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opinions on EMG pickups


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Hi everybody.

I got my hands on an old Harmony guitar (strat copy). I guess it is at least 15 years old. The guitar plays nicely, it has a great neck and almost impecable frets. When played unplugged it produces a bright loud sound. However, the electronics are pure crap. Everything has to go, switch, pots and pickups. So I considered buying an EMG David Gilmour kit. My reasons were mostly of convenience, it comes fully equiped. I don't know of any other manufacturer that offers a kit like this. And I guess I always was a fan of David. :)

Anyway, do you think this is a good idea? Are there any other choices for me?

Thanks a lot for your input on this,


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Wow, dass101, that's a little like putting a Rolls engine into a Hayundai! Well, a little.


I have a Strat-styled guitar with EMG SA pickups (the same as the "David Gilmour" set-up) in the neck and middle positions, and an EMG 85 in the bridge position.


If you already like the "unplugged" sound and feel of the old Harmony, then better pickups will make a good thing even better; and these EMG SA's are definitely "better pickups".


They're a love'em or hate'em pickup, as they have a strong, clear sound that is very sustaining and a bit "hi-fi" sounding. If you just have to have something that is supposed to sound "vintage", then these may sound too "modern" for you. They sound like a good quality Strat pickup that is going through a preamp and a compressor-limiter; the 'attack' is almost attenuated sounding, due to the full-sustain of the rest of a given note's envelope and decay. They are very low-noise, quiet pickups, and if you like sustained feedback manipulation they'll take you on a magic carpet ride, for sure! They also stand up to a lot of effects processing, too.


Both the EMG SPC ("Strat Presence Control") and the EXP ("Expander") are excellent compliments to the SA's. The former adds a boost with more and more mids and lows and rolls-off the highs a bit as you turn it up; the latter boosts highs and lows and "scoops out" the mids for a bell-like clean tone and biting funk. Both are continuously variable, sweeping potentiometer controls that replace the tone-controls; all the way down leaves them out of your pickup's original tone, all the way up is maximum effect.


One thing- the pickguard that the DG set comes on may not fit exactly right on your Harmony. These "copies" aren't always exact copies. Find out first if a generic Strat replacement pickguard will fit properly on there; if not, maybe the separate pickups and controls will cost you less anyways. (Besides, EMG pickups and controls can be put together without any soldering- they use clip-connectors on their wiring.)


Good luck, and keep us posted here!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?


~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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It's hard to add much to the previous post... Caevan covered most of the important info...


I think the DG EMG solution would be a good choice...


A few thoughts.


Keep the "old" stuff... you never know when you might want to "upgrade" the guitar part and put the EMG stuff into another guitar. If you still have the old stuff, you can always put it back.


In regard to an "exact" fit... if it fits other than the matching of the screw holes, it's probably not a big deal. Drill some new guide holes for the screws, and the rest of the pickguard should cover the old holes... if you ever put the other cover back on... the old one should cover the holes for the EMG... If you DON'T drill the guide holes, you could crack or split the wood, so be careful.


Remember that the EMG is active electronics and uses a 9-volt battery. Be sure there's room for the battery under the pickguard as well...


And keep in mind you'll have to unplug the guitar when you're not playing to preserve the battery life... plus occasionally unscrew the pickguard to change the battery.



I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...



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Got one contrary opinion, and it does nto involve the qulity of the replacement parts, just that I'm opposed to hacking up a guitar. I think that drop-in replacements are one thing, but routing the body, cutting up the original pickguard, etc, ... well, that makes me uncomfortable. Why? Because in my youth I probably hacked up more than my share of instruments that would have been worth a whole lot of money today (one point) and would still be stock (the second point) had I left them alone.


Get a Warmoth, modify a JL Player, or try to do as little damage as you can to the old guitar.



"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."


Steve Martin


Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.



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Thanks everybody!

The whole ideea is that I like the versatility of the strat, but I'm not crazy about its sound. It's a good sound to have around, but I think the EMG's can deliver more than that. If I buy this thing I would have a nice 150$ guitar with 250$ kick ass electronics. Not sure if I could buy with that money a good strat, and I don't think I would like it. Anyway, I'm still considering this whole thing, in Europe they are outragesly expensive (400E, that is something like 420$), so until I find a convenient way to get them from the states I will keep it on hold.


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I've popped off on this subject before, having installed the Gilmour set on my 82 blonde Strat several years ago. Killer! Ridiculously versatile. I play a wide variety stuff in the band and need as broad a range of tone as I can get without having to endlessly switch guitars. This set does the trick.


BTW, I get about a year out of a 9V lithium battery, religiously unplugging the guitar when not playing.


"Fame is like death: We will never know what it looks like until we've reached the other side. Then it will be impossible to describe and no one will believe you if you try."

- Sloane Crosley, Village Voice

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My opinion? Get three of the Seymour Duncan Scorchers from Musician's Friend or Guitar Center and drop them into that Harmony. They're quiet, have a hi-fi clean sound, and absolutely kick ass for distortion tones! I'm probably going to put another one in my Rogue ST-3 in the neck position and use the 3-way Tele switch. I'll either remove the middle pickup or give it it's own volume pot.


a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)


...Better fuzz through science...



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