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thinking of the emg-pj set

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by rusmannx, Nov 28, 2004.


  1. rusmannx

    rusmannx

    Jul 16, 2001
    right now i have this b-50 (emg ltd), and i really like to play it, but i'm thinking of switching out the pickups. i've never used active pups before, but thought i may give it a try. a friend of mine told me to give the emg-pj set a look, but i don't know the difference from one to another. to make things even more difficult, it seems that people say different pups will sound different in every bass, so i can't see any way to test some.

    my bass has the ESP LDJ/LDP set (these are not active).
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    I like lots of pups including EMG. If you're into vintage tone you probably should look elsewhere (although the active J's can put out a suprisingly vintage tone). EMG active PJs (they only make one model so nothing complicated - 4 string that is). EMGs sound more consistent in different basses than any other pup I've played. They're dead quiet, clear, punchy, fat and bright and play fine different styles of music. You'll need a battery clip, stereo jack, and their standard harness is 25k audio pot vol/vol/tone. It was my first transplant (about as simple as you can get) from a passive bass and I still have those pups today.
     
  3. pistoleroace

    pistoleroace

    Sep 13, 2002
    WI
    I bought a set of EMG P/J active pups a few years back to wake up my old Charvel 3B and I love them. Everything luknfur said about the tone is true. The only thing I didn't like was the pre-wired Vol/Vol/Bal controls which I'm sure can be changed if you're handy with those type of things. I would rather have one Vol, cut/boost Treble and Bass with a pickup selector switch like the bass originally was. I have been planning on sending it off to get a new paint job, fret work and re-wiring.
     
  4. rusmannx

    rusmannx

    Jul 16, 2001
    this sounds just like the tone, and quiteness i am looking for.
    thanks for the help.
     
  5. fretbuzz85

    fretbuzz85

    Nov 1, 2004
    while we are on this thread, i would like to ask sometin.
    As far as guitar emg pickups go, they sound great to me when u add distortion if you are lookin for quietness, clarity and consistency.

    But it tends to sound "dead" or sterile when played clean, as compared to other non active pickups, it justs lacks colour.
    I own 2 guitars with EMG 81's in them by the way.

    Im wondering if this is the same for the EMG PJ pickups. anybody with experience on this? Because for me at least, i like my bass played clean without any effects.
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    In my experience, the PJ's tend to be more so that way than the J's. I've gotten an amazing amount of rawness/color/whatever from an active J set on some settings, so much I doubt I could tell them from passives with accompaniment - and they're noiseless. The PJ's can give a nice seriously punchy, focused, fat bottom P tone I can't get with the J's - or any pup I can recall. I recently had the J's up for sale and changed my mind after playing them again. I rarely play either set, but I keep them around and every once in a while they fill the bill. It didn't seem to be often enough to keep both sets.
     
  7. EricTheEZ1

    EricTheEZ1

    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    Many Spectors use EMG PJ set as well as Fodera. Wooten's main bass uses EMG PJs. The Spector I played had an incredible sound that I was not expecting. Their may have been a preamp in it to help it along. EMG certainly gives a better tone in the standard P or J package rather than humbucking modeling.
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE

    When I first switched to bass and was bass searching a buddy out of state played Spec 5's at the time (plays MTD 5's now). He was telling me about a Chec Spec 4 he'd picked up and a few days later Fedx showed up unexpectedly and when I saw the address I knew what it was. I emailed him and he said he wanted to save me the trouble he'd gone through and said he was impressed with this bass. Over the years, he'd played them all. I initially met him over the net inquiring about a Zon.

    So I strung the Chec with TI flats and compared it to my Ibanez GSR 200 that was my first bass and transplant (EMG active PJ's with BTC pre), also with TI flats. The Spec was EMG active PJ's with I think an MEC pre. They were basically identical except my Ibe acostically was (and still is) a thudder and reflected that. The Ibe weighed 7 1/2 lbs. and the Spec weighed 10 lbs. and I didn't like the Ergo feel the Spec had. I shipped the Spec back.
     
  9. Techmonkey

    Techmonkey

    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    I've been looking at these pickups too... I've got a Westfield SB427 (Picked it up on eBay £70 - Not bad at all) which currently has some passive PJ pickups in it... I was thinking of upgrading to these ones. The bass is pretty light, tiny basswood body... Doesn't play fingerstyle very well but I find it great for plectrum/slap pop use. I'm putting together an entirely new bass soon for playing fingerstyle (I'm after a jazz bass body, solid mahogony... Vampyre shaped maybe :D ) So... How would these pickups affect the tone, and is it worth getting them??
    Which reminds me, anyone ever played an SB427 before?
    Thanks,
    Mat.
     
  10. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    EMG's work well to flat pick or finger style. There just sound brighter with sharper attack with flat pick, depending on the pick used. They're common and reasonable on used market and they're easy to resale so there's not much to be lost in the process of trying them out. I've had half dozen sets of their PJs that I accumulated without even trying and had no problem selling them.
     
  11. fretbuzz85

    fretbuzz85

    Nov 1, 2004
    I just got an EMG P5J set installed on my 4 string bass, its the same dimensions as the EMG PJ set, just that the bar magnet is longer. You dont hafta worry bout string placement as its not pole magnets.

    Yeah....the tuning on the bass is BEAD, sounds great, dead quiet, a little increase in volume from my stock pickups, but didnt notice much of a tone difference. Maybe it because i have lousy ears, or maybe its because my neck's fretless, i realli don't know.

    Anyway, the guy at the store who changed my pickups apparently used back my old jack, instead of the new one. Could that pose a problem. Further more, the emg pickups has only 1 tone knob, so he wired the neck pickup to the current tone knob, and the bridge pickup to the EMG tone knob. Does it work that way? i read about emg knobs having different impedence values or something like that, i think.

    Okay, last question, does adding one more battery in series make a reasonable difference in the sound? the catalogue said more headroom, but what exactly does that mean.
     
  12. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Interesting you should bring the P5J up in a 4 string cause DavidWlison and I were wondering if there would be overlap with the P mags on just one of the strings - which should result in more output on only one string. Apparently that's not a problem.

    Don't have the experience with fretless but judging from fretted basses, some basses it's just hard to find a pup that fits them well while others seem to respond much better to pup swaps in general.

    Those flush mounted torpedo looking jacks are stereo jacks and come even in many passive basses (ie Ibanez). The standard EMG Fender type jack won't work in the routing but the jack would change nothing. The vol should be a 25k pot. I've used a 500K tone although I think 25K is standard EMG. The harness would make some difference but doubt it would be major, just different.

    Another battery will not change the sound or output. Headroom in terms of a preamp is nothing I've ever got a firm grasp on but would have something to do with distortion/loss of transients relative to given output. I've never been able to tell the difference with an additional battery but it's simple and cheap to wire so you can do it and decide for yourself.

    It's possible the EMGs wouldn't sound a lot different than the stock pups, especially if they were actives. I've found there may not be a lot of difference in tone between one pup and another but that difference can make a major difference. Plus there's a ton of other qualities about a pup besides tone that can really set it apart from another pup and make it a major improvement. Another thought is that if you play rounds, it may be time to change the strings.