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  #21  
Old 2003-03-15, 04:10
Benny Benny is offline
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Here is the best explanation i can find:

Quote:
Active vs Passive Electronics
The phrase “active electronics” in its most basic sense means that there’s a circuit in the instrument somewhere that requires battery power. Passive electronics don’t require any additional power. Beyond this, there are many kinds of systems, and many factors to consider when deciding which kind of electronics are right for your guitar.
Passive Electronics

Passive Pickup Systems
All basses and guitars generate an output signal by means of a pickup that translates some of the vibration energy of the strings in to voltage that gets sent to an amp. “Passive” instruments send this raw signal to the amp, and passive volume and tone controls can only attenuate the signal and treble response, that is, make it quieter. In order for passive magnetic pickups to generate enough voltage to drive an amplifier, they must be wound with a large number of turns of wire. This causes high inductance in the coil, and a high impedance output signal. This has the effect of rolling off the extreme high and low frequency response and making the signal more susceptible to loss and degradation in the cable on the way to the amp. While this sounds bad, it’s one of the reasons passive pickups can sound “punchier”, because the ear perceives more midrange when the high treble and low bass are rolled off. The powerful magnets and larger wire coils in passive pickups can also produce strange electromagnetic interactions with the strings and adjacent pickup coils, causing irregular response curves and dynamic effects usually not seen in active pickups. Both of these factors contribute to the unique voice and continued popularity of passive pickups.

Active Electronics
Active Pickup Systems
Typical examples are EMG pickups and the Duncan/Basslines Active Pickups. These generally use low-impedance pickups with a smaller number of wire turns. This causes less loss in the high and low end, and generally allows a much broader, full-range, hi-fi sound. Unfortunately, it also means the voltage produced by the pickup is very low, not nearly enough to drive an amp through a long cable. So these pickups have miniature amplifiers, called preamps, built into the pickup housing itself. Thus the signal only has to travel a fraction of an inch before it gets amplified and buffered into a low-impedance output. These systems often, but not always, provide a higher output signal than passive systems, so you don’t need to turn up the gain as much on your amp, which can add noise.

To confuse matters, active systems can use passive volume and tone controls just like passive pickups. These controls are almost always have different values for potentiometers and capacitors, and you usually must use the parts supplied by the pickup manufacturer. In addition, because the connection from the pickup coils to the preamp is made inside the pickup housing, options like series/parallel switching and coil tapping are rare and generally not available unless the manufacturer has specifically designed the pickup for it.


Low-Impedance Pickups with Separate Pre-Amps
This kind of system is essentially an active pickup with the preamp taken out of the pickup housing and mounted separately in the instrument’s control cavity. This approach is typical of some Bartolini and Lace Sensor designs. You gain the ability to do things like coil-splitting and phase switching, because the pickup wires are accessible before they go into the preamp. However, adding a passive bypass switch is usually not a good idea, because the passive output of the pickup is so low. The preamps that go with these systems have a lot of gain to boost the output of the pickup’s signal to a useful level, and usually also offer some kind of active tone shaping E.Q.

High-Impedance Pickups with Separate Pre-Amps
This is essentially a passive instrument with high-output passive pickups that has an onboard preamp. All preamps will buffer the pickup’s output to a low-impedance signal and many add some gain to help drive your amp with less noise. This helps maintain signal integrity and retains much of the high and low end that would get lost in the cable run, resulting in a kind of “ideal” passive sound. With this system you retain all the switching options you have with a passive instrument, and you can easily bypass the active circuit with a switch for a more “vintage” sound, or as a fail-safe in case your battery runs out.

Onboard E.Q. Circuits
Most of these preamps also give you onboard active tone controls, where you can boost as well as cut frequencies, just like the E.Q. in your amp. There’s no sonic benefit to using these onboard controls rather than the ones on your amp, and they’re usually not as clean or quiet. The main advantage is being able to control your sound from the instrument, especially when going direct into a recording console or P.A. system.

9 Volts vs. 18 Volts
Most active pickups and preamps operate on at least one 9 volt battery, and some use two wired in series, delivering 18 volts. 9 volts works fine for many instruments, so what’s the difference? Well, there are two kinds of 18 volt systems: 9 volt systems that can handle 18 volts, and systems designed for 18 volts.

