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Preamp to use with EMG 35dc

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bluebomber, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Bluebomber


    May 2, 2000
    I have a set of emg 35s on my bass, and I tried to replace the preamp with the Bartolini HR4.2. Correct me if im wrong, but I just learned that this combination dosent work. Apparently, the emgs are passive pickups, and the bartolini is an active preamp, at least thats what ive been told.

    If thats the case, what is a better preamp to use? I think it used an EMG preamp before, not sure the model, but didnt sound too great. Is there a compatible preamp that will work with these pu's, and will sound good?
  2. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Flanders, NJ
    This shouldn't be a problem at all. I had passive EMG-35hz's working perfectly with a bartolini NTBT 2 band preamp. However, I see you mentioned DC's. From what I know, DC's are active pickups. I have a set of DC's in my Spector working with perfectly with a preamp. The only different thing you have to do with active pickups is connect the red wire of each pickup to the actual red battery wire. This way you now have three wires connected to the battery (the preamp, the neck and bridge pickup).

    I hope this helps.

  3. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    The emg 35dc is an active pickup, there is an internal battery-driven preamp. I've never tried a Bart preamp with active EMGs, not sure if that works or how well.

    My favorite preamps for active EMGs are Sadowsky 2-band, and the Aguilar OBP-1 (2-band) & OBP-3 (3-band).

    With active pickups you need to use the right value control pots for the volume (25k I think).
  4. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    try the emg bqc system. i have it in every one of my basses, i love it for midrange sweep.
  5. Bluebomber


    May 2, 2000
    The pickups only have one white wire. Thats why i thought it was a passive pickup. I know they are emg35's...but maybe they arent the dc...just the regular model. They are on my korean spector as well.

    So...these pickups should work with the bartolini preamp? Am i just majorly screwing up the wiring? Its my first install, so its not pretty, but i followed the directions...i think...maybe its me thats messing it all up, not the equipment.
  6. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    If they are in your Korean and the stock ones they are Hz's.
  7. Bluebomber


    May 2, 2000
    Its probalby a mid 90s korean. I usually see the emg-hz label on the front of most models, and it didnt say emg-hz on the front of mine.

    Will these hz's work with the Bartolini preamp? If not, what is a preamp it will work with?
  8. glnflwrs


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hesperia, CA
    EMG 35DC's are active pups and have an internal preamp built in and it cannot be wired out or disconnected.

    Go to


    There you can find schematics of every EMG pup, active components, and suggested wiring for non EMG active components. Very helpful essays on active and passive designs.
  9. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Bart preamps, in general, work with active pickups. However, there is an exception. I don't remember the model number but there is a Bart preamp that requires two 9 volt batteries (one supplying -9V and the other +9V). This preamp will not work with an active EMG pickup unless you put a blocking capacitor between the pickup and the preamp.

    Also, to clarify what active and passive are for the original poster, active devices are those that require power. If your pickups have a wire connected to the positive terminal of the battery, then they are active which means they have a preamp installed inside the pickup housing.

    Also, this means that all preamps are active. You cannot amplify a signal without adding power to the system.