Should I replace my active EMGs in LTD MH1000ET with Passive Pickups such as Dimarzio?

silencetheshadows

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I own a ESP LTD MH-1000ET black solid body electric guitar. Maple neck, rosewood fretboard, mahogany body. 've had this guitar for several years and just got it professionally set up. It's equipped with the Evertune bridge, which, while it took me some getting used to, is a pretty rad thing to have especially when set up right.

I play all types of music, but do work with higher gain and crunch tones a lot, along with clean.

Currently, it has the EMG 81 in the bridge and EMG 60 in the neck. The guitar sounds good and the EMGs have great noise cancellation and sound good with high gain. However, they have those subtle total characteristics of EMG pickups as far as dynamics and compression go that passive pickups have a definite advantage over.

I've thought about changing the pickups in this guitar for some time now to some passives and some new tone pots, etc, for the passives.
The pickup brand that most interests me is Dimarzio-I have the Crunch Lab with Cruisers in a Partscaster and PRS SE Custom w Crunch Lab/Liquifier. I like the sonic character of Dimarzio and I think they generally go good for my playing. I also like how there are different color combos available and I would probably go for some wacky colors to accentuate the visual aspect.

I'm thinking a higher output bridge pickup and a neck that balances well with that. My first choice would be maybe a Dimarzio X2N, a very high output rail pickup with lots of harmonics that I've tried before in a Jackson V. I'm curious how it would sound in this guitar with the Evertune bridge. Maybe that with a FRED in the neck. I've considered other pickups too. I've thought about the Dark Matter 2 pickups, might look awesome and sound awesome. Though I have Crunch Lab in my other guitar, not interested in putting one of those in here.
But I also think the guitar sounds good with the EMGs, though something is missing kind of to me. I'm a bit worried that I might go with a new pickup change and then regret how the guitar sounds now.
Also have been looking at local pickup companies that seem interesting.

I guess my main questions are:
1. Should I replace the active EMGs with passive pickups? Or keep the EMGs in? Or should I try a different type of EMG for easy switch?
2. What Dimarzio pickup pair would you recommend for this guitar?
3. Should I really aim for a higher output set of pickups, or should I do a 180 and go for a medium/low output setup?

BTW, I'm not interested in Fishman pickups.

I also want to mention the Evertune bridge does seem to take up a lot of space in the guitar body and there is a weird sort of resonance from the bridge that you can hear and feel when you play the guitar...took some getting used to. I wonder if other people experience the same thing with their guitars. For me it's just part of the instrument that's special in its own way. Also why I think a high output pickup would be awesome to really push it.
 

AMOS

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I think those EMG's help make that guitar what it is, I'd get another one or a used E-II with passives which will give you different tools for different jobs.
 

dr_game0ver

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Maybe try the new EMGs (I am myself not a fan of the "old" ones). I switched mine on my Ibanez IRRG for a set of SH6 but i understand it is not everyone's taste. I had a FullShred on my Schecter LP and it was F.ing great.
As for Dimarzio, i had a D-sonic and PAF on my other RG, nothing to complain about. You can get them for cheap, maybe give it a try:)
 

Eyelessfiend

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I would recommend trying a EMG 57 before anything. I am mainly a passive guy but the 57/66 set is truly great. Next to that maybe try the Blackout Emty. They were my previous fave active but maybe too similar to what you have already.

For Dimarzio, I am a big fan of the CL/LF set but since you want something different but still in the same ballpark the Dreamcather/Rainmaker set is really good almost like a refined CL/LF set. I do not have a set currently because I ended up preferring the CL/LF set with my setup. Ymmv
 

TheShreddinHand

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Try the 57/66 set like others have said before gutting it and putting in passives. If you don’t get along with that set then give the passives a try.
 

silencetheshadows

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Thanks everyone for the helpful replies. Might consider checking out a new pair of EMGs like the 57/66 as described to stay in the EMG zone. I know when I gut the guitar for passives it will be hard to reverse back if I want to.

I appreciate the comment about different tools for different jobs, and that justifies me keeping it active, for now. Plus, I have two guitars already with Dimarzio...currently playing my Warmoth partscaster with Crunch Lab and Cruisers.

To address the comments about getting a new guitar with passives: this is my dream guitar, the ESP USA M-II with these SD pups and sexy satin blueberry finish: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EUSM2HTAMSB--esp-usa-m-ii-ht-open-grain-ash-satin-blueberry

Though the guitar is well beyond my price range, maybe someday it will be mine...

Also, I play primarily through a Mesa Mark V 25 watt head, and Katana Air for practice.
 

Hoss632

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Maybe try a set of EMG retro actives or the Jim Root set if you want a more metal focused tone. They are a passive style type pick up with a preamp built in them. Otherwise the 57/66 set would be an excellent choice as well.
 

bigcupholder

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If you don't like the sound of the EMGs that you have, ignore the people saying "but try the newer EMGs!" The 57 is not as compressed as an 81 but it's still compressed and still sounds like an EMG.

There's no reason to try other active pickups. If you know you like passive pickups, then get something you think you'll like. The rewiring required is not that difficult.
 

mmr007

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Install the EMG Het Set and all your problems go away
 

Neon_Knight_

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Based on your comments that you like the sound of the EMGs but feel they are lacking the dynamics of passives, I would suggest considering D Activators. They combine my favourite characteristics of EMG 81 & Evolutions (YMMV).
However, you've also mentioned that you like the idea of a pickup swap adding colour to your sound. D Activators have a pretty flat EQ, which makes them easy to shape via amp EQ, but means they don't offer much colour out of the box. One of the Vai or Petrucci signature models would offer more colour...which could be for better or worse.
 


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