EMG HZ replacements?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tranceFusion, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Guitar center had Schecter Stiletto's for like an extra $200+ off their usual prices this weekend. After going back and forth between a couple of Ibanez's and the Studio 5, the Schecter's smooth play style and sex appeal lured me in. I am not totally sold on the pickups however. They have a bit of hiss from the treble, and the low end lacks clarity..

    I am wondering if there are pickups that I can just drop in to replace these? They are passive pickups (EMG HZ) but the bass has a built in pre-amp. Am I able to put active pickups in with the existing pre-amp or do I have to put in passive pickups?

    I am on the fence as to whether to take it back to GC or just learn to live with it for now with the hope of replacing them.
  2. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    search will help a fair amount on this topic. kryal something or other has a youtube with just about every style emg (p, dc, j, cs maybe) loaded into his schecter to give you an idea of what they sound like. seymour duncan has a drop in replacement (at least for the 4 string, can't see why not for a 5). kent armstrong, bartolini, a couple others, and even tb'r davidravenmoon have direct replacements for the emg40 sized pickups.
  3. i guess my question, more specifically, is whether i can use active pickups with the existing pre-amp, or whether i need to scrap the pre-amp if i get active pickups (is this even possible?)
  4. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    You can use actives with your bass' existing preamp. I have two ESP LTD basses that came with HZ's. I changed out the HZ's in one of them to active EMG's, (a 35-P4 at the neck and 35-CS at the bridge) and Seymour Duncan Basslines Phase II SSB-4 Soapbars in the other. Both sound awesome in those basses. The EMG's are great for slapping and aggressive-type playing, while the Basslines are more suited to old-school rock and blues tones, IMO.
  5. Thanks for the info.. I am having trouble locating this youtube though. If there is any other info you can remember about it, that would be great. Thanks.
  6. sonix


    Dec 3, 2007
    I've owned the Schecter Stiletto Elite-4 string for about 3 - 4 yrs. I like the pick ups, but I dislike the pre amp. The preamp is the EMG BTS. I've actually asked Schecter about the hissing, and they said the issue is with the preamp. I'm looking to replace my pre amp soon, but not sure which one to go for. Anyone has specific recommendations that go well with the EMG-HZ pick ups?
  7. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    the 4 wire type!! The 4 wires means you can isolate each of the coils in these dual coil HZs. I had a Schecter C4 that I added push/pull coil tapping pots at both of the volume controls. One position would activate the rear most coil and pulling up on the knob would activate the front most coil. To this day I regret selling that bass, however I did find another set of HZs that I'm dying to put into another bass. If you decide to sell yours, drop me a PM.
    I would invest in the push pull pots before giving up on them though. Like you, I didn't care for the stock wiring either. The preamp is cool though; don't forget to experiment with the little micro switches on the circut board either. Between those switches and the coil tapping swithches, that Schecter and any 4 wire HZ pickup bass can be an absolute tone MONSTER!!
    Like I said, if you dont like the set-up, I'll buy it from you - yea, it's that dramatic of a tone change!!!
  8. how hard is it to replace the pre-amp?
  9. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    ... experimenting with the micro switches on the circut board? These are frequency cut/boost controls. There are like 7 different switch settings between the two switches. I would start there befor swapping out such a nice preamp (assuming its the EMG BTC). Again, add those coil tap switches as well. I'll buy that preamp and/or pickups if you decide against them!!

  10. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    I have this exact setup in a Cort, barring the coli tapping, and a blend instead of vol - vol, I love it!:D

    Any chance of a diagram, or schematic for modding for coil tapping, and will this in any way change the un-tapped tone?
  11. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
  12. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    I beleive guitarnutz.com can help with the modification; they have the EMG wire color codes and all wiring configurations.

    "...will this in any way change the un-tapped tone?"

    Yes, changing the tone IS the point of the modification, right?
    You can wire it so one switch position will retain the current "Series" coil configuration and then you can use the other switch position to isolate the coil of your choosing. You can even go with a three position switch to isolate either of the coils within the pickup AND retain the factory coil configuration. I LOVE THESE PICKUPS AND PREAMP!!!

  13. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007

    I'll be adding some three way switches then!
    I like having the factory settings and the option of either coil.:)

    Although to avoid drilling, I might just keep it push/pull, for single or humbucking.

    Edit, reading up on it, Series - Single - Parallel sounds like a better idea, and should also be possible.
  14. where do you buy the hardware for this type of a change?
  15. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    AllParts has everything!

    Wireing can be found at:

  16. ripping this thing apart sounds fun, but i don't know what i am going to do about this instrument.. the 35" scale is annoying me a bit too.. i just wish there was something else in the price range that i didn't have a bunch of complaints about :)
  17. sonix


    Dec 3, 2007
    quit complaining and start practicing.

    if i end up gutting my stilleto elite-4, i'll post a brief how to here. at the moment, i'm thinking about making my own pre, but i'm waiting to see if a pcb mill will be available.
  18. i think i just will replace the pickups with EMG actives.. it seems like the preamp is decent.. the model #s are different for each schecter model, but it seems that the studio has a BQS in it, which is the 5 pot one..

    I am not sure which pickups are ideal for this bass though, since the neck is narrow.. It seems like the only ones specifically made for narrow necked 5 strings are the 35P, unless I am missing something.
  19. I am a bit confused about how the pickups and the BQS pre-amp interact.. I was thinking the pickups would get wired to the preamp which would be wired to the pots, but I see that a couple of these pickups at least have their own pots.. the 40DC requires its own volume knob? the 40TW requires a push/pull pot (would this just replace the balance pot)? I have 5 pots now, am I going to have to reconfigure the pre-amp so there are pots free somehow? How does this work?

    Also, does anyone have any recommendations for pickups combos that sound good? Or things to avoid? I was thinking of going with 2 DCs, a DC and a CS, or a P and a TW? I want a nice thick but clear low end with a punchy attack.

    Thanks again guys.