Why don’t we like active electronics in a guitar?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by mark1406, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. JhnnyJhnsn

    JhnnyJhnsn New Member!

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    I have active EMGs in both my Strats. I like them because they are as quiet as my humbucker pickup guitars and maintain a crisp sound even when turned down. My batteries last at least a year and I haven't had one to leak or die on me yet.
     
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  2. mark1406

    mark1406 Strat-Talk Member

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    I was wondering what the general consensus was. In the case of acoustic guitars, preamps are the norm. This is due to the low signal output of the piezo pickup and the need for tone shaping with the pickup. So there is some practicality behind the use of a preamp.

    I was wondering if guitarist had turned a corner. I did use the example of EMG pickups over Fishman as they were a long established product with impressive endorsers.

    I came to the conclusion the old guys weren’t changing and some of the guys who also played bass were more open to active electronics in guitars.

    Regards

    Mark
     
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  3. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Hmm, I don’t really like pedal boards with external power, and I install hundreds of pickups that use 9v batteries. It’s not that difficult to deal with them and the USB charger thing is dumb AF. What you are talking about is already invented decades ago and lives in pretty much every mixer or preamp made. Putting phantom power in a guitar amp isn’t a new invention it’s just applying the current tech in a smarter way.
     
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  4. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    EMG active pickups are different than an active preamp/EQ circuit. In EMG pickups the battery just provides a signal boost for the output of the pickup, after that the controls are generally wired up the same as any passive circuit. This is different than say a Bartolini preamp system which has full active EQ.
     
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  5. mark1406

    mark1406 Strat-Talk Member

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  6. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    Is that me? :)
     
  7. madamoose

    madamoose Strat-Talk Member

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    I have an active bass and i love the fact I can shape tone. Never had an active guitar altho Id love to have one someday. I did however try an EMG fitted FGN strat the other day and it sounded kinda dull and dark. Actually I prefer the look of a pickup that doesnt have the pole pieces. Thats why i like my lace sensors. Nothing your pick can get stuck to. :)
     
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  8. mark1406

    mark1406 Strat-Talk Member

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    I think you have to know which EMG pickups to fit to a Strat. I think I had the S type in the 80’s and I thought it sounded dull compared to single coils.

    I thought the S’s were vintage like and SA were creamier and different.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  9. SupStrat

    SupStrat New Member!

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    "Why don’t we like active electronics in a guitar?"

    Who are "we"?!
    Or, just ask David Gilmour, one of the best known Start players, by the way... ;)
     
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  10. mark1406

    mark1406 Strat-Talk Member

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    That’s one player as opposed to players here responding. I haven’t counted the preferences here, but I suspect most players prefer passive electronics in their guitars.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  11. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

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    Strat-talkers are adverse to change, that's just how it is

    Can you imagine if they saw the new acoustic guitars with the adjustable soundports on the side?

    The other day I opened one up all the way and found the Lindbergh baby....


    Soundport.png
     
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  12. Scuba200ft

    Scuba200ft New Member!

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    I'm fairly certain Eric Clapton doesn't care what Bill Lawrence thinks. People who dont like Claptons, dont have any idea how to use them. Guitars have numbers on the knobs for a reason.


    IMG_3081.jpg
     
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  13. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Strat-O-Master

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    FWIW, I've owned many Strats over the last 50 years, but the only two that I've kept, and recorded and gigged with for many years, have been a 1986 '62 RI and a 2008 Clapton. When I bought the '62 RI in 1986, I immediately put in EMGs with an SPC mid boost on advice from a top session player in Atlanta at the time. So versatile, so quiet, such great tone from spank to a boosted beast. I put in the original pickups about a year ago just to see if I was missing anything. I took them back out about a month later and put those old EMGs back in. No big deal on the batteries. I change it once a year, but it's never been needed.
     
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  14. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Strat-Talker

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    Talked to Bill Lawrence. If it wasn't a (another) lecture on magnetic inductance, he didn't say a word. Never strayed. Open minds gather more data. I also have had a few of his pickups in/out of various guitars. I think we must agree to disagree, not one Lawrence stayed in anything. Cute saying, though, kind of a "horse & buggy" thing.
     
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  15. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Strat-Talker

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    Active pickups have a lot to offer in the way of versatility and tone that is their own charm, the singles are great for pedal boards with otherwise noisy dirt boxes, etc. I have them in several or more guitars, including my Zakk Wylde Les Paul. I prefer them for live performance (loud) for the tone, but also the control. In a recording studio passives can make for their own subtleties. Battery, current source; no big deal. Close a mind, lose a tool.
     
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  16. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Strat-Talker

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    Wow, long chain, lot of angst. A "purist" in this respect is a joke. Nothing wrong with anything that works for the tone you're trying to pull out of your head/heart. Battery phobia is someone else's problem.
     
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  17. Brucegomb

    Brucegomb Strat-Talker

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    That what pedals are for, you can EQ all you want with them. I personally like the pure tone of the pickups and passively rolling them if wanted but more important is having good series/parallel arrangement available.

    then...

    Let the pedals do the crazy EQ and Effects work.

    In holding with the idea I tend to keep the number of effects between me and the Amp to just a few to none at a time.
     
  18. mark1406

    mark1406 Strat-Talk Member

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    I would like meaningful EQ on the pickups within the guitar, I don’t think the passive controls do that very well. A neck humbucker typically comes to mind where the tone control rolls off high end making it sound even muddier, bass roll off would be better. To accomplish this with pedals would be a hassle.

    Regards

    Mark