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Thread: Re-wiring ESP active to passive help / Pups recommendations / pups covers

  1. #1
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    Default Re-wiring ESP active to passive help / Pups recommendations / pups covers

    Hi,
    I'm thinking about replacing the pups in my ESP Ltd from EMG 81/85 to the JB/59. I just wanted some Metal Lead tone a little bit more organic, kind of like Marty Friedman /Dave Mustaine in the Rust in Peace album. Btw the guitar is a MH-350FM with a Floyd Rose.

    If you could answer any of these questions it will be appreciated!

    -I bought the guitar new, it came with EMG pups so should I assume the hole for the 25 K pots in the body are smaller than the 500K ones I will be using? If that's the case I only found the 3/10 (8mm) bushing diameter 500 K pot in a brand called Alpha, hopefully they're okay. The guitar is pretty much new so I rather don't make the holes bigger, if that's a must, what drill bit or tool is recommended?

    -Is split coil good with the JB/59? I don't care much about the single coil tone but I'm rewiring everything so I might as well do a 5 blade switch if worth it.

    -Has anyone tried the Marty Friedman passive pups from EMG? How do they compare to the JB? It would make the installation much easier since the diameter of the pots are already 8mm and they're pretty much solderless.

    -Finally, I've seen some a JB in reverb with the black brushed cover, is that some legit special edition? Can I get a cover somewhere else (not gold or chrome)?

    Thank you!!
    Last edited by Edward203; 01-20-2020 at 08:24 PM.

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    Member bigcupholder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-wiring ESP active to passive help / Pups recommendations / pups covers

    I replaced the EMGs in my ESP almost immediately. I used these pots: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F111742064835 It sounds like you have the right thing.

    Sent from my SM-G970W using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Re-wiring ESP active to passive help / Pups recommendations / pups covers

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcupholder View Post
    I replaced the EMGs in my ESP almost immediately. I used these pots: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F111742064835 It sounds like you have the right thing.

    Sent from my SM-G970W using Tapatalk
    Thank you! That will definitely work! What passive pups did you get? Is there anything you miss from the active ones?

  4. #4
    Toneologist kingswebe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-wiring ESP active to passive help / Pups recommendations / pups covers

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward203 View Post
    Hi,
    I'm thinking about replacing the pups in my ESP Ltd from EMG 81/85 to the JB/59. I just wanted some Metal Lead tone a little bit more organic, kind of like Marty Friedman /Dave Mustaine in the Rust in Peace album. Btw the guitar is a MH-350FM with a Floyd Rose.

    If you could answer any of these questions it will be appreciated!

    -I bought the guitar new, it came with EMG pups so should I assume the hole for the 25 K pots in the body are smaller than the 500K ones I will be using? If that's the case I only found the 3/10 (8mm) bushing diameter 500 K pot in a brand called Alpha, hopefully they're okay. The guitar is pretty much new so I rather don't make the holes bigger, if that's a must, what drill bit or tool is recommended?

    -Is split coil good with the JB/59? I don't care much about the single coil tone but I'm rewiring everything so I might as well do a 5 blade switch if worth it.

    -Has anyone tried the Marty Friedman passive pups from EMG? How do they compare to the JB? It would make the installation much easier since the diameter of the pots are already 8mm and they're pretty much solderless.

    -Finally, I've seen some a JB in reverb with the black brushed cover, is that some legit special edition? Can I get a cover somewhere else (not gold or chrome)?

    Thank you!!

    While the JB is a very popular pickup for rock/metal for good reason, be aware that one of the perinneal complaints with it is that the low end is a little too loose. Searching this forum will net multiple threads that talk about this. Here is an example of a recent thread about this:

    https://forum.seymourduncan.com/show...ow-end-than-JB

    If you believe this would be a legitimate concern for your playing style and goals, consider instead the Seymour Duncan Thrash Factor pickup, which was modeled after Dave Mustaine's own JB pickup that happened to have a tighter low end than a typical JB pickup. Link here:

    https://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup...ash-factor-set

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    I am not sure off-hand what the size of your guitar's current pots are, but you can easily ascertain that yourself by removing one of the knobs, unscrewing the nut, and measuring the diameter of that nut - or - attempting to screw that nut onto a couple shafts of known size (1/4", 5/16" and 3/8") to find which shaft size the nut fits and which ones it doesn't.

    You can find and buy online pots with any of the three common sizes i just mentioned above. However, if you decide to go with a pot with a larger shaft diameter size than you currently have, refer to this video on how to safely and easily enlarge the existing holes on your guitar:

    https://youtu.be/bKNAkTWC4xA

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    Default Re: Re-wiring ESP active to passive help / Pups recommendations / pups covers

    Thank you for the good info! I did consider the Thrash Factor for the reasons you mentioned, I don't know why it didn't come up in my filtered search for trembuckers in the SD website, I see now that they do have a trembucker version. That one goes back to the top of my list!
    Last edited by Edward203; 01-21-2020 at 09:13 AM.

  6. #6
    Tone Member BeKindRewind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-wiring ESP active to passive help / Pups recommendations / pups covers

    Split tone with JB is pretty great IMO. I can't speak for it on its own but mixed with a middle single coil the tone I'm getting is pretty righteous. The JB splits to about 8k on either coil.

    FYI a 59 cannot be split by default. They come with a 2 conductor wire so you'd have to special order a 4- conductor 59'. They also don't come with a logo by default either so that's something to be aware of. I imagine it sounds great but I've never tried it. Either that , or go with a Jazz instead ; imo it's a better compliment to the JB anyhow, since its brighter and more clear under distortion, and comes with 4 conductor by default.


    Also fwiw Alpha pots are fine quality. I have a few and I like em'! Dependable , and smooth action, no complaints

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Re-wiring ESP active to passive help / Pups recommendations / pups covers

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward203 View Post
    Thank you! That will definitely work! What passive pups did you get? Is there anything you miss from the active ones?
    I replaced the EMG 81/60 with a Dimarzio Evolution and PAF Pro because I had them sitting around uninstalled. I'll probably soon replace them with Duncan Distortions.

    The only thing I miss about the EMGs is how consistent they make chugging metal rhythms sound due to the compression. But I really hated the EMGs for everything else and couldn't get rid of them fast enough.

    Aside from the compression, the next biggest difference you should expect going from EMGs to passive pickups is the range of frequencies covered. On passive pickups the highs extend higher and the lows extend lower. That makes EMGs easier to record but contributes to their reputation for being "sterile" since they lack that high end airyness.

    Sent from my SM-G970W using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Re-wiring ESP active to passive help / Pups recommendations / pups covers

    That sounds good. I posted a poll in the SD Facebook group and the Distortion came second as the best lead pup for metal after the JB. Most people say the distortion is a little tighter and still good for rhythm while the JB is more for solos. I agree EMGs are a little sterile, I can't find any other word to describe them but I love them either way, I just want a more organic flavor on my other guitar.

    I tried with some JCM 800 modeler plugins and there is some of the flavor that gets lost with the bone breakers and the 81s, no matter how I equalize things or how many pedals I add, that organic flavor is gone so it must be the pickups and now I understand why some people avoid them, and that includes Marty Friedman too However they sound awesome for Metallica, solos with the wah are amazing and chugging sounds good too.
    Last edited by Edward203; 01-21-2020 at 04:37 PM.

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