Originally Posted by Bongolation
The HZs are probably the most despised pickups on TB.
Why, I don't know. The hate sessions have never been that articulate. They're OEM on a ton of basses, but people just rag on them here...like crazy hate sometimes.
Maybe someone will calm down and explain why.
I have an OEM pair on my Ibby SRA305, which I gig with regularly. I find them to be very well balanced pickups. Here's the problem with them: the 500kohm volume pot. It needs to be bridged with a 1 meg resistor to bring the effective pot loading down to @ 330 kohms so that it takes a little edge off. A 250 kohm pot is too low a value and that makes them sound dull. Yes, they are similar to the CS as the literature says, but not quite.
The best thing to do with a pair of EMG HZ's:
1) bridge the outside lugs of the 500 kohm volume pot with a small 1 meg resistor to bring the effective loading down to 330 kohms;
2) Adjust them closer to the strings to get more tone, the sweet spot is closer than you think;
3) Buffer them with either a good pre or, as on my bass, an EMG EXB control (Ibby's OEM version is called the "Phat II," but it is the same control - even the leads off of it say EMG). This not only buffers the output, effectively making your bass active, but the control is great to get a variable contour to dial in just the right amount of trad v modern, straight ahead v slap, etc., to bring out the best in the pickups.
Having done the volume pot mod to my SRA305, I go DI to board with my band and my sound tech likes the clean sound that he can tailor to any venue.