Order & Return Questions +
Do My EMG Pickups Come with Wiring?
Yes! When you order a new pickup from EMG or any authorized EMG dealer you will receive wiring and components with your pickup. A complete list of the components included can be found on each product page.
Please Note: Switches are only included with specific pickups sets. Solderless 3 position blade or toggle switches can be purchased here. 3 Pickups Sets & Telecaster Sets include blade switches.
How Quickly Can I Expect Delivery of my Online Order?
EMG Pickups builds products to order. Most pickups will need to be made once your order is processed, this normally takes about 7-10 business days but can take up to 14 business days before shipping. Please keep in mind that shipping method and manufacturing time are separate.
I Have a Question About my Order, Who Should I Contact?
I Need to Return an Item, Who do I Contact?
Please email us your order number and name to start a return. You can also reach us by phone at 1 (800) 821-1446 during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 9:00 am -5:00 pm PT).
I Received the Wrong Item, What Should I do?
If you received an incorrect item please contact EMG by email, via our Contact Form, or by calling 1 (800) 821-1446 during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 9:00 am -5:00 am PT). Please have your order information ready.
I Ordered the Wrong Item; Can I Swap it Out for the Correct Item?
Yes you can! While each situation is different we will try our best to exchange the item for the correct one. As long as the product is in brand new condition and the price paid reflects the item you would like to swap out, we will do our best. Shipping is covered by the customer to return the item.
General Questions +
What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Pickup?
SIZING: When choosing a pickup the most important thing is that you get the correct size. Always measure your existing pickups or cavities and compare the dimensions with what’s shown on the available documentation for a given EMG pickup.
Humbucker v. Single Coil v. Dual Mode: There are a variety of shapes and sizes that EMG offers for both bass and guitar. Humbucking & Humbucking style pickups generally offer more output and a darker sound than a single coil. If you want the ability to coil tap your active EMG humbucker, it must be one of our proprietary dual mode pickups; these are the Guitar & Bass TW models as well as the "89".
Magnets: Consider what part of your tone you want to highlight. Alnico magnets tend to be warmer and darker in nature, while ceramic magnets tend to have a more aggressive high end and tighter lows. Pickups made with Ceramic & Steel tend to be a bit warmer than ceramic-only pickups, with a more pronounced mid-range. Magnet style also plays a role, bar magnets tend to offer more sustain while pole pieces add to the articulation.
Preamp: EMG offers both passive and active pickups. Within our active pickup offering there are three different styles of preamps; EMG’s Original Recipe, X-Series and Retro Active. Each preamp offers its own benefits to the player. Read more about each preamp under the “Product & Compatibility” section below.
Remember that all our pickups can be used in a wide range of applications and genres. Your guitar and other gear will also have a huge impact on your tone- so make sure to consider the rest of your rig when choosing a pickup model.
Lastly, you can always contact our customer service team to tell us about your project and we can suggest some EMG products to choose from!
Where Can I Find Wiring Diagrams?
Our Top Wiring Diagrams provides the most common EMG wiring diagrams for guitar and bass.
Wiring Diagrams for each specific product will be located on the individual product page under “Info + Details”- Related PDF’s
I’m Having Some Trouble Wiring up My EMG’s, Where Can I Find Help?
You can also check out EMG’s Top Wiring Diagrams
Where Can I Find Pickup Specifications?
The pickup and accessory specifications live on the instruction pages- instruction pages can be found on the product page under “Info + Details”- Related PDF’s.
What Pot Length Do I Need? And Do I Need Floyd Rose Spacing or Standard?
Short or Long Shaft Pots? The easiest way to tell if you need long or short shaft pots is to compare the length of your existing pots. Short shaft pots are 10mm and Long Shaft pots are 19mm. Rarely do guitars need Long Shaft Pots, however, if you have an older model Gibson Les Paul, or a thicker body instrument, you may need Long Shaft pots. **Installation Note: If you have a deep control cavity, Long Shaft pots can be backed down into the control cavity using a retaining nut as to not stick out too high on the guitar
Floyd Spacing or Standard Spacing? Floyd Rose & some bridge models that use the same spacing require exposed pole piece bridge pickups to have different string spacing. This is for the bridge pickup only. You can check to see what your string spacing is by measuring from the middle of one pole piece to the next. For standard spacing it is .38” from pole to pole or 48/49 mm across and for Floyd Rose it is .41” from pole to pole or 52/53 mm across.
I have a 7/8/9 String guitar, what style pickup do I need?
Please keep in mind that open coil extended range pickups have very specific specifications. Please check the existing pickup measurements and compare those to EMG’s specifications before purchasing.
Do I need to unplug my guitar after playing?
Yes! In regards to active pickups, your guitar cable acts as an on/off switch for the battery in your guitar. You should make a habit of unplugging your guitar after you play so that you do not have to change the battery as often. This is not the case for passive pickups as they do not require battery power.
How Do I Adjust the Output Level of My Active Pickups?
We suggest starting with a 3mm distance to the strings when fretting the last fret, and then make small adjustments to your preference. Raising the pickup will increase the output and lowering will decrease the output. Keep in mind that different pickup models will adjust differently as you raise and lower them, so we encourage some experimentation to find the perfect height for you.
For balanced output, a bridge pickup is typically set higher than a neck pickup. For all pickups the bass-side is commonly set a little lower than the treble-side to compensate for the difference in string mass. You may need to adjust the gain and volume on your amp as well.
What do the EMG logo colors mean?
