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Tips, Tricks and Road Stories


How To: Install EMG David Gilmour Active Stratocaster Pickup Set

December 5, 2011;

David Gilmour is known around the world for his eclectic musical style, which has been refined through the years on his equally iconic Fender Stratocaster. His signature EMG David Gilmour Active Stratocaster Pickup Set may not turn you into the man who crafted the famous Comfortably Numb guitar solo, but this affordable upgrade will make your Fender Stratocaster stand out.

The EMG David Gilmour Active Stratocaster Pickup Set also features tone control knobs that focus on high and low boosts (EXG) and mid boost (SPC) adjustments to fit your desired sound. Gilmour has used the same EMG System for years, which tells you all you need to know about its excellence and versatility.

External equipment needed:
•    Phillips “1” screwdriver
•    Stereo input jack
•    9-Volt battery


1. Loosen the strings first, but don’t completely remove them unless you so desire. The David Gilmour pickup set comes mounted to the pick guard and requires minimal attention to wire locations. This also eliminates the need to solder anything, making the installation process that much easier and safe.

2. Unscrew the pick guard currently attached to your Stratocaster. After cutting the wires on the input jack and the adjacent ground wire, pop out the pick guard and set it aside. 

3. Since the David Gilmour pickups feature a battery that can be turned on and off, you’ll need to replace the Mono input jack with a Stereo jack. Take the input jack out of its place in the Strat’s body, and disassemble the Mono jack.

4. Screw the Stereo jack, and its nut and washer, into place on the jack frame and thread the wires through their respective body holes.

5. Flip the guitar over, remove the back plate cover and coil up the ground wire attached to the tremolo/vibrato piece, and stuff it out of the way of the tension springs. This keeps the guitar grounded so you don’t suffer an electric shock.

6. Actually installing the EMG David Gilmour Stratocaster pickups is probably the easiest part of the process because nearly all the wiring is already soldered together. Simply connect the plug-in wires according to their color coding on the pick guard, and plug the 9-Volt battery into its respective outlet.

7. Just before screwing the pick guard back into place, slide the battery into the body chamber’s cavity underneath the volume and tone knobs, and cover it with a piece of foam from the EMG David Gilmour pickup case. (When the battery runs out of juice, just remove the four screws around the knobs to gain easy access to the battery plug-in)

8. Screw the EMG David Gilmour Active Stratocaster Pickup Set firmly into place. Once it’s properly installed, make sure everything works by switching between pickups and lightly tapping on each one as the switch changes pickups.

Sam Ash is fully committed to ensuring your full satisfaction with the EMG David Gilmour pickups and offers free shipping. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to improve your Fender Stratocaster’s sound without having to buy an entirely separate guitar.

A Note on your Fender Warranty: 
Although Fender has a limited lifetime warranty on its electric instruments, the electrical components are only warranted for a period of 1 year from the date of purchase.  Provided that you install your new pickups correctly (or have them installed by us) your new pickups are also warranted by EMG for two years from date of purchase.  If you don’t feel comfortable installing your own pickups, contact us at 1-800-472-6274 and we will arrange for one of our Fine Technicians in NY or FL to do the work for you for our standard fees.