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EMG 81/85 clipping, is it normal?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by locus_coeruleus, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. locus_coeruleus

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    So the other day I was recording some shit, I kept the preamp of my Saffire Pro 24 low enough so it peaked at -3 top (I even tried lower) and I noticed that my pickups clip. It's not a massive clipping, but they do clip. I guess it won't matter for distorted stuff, but what about cleans?

    I also remember reading somewhere that the 81/85 do clip and that the 18v mod solved that. So, what's wrong? Should they be clipping? Is the pickup height set wrong?
     
  2. AdamWathan

    AdamWathan Member

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    Yeah they clip internally, I wouldn't worry about it, never been a problem for me even with cleans.
     
  3. SimonTaddio_Qc

    SimonTaddio_Qc Headbanger

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    if your volume and your tone is all on 11, it will clip for sure. If you experiment a bit with it, you will see that the knobs on your guitar can rotate on themselves, and one of them will lower the input gain, thus lowering/killing the clipping, if it bothers you that much :lol:
    Yeah, seriously, most active pickups clips when the volume is turned up all the way.
     
  4. oscillat0r

    oscillat0r beyond silent black

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    This is why people do the 18v mod...
     
  5. AD Chaos

    AD Chaos MGTOW

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    I do a 27mod on EMGs (actually on the SD Blackouts as well).. more like 25.2, since I use rechargeable batteries (whenever I get paranoid about, I just recharge them).

    According to EMG it's ok to do the 27mod.. and the tone won't crap nearly as often IME (remembering of course, always to unplug with actives)
     
  6. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Envisage Audio

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    Yep, you can still get some really nice cleans with clip-happy active pickups.
     
  7. tgs

    tgs Elder

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    Just resurrecting this thread a bit because of a recent discovery. I've also encountered clipping from EMGs now and then and I also attributed it to internal clipping.

    In the recording I'm working with right now the guitarist has an EMG pickup and I got "internal clipping" as usual. Today though I noticed that the signal was weaker than yesterday. Hmm, ok, nothing else in the chain changed, so after changing a couple of cables, I simply put in a new battery. Instant gratification. I measured the voltage on the old battery: 2.9V!

    So to anyone having problems with the output of an EMG, before anything else try changing the battery. For some reason I've always assumed that guitarists will make sure that everything is working (yeah, right) and I'd come to accept that it was an inherent design of EMG pickups, so now I feel pretty stupid. I'll make sure to always have a bunch of 9V batteries in the studio from now on. :)
     
  8. deLuther

    deLuther Member

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    EMGs have clipping even with fresh battery. 2.9 V is very low, I changing battery when voltage drops below 7 V. There is easy check - plug stereo-jack (for example balanced patch cable) and measure voltage between ring and sleeve with multimeter, battery is measured under loading. Recently changed battery when voltage under load became 6.56 V, with fresh battery (voltage under load around 8 V) level of DI became 1.5 db hotter (peak level) in same recording conditions.
     
  9. Spectivum

    Spectivum DisMember

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    Depends on how close they are to the strings. 2mm clips, 5mm doesn't.
    I suggest lowering them for clean - it will kinda make them passive meaning the internal preamp won't have much effect but you still retain the EMG sound. the peak level will also drop by around 3 dB.
     
  10. Rex Rocker

    Rex Rocker Call me Hugo!

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    Nope. The pickups clip before it reaches the volume knob, so lowering the volume knob won't do shit for the clipping.
     
  11. deLuther

    deLuther Member

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    Also depends on guitar, 2 mm is overkill for me, never set pickups so close.
    There is clipping even at 9 mm, at least for jackson-style pickup arrangement (i.e. bridge PU is slightly further from bridge, compared to ESP or Gibson, for example) :)
     
  12. westicle

    westicle New Metal Member

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    I know this is a very old thread but this is bonkers I've only just found this now. I tried recording DI for re-amping a few months ago (81/85 in an old Explorer), had the internal clipping, could not convince anyone anywhere that it wasn't a gain-stage problem and that clipping was happening inside the pickup. Had them changed back to the original passives and did the recording. Now I'm having to EQ the DI before re-amping.

    It's not a major bummer having to EQ now but it's just good to know it was actually internal clipping. And if I put the EMGs back in I'll try the 18v mod.
     
  13. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    I've never had an issue with my cleans and EMG81. I also HATE to turn my guitars volume knob down for recording because I have an extreme tendency to automatically roll it to 0 as soon as I stop playing, thus making it a bitch to set back to exactly where I just had it.
     
  14. BearOnGuitar

    BearOnGuitar Member

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    I suggest checking out the 24v mod which you can use without changing the wiring or routing for a second 9v battery box. It works well but I fortunately moved on to Fishmans.
     
  15. jeid

    jeid Terribad

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    Since there's an EMG thread, thought I'd pop this in here. I've got the 57/66 set and I've been getting this weird noise from them. It comes and goes, but makes them pretty much unusable for any recording. Has anyone experienced this before? I've tried so many different things to try and resolve the issue, different busses, different output jacks, removing the switch from the chain, going straight to output etc. No joy. I've contacted EMG and they're baffled by it too. The noise disappears when I turn the volume down and it only happens with this guitar. At about 14seconds into this clip, I turn the volume down, turn it back up then pop, the noise disappears.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3526809/EMG Noise.mp3
     
  16. Pxz

    Pxz Member

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    Very weird.Maybe the pickups itself are faulty. If you put the pickups in another guitar with the same results then it's the pickups or the preamp.
     
  17. jeid

    jeid Terribad

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    It's odd. I tried so many different things that the only thing I think it can be is the pickups. I've had to send them back to EMG but as it's not a constant issue, luck would have it that when they've tested them, they're fine. I took the switch out of the equation and just went straight from pickup to jack to amp and it was still making the noise. I've told EMG to keep for a bit and see if they can recreate the noise, but it's not looking hopeful. Pretty gutting as I love the sound of the pickups, even though I don't play a lot of metal.
     

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