amplifiers. Backing the volume right down will put it into the same range as a passive. If you can't get a clean tone even with the guitar volume turned to almost zero then the active pickups have to be faulty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickb View Post
    These things do push out a massive signal, maybe 10x that of a passive pickup so making it very easy to overdrive the amplifiers. Backing the volume right down will put it into the same range as a passive. If you can't get a clean tone even with the guitar volume turned to almost zero then the active pickups have to be faulty.
    Thanks, i got the sound right with guitar volume at about 50% so this is normal? I never used the guitar volume lol

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    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    Don't these actives use a 25k or 50k pot?

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    I believe 25K is recommended.

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    Yes 25k

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    The '57 spec sheet gives 3v output (string) 4.5v output (strum). No wonder it breaks up.

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    Its all EMG active pickups with the solderless kits they came with, no hum, no buzz no noise, wiring is perfect, no problem with the neck pickups ajusted to normal height, too close to the strings they have the same problem, if i lower the bridge pickups untill i can have a clean undistorted sound they are too far and the tone sucks

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    Sorry my first language isn’t english, do you mean the 57 bridge pickup have a output so high that i cant play cean with it?

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    Oh ok... i knew they where high output pickups but never found the output voltage, guess the Het Set is even more lol, its like 57/66 on steroids

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    Is there a way to lower the pickup output?

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    they usually distort when battery is low

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    Professional Lurker eschertron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexradium View Post
    they usually distort when battery is low
    That was my first thought, but they do say they installed fresh batteries.

    I wonder if a comparison has been made between playing the active pickups turned down to not distort and playing a guitar with passive pickups?
    Try this: With all amp settings the same, is the EMG-equipped guitar still very loud compared to the other, or can you turn the passive guitar up louder? This will help determine if the distortion is generated in the guitar or the amp.

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    Yes the passive EMG H4 bridge pickup on another guitar do not distort, its about 90% as loud as the actives,

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    With such a high output for those pickups I would expect the results posted. The up side is that THE PICKUPS ARE ACTIVE!!! The preamp should have a low impedance output so there should be almost no difference in tone with the volume pot dialed down. That said, you're just going to have to turn your volume pot down when you want to get clean tones with those pickups. (<period)

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