EMG81 is squealing and microphonic as hell

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by Solid State, May 26, 2019.

  1. Solid State

    Solid State Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    356
    I recently bought a second guitar with the EMG81/85 combo and the EMG81 in this one really doesn't sound like the first one I bought. It also gets microphonic as hell at any volume above a whisper. Feedback is non-existent with the other guitar so something is wrong. This newer guitar was bought used and it's such a bizarre phenomenon I'm wondering if the guy that traded it in ripped out the original pickup and replaced it with a chinese copy.

    Anyone ever heard of an EMG81 feeding back a lot?
     
  2. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
  3. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    800
    Likes Received:
    768
    What make and model guitar? Anything commonly counterfeited, like Zack Wylde Epi or Kirk Hammett LTD?

    Supposedly originally came with EMG, or supposedly upgraded? Does the EMG look identical to your other EMG from first glance?

    Look for a battery box or clip, see if it exists and actually does anything, if it's a lowend fake it won't exist or won't do anything

    If 9V exists and checks out, unscrew pickup ring, pull up and take a picture of the bottom

    There HAS been a recent trend for at-a-glance lookalike knockoffs, but generally they don't sweat the details
     
  4. Solid State

    Solid State Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    356
    This is a very new model Wylde Audio rawtop vortex - not even 6 months old. It showed up used at Guitar Center and I bought it. I opened it up and it was either a bad job from the factory and that's why the guy got rid of it, or the original owner didn't care for the guitar but did some surgery to steal the pickups. Check out the cut wire on the pot. Someone cut it and resoldered it
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    800
    Likes Received:
    768
    Seriously? I guessed the Wylde thing?

    ....Any reason to believe it's real to begin with?

    Used Zakk Wylde stuff should be assumed fake unless/until proven otherwise, he's Chibson LLC's fave celebrity
     
  6. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    12,041
    Likes Received:
    5,990
    Location:
    Left Coast
    Take the pickup out and send it to EMG for testing.
    No, the PU should not squeal unless it's wired wrong.
    The PU contains a preamplifier, which could be defective. Maybe somebody hooked up the DC power to the PU backwards, and shorted the internal circuit.

    So if you looked on the EMG website, and confirmed that the wiring is correct, and the PU still squeals, then send it to EMG or buy another PU.

    https://www.emgpickups.com/skin/frontend/emg-interface/emg/pdfs/zw-set.pdf

    Note: it might be wired wrong.
     
  7. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    12,041
    Likes Received:
    5,990
    Location:
    Left Coast
    The volume and tone controls are supposed to be 25 K ohms.

    What controls are installed in your guitar? are these 250K or 500K controls?
    If so, this would explain why the pickup squeals.

    What wiring diagram are you using?

    EMGpots.png
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  8. fifteenohms

    fifteenohms Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    226
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    One way to resolve squealing EMG’s is repotting in Acetone using a double-boiler setup on a gas stove.

    (I have an 81/85 setup. Not too keen on it obv)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  9. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    800
    Likes Received:
    768
    No if it has 250 or 500k and it squeals, it's a fake, or more accurately, a fake EMG-logo cover over a noname passive pickup

    A real EMG with a 250/500/1000k pot would just react to the thing like an on-off switch
     
  10. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    12,041
    Likes Received:
    5,990
    Location:
    Left Coast
    It could be fake.
    I thought that I would point out: EMG says 25K to work correctly.

    But look: EMG is not giving a real wiring diagram either. It's all "pre-built / plug-in" modules.
    That will cause mistakes if you don't buy the EMG pre wired parts / pots.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice