EMG T set

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by scooteraz, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. scooteraz

    scooteraz Tele-Afflicted

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    So, I have a parts caster that was built by someone else that I got a a good price (like half of what it cost to build, minus labor). Great neck, decent relic job (not a fan, but for the price of an assembled guitar, who cares?).

    It cam with the Duncan “Little 59” bridge pickup, and a hot, but I’m not sure really which Strat pickup in the neck. They were OK, but I saw this as a chance to try out some other pickups. Decided to install the EMG T-set. Alnico T-style with pre built plate, easy no-solder wiring. Installation went fine. Slight hiccup was when I bout the set, I didn’t think about the time the original owner put into the relic job, the aged control plate dose not fit the EMG control set, so, guitar is a relic, but plate is shinny new stainless steel that has been polished.

    The issue. After install, I halve Tele sounds, but at REALLY reduced sound levels. I have a Hahn model C, and I set the volume on my Mesa combo on “blow me out of the room” levels with those pickups, plugged in the now EMG equipped Tele, and it plays at bedroom level sounds.

    I’ve checked the wiring and replaced the battery. Been playing with pickup heights, but so far, still like a really attenuated decent Tele signal to the amm.

    I can get more volume by turning up the amp some more, but...it seems strange that actives would be so much lower voltage output than the passives in my Hahn.

    Anyone else ever have a similar problem with the EMG?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
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  2. apocapsile

    apocapsile TDPRI Member

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    You certainly have a bad connection of the battery OR stereo output jack. Make sure everything is wired according to the instructions, as a reversed or misplaced connection might do that.

    Also, a bad cable/connector to the battery / output jack could be the case. Check connections to those especially.
     
  3. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a partscaster in 1982 with EMG pickups- sounded great and like a Telecaster on steroids.
     
  4. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Agreed- either an install mistake or a defect. I’d lean towards install mistake just because it’s so easy to get tunnel vision and miss the obvious.

    I had the T Set and there were no volume issues. Really nice pickups.

    If you want to go all-in, check out the SPC control. Great little tool.
     
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  5. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I use the Active T set in my jam nite guitar. I installed them specifically to help compensate for cheesy amps that may be supplied. But with a decent amp, oh boy...
     
  6. scooteraz

    scooteraz Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, I’m going to take it all apart tonight and see what I have. The odd thing is that I would have expected no response or really noisy response. Not OK tone 30 dB down with a bad install.


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  7. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Obviously not the same thing, but I had that problem with a set of hb’s not long ago. It ended up being a grounding problem.
     
  8. apocapsile

    apocapsile TDPRI Member

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    For what it's worth, last time I've heard this EXACT complaint about an EMG powered guitar, the issue was that the battery connector (the one you insert the battery into) had a bad + insert; nothing was wired wrong, he just had to replace that part. Before that, same symptoms, good but extremely weak sound.
     
  9. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I’d recommend the SPC too. Adds an interesting dimension to the tone controls. (see the picture of my Johnny Cashcaster with the SPC.

    Re: the problem, I’d be looking closely at the battery connection. If you incorrectly wire EMGs they typically don’t work or you get a very loud buzz.

    Grounding has been mentioned. EMGs DO NOT require the bridge to be grounded. If you ground in a traditional/typical Tele way, you’ll get a horrible cyclic buzz and the guitar will be unplayable.

    Good luck and let us know how you solve it.

    :) Peter
     

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  10. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

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    This is interesting. I read in an catalogue that EMG considered there T-pickup there best pickup (yes, they wrote so themselves "This is our best pickup").
    Still it doesn't seem to be popular here or sell anyway near there metal flavoured ones.

    I never tried them. But the "This is our best pickup" claim stuck in my mind.
     
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  11. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Specifically, they say the T Set neck pickup is their best. It’s nice - a little more Stratty in my opinion (which is a good thing).
     
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  12. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    EMG’s are actually a low impedance pickup with a built-in preamp. You will get a sound out of them with a dead battery. My experience with Bartolini’s is that a dead battery will provide no output.
     
  13. scooteraz

    scooteraz Tele-Afflicted

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    Been wondering about that. I haven’t gotten the guitar completely apart again, yet. Too many other irons in the fire. But, I did look inside the control cavity and remove the jack. That was all wired correctly, and connectors are solid at the jack. Taking a battery voltage reading with the guitar plugged in, I seemed to have a good battery, but some other readings around the guitar have me puzzled. So, this could be the issue. I think I will pull up the V+ about half way where it connects to the controls, and check that voltage versus at the battery terminals.

    I also have a call and an email in to EMG for assistance. We’ll see how long that takes for a return.


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  14. scooteraz

    scooteraz Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a DG20 set for a Strat. The has the SPC and EXG controls. Haven’t been able to install those, as that Strat has a Floyd Rose, and the EMG pickguard doesn’t fit over it. So, a somewhat longer project to reuse the existing pickguard, and remove/replace pickups and controls. A job made a little longer as I must remove the neck to remove the pickguard. But I’m looking forward to trying the SPC.

    The Tset comes with the volume and the tone on a single board, so, not much opportunity for a SPC on that guitar for now.


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  15. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    It's not a hill to die on for me, but from the models I've seen opened up, they're in a pretty normal range of coil mass / volume. Evidence I've seen seems to point to being a normal range of inductance, dropping the impedance in the active stage.
     
  16. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't active pickups usuallly call for different vol and tone pot resistance? I don't know, that's why I'm asking....maybe the OP needs
    to put in different pots.

    My understanding is that active pickups can have a customized EQ response....not stuck with getting mid-dier (muddier) as power (windings/magnets) increases.
    I don't know what the EQ curve of these EMG pickups was designed to be. The typical criticism of active pickups is they can sound "sterile", but
    really that's mostly because their EQ response is intentionally somewhat different from typical passive pickups. Whether you like that difference is up to you...
     
  17. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    They come with pots.
     
  18. scooteraz

    scooteraz Tele-Afflicted

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    So, EMG got back to me today, and had some ideas. I checked everything, and it appears to be per spec. The board was getting good voltage from the battery to the board. I have a Rigol DS1104Z-S plus oscilloscope, and I checked the output of a Hahn model C bridge pickup on the low E string. It gave me between 250 and 300 mV output. The EMG is about 50.

    Something is wrong, but right now, I have no idea what it is. Another Email to EMG.

    This was supposed to be an easy instgall, LOL.
     
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  19. apocapsile

    apocapsile TDPRI Member

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    Try one pickup at a time, the other disconnected.
     
  20. scooteraz

    scooteraz Tele-Afflicted

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    Except for power, that pretty much happen when you move the selector switch. I guess that would completely remove any possibility of the influence of a pickup.

    Since with both pickups attached, the board has 9V, I don’t think one of them has a power short that would cause one to affect the other on the power side. Is your thinking that the ground wire from one pickup has some influence on the other pickup?

    OTOH, guess it is worth a shot.


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