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xdislexicx 2004-07-12 15:10

the livewire is pretty hot, and a very tight active pu... alot more life like than the 81 imo. it's pretty quite too.

MookieStink 2004-07-13 17:01

I've got a few emg wiring questions. I'm looking to put a emg 81 and 85 in my 10 year old Ibanez RG470 that has passive pickups now. The guitar has neck and bridge humbuckers and a single coil in the middle. I'm planning to disconnect the the single coil but leave it in so there isn't a gaping hole, but would I need a different switch than the 5 way one on there if I had just the 2 pickups?

The guitar also has 1 volume and 2 tone controls, but I haven't been able to find a emg wiring diagram for that for an 81 and 85 setup. I checked like BLS recommended in this thread but no luck. Every diagram I found was either for 1 vol and 1 tone, 2 vols and 2 tones, or 2 vols and 1 tone.

Lastly, did all you guys just cram the battery in wherever you could fit it or did you make a special spot for it?

I'd really like to do this installation myself to learn how rather than take it somewhere so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Soulinsane 2004-07-13 17:49

I can help you greatly. Doing this yourself is very easy. First you must know a few basics about soldering, I will asume you know a little about it but I will recap fast. Bigger the blob is NOT better the job, so only use small amounts for each connection. Don't hold the hot soldering iron to your electronic for a longer than a few seconds while soldering a connection and remove the iron and soldering wire in one motion once a little has melted onto the connection. Use only electronics solder with flux core resin. Practice solding alittle before doing the real job.

Now, you don't have to get a new blade switch but 2/5 of you positions will not work on your current switch unless you bridge some of the connections. I would recomend you replace your current switch with a 3 way blade switch.

You don't have to route a battery cavity in your guitar if you don't want to, because the battery will fit in the control cravity perfect. Just use alittle form padding to seperate the battery from contacting the other electronics.

I will find you the wiring diagram you want, just give me alittle time and I will post it here. 1 vol 2 tone, 3 way blade switch, right? Just because your guitar has that setup doesn't mean you have to use it, you know? One more question, do you have the EMG 25K potentiometers? If you have the ZW box set with all the electronics included this will be very easy.

Soulinsane 2004-07-13 19:05

Shit, I couldn''t find a diagram with a 1 vol 2 tone, but I don't use the setup either. You should just go with 2 vol 1 tone. I hope this link helps. I got it from the EMG website.


h4x5k8 2004-07-13 19:33

Yea i wired up my explorer with 81 and 60 and did it 2 volume and 1 tone, and a three way switch, which IMO is the best, since your rarley going to use both pickups you can control the volume and tone of one, and mehhh its hard to explain why i think its better, but whatever you wanna do.....

BLS 2004-07-13 19:36

One Volume, One Tone, One 3 way toggle switch, and a killswitch. You cant go wrong with that setup :D

MookieStink 2004-07-13 20:05

Thanks for the info.

After getting out the guitar just now to take a look at it I realized I'm a dumbass. It only has 1 vol and 1 tone. I got my guitars mixed up. :stoned:

Anyways, I haven't bought anything yet. Would the ZW be the best route to go, seeing as how I'm going to need the 25k pots and all that stuff anyways? Will I just need the 3 way switch then and I'll be ready to go?

Soulinsane 2004-07-14 12:32

Thats good news. Now this will be very easy. If you are going to use EMG 81/85 then the ZW box set will have everything you will need. Look around for the best price, because most times I find the ZW box set cheaper than buying the 81 and 85 seperate. Now some poeple think that they should charge more for the ZW set because ZW's name is on the box but that is crap because it is only a reguler 81/85 pickup set in the box and nothing special. A 3 way switch shouldn't cost more than $15 at the very most. And remember practice soldering a little first.

freek666 2004-07-14 14:39


I just scored two EMG 85's off EBAY and i'm getting an SA tomorrow!!! HELLS YES!! my ibanez is getting hooked up!! woot!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

BLS 2004-07-14 14:41


freek666 2004-07-14 16:28


BLS 2004-07-14 16:30

I hate the 85 in the bridge.

h4x5k8 2004-07-14 16:34

Originally Posted by BLS
I hate the 85 in the bridge.

same 81 owns all

DeathCS 2004-07-14 16:36

Some people like them in the bridge. But the 85 was made for the neck right?

h4x5k8 2004-07-14 16:37

Originally Posted by CANNIBALCORPSE
Some people like them in the bridge. But the 85 was made for the neck right?

It was made for the neck, but the 60 sounds better than the 85 in the neck, the 85 is high output, so the 85 doesnt sound all that good clean.

MookieStink 2004-07-14 18:51

I think I'll go with the ZW then. Thanks again for the help.

freek666 2004-07-14 21:13

i've had the 85 in the bridge before. it sounds bad ass. perfectly balanced too, for my tastes. it has balanced lows and highs with some middle too. i like it, you may not. it may be because everyone says they like the 81 so you're gonna like it too. i dunno. who knows?

oh, and btw, the 85 sounds good clean.

xdislexicx 2004-07-15 13:22

Originally Posted by freek666

bls is just a pussy about emgs ;) ... don't worry about it, if you like your sound with dual 85's then go for it.

BLS 2004-07-15 14:49


I rather have a shitty ass Stock BC Rich Pickup than an EMG. Atleast the shitty BC Rich Pickup sound original.. in a shitty way :D

I only have a 81/85 combo in one of my guitars because its made out of like 5 peices of alder and it sounds horrible, so atleast this way i can get that generic EMG sound.

freek666 2004-07-15 22:15

Originally Posted by xdislexicx
bls is just a pussy about emgs ;) ... don't worry about it, if you like your sound with dual 85's then go for it.

hellz yeah!

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