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emg .. hi-fi sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jacopas, May 9, 2002.

  1. hi,
    I am planning to put emg pickups and preamp.I have read that EMG's have a hi-fi sound and most guys dont like it..My question is what is hi-fi sound..if you can write some descriptions it will be very good.

  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    "Hi-fi" became a popular term in the 80 s to distinguish gear that had extended low and high frequency response. Up to that point, most bass gear had a lot of midrnage ocntent but not a lot of real highs (a typical 15" speaker has no response above 3 KHz) or super lows (few speakers could really handle the full fundamental of the open E string, let alone a B string).

    Today the term is used in general to describe tones that have sharp, clear highs and well defined lows.

    EMG pickups fall in this category because of the design. By using a preamplifier built into the pickup case, the pickup itself can have a very low output. In magnetic pickup design the typical tradeoff to get more output is stronger magnets (too strong inhibits string vibration) or more turns of wire (more turns means less high end). So the typical Fender style bass pickup was very midrangey. The EMG replacement pickups have much more high end as well as clearer low end.

    Some people call traditional magnetic pikcups more "natural" or "orgnaic" sounding, but these are poor words to use because a pickup by it's nature acts like a bandpass filter, you always lose some of the low and high end present in the string vibrations. An EMG pickup actually is truer to the sting vibration than a typical passive pickup, but since we have grown used to the passive tone since 1951 when the P-bass was introduced, we tend to thing of that as the "norm"!!!!

    Hope this makes some sense :confused:

    As far as "most guys don't like it", that has more to do with hype and trends than anything else. The current trend in bass tone is for deeper tones with less highs, use of bass distortion, etc. which is more like the "old school" tones of the 1960s.

    The best example of this latest trend is SWR, the first "hi fi" amp maker. They have just introduced their first speaker cabinets without tweeters (i.e. for less high end).
  3. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    Wow :eek: you reallly are up to date with the subject!!

    I gues today the trend is bartolini, what makes these pickups so special?

    What abou lightware pickups, any comment on them?
  4. I was going to say it meant "High Fidelity" and had to do with old sterio systems, but obviouslt Brian knows a hell of a lot more than I!!:eek:

    Rock on