The EMG logo color tells you a little about what is inside the pickup. A Silver logo means it is a ceramic magnet, the gold logo is for Alnico magnets and the copper logo is for a Dual Mode/TW Pickup. Metal cover caps are unable to have a specific color logo and some sets have special colored logos for artists that do not denote what is inside the pickup.
Product & Compatibility Questions +
Do all EMG Pickups need batteries?
Active EMG Pickups and Accessories require a battery - this includes X Series pickups and Retro Active pickups. All EMG Passive Pickups do not require battery power.
Acoustic pickup models use 2032 batteries, this includes the Acoustic Sound Hole pickup, Banjo pickup & Bouzouki pickup.
Can I use an Active Accessory with my Passive EMG Pickups?
Yes, you can add any guitar or bass accessory to passive pickups. EMG uses a buffer in all its active accessories in order to be compatible with passive pickups.
Please note that active accessories will require a battery and stereo output jack
Also, if you are interested in a Bass EQ Systems you will need to purchase the system for passive pickups (HZ System)
What’s the difference between the Active, X Series & Retro Active Pickup Design?
ORIGINAL RECIPE: This preamp style is what you are probably most familiar with, this is the preamp inside the 81/85/60 and bass models like the PJ/J/35DC models. These pickups are defined by their consistency, cleanliness and low noise. The pickups were first designed by Rob Turner in the late 70’s and have remained the most popular.
X SERIES: Most of the original recipe pickups are now offered with the X Series style preamp. This preamp is similar to the original design but offers more headroom, a more dynamic and “open” response from the pickup. X Series pickups are best used in conjunction with the “VLPF” or “Active Tone Control” that come with the pickups. The VLPF is designed to roll-off (attenuate) high frequencies, similar to a typical passive tone control. The result is a noiseless pickup that closes the gap between active and passive.
RETRO ACTIVE: The newest of the EMG preamp designs is the Retro Active. Using a completely different style preamp than anything EMG has designed before; this new design offers the most passive feel of any active pickup in the industry. The preamp design offers the benefit of a low-impedance output; virtually no hum or added noise but with a classic look and feel that makes you question whether you are playing active or passive.
Can I Split the Coils on my EMG Pickups?
EMG Active Pickups cannot be split in a traditional sense. If you would like to use an active EMG pickup that can be used as both a humbucker and single coil you can do so through our Dual Mode/TW model pickups. These models can be found for both guitar and bass pickups. Popular guitar models include the 89, 81TW and the 57TW/66TW Set, many of these are also available in X-Series Dual Mode. Popular Bass models include the 35TW, 40TW & MMTW models.
If you would like to split the coils on a passive EMG pickup you can do so through traditional hardwiring.
Does Each Dual Mode Pickup Need its own Push Pull Pot?
Yes, each dual mode pickup needs its own Push Pull Pot or Double Pull Double Throw Switch. This is because you are not only selecting coils but a separate preamp as well.
Dual Mode pickups include a push pull pot in the wiring kit. If you do not wish to use a push pull pot, you can find our Double Pull Double Throw TQ Switch here. This switch allows you to use a standard volume or tone control if you do not wish to use a push pull control.
Should there be a Volume Difference Between the Two Modes of a Dual Mode/TW Pickup?
Yes, because you are switching from a humbucker to a single coil there will be a difference in volume between the two modes.
Can I Use an Active & Passive Pickup Together?
Yes, but we do not recommend it. Passive and active pickups require different potentiometers and mixing the two can cause output issues if not used together properly.
If you would like to use passive & active pickups together we suggest you speak with a knowledgeable technician before doing so.
Batteries & My EMG Pickups +
What type of battery do I need for my EMG Pickups?
EMG pickups require at least 9 volts to operate. EMG suggests using an Alkaline or Lithium 9 volt battery. These are the same batteries that you would use in an effects box or wireless unit and are available on the EMG website here.
Most acoustic EMG products use (2) 2032 batteries for operation.
What is the max voltage I can supply to my EMG Pickups?
27 volts is the highest voltage you can supply to your EMG circuit.
EMG recommends 18V if you are a bass player, if you are using an accessory, if you would like to increase the headroom of your pickup or lastly, just for a longer battery life.
EMG Pickups draw incredibly low current; one 9 volt battery, on average, will give you 1,000 playing hours for a set of EMG Pickups. Your stereo output jack acts as an on/off switch so make sure to unplug after you play!
How do I know if my battery is running out?
The degradation of the battery is pretty gradual so it generally won’t just die on you. If you think you need to change your battery a couple strong indicators of this will be the output level of your pickups and possibly some distortion of the signal. If your battery is running extremely low then you will hear little or no output from the guitar. When in doubt, change the battery or carry a spare!
Acoustic Pickups +
Can I adjust the volume of individual strings on my ACS Acoustic Sound Hole Pickup?
Yes, you can raise or lower the pole pieces on the ACS to fine tune your string balance. Players often need to lower the B string pole piece or remove the pole all together.
Can I reduce the feedback on my ACB Banjo Pickup?
Yes, your ACB Banjo Pickup comes with plastic shims that act as an acoustic plug. Simply place the plug between the two pickup coils to reduce feedback. See Diagram 9 on the ACB Instructions located on the product page.
I have a Square Rod or Single Rod Banjo, Can I still use the ACB or Barrell Pickup?
For single rod or square rod banjo mounts, please contact EMG Pickups. We can accommodate certain banjo mounts but will need additional information regarding your instrument to appropriately assist you.