Passive Pickup Emulator Partial Kit (Archive)

This product is discontinued. This page is just here for archival purposes.

The Passive Pickup Emulator (PPE) solves the problem of "unnatural" sounding reamped and buffered signals by replicating the sound and electronic characteristics of a classic, single-coil guitar pickup.

This partial kit includes:

  • Custom PCB
  • 1H NOS Inductor
  • 15k resistor and .1uF capacitor
  • 250k linear tone control potentiometer
  • DPDT Bypass switch
  • Knob and set screw

The kit does not include:

  • Chassis
  • Jacks

What problem does the PPE solve?
Your pedal board and amp collection are a potential playground for processing the sounds from your modern equipment. But when you plug your synth/sampler/audio interface into your amps or pedals, it just doesn't sound quite "right." Here's why: your guitar gear was designed to be fed by a guitar. But modern, buffered outputs don't resemble passive guitar outputs by a long shot. The PPE corrects this.

How is the PPE different from a reamping box?
Reamping boxes solve the technical problems of patching modern gear into guitar inputs, but they don't do anything to make your signal sound and behave more like a guitar. The PPE picks up where a reamping box leaves off by making that signal behave like an actual passive guitar output.

Is the PPE a buffer?
The PPE is an anti-buffer. A buffer takes your guitar signal and turns it into a respectable, modern output with a constant, low output Z. The PPE, on the other hand, takes your civilized, buffered output and re-introduces those dynamic, interactive imperfections that have given passive guitar pickups their staying power in the active age. You could say that the PPE "unbuffers" the signal.

What kind of guitar output does the PPE emulate?
The PPE's character is similar to that of a single-coil pickup such as you might find in an early Fender Stratocaster. Both are characterized by a resonant bump in the upper "presence" range between 5-6kHz with a gradual low-pass rolloff following.

What kind of devices can I use the PPE with?
Anything with an unbalanced, buffered output. This includes most synthesizers, keyboards, samplers, drum machines, amp simulators, and reamping boxes.

How is this different from a standard impedance knob on a reamping box?
Some boxes, such as the Radial ProRMP, provide a approximation of a guitar pickup via an output impedance control. However, these controls provide only a rough simulation, since the change in impedance is linear over the frequency spectrum. The PPE's output Z is closer to a true passive pickup with a dynamic output impedance that changes with frequency.

Who designed the PPE?
Leo Fender, Jack Orman, and DIYRE.

How long does it take to build? Is it difficult?
The PPE kit may take 30-minutes to 1 hour, depending on your experience level. Since unit is completely passive, there is no risk of electrical shock, and there are no especially fragile or heat-sensitive components. See the PPE Assembly Manual for full, step-by-step instructions.