Got a Les Paul, what would *you* do?

dbw

Senior member
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4,531
Superlizard said:
AprioriMark said:
2) Some monkey's hind end put EMG 81 and 85 pickups in it.

I feel your pain.

AprioriMark said:
Soooo.... What would you do?  This?  Something else?  I'm open for ideas.  Also, how would you go about selling the EMGs?  Just Craigslist, or is Ebay worth the time and effort?

Take a ballpeen hammer to the EMGs (because nobody should have to suffer with sucky tone; esp. if they paid for it) and get a pair of PAF-ish humbuckers.

:headbang1:
 

rapfohl09

Senior member
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1,673
Death by Uberschall said:
rapfohl09 said:
Thank you for DBU for finally dousing the EMG flames. I love my EMG's and yes I bought them as upgrade pickups to replace my gibson pickups.

I was also looking at P-Rails, but I finally heard the hot-rodded set from SD the other day and ill probally put those in every HB guitar I have from here on out! :icon_thumright:

Thats a JB and Jazz by the way, just saying.

For passive pups, the Jazz is a great neck pup. The JB is a winner also.

As the EMGs go, I really started to believe recently that a lot of players, because they think "active" circuitry negatively affects the tone, talk bad about them or say they will never use them. In actuality, it adds tone. Ask any bass players, and I'll bet you 95% of them use or like active pups in their basses. Guitar players have a "metal or mental block" to get over in most cases. For live players who use several long cables between guitar, pedals and amp, passive pups will have their tone affected in a negative way, especially on under wound or vintage wound pups. EMGs fix that by using the internal pre-amp as a buffer to convert the signal into low hz. The tone also stays the same as you roll the guitar volume up or down. In a Les Paul, that 81/85 combo is great.


Man I just knew they sounded good but thats good to know too :laughing7:
 

dbw

Senior member
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4,531
You can get the advantages of an active buffer without losing the tone of a humbucker... just throw a buffer in your guitar after your PAFs.
 

Death by Uberschall

Senior member
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4,162
dbw said:
You can get the advantages of an active buffer without losing the tone of a humbucker... just throw a buffer in your guitar after your PAFs.
What do you think the EMGs are? They are dual coil humbuckers encased in epoxy with a pre-amp. They have blade pole pieces and very small magnets (creamic or alnico II, depending on pup design) which causes minimal string pull. The pre-amps are there to increase output and give a balanced full tone.
 

dbw

Senior member
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4,531
Right, that's the point... if you want the buffer you don't have to use their lame-sounding humbuckers.  Just add a buffer to nice pickups.  You just need a op amp, 2 caps and 3 resistors.  I can post the circuit if you're interested...
 

Death by Uberschall

Senior member
Messages
4,162
dbw said:
Right, that's the point... if you want the buffer you don't have to use their lame-sounding humbuckers.  Just add a buffer to nice pickups.  You just need a op amp, 2 caps and 3 resistors.  I can post the circuit if you're interested...

I don't need the circuit, I'm fine with EMG pups. They are really good pups. If you think they sound bad, that's your call. "Lame-sounding"?? You should check your guitar, strings, cords, amp, fingers, ears, etc because they are definitely not "Lame-sounding".
 
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8,318
AprioriMark said:
Thanks for all the advice.  Some of my buddies and I were playing with the guitar last night, and I actually like the tone of the neck pickup a lot.  The bridge one is just ass, however.  It's thin and bleh.  To be honest, I have no idea how they're wired, or even if they are, in fact, and 81 and an 85.  That's just what the guy told me.  I wondered if I might not miss the tone of these pickups after switching them out.  I'm going to open it up and look at how it's wired, what the pickups are etc tonight.  I just assumed that they'd be too harsh, and they're sorta not.

-Mark

Once you determine which is the 81 and 85, you might switch the two.  The 85 in the bridge and 81 in the neck seems to be a popular swap.  This is opposite of how they are marketed on the website and the ZW set.  The battery is the only headache, but worth it.  Then again, tubes are the only headaches with tube amps, and they're certainly worth it.
 

djf67

Senior member
Messages
366
My LP is sat in a box, also unused. But first thing I did 20 years ago was take the guard off.
If you go P-rails (I've just bought a set, too) there's a vid on Youtoob somewhere of a guy showing off the Ps with four push pulls and a toggle (i.e. like a LP) and he gets an amazing set of tones.
 
