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Active guitars

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Jan 10, 2006.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi everybody.

    Just curious... Is it just me or active electronics are way more popular among bassists than guitarists? There are plenty of bassists (including me) who play and love active basses but among the guitarists I know (I mean, in my town), can't recall a single one who has an active guitar. Same for most live bands (not so many) I've seen here. While the "active sound" is MusicMan basses' signature, the only active MusicMan guitar is the Luke model. Maybe I'm wrong and I'm missing something? And If I'm right, what do you think is the reason for that? Thank you in advance for your input.
  2. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Music Man is the only one I know of. It kinda freaked me out when I started playing Bass becuase i was used to PRS, Gibson and Fender. I'd never played a Music Man Guitar. I was like "your kidding, a battery powerd Bass?"
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Plenty of guitarists out there with active pickups: check out the likes of Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Jeff Hanneman, Stephen Carpenter, Ahrue Luster, Pat Lachman, etc.

    Usually denoted by the letters ESP or EMG ;)
  4. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I didn't know that. I stick to Strats, Les Pauls, and I've yet to see an active PRS, but maybe they're out there. My Martin is Plain Jane, It's got a gloss top but that's it, no electronics no tuner, Just a plain ol Martin.
  5. ive seen an active washburn and the tone is nothing of the musicman or musicman type basses (tone that is) maybe it was the guitar i dont know????????????
  6. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Carvin makes a few guitars with active preamps as well.
  7. I-Love-Ratm


    Feb 24, 2003
    Does that mean all ESPs and EMGs are active???Surely not?
  8. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Don't forget Frank Zappa who was a real pioneer in active onboard gear. Frank was using active tone circuits and onboard buffers/piezo very early on. Another early example are the guitars that Alembic built for the Dead.

    My impression of the current production and aftermarket scene is that there are more examples of active pickups in guitar-land than examples of onboard preamps.
  9. doesn't the fender clapton model have active electronics?
  10. Don W

    Don W

    Jan 30, 2004
    East Bay, CA.
    No it just depends on the model. EMG 81 series pickups are active, but the HZ series are passive. Usually any ESP model with 400 in the model number has 81s and the 200 models have HZs.