EMG active pickups - simple on-off and on-off-on switches? - diyAudio
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Old 16th November 2009, 05:59 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Default EMG active pickups - simple on-off and on-off-on switches?

I use two active EMG jazz pickups in my bass. Recently, I became overly obsessive about my signal chain and started looking for ways to eliminate as much 'stuff' for my signal to travel through as possible. (I know, it won't make a difference, but humor me I lost my job, and need projects to keep me busy!)

Anyway, I removed the onboard 'BQC' EQ control, as well as the bass/treble tone control. There is still a balance pot which pans between neck and bridge pickups, as well as a volume control. Apparently there is a newer version of the balance pot with a circuit board attached which eliminates volume drop when the pickups are 'centered'.

This got me thinking about removing the balance pot entirely as well and replacing with a 3-way rotary or toggle switch. I only use the pan in three positions - all neck, all bridge or centered. Similarly, the volume pot is either full on or full off. Therefore, my questions:

1.) Can I simply place an on-off rotary switch in place of the volume control?

2.) Would that cause any clicking / popping when switching ,or some kind of weird phasing thing etc. by eliminating the variable resistor of the pot? Or will it do what I want it to do?

3.) Can I also place a 3-way toggle in place of the pickup pan control? same concerns about electrical weirdness?

4.) will any of this help me cut down on noise, clarify signal etc., or will it just be for convenience of not dealing with dirty, loose pots anymore?
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Old 16th November 2009, 01:15 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Rosmalen, The Netherlands
I would rather get rid of the electronics inside those EMG's than anything else. That will not be easy though, them being cast in resin and all.
I really like active electronics in all of my basses, but I do want to know what's in there, and do upgrades. You can't do that if the electronics are cast in the pickup shells.
You could replace them with pickups without built in electronics, and make your own (higher quality) preamp.
Oemptempa petoempetapap
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Old 16th November 2009, 04:52 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Well, I know there isn't much I can do to the pickups themselves, but what I'm speaking of are toe electronics located in the cavity beneath the volume and tone pots. Those are easily accessed.
The pickups themselves are fine, I prefer the 'EMG sound'. I'd just rather turn them on and off than have to pot up and down every time.
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