1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Help needed for EMG pickups installation

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Moonsoft, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    Hi there,
    so I bought a pair of EMG 40DCs and here was I thinking it would be as easy as replacing the currect pickups and everything is fine, but then manual says we have to remove all the stuff, such as jack, system and battery and replace with the EMG ones.
    Problem is, I had a 3-band EQ and a Tone and Volume buttons, which means I have 5 buttons total, and the ones that come in the box of the EMG are only 2, so would I leave 3 holes open? hmm..
    I bought 2, so I have 2 jacks, 2 battery cables, 2 volumes attached to 2 tones respectively, and I don't know which parts to discard to make the system I was imagining.
    I wanted to have both pickups on and being powered by 18V, and I wanted to know if I should keep the 3 band EQ?
    Question is, does anyone have the avaliability to explain how am I to do this? :help:

    this is the original manual, not very complete for a newbie:
  2. dean owens

    dean owens

    Sep 23, 2008
    pittsboro, nc
    i'm having a hard time understanding what you're saying. i'll answer what i can.

    if you have a preamp in your bass, you can keep it. you just have to know how to hook it up to your emg's.

    are your current pickups passive?

    if you can post a picture of your bass cavity it will help.
  3. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    this is the bass http://www.thomann.de/be/esp_ltd_f155dx_dstp.htm and it's an active bass.

    Cavity: http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f346/Moonsoft/Imagem002.jpg

    The 2 pairs of cables are the 2 EMG pickups, and the black cable is bridge ground wire, but in the manual it says "DO NOT reconnect the bridge ground wire, EMG pickups are shielded internally".

    Old ESP system: http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f346/Moonsoft/Imagem001.jpg

    As you can see, there is a 3-Band EQ system with TREBLE MIDS and BASS, and then to the right goes volume and after it I think it's TONE, which was connected to both old ESP pickups. The small red wire comming from the 3-band was going to the battery. And UP it's obviously the jack entrance.

    New EMG system: http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f346/Moonsoft/Imagem003.jpg

    Has Volume and Tone, a jack and batteries from only from 1 EMG pickup, the other brought the same material so I have another jack, volume+tone, and battery, which I will need for a 18V supply.

    And now I just need to know what I should keep from the old system and which parts should I connect where :(
  4. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    It's an active bass so you don't have to remove everything. They were assuming you had a passive bass, so you needed their pots and battery connector, etc.

    I'm assuming your old pickups were passive, and they attached to a blend control. So you will need to replace the blend control with one rated for active pickups. I believe EMG uses a 100K blend pot and a 50K master volume. If the master is after the preamp then you don't have to worry about that.

    If your old preamp runs on 9v, you will have to run the pickups on 9v unless you are sure you can run it at 18v. You could burn out the preamp if it isn't rated for 18v.

    If you really want to run the pickups on 18v, you either have to replace the stock preamp for something else, or tape the series connection between the two batteries and run that to the preamp, while the pickups get both batteries. If you don't understand that get someone who's familiar with electronics to wire up the bass.
  5. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    Hmmmm I should remind you that I don't understand much about this such as blend pots or the 100K and 50K, I just need to know what to connect where, and if I have to buy something, a link to this item, because I don't know anything.
    I just bought the pickups and wanted to play :/
  6. rptrsn2


    Feb 21, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    Endorsing Artist: Aurora Strings
    you can run a seperate volume and tone for each pickup with shared output and use both battery setups to runat 18v.leaves you with one unused hole on your bass just leave one of your old pots there un hooked. you wont use your esp preamp but your not missing much. i have a 4 string esp and have done this to it.
  7. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    can you draw for me the diagram of how to do it? so that I don't SOLD some cable in the wrong place and then becomes a mess..
    and yes I don't care about the 3-band EQ, all I want is a 18V full sound, the EQ I leave it for the after-recording or do it in my hartke.
  8. why don't you just take all the stock electronics out, wire up the bass with the new emg's as per the directions ( you can go to their website for various wiring configurations). save up some money to purchase the emg preamp, you can get a bass, midrange, treble system so you'll utilize all the predrilled holes on your bass. it'll look stock and sound great, with no noise to boot!
  9. i'm assuming you received the pots and wiring harness with the emgs you puchased.
    i'm almost sure the pots are rated at 25k
    it's pretty easy if you take your time. good luck
  10. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    lol, I would be a happy man if I understood anything you said just now...
  11. sorry 'bout that! you should go to the emg website, they have diagrams showing you where to solder the wires and such. maybe you can call them. they can tell you exactly how to do this.
  12. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    i already sent e-mail, but my guess it's that it will take over a week, or maybe not even I get an answer, and until then i can't play bass and that's punishment man...
    isn't there a good soul out there that cant draw the diagram for me? :(
  13. rptrsn2


