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active pickup query (9 volt vs 18 volt)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nasonm, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. nasonm


    Jan 28, 2004
    Bangor, ME
    I have a new Ibanez with IBZ ADX active pickups (5 string). I'm not getting the harmonics I was hoping for when I ordered it. I've heard from EMG users that you can use a 18 volt power supply instead of the usual 9 volt and it will give better results (more headroom) without damaging the bass.

    Is this true?

    I'd appreciate any input you may have. Thanks & Take Care
  2. Hey bud,

    I'm not an expert but I'll give you what I think:

    18v will give you more headroom for sure. I am not familiar with the ibanez pickups but the pickups themselves may be a partial reason why your not getting what you want. Headroom refers to how much you can boost a frequency range from the pickup's signal. That being said I don't know if that alone would bring out the harmonics in your tone but if you are picky about your tone, I would recommend upgrading pickups for sure. Someone will come along who could tell you more about getting the harmonics in your tone to pop out.

    Hope that helps!
  3. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    18v = more headroom and dynamic range
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    it will give you more headroom, but IMO won't give you any more harmonics if that's what you seek.

    Also, make sure to confirm you're ok to use 18v before you try anything.
  5. mrelwood


    Dec 15, 2004
    I agree, no big differencies in the frequency response to be expected. However, we all have a different way of sensing things, and 18V might do the trick for You.

    I definitely recommend contacting Ibanez and asking if this is okay, and try it before getting new pickups.

  6. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    You can run EMG pickups from 27V if you like. I recently asked them and this was confirmed via email. Now one of my EMG equipped basses runs off my (not factory DS5/DS5R) 24V Alembic outboard supply too. From what I recall reading on their site, their pre's etc can also run on up to 27V, so 18V from a pair of series batteries will be fine. However, email EMG and confirm this!, as I've never used their pre's because I build my own.

    Changing the pickups/pre will give you a different sound, but whether it's what you want to hear, you won't really know until you try it out. 18V against 9V will give more headroom, but I doubt any significant harmonic distribution change, unless the original pre was badly designed or faulty.

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