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Active EMG-P's + a passive J pup???

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by gregmon79, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    I have a Squier affinity. It's got the P/J pickup config. Is it possible for me to hook up/wire a set of active EMG-P's for the P pup and then leave the stock jazz pup in there as is? Is that even possible? I'm sure curious because I have a set of the EMG's laying around from my P and I wanted to give this affinity some umpf until I had the cash to really set it up the way I want to pup wise.
  2. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    AFAIK, you can't mix and match active and passive pickups. the only way i see that being possible is if you connect each pickup to it's own output and run them to separate amps. do you like the stock pickup that much to keep it? if not you could just go with an emg j pickup.
  3. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Good idea. I actually forgot I had the EMG-P pup until tonight. Hence the question. I didn't think it would work but wasn't sure. I think I'll order a jazz pup and see how that goes. My P EMG's are old ones, not the plug n play ones though......

    The I sort of dig the pups in the affinity now but live they are just too boomy for my tastes. I want more clarity.
  4. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Thanks for the input pool
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  6. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Actually, if I routed, could I put an active humbucker in there with the active EMG-P's?? That's what I'd like to do.
  7. Yes and no.

    Active pickups are buffered, so their output impedance is lower than that of passive pickups. This lower impedance loads down passive pickups, if actives and passives are mixed. With that being said, the way you get around that is to simply buffer the passive pickup. This can be done with a preamp, or something as simple as an opamp or JFET, and some resistors and capacitors.
  8. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    ^^^ +1.

    I'm pretty sure Bartolini sell a simple buffer preamp. I'd recommend getting one with a gain control as you may find a larger difference in output than height adjustment can compensate for. You'll really need to find a tech who knows what they are doing. Your passive J won't sound quite the same after it's buffered. You may want to run a 250k or even 100K vol for the J before it's buffer. This will load the pickup so it still sounds warm and passive. If you do this, you'll need a series resister on the output of its buffer, so the 25k vol from the EMG won't act as a master vol. There's a good chance that the buffer will already have a series resistor on its output, so you may need to experiment. If you go with a blend pot, it's important to use a (DG) linear pot - 25k or 50k, not a typical MN blend pot, for kinda the same reason.

    Personally, I'd simply run a resistor parallel to the J, IOW across the input of the buffer to get the load on it right (try 100K to 270K). Then use EMG blend, vol and tone pots.
  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    point being that adding the buffer makes the J pickup "active", too; it's the only way to blend them together.
  10. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Well I was thinking they are both active, the EMG-P and the EMG humbucker I eventually get. The active and passive setup sounds like it's beyond my exp at this point. If I went that route I'd have to take it to a tech and I don't really want to do that just yet. I appreciate all the input so far guys. Gives me starting points to reference so I can learn more about pickups. In the end I'd like to put all active electronics on there and steer away from the active/passive query I started the thread with. That way seems a little to complicated for me right now.
  11. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    If you went with a route for EMG 35 or even EMG 40 size, you'd have a lot of options that would fit- EMG 40P, DC, CS, Jazz, those in X series, and other makers have some that size.
    All active, so compatible- just be sure your vol/bal pots are 20k- 50k for active pickups.
  12. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    The EMG DC's are great modern sounding pickups if that's what you are going for. Why not just an EMG J? Saves you routing. Hey, it's good enough for victor wooten...

    Of course, but lowering the buffer's input impedence goes a long way to keeping it sounding like a passive pickup. Having re-read the first bunch of posts, I see the OP is perhaps not after that passive sound anyway...
  13. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    I'm going for more of a modern flavor with this one. In fact all my basses sound pretty modern now if I were to mod the P/J. But I like it that way. What would the differences be from a J pup and a humbucker? I do want that jazz sound if I need it.
  14. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    in that case, i'd recommend the 35TW. it's a humbucker (stock wired in series. could be modded to parallel but personally, i think it sounds better in series) that comes with a push/pull pot that switches it to single-coil mode. one thing is that there is a considerable volume drop-off going from series to single-coil.
  15. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    No offense but the bass is an Affinity which is the lowest priced Fender. Good bass for the money but by the time you pay for a Jazz pickup and then pay a tech to do the work, it will cost you more than the bass is worth. Why not save your money and then get a used MIM, MIJ or MIA?
  16. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    I do all the work myself so I wouldn't be paying a tech. If I can't do it, it won't happen right now. Quite honestly, I think the affinity I got is a damn fine bass. Perfect balance, plays and feels great. Period. The only issue I've had, if you call it an issue, is the pups which aren't horrible but they boom too much in a live setting for my taste. Hence the want to swap pups out. I have replaced the bridge, knobs, tuners and strings so it's a great bass. So you can take that talk somewhere else. Maybe I like getting inexpensive basses and building them up. What's wrong with that? An affinity is a great base to build off of. I don't know why peeps have to beat down on Squier's or any other cheaper bass and the people that buy them. Plus, I don't have $1200 to spend on an overpriced fender. They're great basses but their too rich for my blood right now. I can put a couple hundo into a Squier and get it to play and sound just as good as any other bass out there.