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extremely odd experience with EMG pups...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mlwarriner, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. mlwarriner


    Nov 8, 2003
    KC, MO, USA
    okay, so i just got a chance to play my new bass that's loaded with EMGs (35dc's) and an emg preamp. plays nice, sounds awesome, one small problem.

    my band plays in drop-c, so i tuned c-g-c-f, just like always. went into the first song, and something sounded wrong. guitars checked their tuning, they were on. i went to my rack tuner and checked. i was dead-on. try again, same result. i'm out of tune. so i go to the guitarist's tuner (a boss pedal tuner) and it says i'm dead on as well. try again. still out of tune... i figure i'll just adjust. i wind up playing everything up one fret. so i go back to my tuner, and tune c#-g#-c#-f#, and everything is fine.

    this tuner worked last week perfectly with my stingray, and has worked perfectly for the last 2 years with a variety of basses. why all of a sudden am i tuning half a step up? i checked and rechecked with my tuner, and the guitarist's tuner. ever time they both said i was on, i was off. when i jumped up a sharp, i was fine... :confused:

    any and all help is greatly appreciated!
  2. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    It's not your pups. It must be the tuner, as the EMGs are not just gonna throw your tuning off like you are describing. Good luck!
  3. jeffhigh


    May 16, 2005
    The rest of the band might have been playing a prank on you by tuning up.
  4. Dude...it's the guitarist's fault...

    Guitarists NEVER play in tune unless the tune to the bassist.

    Guitarists don't know how to use tuners...tuning is a bassist's function...
  5. mlwarriner


    Nov 8, 2003
    KC, MO, USA

    then why would 2 different tuners say we're both in tune, even when we weren't?
  6. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Did you adjust the harmonics on the bass after detuning? Also, maybe heavier strings would help.
  7. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Really, without looking at the bass, I can't tell you. However, I can guarentee the pickups aren't going to throw your bass sharp or flat. Check intonation, check strings, check everything out.
  8. I'd wonder if you'd accidentally hit the flat button on your tuner.....

    .....but that wouldn't explain the two tuner thing.
  9. mlwarriner


    Nov 8, 2003
    KC, MO, USA
    no flat button on my tuner...
  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Absolutely, no way that's causing it.
  11. I agree. The pickups have nothing to do with intonation. If they did, it would be like a singer changing mics and suddenly singing flat. I would tune both basses with a new tuner on the gig, then do the same with your old tuner.
  12. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
  13. mlwarriner


    Nov 8, 2003
    KC, MO, USA

    i stood immediately to the guitarist's left and watched him tune. then i took his cord and plugged into his tuner (as i thought it might be mine going batty) and tuned to the exact same notes...
  14. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    When you say "out of tune" are you refering to fretted notes? Tuning a four string bass down to C is not just a simple matter of tuning the open strings to C. By tuning so low, you are changing the tension of the strings, and therefore, the fretted notes will most likely be out of tune. You need to have your bass set up so that it will play in the dropped tuning. The intonation needs to be reset. Hit a hamonic on an open string at the twelfth fret and check the tuner. Then fret the string and play a note. I'd bet the fretted note and the harmonic are off. That is most likely your problem.
  15. Rene


    Mar 8, 2004
    Install a new set of string because EMG pickups wil not tolorate old, stretched and out of intonation strings.
    You will notice that right away when you play.
    You can always try it because some customers used to complain about the same thing
  16. simic


    Oct 6, 2005
    I know this is a little off the subject, but I have to ask you about your 35dc's. I have a dean rhapsody (either q4 or bb4--not sure)that has a dean 3d active 3 band eq, and two emg hz pickups. For reasons being (at the fault of a freind) I need to replace the Eq, but I want to upgrade the pick - ups as well. I am looking for a really dirt sound with lots of bottom end--I was looking about using two of the 35dc's with EMG's BQS eq system, but I have a lot of questions. If it helps I play out of an SVT 4pro amp.
    Will this give me a noticable upgrade worth my money?
    Will this mean I will have to rig up 3 9 volt batteries? (one for each pickup and one for the eq)
    Is the BQS any better than the dean's stock 3d?
    Where can I buy the 35dc's without having to buy the whole kit (the new eq comes with everything I need)?
    Will this even work?

    What would others suggest (other brands, not upgrading the hz's etc. etc.?

    thanks so much for any help anyone can give me!
  17. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Tune your low string using the 12th fret harmonic. When a note is really low, not all tuners can track it accurately.