M

metalman22105

Guest
Geez people, quit arguing about EMG's vs. passive pickups, I don't get why people bash stuff just to make whatever they use look or sound "better". Seriously. If you don't like something, don't use it, but you don't need to bash it. I have passive, custom made hand-wound humbuckers in my VIP at the moment, and I love them, but I also really really dig EMG's, they are super tight and transparent, not only for metal or aggressive styles, they sound awesome with pedals and stuff too, and I am seriously in love with the tone of the 85 in the bridge, especially with the 18volt mod!

Anyways, I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but there's no reason to bash active or passive pickups, or anything else for that matter, just because you use something else.

Rock whatever you want to, but do it with style.
 

Superlizard

Senior member
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2,514
I'd like to interrupt this discussion with the following statement:

Solid-state Crate amps sound awesome.
 
M

metalman22105

Guest
smavridis said:
what are you smoking so i could get a hit and have my squire strat sound good too? :eek:ccasion14:

Haha, you've got a taste for chaos don't you! I love my solid-state Roland Cube 15 by the way....
 

rockskate4x

Senior member
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1,601
I say never have a prejudice against something you've never tried. I thought I hated strats after playing squiers but now I played good strats (G&L and vintage fender) and I love em... I thought I hated EMG's but I played em and now I love them... I thought that I hated solid state amps with the name roland or crate on them but now I must admit that everything in the Roland Cube series 15 Watts and up is absolutely killer. What do you do with your Les Paul you ask? Well, if you like that emg 85 in the neck but don't care for the 81, get a second 85 and put it in the bridge position!
 
M

metalman22105

Guest
rockskate4x said:
What do you do with your Les Paul you ask? Well, if you like that emg 85 in the neck but don't care for the 81, get a second 85 and put it in the bridge position!

+1
 

AprioriMark

Senior member
Messages
1,710
metalman22105 said:
Geez people, quit arguing about EMG's vs. passive pickups, I don't get why people bash stuff just to make whatever they use look or sound "better". Seriously. If you don't like something, don't use it, but you don't need to bash it. I have passive, custom made hand-wound humbuckers in my VIP at the moment, and I love them, but I also really really dig EMG's, they are super tight and transparent, not only for metal or aggressive styles, they sound awesome with pedals and stuff too, and I am seriously in love with the tone of the 85 in the bridge, especially with the 18volt mod!

Anyways, I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but there's no reason to bash active or passive pickups, or anything else for that matter, just because you use something else.

Rock whatever you want to, but do it with style.

I agree, I just actually have had bad experiences with people who'e used EMG pups, and I have them in my main strat (though single coils), and I assumed the humbuckers would  have a similar "flavor" since my Fender tones are mostly covered by my Teles (I'm not a Strat fan), I just use the EMG Strat for that one specific tone set, and not as a "core guitar."  I'm going to slap P-rails in it, and have a bunch of friends whose ears I trust play the guitar set up both ways.  I'm going to also move the EMG pickups around to test if I'd like another 85.  I'm pleasantly surprised by active EMGs in a LP.  I just need to make sure it's the tone that feels right, because the response of this guitar is exactly what I need... there's no barrier between heart, mind and hands.

-Mark
 

smavridis

Senior member
Messages
710
i like roland but i HATE crate. i bought like 3 of them and had bad experiences.

EDIT: i wrote but instead of bought  :tard:
 

Sinistar

Active member
Messages
27
It's kind of funny the way tastes change from year to year and person to person.  Back in the early 80's when I was in high school, everybody was taking the old school strat pickups and PAF style pickups out of their guitars and replacing them with something "modern" and super high output for the metal sounds that were popular back then.  You could buy an old SG or Jazzmaster for $300 and everyone wanted a Jackson or a Kramer, preferably in day-glo pink or green.  Being the cool alternative guy I was (liked the Smiths and the Cure and had silly hair) I hated Japanese guitars and wanted a Music Man or a Fender.  Now I think old Japanese guitars are cool and have two of what I hope will turn into about five late seventies / early eighties Ibanez guitars, and people on eBay want to charge $40 for a rusty old screw because it came out of a seventies strat.
 

Who?

Active member
Messages
80
In the mid 80's I passed up a late 60's Sonic Blue Telecaster.  The shop owner originally wanted $300, but couldn't sell it and was willing to take $150 cash.  I bought a neon yellow Ibanez RG550.  At the time most people considered old gear to be poorly made, particularly post CBS Fender.  The same shop also had the Twin Reverb the guy with the Telecaster had sold to them.  If I remember correctly they wanted $450 for it.  I still kick myself for that one. :doh:
 
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