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Replacing Passive Pickups with the Active Ones, Please Help!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by airbass0, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. airbass0


    Jan 25, 2013
    Hi everyone, I'm new in the forum but I follow here all the time and now I'm glad to be a member of the family :) .
    About my problem, I bought a new bass guitar schecter stiletto studio 6. I loved it but the only thing I didn't like about it was its pickups, passive EMG -HZs. I like the sound of EMG-DCs (one of my basses has it) and I decided to replace HZs with them.
    However, I don't know much about pickup circuits and here's my question. The bass is running with 2 9Vs already (only for its active electronics circuit I think, because the pickups are passive). If I replace the passive HZs with active DCs, how can I feed them with battery. Am I need a 3rd 9V? Or is there a way to feed them with its original electronics. By the way, do I need to change the electronics completely for active EMGs or do the original ones work fine? Please explain clearly, I'm not very good at guitar electronics.
    Thanks everyone for your attention.
  2. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    To get the power you can use the existing batteries. Simply cut the red wire coming out of the batteries, and wire the existing red from the preamp and your two pickup red's to the red wire from the battery. That should give everything 18v.

    As far as the preamp though; you might need to trace down a diagram so we can help you integrate the pickups with the preamp. The problem exists that active pickups need a different pot value than passives, and as such you will probably need to replace the volume and/or blend pots on your bass as well. A wiring diagram would be helpful.
  3. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    The simplest solution is to change the pickups and the preamp. EMG has a solderless system that simplifies the installation. Otherwise you'll need to replace the volume and blend pot because active pickups require a different value than passive. Then you will need to connect the power bus from each pickup to the battery (EMG pickups have 3 wires: 1 for signal, 1 for ground and 1 for power).

    That said you do run the risk of frying the preamp if the work is not done properly. It might be worth the extra expense of having this done by a tech.

  4. It doesn't really matter whether or not there is a diagram. Nothing is going to change, the OP is just replacing existing pots.
  5. airbass0


    Jan 25, 2013
    Hmm... I think the easiest way is buying a EMG BQS system (my bass have 3 band EQ) with the pickups. However, I think this costs too much, BQS system is more expensive than the pickups. Is there any cheaper way to solve this problem?
  6. Yes there is,your emg's come with a 25k volume pot,just order a 25k blend pot(8 to 10 bucks),have your favorite tech install them. I had this same mod done,to the same schecter bass,invested about $40 for the mod,$200 for active emg's!:D
  7. airbass0


    Jan 25, 2013
    Just a blend pot is enough then. That's good news :D . But, can you use the old 3 band EQ system with active EMGs? Am I need to change them too or can I still use them?
  8. airbass0


    Jan 25, 2013
    By the way, even if I don't want to get away with the subject, I can't control myself I should ask this too :D .
    Do you advice DC/DC combination or CS/DC (neck/bridge) combination to get warmer lows with CS but powerful mids with DC. I think I'll try the second one but I didn't play with EMG CS and I don't have a chance to try it :(
  9. Your 3band eq is made by emg,one of their low end deals,but will work with active pups after changing vol & blend to 25k.I run the cs in the neck position & dc on the bridge,sweet sounding mix to my ears!
  10. airbass0


    Jan 25, 2013
    One last question I don't know it's important or not but which one is suitable for my bass split, solid or long shaft pots?
  11. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    It kinda does depending on the preamp as the preamp might take the pickup input and do mixing and volume through the active circuit instead of doing the mixing and volume before the preamp shapes the signal. It varies from preamp to preamp; hence the reason for wanting a schematic before I could offer any other advice.

    So now that we know this, then yes then he can just change the pots and install the pickups.
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