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<  Gear Talk  ~  EMG 18v mod...?

SickMetal
Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:49 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Oct 2007 Posts: 303 Location: Gatineau
Anybody knows what are the pros and cons about that? Is it really worth it and is it complicated to do?

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tormentinfire
Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:29 am Reply with quote
Resident troll Joined: 08 Feb 2007 Posts: 5005 Location: East Germany
Shit, I never heard about this. Just did some reading on it, and it's as simple as adding another battery in series with the other one. So just snip either the red or black wire and connect another battery in line with the other one, making sure polarity is correct (positive to positive, etc). You can even make it switchable by sticking an on/off switch between the two batteries.

I am going to try this soon (probably even today), thanks for the idea. I'll report back with the results.

edit: Doing some more reading, the change in tone appears to be due to the increased headroom you get from 18V. With 9V, there's not as much headroom and so the sound clips and compresses - this is probably the reason EMG's sound "the same" in any guitar, because the dynamics are sucked out of the sound. Probably the same reason pick squeals sound so much louder with them in addition to the hotter output.
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SickMetal
Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:41 am Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Oct 2007 Posts: 303 Location: Gatineau
Yeah I found the same info this morning when I was less lazy hehe. I've read that I does not really change anything if you play with distortion... and I never play clean... But some other people say it it changes a lot...

Anyways, tell me when you've done it, I'd be interested to read about it with posts that don't date back in 2004 hehe

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tormentinfire
Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:20 pm Reply with quote
Resident troll Joined: 08 Feb 2007 Posts: 5005 Location: East Germany
Yeah, I'm in the process of doing it now. I'm making it switchable so I can record a few samples comparing mod and no mod.
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tormentinfire
Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:10 pm Reply with quote
Resident troll Joined: 08 Feb 2007 Posts: 5005 Location: East Germany
OK, so I got it working. All the descriptions I found online are pretty accurate. When distorted, there's no difference I could hear. When clean, there is a very slight difference. There's a bit more attack to the sound, and it sounds less muffled, with a bit more hi end.

Knowing how subjective this shit is, I recorded a few identical phrases with the mod on and off, then looked at the waveforms, and you can see how with just one 9V battery, it compresses and clips the wave a bit, and with the mod on, the transients (peaks in the wave) are higher and less clipped, so there's definitely a measurable difference here, and the clipping with the mod off is probably a big factor as to why EMG's sound the way they do. They really do sound a bit more like a hot passive pickup with the mod on.

All in all, the difference is pretty damn subtle, and switching back and forth between the mod it's pretty hard to tell which is which. The sound is different in that the sound is more dynamic as far as volume and attack goes. Not really worth it at all unless you play clean though, in which case I'd say go for it, but make it switchable.
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SickMetal
Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:04 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Oct 2007 Posts: 303 Location: Gatineau
Cool thanks for the info, I'll stick with 9V since I never play clean... I don't even have my footswitch connected to my head hehe...

While reading about it I found out that you could put 2 9v batteries in parallel if you want your batteries to last longer. Could be useful for those who play many hours a day a don't want to change the batteries too often, even though they use minimal amount of power...

Anyways, thanks again! If I ever want to play clean with my EMGs, I'll try that! hehe

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tormentinfire
Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:06 pm Reply with quote
Resident troll Joined: 08 Feb 2007 Posts: 5005 Location: East Germany
Yeah, I read about the parallel thing too. My battery seems to last me at least a year and a half or so, so I don't really see an advantage to that.

I recently started playing more clean stuff so the mod will come in handy for me. Even if the effect is a placebo, the extra switch on the guitar looks kinda cool. Razz
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SickMetal
Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:29 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Oct 2007 Posts: 303 Location: Gatineau
Yeah about that switch, what kind of switch? Where did you put it? hehe, got any pics?

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tormentinfire
Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:33 pm Reply with quote
Resident troll Joined: 08 Feb 2007 Posts: 5005 Location: East Germany
Single Pull, Double Throw (on-on) switch. I used a mini one since it looks more homemade and is harder to hit accidentally. I put it between the two volume knobs.

There's a nice loud pop when I flick it, so I can make this weird percussive/tremolo-ey effect with it too now. Laughing

I hope you like shitty cell phone pics:

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SickMetal
Posted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:57 am Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Oct 2007 Posts: 303 Location: Gatineau
Cool! Yeah I didn't really look for diagrams and stuff so I though the switch had to be an on-on switch... thanks for the pic, I now "get the idea" hehe...

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