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Mixing Emg Active W/ Blaze Passive


cakewalkr7
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I have an ibanez 1527cb 7 string with a blaze in the bridge position, stock in the bridge. I found out that EMG just came out with a 7 string version of their 81, so I'd like to move the blaze pu to the bridge position and put the EMG in the bridge. BUT... how easy is it to mix the active and passive pickups? I know it's possible because a friend of mine bought a guitar and the original owner put an 81 in and it also has 2 single coil passives in it. Sooo, is it difficult to get it to work correctly? Thanks.

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I have an ibanez 1527cb 7 string with a blaze in the bridge position, stock in the bridge.  I found out that EMG just came out with a 7 string version of their 81, so I'd like to move the blaze pu to the bridge position and put the EMG in the bridge.  BUT... how easy is it to mix the active and passive pickups?  I know it's possible because a friend of mine bought a guitar and the original owner put an 81 in and it also has 2 single coil passives in it.  Sooo, is it difficult to get it to work correctly?  Thanks.

You'll need to put a preamp on the passive. Shouldn't be too hard to do one yourself, but it's extremely easy if you buy an EMG preamp.
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actually the emg isn't teribly louder than the blaze pickup if it is still manufactured to the same spec's as my old oens. just might have to drop the height of the emg to make it balance out, and if you aree moving the bridge blaze to the neck it will be even easier since despite the specsheet there was quite a difference in output between the bridge and the neck if you swapped posisitons. obviously a neck pickup needs less output since the placement is a more freely vibrating spot. as we all know with doign pickups but while most of the ibanez i have owned were pretty well balanced both of my original ones were quite unbalanced in there output however you will need the bridge ground to the passive pickup as the emg doesn't need it. like that. :D

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I'm not worried about doing any coil splitting. In fact, it may make sense to just get a 2 way toggle switch and replace the 5 way I've got now. I was told the following on another board when I posted the same question....

no the potential problems:

1) the values of the pots used for active pickups and passive pickups varies greatly(EMG=25k Passive hb=500k)

2) since you have to remove the ground wire to the bridge to use the EMG, you run an extreme risk of electrocution when using the passive pickup

3) the output of the EMG will dwarf your passive pickup in comparison

4)you more than likely will have noise issues with the passive pickup

I'm not that great with wiring or understanding what's going on, so are these concerns valid or is this a little overstated? I mean, I don't want to electrocute myself when I switch to the passive pickup. Lovekraft, can you give me some more info on the active buffer/impedance converter? What is it, where can I get it and where do I put it in the wiring? Thanks a bunch everyone!

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I didn't think that you HAD to remove the bridge ground when using EMG's? Can someone explain why that would be?

Also - having a grounded bridge doesn't mean you are safe from being shocked. I don't want to hijack on that topic but that seems to be the assumption that many people make.

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Look for an EMG PA-2 without the toggle switch, usually a special order item. It will allow you to add passives to the active system.

The other option is to use a two-way switch between systems. Set up independent tone/volume for each pickup and wire to the switch.

BTW, my personal preference is to either have all-active or all-passive in a single instrument. The simpler you can make your guitar the easier it will be to use on-stage or in the studio.

2) since you have to remove the ground wire to the bridge to use the EMG, you run an extreme risk of electrocution when using the passive pickup

That makes no sense. First of all, removing the bridge ground is a benefit of the EMG system because it reduces the risk of electrocution through the amp. EMG pickups are internally grounded via the preamp stage--there's no need for the bridge ground. When you add the PA-2 to the system, you will not need the bridge ground for the passive pickup, either.

Edited by crafty
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...When you add the PA-2 to the system, you will not need the bridge ground for the passive pickup, either...

EMG makes no such claim in the PA-2 instructions, and I see no way that a simple preamp can make that possible. The reason EMG active pickups don't need the bridge ground is their low impedance coils and their internal shielding, neither of which your passives have, so unless I'm missing something, the bridge ground is still going to be necessary to keep them quiet.

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Sorry if this is getting off topic but is it safe to say that when using EMG's, you don't have to remove the bridge ground? I can't think why you would be required to do so.

This is why I'm asking:

2) since you have to remove the ground wire to the bridge to use the EMG, you run an extreme risk of electrocution when using the passive pickup
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Hmmm...I had heard somewhere long ago that you could disconnect the bridge ground if you used a PA-2 because the preamp would filter out the noise picked up by the passive pickups. Doesn't make much sense to me now that you mention it, I just never really thought much about it. Nothing to see here, move along :D

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