EMG's and managing feedback

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Rev2010, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    My one guitar with EMG's feedbacks like crazy when I have my amp turned up, not even cranked or anything just moderately loud in house jamming levels. It does this even with my back to the amp or standing off to the side but it's a pretty small room. I have the EMG 85 in the bridge and I have an ISP Decimator noise reduction pedal which is awesome and I have set for my passive pickup based Schecter Blackjack C-7 with Duncans.

    I was thinking I could simply turn up the ISP to clamp down on the quiet parts but I was wondering how problematic this may be in a live scenario. I know I know, plenty of famous bands use EMG's, but I also don't have a sound crew. So I was wondering what you guys do to combat this. Is it just as simple as increasing the noise gate? Is it not much of a problem live if you can stand further away from the amp?


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  2. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

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    In my experience EMG's have always had less feedback issues than other pickups I've tried.
     
  3. soggybomb

    soggybomb Member

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    Turn down the gain? My Dimarzio D-Sonic will feedback like crazy if I decide to go gonzo on the gain knob, but when I keep it in the 2-3 o'clock range they do just fine.
     
  4. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    Active pickups having less feedback than passives?? Sorry but that's a bit hard to believe. Actives have a preamplifier which would lead to more feedback as it seems I am indeed experiencing.

    My Duncans in my Schecter and my Rockfields in my Jackson Kelly don't have this issue.

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  5. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Did you check all the solder joints, as well as the shielding of the control cavity?

    Other than that, adjusting the gate would be the only option really. There's no magic involved in silencing pickups. If you want an easier switch for live use, consider picking up a separate gate to engage when switching to the EMG loaded guitar.

    Though, I will say, just about all the properly installed EMG systems in guitars and basses I've worked on have been dead quite. So, it seems there might be an issue with install.
     
  6. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    It's factory loaded in my BC Rich Warlock Deluxe (the Walnut burl one from MusicFarm). The cavity is well shielded as is the back sides of the plastic cavity covers. I guess the gate is really my only option. Thanks guys.


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  7. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    Interesting... just found this thread here:

    EMG User Forum • View topic - EMG 81 - Microphonic Feedback?

    Where the guy found the pickup itself was faulty. He got a replacement off EBay and the microphonics went away. Hadn't thought yet to flip to the neck pickup and see if the feedback also occurs, I just kinda figured it was simply the nature of a preamp'd pickup. Gonna check some of this today.


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  8. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    Just tested this out and the 85 in the bridge does indeed feedback a lot more than the 81 in the neck (I don't have it backward, I reversed the pickup positions when I got it). So if I turn up the amp to where the bridge pickup starts feedbacking the feedback stops if I switch to the neck pickup. I see on EMG's data sheet that the 85 has a slightly higher output so I don't know if that's simply the reason why or if I maybe just have a bad pickup. I can say the neck feedbacks like any other pickup seemingly would - at high levels and being close to the amp. The bridge however feedbacks like crazy!


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  9. Ironbird666

    Ironbird666 SS.org Regular

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    Seems like you have a problem with the pickup dude. I have an EMG 85 in the bridge position of one of my guitars and it doesn't cause any more feedback than my passive equiped guitars. This is through a 5150 as well, which is a fairly noisey high gain amp. If it's a set of newer EMG's with the quick release, I'd try switching the pickups around in the guitar to make sure it isn't a wiring issue before you send the pickup off or get a new one. If the 85 starts squealing in the neck position, chances are it's faulty, but if the 81 starts squealing in the bridge position, might be some other issue.
     
  10. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    Thanks Ironbird, I'll definitely try that. I think I may wait till the next string change though as these are still fairly new. Good point though to check if it squeals in the neck position and if the 81 squeals in the bridge :yesway: That should definitely denote where the problem lies.


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  11. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    Even though EMGs are higher output, they should be quieter and less likely to feed back than most passive pickups. If yours aren't like this then they might be faulty as you say.
     
  12. crankyrayhanky

    crankyrayhanky SS.org Regular

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    a bridge pickup usually feedbacks before the neck in my experience. You mentioned a "small room". Get yourself into big room and do some testing, chances are the small room the culprit.

    Much less noise gate is usually needed at gigs due to the room size being huge compared to a small rehearsal space
     
  13. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

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    Dave has more gigging experience than either of us. Maybe the pups are defective as Dave is suggesting?
     
  14. Harry

    Harry Doom man of Doom. Contributor

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    My Blackouts are WAY less feedback prone than any passive pickup I've used, and all the times I've used EMG guitars in guitar shops, that was the case too, less feedback prone, due to the inherently lower noise functionality of actives :shrug:
     
  15. Demeyes

    Demeyes SS.org Regular

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    I've got EMG pickups in my one of my 7's and 6 strings and I've never had much problem with them feeding back and I don't even use a noise gate. They are a little bit louder than my passives but maybe you could sort that out a bit by lowering the height of the pickup a little or even turning down the gain a bit on the amp.
     
  16. Customisbetter

    Customisbetter WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot Contributor

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    use thicker strings, lower the pickup hieght a tad, or adjust your gate.
     
  17. frank falbo

    frank falbo SS.org Regular

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    What does the feedback sound like? Is it high pitched and squealy? If so, then it's 99% a potting issue.

    If it's just buzzing and humming noise that is loud enough to break the ISP gate open and allow the noise through, then it's different. It has to do with shielding and noise rejection.

    If it's a low-mid frequency howl then check to see what happens when you press your fingers on the pickup, to sort of "grab" it while it's feeding back. You're going to try to grab and hold it in place so it can't move around. If that changes or stops the feedback, then you may be able to stop your problem physically with careful placement of foam, or rubber, and maybe using rubber tubing on the mounting screws instead of springs. Blackouts will do that too if they're loosely mounted in the guitar, and you get them near the Triple Rec. There's so much gain and volume that the pickup actually moves inside it's own cavity. The onlly reason it would do that but NOT do it to a passive pickup is if the passive pickup had less gain and wasn't driving the amp as hard. In that case turning the amp's gain up to match, or putting a Booster pedal in front of the amp would probably make that pickup feed back too.
     
  18. WarriorOfMetal

    WarriorOfMetal The Dragonrider Contributor

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    try backing the pickups off from the strings a little bit. this helped the feedback problems i had when i first got my 8-string with EMG 808s.
     
  19. leonardo7

    leonardo7 Banned

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    I play so loud it doesnt matter what type of pickup I use, if I dont have some type of gate or reduction going then I get feedback every single time.

    Just like how you will benefit from adjusting the eq on the amp each time you use different pickups, you will need to adjust the threshold on your gate or reduction as you use different pickups.

    Nobody needs a sound crew to not get feedback from using EMG's. I only need either a Boss NS2, ISP Decimator or basically the Decimator sim on my axe fx! They should enable you to basically stand directly in front of the rig, facing the rig, with EMGs, with high volume levels and you should be able to get zero feedback when playing staccato riffs. I dont know what your problem is but its either something someone has already mentioned, or you need to turn up the threshold, or the pedal itself is a faulty unit but that is unlikely if it works with another guitar. If your tubes are good then I wouldnt consider the problem to be with the amp.
     
  20. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    EMG's site says that their pickups are effected nearly as much with pickup height as passives are. They actually recommend raising them closer to the strings, but I have them at normal height anyhow.

    I bought Blackouts and will be trying them Saturday. I got them for a number of reasons, not cause of the feedback thing.


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