Passive EMGs

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Lewy_369, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Lewy_369


    Aug 1, 2012
    Durham - UK
    Hey guys, I'm still fairly new here so there may be a thread discussing this but I can't seem to find it. Point me in the right direction if it's been covered.

    I'm looking to put a little project together with an old P Bass copy body I have lying around, and I'm looking to put some passive pickups in, preferably EMGs for the simple solderless installation. I'll be putting a P HZ in the existing P pickup position, and hopefully a 35HZ in the bridge (once I route it).

    Basically, passive EMGs seem somewhat overlooked on TB and I was wondering if that's because they're no good, or just because EMG is more well known for their active pickups. So has anyone had experience with the HZ line of EMGs, and if so, let me know your opinions.

    Thanks guys,
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    they're OK, but a routine upgrade step is to take them out of the lower-priced instruments they come in for "real" EMGs.

    for passives i'd look at duncan or dimarzio first, that's what they're good at.
  3. Lewy_369


    Aug 1, 2012
    Durham - UK
    Thanks for the advice, and the quick reply. I'll keep my eyes and options open and post how things go on here when I finish my mini project.

  4. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    The newer Hiz emg's can be quite good for crunchy voice imo. The older emg selects where pretty meh though.
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    HZs are "meh", the old "selects" are "yuck!"
  6. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    I have a bass with two 40HZ. (Same as 35HZ, but for 5 strings)

    They are OK, but are a bit thin compared to their active counterparts IMO. It really depends on what sound you are looking for. Some people may even prefer the HZ to the active ones.
  7. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I bought a schecter with HZ's in it, and I couldn't rip them out fast enough. save your pennies and get real EMG actives.

    if you have to have passive pickups, go for SGD Lutherie
  8. Lewy_369


    Aug 1, 2012
    Durham - UK
    Thanks guys, I'll probably hold off for a bit longer and get a P set and a 35DC for the bridge, since I will generally be playing heavier music, Lamb of God, Metallica etc.

  9. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    I have two EMG HZ 40's in my Ibanez SoundGear SRA305. They sound great. I have over 35 years of playing and gear comparisons to refer to in making my comments.

    Here's the deal: EMG recommends 500kohm pots for these pickups. These can make the neck pickup a little edgy. I bridged my neck volume pot with a 1-megohm resister to bring the effective pot value down to @330 kohms, and it took the edge off the resonance and rounded out the tone very, very well.

    These pickups also sound great with the EMG EXB added into the circuit between the tail end of the volume and tone circuits on the way to the jack, for a variable vintage-to-modern or straight-to-slap-contour control.

    They are a little bit on the "vanilla" side, but for a 5-string that is good to make sure the B string speaks with the proper balance of fundamental and overtones, especially when placed for optimum balance of fundamental and overtones proportionally where the D-G segment of a P-bass pickup is.

    In a gigging situation, I just don't do actives, as for me simpler is better and more reliable. Mine are wired like a Jazz bass: V-V-T, and as soon as I can get around to it, I'm going to put a push-pull on the tone control so if the battery goes down on the EXB (er, rather, Ibanez' version of it, which they call the "Phat II") in the middle of a gig, I can pull it out of the circuit and keep on going until a set break or the end of the gig when I can conveniently replace the battery.
  10. Lewy_369


    Aug 1, 2012
    Durham - UK
    I have to say I did expect the range of opinions and most of all wanted to hear that they're not as bad as some people make out, since they're cheaper and easy to install. I'm not looking to spend a huge amount of money on the bass, but I still want reasonable tone.
    I'm leaning towards putting the EMG PHZ in and then routing for the 35 in the bridge in later months. If I went with that, using the standard pots they come with, could I put in an active preamp like the BTC or something to get a wider range of tones?

  11. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    You can add a BTC (not BTS) using 250k/ 500k vol or v/v stacked pot and an active/ passive switch for choice and backup.