    Feb 21, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    Endorsing Artist: Aurora Strings
    take your two sets of controls,cut the out put jack off one set solder those wire back to the other jack thats still hooked up combining the two,do one wire at a time if you need to so to avoid confusion.do the same with you battery jack an follow the instuctions to wire it 18v.if i can figure out how i will post diagrams later but hope this helps.
  14. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    i'm missing one thing...where exactly is the red cable of the 2 batteries going to connect? the black one is going to be grounded in the jack isn't it...so the red goes where?
  15. i'm pretty sure the red wire coming from the battery jack gets soldered to the red wires off the pickup(s). yes the black wire from the battery goes to the ground lug of the output jack.
    sorry, i can't figure out how to post the diagrams either...
  16. dean owens

    dean owens

    Sep 23, 2008
    pittsboro, nc
    i can't tell you how bad i wish you would have taken a picture of all of the stuff hooked up. trust me, i do not mean this bad or demeaning, but in the future don't start tearing into something when you're not sure what the next step is. you've done more work than you need to.

    what you had was a 3 band eq (bass, mid and treble) that gave you an active bass. pretty sure the pups were passive. so based on that you would need new volume pots. passive pickups use 250k or 500k pots. emgs use 25k pots. and your previous setup was not bass, mid, treble, volume and tone. it was bass, mid, treble, BLEND volume and MASTER volume.

    so, if you were generally happy with the tone you had but wanted to add some emg pup flavor you could reinstall your preamp, output jack and battery as it was. you will just need to install two of the 25k volume pots for each pup and attach those to your preamp. based on the image you gave of the preamp it's really hard for me to tell you how to do that. i see a red wire that is clipped. i'm guessing that's where the battery was attached to. i can't really see how the volume pots were wired. if you can get a different angle or two of the volume/blend pots that will be helpful. i can tell you this. look at this emg pdf. diagram 2 on page 2 shows you how to hook up two volume controls. stopping after the second volume pot you would need to run the black wire to the ground of your system and the white wire to the "input" of your preamp. the red wires from the pups will attach directly to the red wire from the battery clip as shown in the same diagram.

    also, if that preamp was set up for 9 volts i would stick with 9 volts (as has been said on here) unless you get word from the manufacturer that it can take more.

    as has been pointed out, you could get an emg preamp. the instructions would be very simple to follow since they are made to work together. the only one they sell that has a bass, mid and treble is the bqs. personally i would go with the system because i think it will be easier for you to hook up. here is one on ebay. the control listed on ebay is cheaper but you have to factor in shipping. and if you know about the live.com deal you can get the system shipped to you for not much more than getting the control shipped to you.

    i hope that, along with the other posts are helpful.

    [edit] i also spot the black wire coming out of your bass. that wire was to ground the passive pickups to the bridge of your bass. that IS NOT used with active emgs. what i did for mine was put a bit of heat shrink tubing over it in case i ever wanted to go back to passive pups.
  17. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    is it possible to remove the old preamp then, to get a 18V system without worries? Leaving me with 2 volumes and 2 tones, each for each pickup?
  18. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    so I now I put everything together and guess what, NO SOUND.
    This manual sucks and only professionals are supposed to understand it, I just hope I didn't screw up the material.
    I just wonder why everything has to be sold, I dunno if they ever heard of plugs, that would be much easier, just plug and unplug.
  19. esp basses have Bass treble mid volume and BLEND not tone, this is the case with most active basses, an active bass with a preamp does not have a tone knob. and certainly no buttons.

    sorry to derail. continue
  20. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    my main language is not english so I didn't know about the word knob, so now I know, I meant knobs and not buttons obviously

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.