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EMG Customer Service

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Means2nEnd, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    I just wanted to take a second and comment on customer support from EMG. I just put a set of EMG J1 pickups in my 95 Warwick Thumb and an EMG BQC control preamp. The Thumb has 3 holes for pots and the standard set up with the control and the system is 4 pots. I found an EMG stacked volume and smoked 3 of them trying to get the wiring right. I had an extra ground and had it at 18 volts.

    I called EMG and Rick Hunt said he is their only tech. He had me send everything back to him and tested everything and then gave me a new pot and soldered it with a clip so it went right into the BQC module and did it and had it back to me in days. He is amazing and I can’t thank EMG enough just outstanding. Spoke right to him and he was responsive with emails and communication and located in CA.

    BTW I have the same EMGs in my Warwick Streamer Stage II and they kill. The set up so far sounds great in the Thumb too but I am now an EMG superfan. Great company!!

    Another note he recommends not wiring EMG preamps 18 volts. He said it does nothing and only creates a risky situation for frying stuff. He said if you want more headroom or more anything buy the "X" series pickups. I thought that odd as many guys including me wire EMG 18 volts. I never will again..
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I always thought 18v did nothing. I tried it in one of my old basses with EMG PJ's, and pulled them out because I couldn't tell a difference. Haven't tried it with the new PJ's and BQC I put in my P Lyte, but it sounds plenty good with 9v. I've got a set of PJX's too, and I'll take the dude's word that they have more headroom but output seemed about the same to me. Quite a bit brighter, though.

    Anyway, I will agree with you that EMG CS is great. They were extremely helpful when I toasted my first BQC by touching two boards together accidentally (hey, not my fault! tight cavity for the BQC in the P Lyte!), and even sent me some longer quik connector cables.
  3. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Not a derail, but an aside.

    Do you think the same applies to other pre's capable of both 9v and 18v?
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm sure it applies to many of them. But to be fair, you'll get people arguing that 18v makes a difference with EMG's, too. I'll be darned if I could tell, though.
  5. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    It only matters if you're maxing out the preamp. Otherwise, I doubt you'd notice.

    I actually have rewired a few for my 18V preamps to use two 9V batteries in parallel for the extra long lifespan.
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    My luthier/tech (a huge EMG fan) swears by 18v systems and even wired my Jazz w/Bart pups and pre for 18v although I expected only 9v. He's even working on a 24v system using special batteries and a battery harness he's trying to get a patent on. He's an engineer by trade and as far as I know has never fried an EMG system yet. I do think it depends on the pickups. He installed an active EMG in my P-Bass (18v) and boy does that bass have some output.
  7. 18 v makes a big difference IMO to the dual coil non-X series pickups (DC, CS, TW) and much less for the P and Js. The new X series doesn't require this mod as the preamps are designed to have more headroom with 9v. I think there is a bit of marketing/upsell on the tech's reply, though his service and help is wonderful in my experience.

    Since the EMGs all have preamps, the 18v is less a factor as well for their tone controls

  8. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    18v will not have a sonic difference. The primary reason why I use 18v for preamps, is to lengthen the life of the preamp, before replacing the batteries..........Starting at 18v and can run down past 8v....
  9. wong99


    Jun 6, 2012
    I have EMG's wired 18v in my Modulus Q4. 14 years, no issues or problems.
  10. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    In regards to EMG Rick mentioned that wiring their stuff 18 volts won’t hurt anything but if you do what I did and create a ground loop and it runs the full 18 volts back through anything 18 volts is way more likely to cause damage. He said EMG pickups at least as of late have built in preamps inside the pickups and the extra juice doesn’t sonically do anything in his opinion it only drives up the risk of causing damage if boards touch or improper wiring is done is all.

    I have read from well-respected guys around hear the 18 volt system gives more headroom for preamps gaining less distortion when pushed not adding more output or volume. I wired a little 9 volt to 18 volt little battery coupling so I could plug it into any 9 volt adapter inside a control cavity providing there is enough room for the 2 batteries and I never heard any difference but I have stood next to blaring PA and guitar cabs for the last 30 years so I figured if it is true my ears can’t hear it but batteries do last forever like that.

