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Any "Active pickup" guitarists here?


(@katmetal)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Over the past 6 mo. I have acquired 2 different active p'up guitars; One has EMG 81/85, the other has Rockfield "Black Betty" pickups. I have been told how easy it is for this type of pickup to produce pinch harmonics with. However, I cannot get them to do that very well at all. With any of my other guitars, single coils/humbuckers, I can make the pinch harmonics scream with ease.

I have new Duracells installed, tried different settings on the amp/guitar, etc., but no matter what I do, the harmonics are pretty lame. Anyone care to shed some light on this? Zakk, Kerry, & Kirk all swear by 'em. I know their guitars are probably heavily modded, but I can't see that the ones that I have should be performing so poorly... :?


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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

Well, I got one. I was just playing it last night and come to think of it I kind of forgot it even had them. Would have been funny when the battery died and I'd be like ... What???? Mine are on my Epiphone Prophecy EM-2 Custom. They are just cheap Epiactive pickups, not in a league with EMG's. I don't even think about them, obviously as stated above. Just pickups to me. They are a little brighter and louder with hotter output than my passive ones but not a whole lot. Just fine with me though cause in this case it was the guitar I wanted, not the pickups. These are dual pickups as well, so when my battery tanks I can pull out my tone control and switch to passive mode til I put a new one in. Long story short, pinch harmonics are the same for me as any other guitar I got.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@katmetal)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 727
Topic starter  

I played the Epiphone Prophecy EM-2 Custom, & I really liked the tone of those pickups. My main gripe w/ that guitar was the fact that the Floyd can't be pulled up for the "Dime" squeals. Yeah, I don't know what is going on with my guitars & the pinch harmonic thing. Both have new batteries in them.

I just can't get them to ring out like my Ibanez for example, which has 1 single coil & 2 humbuckers. I noticed something odd last nite after posting this thread; While I was playing the Schecter, w/ the EMG's - I removed the battery on the guitar & I continued to have "sound" coming out of the guitar, at the same volume level. I replaced the battery with a fresh one - no difference.

What is up with that? I thought that the sound would die after removing the battery, but I played for a good 10 minutes or more & still continued to have the same volume. Here is a link to the guitar; It actually has EMG active 81TW/89 pickups.

http://www.music123.com/Schecter-Hellraiser-C-1-FR-Electric-Guitar-518471-i1385937.Music123

What do you make of it still having vol./signal after the battery was removed?


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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

is there an active/passive switch?
do you have the same problem getting squeals regardless of the pickup and whether they're split or not?


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(@katmetal)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 727
Topic starter  

is there an active/passive switch?
do you have the same problem getting squeals regardless of the pickup and whether they're split or not? No switch. Supposed to be full time active, as far as I know. The squeals will come better in the bridge position & with the knob pulled for max. treble, but then that is the same for all guitars, I have found.

I was reading thru the reviews for the guitar at MFriend, & quite a few reviewers mention the same thing, that the harmonics are hard to get. I may call the company & talk to a tech, as this doesn't seem right to me.

MFriend link - http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Schecter-C1-Hellraiser-FR-Electric-Guitar?sku=518471


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 Cat
(@cat)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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I have been told how easy it is for this type of pickup to produce pinch harmonics with.

Yer fingers do it, not the guitar. I don't know HOW the other ones do it...you shure we're talking about the same thing??? To make them scream...or really sustain...you need to get feedback from your amp. Stand so the pickup is (approx) 45 degrees off from the speakers and turn slowly into the widening feedback...

Listen to Gary Rossington's Muscle Shoals stuff...his Lynnrd Skynnrd stuff, too.

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

there's another way to make those pinch harmonics pop once you get the finger technique down. it's a classic Tele technique: use some compression. this is what makes a lot of that harmonic-rich chickin' pickin' sound so good and clean yet not "drive an ice pick through your ears." gotta play with the compressor settings to get the sustain right and still get the attacks to be "natural" sounding.

-=tension & release=-


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(@katmetal)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

Guys, read my first post; 8) I know how to do pinch harmonics, I can make them scream on any passive pickup guitar. The problem seems to be with these active guitars. I have adjusted the pickup height up/down, & there seems to be little change. I don't know...


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Guys, read my first post; 8) I know how to do pinch harmonics, I can make them scream on any passive pickup guitar. The problem seems to be with these active guitars. I have adjusted the pickup height up/down, & there seems to be little change. I don't know...

it may have to do with passives being more microphonic or the resonance curves (freq "peakiness") being more pronounced in passives or .... in any case, my advice is the same: try a compressor.

-=tension & release=-


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(@tommy-guns)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 314
 

I have a Charvel with EMG 81/85's and pinch harmonics are not a problem with the sweet spot. If I take my battery out there is no sound coming from the guitar at all. I think that is where the problem is. Sounds like something isn't hooked up correctly.

