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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Some may have seen my posts looking for an alternative guitar to my Standard HSS Strat. I played an ESP M-II with active EMG 81's bridge and neck.

I liked the feel of this guitar but also liked the EMG's to a point. I've been researching different pickup combinations that other M-II users use and it seems quite common to use an 85 in bridge to give some more 'rounded/smoother' tone.

However, lots of people rave about converting to 18v - so my question is how easy or difficult is it to convert an M-II to 18v and how do you do it?

Thanks!
 

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Chromaphonic Invader
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1,298 Posts
Basically you just wire two 9v battery hookups in series, parallel might work too, and plug 2 nine volts in. It's pretty easy, but it didn't give me what I was looking for with my STEF. The 85 in the bridge will give you a slightly warmer, Perhaps more "throaty", tone if that is what you are after. I switched to a blackout bridge and that was pretty much the tone I wanted from that guitar.

Here is a good diagram from Darren, who goes to this forum, of a slightly more complex but better way of doing it.

[Tech] HOW TO: The reversible 18v mod! - Sevenstring.org
 

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Slow Money
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14,612 Posts
Basically you just wire two 9v battery hookups in series, parallel might work too, and plug 2 nine volts in. It's pretty easy, but it didn't give me what I was looking for with my STEF. The 85 in the bridge will give you a slightly warmer, Perhaps more "throaty", tone if that is what you are after. I switched to a blackout bridge and that was pretty much the tone I wanted from that guitar.

Here is a good diagram from Darren, who goes to this forum, of a slightly more complex but better way of doing it.

[Tech] HOW TO: The reversible 18v mod! - Sevenstring.org
Parallel will not in fact work, it will just ~double the battery life.
 

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Registered
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6,968 Posts
Should be, if both batteries are in the control cavity.

That said, i tried it on my hellraiser back in the day, and was totally underwhelmed. You could hear a slight difference clean, and pretty much nothing under distortion.
 

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Mod Britannia
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7,233 Posts
An EMG85 is a much fatter sounding pickup than the 81, the 81 seems to brittle and trebley as a bridge pickup to my ears. Try the 18v mod (never tried it personally) and see, but the beauty of EMG's is the quick connects, so you can swap to another EMG or a Duncan Blackout without having to solder anything.
 

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Pallin' around
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Has anybody tried hooking up a potentiometer in a voltage divider circuit to make it adjustable to any voltage between 9 and 18 by just turning the pot? That seems like it could be a really cool tonal option.
 

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Has anybody tried hooking up a potentiometer in a voltage divider circuit to make it adjustable to any voltage between 9 and 18 by just turning the pot? That seems like it could be a really cool tonal option.
It the tonal difference was bigger, that would be interesting. As it is, the difference is not huge, so in-between options wouldn't seem to do much.
 
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