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Cool Guitar Update-EMG SPC Active EQ Circuit

Aug 8, 2008
The SPC or Strat Presence Control is often called the fat control. For many players it is the most popular upgrade to perform. The original intent of the SPC was to turn the tone of a single-coil pickup into a dual-coil pickup. This is accomplished by boosting the gain in a broad mid-band fashion and reducing the highs. The result is a fatter, louder tone from any single coil pickup, but you can also use it on a humbucking pickup to give you a high output, really fat tone.

David Gilmour has used this same EMG System for nearly 15 years on his main red Strat. With single coil pickups, wired with an EXG Guitar Expander and an SPC Presence Control,

That being said, it is an upgrade I use on my Stratocasters. It adds a great deal of versatility and gives you a tone you will enjoy very much. David Gilmore is just one example of someone who has had success using the EMG setup. Tone is very personal and subjective, so It may not be for everyone, however, it is a good bet you will enjoy what you hear.

In effect, it is similar to the TBX Boost in the Eric Clapton Stratocaster. Which by the way is my only Strat without the EMG-SPC EQ circuit. The Clapton Strat simply put is one of the finest sounding guitars in the world. Period.

Installation is not particularly difficult. However for a modest fee, any competent guitar maker can perform any wood cutting and rewiring for a fair price. Good idea for most folks. Although I do my own work nowadays, one with knowledge and good technical skills should do the soldering, so as not to heat up other components unnecessarily or remove to much material if any routing or woodwork is needed.

Based on the fact an EMG-SPC can be added to many types of guitars, the diagram included is only one particular way to wire it. The actual kit has a variety of different wiring suggestions.

The setup shown is how I would setup a Stratocaster. The change in tone is subtle, yet quite engaging. Most of of the time when tone is noticed or mentioned, it comes from a veteran guitar player who has a keen ear for the instrument they are adept at, guitars. However, listeners that don't play the guitar and came for the show almost inevitably are aware of the guitar players rich full penetrating sound. Not aware of why, all they know is that you sound good. Realistically speaking, that's what matters most. One thing it won't do is make you a better player, so if you don't play so good, go practice more and improve your chops. Practice techniques mentioned in another article will clarify exactly what I am referring to.

I don't expect anyone to practice like Joe Satriani, myself and Richard Mac (my teach). Pardon the interruption, but Steve Vai is another chronic practicer who has something special to show for it.

Back on track. The folks at Guitar Players Center enjoy messing with guitars, and the type of upgrades they show you, and do themselves are cost effective, low risk upgrades that really work. The EMG-SPC choice is very popular and waited for a back order. It was worth it, however the stocks are replenished now and easy to get. Do an EMG-SPC Google search. The choices are endless. Enjoy
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