    If I’m not mistaken there are guys that swear it does make a difference and some that swear it doesn’t. Also if I’m not mistaken Roger Sadowsky says it doesn’t I think he knows a thing or two about basses. But then there are other well respected builders that say it does. So anyway my basses that are already wired 18 volts I’m going to leave alone but I upgrade and change electronics all the time and for future I think I’m going to stick with 9 unless someone asks me to wire it 18.
  11. I've been doing the 18v thing for 20 years, as have many I know - I stand by my statement it makes a difference particularly with the dual coil models (pre-X series). And I still call BS on the "danger" issue of 18v - EMGs can handle more than 18v, and they have been recommending it on THEIR OWN SITE forever, at least until the X series.

  12. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    I am just quoting directly what the only tech EMG has. It's your world I'm just living in it. If it works for you then I wouldn't change a thing. I made a mistake doing my wiring it was surely my fault and if done correctly the first time I wouldn't have fried 3 $11 stacked volume pots. Wiring a BQC with a stacked volume/volume was uncharted territory for me and I should have zigged when I zagged.
  13. selowitch


    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Errrr, that's very strange, given that EMG just recently came out with both 9v and 18v external power supplies that obviate the need for a battery. I just ordered the 18v model a couple of days ago. Are you telling me that the additional 9 volts is not only superfluous, but potentially dangerous to my components, and EMG is selling them anyway? If there is "no sonic difference" or no gain in headroom between 9v and 18v, why the heck would they bother making two different models? Something doesn't add up here. :meh:

    FWIW, the bass I intend to use with the power supply has EMG-JAX pickups, the newest model. Perhaps they are better able to handle 18v?
  14. selowitch


    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Bump. I hope to attract interest in my immediately previous post. Thanks.
  15. 18 volts is fine and has been forever with EMG. You may or may not notice a tonal difference based upon 1. pickup type(s), 2. preamp/EQ type, 3. Playing style, 4. your rig

  16. Also, as the OP posted:

    "Another note he recommends not wiring EMG preamps 18 volts. He said it does nothing and only creates a risky situation for frying stuff. He said if you want more headroom or more anything buy the "X" series pickups. I thought that odd as many guys including me wire EMG 18 volts. I never will again.."

    NOTHING about this is related to 18v IMO - the frying of the preamp was due to improper wiring. EMGs can handle 27 volts maximum.

  17. selowitch


    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    What do you make of the guy from EMG support suggesting that 18v ups the risk of frying your equipment?
  18. That is strange because he has helped me wire EMG stuff at 18volts :) Rick has always been extremely helpful over the years. makes no sense.

    The 18 volts thing is due to the way their preamps used to be designed. The new ones I believe don't require 18 volts to hit similar headroom goals (i.e. improved design, at least headroom-wise re: not requiring more than 9 v)

    Their site shows you how to do 18v. The instructions with all their pickups and preamps shows the same. Several bass builders build basses with EMGs at 18v.

  19. This pretty much sums it up:



    Single-Coil Pickups for Bass:
    The output from a bass guitar is higher than a 6-string guitar. SIngle-Coil
    EMG Pickups such as the EMG-J models will work fine with a +9 Volt supply but
    if you play aggressively 18-Volts is recommended.
    Also, if you use any EMG EQ products, like the BT, or BQ controls and use a
    generous amount of boost the signal will be cleanest with 18-Volts.
    Dual-Coil Pickups for Bass:
    Dual-Coil Bass Pickups like the EMG-CS and DC Series should be supplied
    with 18-Volts. The amount of output from slapping the lower strings will
    benefit with more headroom. As above, if you use any EMG EQ products,
    like the BT, or BQ controls and use a generous amount of boost then the signal
    will be cleanest with 18-Volts.
    Powering your instrument with more than 9-Volts will not make it louder.
    You may notice some difference in the distortion quality of your guitar, or
    a different result from your bass amp. We encourage you to experiment.
  20. selowitch


    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Well, what I want to know is this: Is wiring a newer system (such as EMG-JAX) to operate at 18v going to have no real effect or potientially damage something, as the previous post suggests?

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