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Changing pickup's to EMG

Discussion in 'Recording' started by StevenColbert, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. I wanted to hear from anybody who has put active pickups in a Les Paul or simular guitars. My guitar looks VERY much like a Les Paul.
    I was thinking about an EMG89 and whatever else.
    Is it an easy change?
    And what about the white plastic guards around the stock pickups?
    Do I still need those ugly things with the EMG's?
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    I had an Epiphone like that and bought it with EMGs already in it. I got it just to have an axe to take to casual jam sessions, so that I could leave my "better" guitars at home. The guitar didn't benefit from them,IMHO.
    It lacked a certain character- midrange fatness- that a good pair of, say DiMarzios provide a guitar like that. I ended up pulling them out and replacing them with a Duncan JB at the neck and an old DiMarzio SD I had laying around at the bridge. Now I am much happier :)
    It really depends on the style of music, the guitars' wood, and the players' touch. I'm sure that there are a lot of players out there who love EMGs. Just not me.
    BTW, those "plastic guards" are called "bezels". You will need them to mount them in the guitar. No problem, because you can get them in black to match the pick-up, as well as various metal ones, too.
  3. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    +1 on the Dimarzio's .

    Find some Joe Barden Two-Tone Humbucker pickups and build a Seymour Duncan pickup booster into the electronics cavity. You wanna talk about an "active" pickup setup with attitude. (can't help it, I love Barden pups.)
  4. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Steve, without knowing more about your expectations of sound you wish to achieve, nobody can tell you what would be best to suit YOU. Most accomplished players have their favorite pickups, for particular guitars, for particular styles of music. Telling you to buy hot-rodded super magneto thunder crunchers would be very bad advice if you are simply seeking a nice warm blues sound.

    Personally, I like EMG pickups in some bass guitars, but I never liked the sound of any EMG pickups I've played in "lead" guitars. I'm also not a fan of DiMarzios I've tried, either. It's all really a matter of personal taste. My personal favorites are (in general) Seymour Duncans and Lace Sensors.

    Your mileage will definately vary from any of our opinions or tastes, so the best advice for you is to hit some music stores and try to find guitars similar to yours with different pickups, and see which ones suit your taste.

    Happy Hunting :)
  5. GregP

    GregP Guest

    Last time I checked, which is admittedly a long time, EMG pickups didn't fit directly into existing pickup cavities unless they were oversized to begin with.

    Even on your current guitar, you don't need those bezels if you hate'em so much. Just direct mount those puppies. I prefer the look of the bezel for myself, though.

  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    Yeah, you CAN mount the pup into the cavity without a bezel, but that would require anchoring it directly into the body. This promotes microphonic issues, one of the reasons that the bezel was developed umpteen years ago. They act as an isolator to keep the small amount of body resonances from actually reaching the coils.
  7. shredz

    shredz Active Member

    Jun 8, 2005
    Home Page:
    heres a vote for the EMGs...
    but u dont have to spend a wad on the active...the HZ series sound pretty good too...they were stock in cheapy ESPs and I liked them so much I picked up 2 more cheap ESPs...i have the metallica/zak setup in a few epi lps but I still like the HZs...my 2 cents!

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