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What pre-amp to soften up EMG Pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by kris pung, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. kris pung

    kris pung

    Jul 25, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I’m thinking about updating all the electronics in my 5 string Yamaha. I love the EMG aggressive rock tone but they can be a little harsh picking up unneeded fret noise. So my question is what pre-amp would you combine them with to warm up the tone without losing to much of their natural aggression. I’m basing all my experiences on Spector bass’s with EMG’S and Aggie pre-amps.
  2. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    I would guess this is more of a setup/technique issue than a pickup issue.

    Try a good setup (if you can't do it yourself take it to a professional) and a lighter touch.

    just my .02
  3. kris pung

    kris pung

    Jul 25, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    My left hand technic is a little sloppy and I'm working on that. This is going to be my back up bass and I want a more aggressive tone then the warm round Bart's I have in my custom bass. I was just wondering what some other pre-amps would sound good with EMG pups, besides Agular's.
  4. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: GK, EMG and D'Addario
    EMG BQC with the mid contour. That peamp smokes. I have it in all of my basses. You can round off the harsh really easy.
  5. kris pung

    kris pung

    Jul 25, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Are your EMG BQC 18v or 9v I've heard that can make a big difference.
  6. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: GK, EMG and D'Addario
    18v my EMG CS setup and 9v on my Pj setup. But 18 does make a difference in headroom. I am going to 18v on my PJ when I get time.
  7. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA

    The Sadowsky preamp is the best I've used, it absolutely
    makes the EMG's musical and warm. I sold a bass with
    that setup and recently put an Aguilar OBP-1 preamp
    with EMG HB's (Steinberg active model) and it is
    very sweet as well. Even more bass boost, and
    musical highs.

    My best sound ever though was with the Sadowsky

    Phil Anderson
    Tucson, AZ
  8. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    I recently sold a korean spector copy with 40DCs + BQC because I couldn't get rid of that "brittle", even with highs rolled off and high-middles rolled off or low-middles cranked up. There was always a "zing" around. The only way I could calm it down was with TI flats, but I also lost my slap :p

    In fact, that was my fault. My taste is too "old skool" to EMGs...

    Back on topic: I've been reading good reviews of OBP3's and John East's BTB1. That's the way I would go.
  9. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Do you compress? I like the zing! But if you compress it will take it out.
  10. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    What do those BQC's retail for?
  11. If you want to get rid or that harsh sound, just lose the EMG pickups! Those things make even the best basses sound bad. Usually I don't notice the sound of the pickups, but almost every bass I've played with EMG pickups just sounded awful. I just don't understand the appeal for that unatural bright sound. I mean if you're going to color a basses sound, you might as well make it warmer. Of course this is my own personal opinion, but man, I really do not like the EMG sound. :spit:
  12. My bass has EMGs and a passive tone. Maybe you need to "downgrade" :)
  13. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    I have to agree with you that the old skool EMG's (mid to late 80's) were very good.
  14. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Then you obviously haven't heard my Monarch. ;)

    My bass is deep as I could want it and clear as a bell. Not harsh at all.
  15. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses
    lowering the pickups should help. it changes the sound a lot in my opinion, and I don`t mean just the volume...

    if that doesn`t work... i have a 45p/5j combo in my six stringer and it sounds warm and deep while playing with a light touch near the neck pickup.

    i have the 3 band emg preamp (don`t remember the name - that one with the sweepable midrange boost/cut) and it has four different frequencies at wich it can cut highs - it changes things a lot.

    if not... get a small black box with sadowsky written on it. you can`t go better. really. i heard it a few times at my teacher`s house and on his recordings, and that thing really rocks :hyper:
  16. After installing EMGs, I switched from stainless steel roundwounds to chrome. That took the edge off.
  17. Joe BassPlayer

    Joe BassPlayer Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    You may want to try a Demeter BEQ-1. I just installed one in one of my Roscoes and they really have a nice warm sound. They have a sound very typical of a Demeter out-board preamp. The instructions even cover installing the Demeter pre with EMG P/U's. It can be operated w/9 or 18 VDC and comes stock with Master volume, P/U blend & separate bass/mid/treble controls (also a Mid center Freq mini-sw).
  18. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    One more idea, though not sure if this is an entirely different direction from where you want to go... you may want to consider adding a passive tone control. I personally love the sound of a passive tone, when you roll it off I find that it helps me to blend in with the band, and also like to simultaneously crank the onboard preamp (both bass and treble) while rolling off the passive tone... my basses on which I do this yield a very responsive, organic and defined tone.


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