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Replacing my EMG's

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tmalone711, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. tmalone711


    Feb 11, 2005
    Hey guys,
    If I replace my EMG-HZ passive pick-ups with EMG-45J active pick-ups on my Spector Legend 6 will the active pre-amp supply the power to them or will I have to start re-wiring things (i.e. take to my repair guy)? I think I just need to remove the string grounding as well right?
  2. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I'll piggyback on this thread as I basically have the same question. I'd like to replace the EMG-HZ pickups on my NS2000Q6, but I'd like to find a set of compatible, passive, US-made EMGs to use with the existing preamp.

    Are there drop-in, passive, US-Made EMGs that I could buy or are all US-Made EMGs active (meaning I'd need to buy a new preamp as well)?
  3. lowmid1

    lowmid1 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I was under the impression that the EMG-HZ is a high quality US made passive pickup that was developed for players who don't like active pickups. I think the cheaper ones are the Select pickups. If you like the sound of passive pickups the HZ's should be fine? In other words, unless you want active pickups, there really is no reason to replace the HZ's.
  4. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    If you go from HZs to actives, there's going to be rewiring involved anyways; the HZs use a 5 pin connector, and the actives use a 3 pin.

    The same battery(ies) supplying power to the tone circuit can supply power to the pickup as well. EMG recommends 18vs for active pickups (2 9s wired in series), but 9 will suffice. The pickups ship with diagrams for wiring things up.
  5. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    The HZ (hi-Z, or high impedance) pickups are passive, in that they don't have a built in preamp. All the other EMG's are active pickups, in that they do have a built in preamp.

    The onboard tone controls on your bass is a separate preamp than the one in the active pickups. You should be able to use your exisiting preamp with both active and passive pickups.

    But the pickups you already have are passive, and I believe they are made in the US. The EMG Select pickups are the passive imports.
  6. I didnt think active pups had an inbuilt preamp? i thought they just used electromagnets? but im probably wrong . . .
  7. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Did not know this - thanks man!

    I think what I may ultimately do is replace the pickups and pre with Barts.
  8. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Active pickups have an 'active" circuit in them, usually in the form of a buffer amp. It can be as simple as a FET transistor and a few parts, or some surface mount parts and an IC chip. A buffer amp has a very high input impedance to minimize loading of the pickup coil by the rest of the signal chain, such as your cable, the volume and tone pots, effects, amp input stage, etc., which causes high frequency loss. The buffer amp also has a low output impedance for driving all the stuff I just mentioned.

    Also an active pickup might consist of a low impedance coil, which has a lot less wire on it, and therefore has a wider frequency range and cleaner sound. But because there is less wire on the coil, it also has a low output, compared to a pickup with a lot of turns, which tend to be louder, but lack highs. So in this case a small preamp is used to boost the output of the low impedance coil up to "normal" levels, and also buffer the output.

    In the case of EMG's, each coil in the humbucker is run into its own buffer amp. Then they are combined using a differential amplifier which cancels out the hum. EMG also uses the active amp to tune the sound of the pickup.

    There aren't any pickups that use electromagnets... the current in the electromagnet would probably end up as hum in the output signal, and there's really no benefit over using a permanent magnet material, such as ceramic or alnico.

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