Active and passive in same guitar
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Thread: Active and passive in same guitar

  1. #1


    Join Date: Oct 2014
    Location: Earth
    ME: Ibanez SZ520

    iTrader: 0

    Active and passive in same guitar

    Hello

    I want to install EMG 81 active pickup in my Ibanez SZ520 which at the moment has stock passive pickups. I will remove only bridge passive pickup and replace it with active EMG.

    Do you guys have any tips or some helpfull wire diagrams before I start with work ?
    My Ibanez has 2 volume and 1 tone pot and 3 ways switch. Passive pickup volume pots are 500k but I will get myself 25k which I will use for new active EMG.
    So my plan is to wire pickups so that in 1st position I get only signal from active EMG, in 2nd postion I get signal from passive and in third position no signal from both pickups.

    I googled alot in last few days and found alot of wire diagram examples like this one and few video examples on youtube: One and two.

    Has anyone here tried to do this setup in his guitar ?
    I once saw guy doing KSE cover on youtube few years ago with same guitar and setup (EMG in bridge and passive in neck) so it is possible.
    Last edited by gunaka; 06-14-2019 at 08:09 PM.

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  3. #2


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: 7th plane of ethereal hell
    ME: Ibanez UV7PWH
    Rig: VHT UL /AxeFX2 /Mesa RK2

    iTrader: 8 (100%)

    if you wire pickup-> volume and THEn to the switch, you won't have a problem. You will have to choose whether you want the tone on the active, or on the passive. once it's gone via the volume pot, the output doesn't matter.

    If you were using the same volume pot and taking the output of the switch into, then yes, you'd have an issue. but as long as you put the volume before the switch you'll be fine (and switch output straight to the output jack)

  4. #3


    Join Date: Apr 2015
    Location: Sweden
    ME: Solar A1.6ET
    Rig: Kemper

    iTrader: 0

    I must do this. I fucking LOVE EMG 85 in the neck.
    But I have grown to not like actives in the bridge so much.
    So I'll do as this guy, but reversed


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  6. #4


    Join Date: Nov 2011
    Location: Portugal

    iTrader: 0

    Do regular pickups work well with Stereo Jacks? Since he will need it for the EMG (I think).

  7. #5


    Join Date: Apr 2015
    Location: Sweden
    ME: Solar A1.6ET
    Rig: Kemper

    iTrader: 0

    Just skip the battery ground and it works just like a normal jack. I've used stereo jacks whenever I haven't had proper mono jacks at home

  8. #6


    Join Date: Nov 2008
    Location: St.Louis USA
    ME: Parker MaxxFly DF824
    Rig: Dual Recto

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    I did this like 15 years ago. Just splice with a switch right off the jack and treat it like 2 separate circuits.
    Confront and Cry

  9. #7


    Join Date: Jan 2013
    Location: Louisiana
    ME: PRS SEs
    MB: Squier Deluxe Active Jazz
    Rig: Mesa Mk3 Blu/Torpedo Live

    iTrader: 0

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocka_Rollas View Post
    Just skip the battery ground and it works just like a normal jack. I've used stereo jacks whenever I haven't had proper mono jacks at home
    Same. A guitar I just recently got has EVH Wolfgangs and a stereo jack. Shit, the EMG battery clip was still installed.

  10. #8


    Join Date: Oct 2014
    Location: Earth
    ME: Ibanez SZ520

    iTrader: 0

    Ok so I finally got everything I need to do this setup. Bought EMG 81 and all other stuff I need to wire this thing.

    I got problem with switch. My stock 3 way switch is little complicated. It has 12 pins and I cant google any usefull info or any helper diagram so I can wire this switch for my passive/active pickup setup.
    For switch positions, I want 1st position: active bridge EMG pickup, 2nd position (middle): no signal from both pickups and 3rd position: signal only from stock passive neck pickup.

    I drew my current wire diagram for 2 passive stock pickups so you guys can see how it is wired atm. For wire colors on diagram, just look ones which are coming out directly from pickups, all other wire colors are random so it can be easier to see what is wired where. And like I mentioned in diagram pink wire which comes from pickup is white wire (its hard to diplay white wire on white background) and yellow one is bare wire.

    At top of diagram you can see how switch it is working atm. So Bridge/Bridge+Neck/Neck. So in this current setup for switch I just need to eliminate middle option Bridge+Neck (i dont want to mix passive and active signal). I guess I need to remove 1 wire from bridge and 1 wire from neck pickup side which is connected to switch or maybe change wire positions on switch. I am stuck here.

    Here is album with my diagram and 2 more pictures from current wire setup: https://imgur.com/a/DliNMec

    One more thing, for EMG I got 25k pot. Can I leave 500k tone pot and just replace 500k bridge volume pot with 25k one?


    I hope you can help me so I can wire this thing right and do some sick metal riffs with EMG 81.

    Thx in front
    Last edited by gunaka; 06-14-2019 at 08:23 PM.

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