Active pickup issues

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by chipmolter, Oct 10, 2001.

  1. chipmolter

    chipmolter Guest

    Aug 27, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Hey all.

    I got a new Czech Spector a couple weeks ago and noticed something that may be peculiar. This is my first active, so I'm not sure what I'm hearin'.

    If I push the treble up, I get this hissing sound that gets louder the further I push it. No problems with the bass knob, no problems with the treble in neutral. It's not a hum, just a staticy kind of sound.

    I replaced the battery with a brand new fresh one, so it's not that.

    The sounds not really noticable when I play(at least to my humble ears) but when I stop, it's there.

    Any thoughts? Do I need to get it checked out, return it, or is it normal?

    Thanks again.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    It's more or less normal with active EQs, the better the quality of the circuit the less noise you'll have.

    I don't know what SSD uses in their CZ Spectors, but I get the US Spectors have better electronics.
    Maybe you can upgrade.
  3. chipmolter

    chipmolter Guest

    Aug 27, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Much obliged, JMX!
  4. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    Untrue, the czech's have the EMG BTS system with top of the line emg's. The bts is an extremely good system what may be happening is you already have that frequency boosted on your amp and you are just boosting the really high F's more. Also on the inside where the electronics are located there is a chipboard that has 2 little 3 position switches that control the frequency sweep of the treble pot there are a few different combonations to work with. Go to emg's site and I beleive they have a peice in there that will tell you how to set the switches to cover what frequencies its a really cool option that not many people take advantage or know of. No need to upgrade I use this system in four of my basses and its great.Good luck
  5. chipmolter

    chipmolter Guest

    Aug 27, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    First, thanks to all for the help.

    I realized that I can't really know if it's bad until someone experienced with actives hears the sound. I took it to GC last night, and the guy there told me it was definitely not right, the electronics weren't grounded properly I believe.

    So back it goes!

    Thanks again.
  6. Pure hissing noise is not a function of bad grounding IMHO.

    What happens when you increase treble gain is that you selectively amplify more and more of the noise that the chips naturally produce. All amp chips produce noise, but some more than others. Increasing bass gain, on the other hand, doesn't produce increasing hiss because you're selectively increasing the low-end and low-end isn't hiss!!

    There are a few alternatives.

    1) That the actives use just 'general purpose' quality chips, which are cheap to buy but are not low-noise types. Electronics guys will recognise the 741 chip as being that type. The remedy is to have the chips changed for low-noise types.

    2) That low noise chips have been used but that they may be faulty / out of spec' in that area but they work normally as chips.

    3) There's something else wrong!:D

  7. I own a ESP LTD-b204, and it came with active EMG-HZ humbuckers. When it hiss's like that, its normal, at least for mine it is. If you want to slap or pop on the strings, to get the right sounds, you gotta turn that " hissin " knob up, or you'll get a warm poppin sound which will barely produce it at all. If you just hate the hissin, just go to the bass knob that takes out the low and keeps all the high ( im assuming you got a 5 band EQ ) then you can still pop and slap but you will loose all your low end. Hope I've been a help


    " Imagine a world without color,
    Imagine a song without bass......"
  8. flipperwhite


    Jul 12, 2001
    did you guys read this?,he just explained it.
  9. Just to clarify for people: What you are describing are NOT ACTIVE PICKUP!!!!!!! IT IS AN ACTIVE EQ!!!!!!!!!

    The EMG-HZ pickups are PASSIVE. The B-30 Active EQ is what is active on the bass, not the pickups themselves. I only am clarifying this because you can have all different EQ/pickup combinations (ex, passive pups/active eq, active pups/passive eq).
  10. When I bought my B-204 from Mars they said it was active with a active EQ, and on the ESP website under the electronic details page or whatever, under the section for the EMG-HZ 35's it says ative pickups require 9v battery. Now it said it has a active EQ, but it didn't say no battery is required for the EQ. Mine takes a battery, and if it said nothing about active EQ's takin batterys than I guess they don't, I really don't get how they wouldn't but Ive read every website possible and none of them say anything about active EQ takin batterys. So anyways, I guess the battery in mine feeds into the pickups, so I think your wrong dude. But it doesn't really matter, its pretty much the same thing but just wanted to clarify on that.

    " I'm gonna play metal till the day I die. "
    - Dimebad Darrell
  11. Isn't it true that all electronics have some degree of noise? And if you boost the gain enough in that frequency, you'll get the hiss? What are the quietest on-board pre amps anyway? Just curious.
  12. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Active EQ -> takes battery power. It sounds like, as well, the EMG HZ pickups are active. In that case, the same battery powers them both. Some basses have two batteries, but this isn't because one powers the pups and the other the EQ, they are just both used to get 18 volts.

    However, looking it up, it looks like the HZ pickups are passive.
  13. That makes sense to me. HZ=Hi-Z (high impedance), therefore passive.