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Re: EBow - active/passive humbuckers

The pickups on the guitar have no effect on an ebow's operation, once you understand how an ebow works you'll see why that is. Inside an ebow there is a small coil of wire with a magnetic core and a permanent magnet, in other words a single string pickup, which is connected to a small amplifier which drives a second coil. The principal is electromagnetic feedback. This first coil picks up the vibration of the string, amplifies it and the second coil creates and electromagnetic field that excites the string. The amplifier is driven into clipping, and this clipping is clearly audible if you position the driver coil over your guitar's pickup. The pickup on the guitar has no influence on the efficiency of the ebow circuit, and in fact it will even work on acoustic instruments, provided that the strings are steel or nickel or any other magnetic material.

-Chuck Zwicky

I like to sometimes use an E-Bow with guitars and I don't think it
brings strings into vibration as well on a guitar with an active EMG
pickup, compared to a guitar with a normal passive humbucker. Is this
a known phenomenon, e-bow less efficient with active pups?

It's not an issue for five strings, only for the thinnest. The
thinnest string I have to tap or pull a pull-off on (ha, ha!) to kick
it off and then have the e-bow take over.

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen