I have a Early 90s Washburn. I installed new EMGS into it. It sounded great and then all of a sudden it has a crunchy clean tone. I changed the battery, plugged a cheap guitar into same cable and amp no problem there. I sent the pickups back to EMG and they reported no problems found. I put in proven passives pickups and they have the same problem.

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    Clearly the pickups have nothing to do with the problem. Have you checked out the amp and cables and everything else? What happens if you use a different amp? What about the tone and volume controls on the washburn? If you turn those knobs without playing is there any noise? Nov 22, 2015 at 13:35
  • Your question proves the problem is nothing to do with the pickups so you need to look at the rest of the signal chain. Wiring, pots, capacitor, all solder joints, plug.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Nov 22, 2015 at 15:43
  • "crunchy" probably means "humbucker" and possibly "active," but without info...
    – Yorik
    Nov 24, 2015 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


New pickups won't necessarily make your guitar sound better or sound the way you want it to. I actually have made this same mistake in the past, I wanted my guitar to sound better and installed a Dimarzio X2N on the bridge position of my old Washburn WR120 and it's sound got worse (way too much gain and high frequencies). Years later I replaced all the wiring, installed new pots and replaced the bridge pickup with the original low gain pickup. It sounds much better now. I strongly advise you to take your guitar to a trustworthy luthier, state your problem and ask his suggestions on how to proceed to fix your guitar.

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