Ambition is the path to success...persistence is the vehicle you arrive in!!!


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(@sgincyqx)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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I played the Epiphone Prophecy EM-2 Custom, & I really liked the tone of those pickups. My main gripe w/ that guitar was the fact that the Floyd can't be pulled up for the "Dime" squeals. Yeah, I don't know what is going on with my guitars & the pinch harmonic thing. Both have new batteries in them.

I just can't get them to ring out like my Ibanez for example, which has 1 single coil & 2 humbuckers. I noticed something odd last nite after posting this thread; While I was playing the Schecter, w/ the EMG's - I removed the battery on the guitar & I continued to have "sound" coming out of the guitar, at the same volume level. I replaced the battery with a fresh one - no difference.

What is up with that? I thought that the sound would die after removing the battery, but I played for a good 10 minutes or more & still continued to have the same volume. Here is a link to the guitar; It actually has EMG active 81TW/89 pickups.

http://www.music123.com/Schecter-Hellraiser-C-1-FR-Electric-Guitar-518471-i1385937.Music123

What do you make of it still having vol./signal after the battery was removed?

You're sure they're active?

Really don't see what that could be, honestly. Probably some kind of wiring issue but not one I can picture.

Ewan McGregor: I said, "Eve, I want you to look after my wedding ring while I'm away," and she started to cry and I said, "Eve. Eve, I can't wear my ring or I won't get laid on the trip!"


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(@bluetransam838)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 8
 

I played the Epiphone Prophecy EM-2 Custom, & I really liked the tone of those pickups. My main gripe w/ that guitar was the fact that the Floyd can't be pulled up for the "Dime" squeals. Yeah, I don't know what is going on with my guitars & the pinch harmonic thing. Both have new batteries in them.

I just can't get them to ring out like my Ibanez for example, which has 1 single coil & 2 humbuckers. I noticed something odd last nite after posting this thread; While I was playing the Schecter, w/ the EMG's - I removed the battery on the guitar & I continued to have "sound" coming out of the guitar, at the same volume level. I replaced the battery with a fresh one - no difference.

What is up with that? I thought that the sound would die after removing the battery, but I played for a good 10 minutes or more & still continued to have the same volume. Here is a link to the guitar; It actually has EMG active 81TW/89 pickups.

http://www.music123.com/Schecter-Hellraiser-C-1-FR-Electric-Guitar-518471-i1385937.Music123

What do you make of it still having vol./signal after the battery was removed?

You're sure they're active?

Really don't see what that could be, honestly. Probably some kind of wiring issue but not one I can picture.
I had a Hellraiser C-1 and I think it's the TW (split) thing. They were not like any other active pickups I played. And I pinch harmonic the any string with most any active or passive. But the 81tw I struggled with it. Then I got on a JL-7 with actives (had to return do to a neck prob) and they were fine. Blackouts on a Blackjack c-7 now even better. I hated those 81tws


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(@addseo1115)
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Joined: 7 years ago
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Glad to see your professional posts.
I have enjoyed with this forum that is a great discussion.


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(@bluetransam838)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 8
 

Yea, but only on my 7. I still prefer to do 90% of the stuff on a 6. And all my 6s have passives. I got one Ibanez S PRESTIGE that has those V7 V8s that everyone hated (including me as stock.) Oddley now their my fav pickups. And a old Dimarzio Super Distortion in a EVH (old peavey model) its OK (the original in that just died after 15 years or so?) Strat has stock but its a humbucker at the bridge in the American Delux. It has strong output but a tad scratchy sounding. I just recently got a 7 just for things here and there. I tried a lot of Ibanez 7 strings, and I love my Ibanez 6, but oddley a Schecter felt better to me, even after I hated their 6 strings. It's a Blackjack ATX C-7 with Blackouts. For what I want it to do they work well. Their not as stale (as the bad luck I had with EMGs, and yes I had a problem with pinch Harmonics on the EMGs) not sure why, the Blackouts just sound good for what I use the 7 for. Plus I use pinch Harmonics a lot, and these did them fairly well. Plus their easier to record If your doing a lot of low lines. But the thing solos pretty well too. Oh and the 81s I could not get to squeel at all, and the were 81tws. It's that pickup, it blows. I'm sure the normal 81s are decent. But if strait mid punch with a decent amount low, and I like the highs in the Blackouts. Smooth highs. And it's metal or rock they do well. My Blackjack ATX C-7 2014, is my lowest priced guitar,and it works great so far. Hell I was doing Joe S legato like lines after 30 minutes. Well not as good as Satch, but still. I just think the 7 can do some unique stuff even outside of metal.


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