Many 9-volt systems, like EMG’s, will operate at 9, 18, or 27 volts, and can be supplied from phantom power in a three-conductor cable rather than an internal battery. These systems don’t operate much differently at higher voltages but gain a little better transient response and headroom for percussive signal peaks when run at 18 volts. Any performance improvement between 18 and 27 volts (two and three 9-volt batteries!) is generally considered to be insignificant.

Systems designed for 18 volts, like the Aguilar OBP-1 and some Bartolini preamps, utilize the additional voltage to increase both headroom and the amount of gain that can be provided for E.Q. The Aguilar circuit allows 18dB of clean bass boost, even when slapping a low “B” bass string. The Duncan Hot Livewire set for guitar uses 18 volts to deliver an output hot enough to send even the cleanest guitar amp into overdrive.


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  #22  
Old 2003-03-15, 17:11
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MeTalManiac555 MeTalManiac555 is offline
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Hey thank's a lot for that man. You basically answered all of my question's in that. I think I will probably go with the EMG's but I don;t know if I should get the 81 or 85's. Which one's sound better and more for metal? Also, I think it might be in here that someone said to get like an 81 near the neck and an 85 near the bridge, or it might be the other way around. Please let me know on that though. Thank's again!
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  #23  
Old 2003-03-15, 18:50
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MechanicalRaper MechanicalRaper is offline
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other way around- 81 for bridge, and 85 for neck.
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  #24  
Old 2003-03-15, 18:53
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MeTalManiac555 MeTalManiac555 is offline
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Alright thanks a lot man! What about the middle one like with the single thing in the middle?
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walk through nature's dwelling
hide from obscure trees listening
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twilight casts spells on those who espouse their fate

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tears spout from eyes, shunned from mankind's den
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  #25  
Old 2003-07-03, 06:35
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freek666 freek666 is offline
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i like the sound of my 85 in the bridge position because it has a fuller sound than the 81's rediculously bright sound. you get the bassy licks but i have tweaked it to be eavenlt balanced and i love the sound. visit the EMG website for sound samples of each pick up in each position to get an i dea of what sound you want.
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  #26  
Old 2003-07-03, 09:54
G_urr_A G_urr_A is offline
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I just installed a pair of EMGs in my Jackson KE3. An 85 in the neck position and an 81 in the bridge position. From what I've heard so far (5h of playing), the 81 has more "bite" than the 85, but lacks the bottom required for a full sound on riffs below the 3rd fret on the 5th string (I'm tuned to Eb). The 85 is more suitable for rhythm playing, because it sounds "full" everywhere, but it doesn't have that "bite" that I like for lead. But that's of course only my opinion.

On the price and installation issue, I got them use but in absolutely splendid condiotion on eBay for $127.50 total, excluding shipping, and installed them myself this morning (between 00:00 and 03:00). I do however have experience of soldering, so I do not recommend you to install them yourself, unless you feel that soldering is easy. After all, bad mistakes can cost you a lot of money.
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  #27  
Old 2003-07-10, 10:34
Poof Daddy Poof Daddy is offline
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the zakk wylde set is on ebay with the pots and all that crap that you need for like 140 so i think ill get it and put it im my new jackson. would the battery and all that crap fit in a js30?
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  #28  
Old 2003-07-10, 12:05
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Necro_Butcher Necro_Butcher is offline
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im getting a 81-81 setup in my warlock (it better be good)
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  #29  
Old 2003-07-11, 15:41
G_urr_A G_urr_A is offline
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Poof Daddy:
Judging by the pictures on the Jackson site, and from my own guitar (a KE3), yes, it would fit. But don't blaim me if it doesn't. Unscrew your back cavity cover and have a look. Can you put a 9V battery in there, and still get the cover back on? If yes, then yes the battery will fit.
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  #30  
Old 2003-07-14, 16:43
The Terminator The Terminator is offline
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My Jackson DXMG came with EMG-HZ pickups and they sound really good, especially with a metal zone pedal. However,(i dont know if this is just the guitar or if it is because of the pickups), the volume control acts more like a gain control and if i turn it all the way up it is pretty noisy.
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