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buying EMGs for my Yamaha...Preamp question

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Mandobass, Mar 28, 2003.


  1. Mandobass

    Mandobass

    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Ok so i've decided on getting a pair of EMZs to upgrade my yamaha. i was told by a fellow TBer that the EMGs have a preamp built in...if so, what would i do with the yamaha preamp that is already in my rbx765?

    keep it in there with the EMGs?(would this even work?)

    remove it completely?

    put something else in there?


    any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
     
  2. I dont believe the pickups themselves have a built in preamp, unless its part of a package you're buying. Like the BTS preamp. Either replace the one you already have, or just wire the pickups to your existing one. Never heard of having two preamps in a bass, although someone here has probably done it :D
     
  3. Mandobass

    Mandobass

    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    <qoute> EMG's have a preamp inside the pickups, so you can run them straight to a V/V/T knob configuration. That's what it looks like you have from the picture - when you buy a set of EMG pups you generally get a prewired harness with them that you just need to solder the pups to. With the EMG J set, for example, you get a V/V/T configured harness.
    </qoute>


    dunno if this is accurate or not
     
  4. Mandobass

    Mandobass

    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    tried to qoute that...whoops, my bad.
     
  5. you got a url link for what you're looking at? I couldn't find that info on the EMG site. The pickups may be active, but unless you hook them to a battery source .... I still dont think there is a "preamp" INSIDE the pickups, but I could be wrong. I have HZ's in my Korean Spector, and the pups are wired to the pre-amp in the bass, not directly to the knobs.

    I cant even find the HZ's on the website in the bass pickup section, did they move them somewhere else?
     
  6. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Most EMG's are active pickups in that they need a battery or two to make them work. They do not have a built in treble and bass control. There is a difference between and active setup and having a pre-amp built in. I think the HZ series is one of the few EMG pickups that are passive in the normal way, along with the select series. If mandobass is looking at the DC series, they will require at least one battery, but two works better. I have 45DC's in my yamaha and I hanked my factory preamp out in favor of using an outboard pre with an onboard EXB. Works nice, but the EXB seems to boost the bass more than the treble. IT is noise free though, which was my main concern before I started the project.
     
  7. Okay ... but the pups in that picture aren't HZ's.
     
  8. Mandobass

    Mandobass

    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    the EMGs are the EMG-40P5 (Five String) + EMG-40J (Five String)

    they have a two battery connection.


    Hey TuBass, was the battery compartment in your yamaha hard to yank out? i'll need room for two batts just like you did.

    thanks
     
  9. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    he was quoting me. Most EMG's are active, requiring a battery, and have a mini preamp inside the pickup. They can operate without the need for a separate preamp. They apply a preset mild eq shape, which you would adjust slightly in this case with a tone pot.

    You may want to keep your preamp as the EMG's alone configuration doesn't give you much in the way of on board EQ. If you usually do you're eq'ing at the amp, you may not need an onboard preamp. If you prefer to do it on the bass, you may want to hook up the emg's to your existing preamp or get one of the EMG ones which allow cut/boost of bass/treble/mid.

    I have a Fender Hot Rod P, which I initially ran with EMG's and battery only to the supplied EMG V/V/T harness. I later installed a U-Retro preamp in the bass, and it was easy. I now have the sound of the EMG's with the tonal flexibilty of the U-Retro. EMG make their own preamp systems as well, details on their site.
     
  10. Mandobass

    Mandobass

    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    great reply...that really cleared up a lot of stuff...


    i guess my problem is this, and maybe only experimentation will tell, but would a Yamaha onboard preamp tonally color the EMGs?

    Does the preamp <i>just</i> give you control to modify the tone? or does it color it as well?

    i really love the sound of EMGs, so i'm afraid if i keep the onboard yamaha preamp i might still have the same yamaha sound.
    thanks again
     
  11. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I don't know anything about the preamps on the Yamaha basses, so I can't comment on it's capabilities. So I'll talk generally.

    Onboard preamps usually don't apply any 'pre shaping' to the eq. There are one or two exceptions, I believe the U-Retro has a mild eq boost prior to the preamp stages.

    I'd suggest putting in your EMG's first and hooking them up to the existing preamp. This way, you're only changing one part of the overall sound so it'll be easier to tell the difference the EMG's have made. If you change EMG's and preamp at same time, and like the result, then great. But if you change both and don't like the result then you won't know what part(s) you don't like.
     
  12. Mandobass

    Mandobass

    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    ok one final question...


    The size of the EMG pickups is 4 inches long by 1.5 inches wide...

    my yamaha pickups are about 4.5-4.6 inches long and 1.5 inches wide..

    so there's plenty of room for them, but is this extra room going to be a problem? would it create resonance?

    should i try and find a pickup that fits it perfectly? or should this work alright. thanks everyone
     
  13. Why not use a 45-DC? They are 4.5" wide. It's the P ones that require a certain amount of strings. How stuck are you on a P/J setup? A DC or CS EMG pickups is a very, very good thing.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Mandobass

    Mandobass

    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    well i'd go for two 45DCs, but i can't find them ANYWHERE used. =(

    anyone have experience with these two different EMGs...opinions?
     
  15. Hmm. I'd rather buy electronic equipment new, you can't tell everything about it by looking at it...plus the leads might be too short now...etc.
     
  16. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I would not try to use the Yamaha pre-amp. I was told that both EMG's and yamahas are very proprietary, which means they don't get along with other electronics made by others. Go with an all EMG system, or go with just the active pickups and forget the preamp.
    How many times have I said I LOVE the sound of my Yamaha with the EMG's? It's incredible!
    Also, go for new, you never know about used electronics. IT's worth the price difference, and you can get the size you want. If the pickups you are buying are a steal, get them and sell them for a profit, or keep them for a future project.

    Also, Yamaha pickups are exactly 4.75 inches across, so if you use the 40's you will have 3/8th of an inch on each side of the pickup left over. By the way, I bought my 45's for $180, brand new. $160 used is not a great deal.
    Mark
     
  17. I dunno about the Yamaha preamp, but my EMG's work great with an Aguilar OBP-1 in my European Spector.
     
  18. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Yamaha preamps are integrated into the pots, and EMG HIGHLY suggests using the pots that come supplied with the pickups. MOst of the time I have heard about somebody having noise problems with EMG's is when they used their existing pots.
    If anyone just HAS to see the mess that I call a yamaha preamp, I will take a picture of my leftover electronics and post it.

    One more issue. EMG's work best with an 18 volt system, but the yamaha pre-amp was designed to be a 9 volt system. It may burn it up.

    Mondobass, are you in information overload yet???
    :D
     
  19. Mandobass

    Mandobass

    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    information overload yes, but it's allllll good.

    ROUGH stuff: my nut chipped today while i was playing...went to a local guitar shop and its going to cost 80 bucks (strings + new nut(bone) +install)
    to fix it

    ROUGH!!!

    This may slow down my upgrade endevour as i'm a poor college student.

    Ok, and as regards the 18 volt system:
    I plan on buying a EMG 45 DC and an EMG 45 CS.
    Do each of these have a hookup for a 9volt battery? or do i need to add another?

    Also, any opinions on getting 2 EMG 45DC's vs. 1 DC and 1 CS

    I dont even know the difference between the two, but i always thought diversity was a good thign, so that lead me to thinking about the CS + DC. hah

    anyways, i really appreciate everyone's feedback. yamaha mod MEGATHREAD! yeeeeehaw