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Old 03-22-2013, 07:16 AM   #1
CaptinFarrel
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Emg's limiting?

Hi all,

I've posted another topic about installing my emgs, researching wiring got me thinking...

Will having an emg 81 in he bridge of my epi 400 limit what I can play?
I'm a beginner and a big Metallica fan, which Is why I jumped at a cheap s/h emg.
But don't want just a metal guitar. Classic rock and blues I would also want to learn.

Opinions?
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:32 AM   #2
MaaZeus
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NO! It is just a pickup and if you like its sound, it doesnt matter what you play. If you feel its too hot turn the volume knob on your guitar down a bit.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:34 AM   #3
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Opinions on what exactly?
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:40 AM   #4
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If you try to play some country your guitar will blow up.

No, just play whatever you like, theres no limit.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:51 AM   #5
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Sparlin' clean sound on a low-powered tube amp with high-output pickups... Yeah. There's a limit.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:37 AM   #6
MrFlibble
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Active pickups were first designed for playing jazz. The EMG 60, which most people think of a shreddy neck pickup in 'metal' guitars, was first made as a bridge pickup for Fender Telecaster Deluxes.

Metal is certainly not all they can do.

When you get down to it, all an active pickup is is a very underwound, weak pickup with a battery-powered preamp to boost the output back up to usable levels. That's it.

Listen to Prince's Purple Rain or Let's Go Crazy. That's an EMG 81, right there.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desperatechris
If you try to play some country your guitar will blow up.


+1.

JK. No, there is no limit. If you try to use EMGs to play country or jazz the biggest risk is that perhaps someone in your audience (probably the guy standing at the back with 1980s glasses, moustache and comb-over) will say something like "oh, you shouldn't have those pickups for this type of music! You should have the BareDuncan Jazz-Spacer 59-Ds! But of course even he will only notice because he actually saw the pickups in the guitar. I always say that 90% of the guitar tone comes from the fingers. Doesn't matter what music you're playing: play well, and you will sound good.

Also, EMGs are great for blues, because they can drive an amp nice and hard.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:28 PM   #8
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There's no limit i have the 81 and 60, the 60 is actually really clean when you're using a clean setting it sounds really nice. I have read somewhere on here they are good for jazz as the EQ (or way they're voiced not too sure) is quite flat and I play a little not much but its the best clean. The only problem I can say is if you get the standard ones you don't get too many dynamics, if you pick lighter it doesn't make much of a difference than picking hard its still full on and if you want clean on high gain you have to turn your volume down to just before its off which is annoying and I usually go too far turning the volume off all together.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:33 PM   #9
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The big thing that's different about EMGs is "feel". They are generally a good deal tighter than most passive pickups and that means your playing actually has to be a bit cleaner - you can't get away with as many mistakes. On the other hand they can sometimes lack the dynamic response of passive pickups and also don't have the tone roll-off when you drop in volume like on passives.

EMGs are excellent pickups, but if you want versatility I would probably stay away from the EMG 81. It's best for two things: very, very clean stuff, and highly overdriven hard rock/metal. It's not really going to cut it for blues in my opinion - its lack of low end and "flat" characteristic is awesome for gain and for taking lots of effects but not at all what I'd call a vintage tone.

I would recommend an EMG 85 in the bridge instead, but to be honest you might just be better off with a nice set of well-rounded passive pickups if you don't care about sounding exactly like Metallica (and you won't, without a Mesa Dual Rec + Tube Screamer and years of practice).
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sea`
if you don't care about sounding exactly like Metallica (and you won't, without a Mesa Dual Rec + Tube Screamer and years of practice).



I don't know about that, I can nail the Justice album's sound pretty good with my emg'd Ibanez RG and Marshall amp.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omnilux
I don't know about that, I can nail the Justice album's sound pretty good with my emg'd Ibanez RG and Marshall amp.



I think Justice was still on Marshalls, so yes. Mesa Boogie was Black album and above. Though I might remember wrong.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaaZeus
I think Justice was still on Marshalls, so yes. Mesa Boogie was Black album and above. Though I might remember wrong.


**** the amp man, just get a flanger pedal in there and it will sound great
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaaZeus
I think Justice was still on Marshalls, so yes. Mesa Boogie was Black album and above. Though I might remember wrong.

A bit off topic, but Metallica started using Mesas when they recorded Master of Puppets.

But yeah, they also used Marshalls in the 80s.

But I don't see how a pickup would limit your playing. It might "limit" your tone but that's what all pickups do. They all have their own kind of tone. But if you like the tone, it doesn't matter what style you play. It's your tone and there are no rules in any genre. It's more about what and how you play than how your tone sounds like.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
A bit off topic, but Metallica started using Mesas when they recorded Master of Puppets.

But yeah, they also used Marshalls in the 80s.


I had to look into this. You are correct, though halfway. MoP was Mesa preamps into Marshall poweramp. Justice was all Mesa to Marshall cabs.

So yeah, I was wrong.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:09 AM   #15
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Mr. Flibble pretty much hit it. When compared to a standard passive pickup, actives are technically very low output. They use fewer turns of a larger gauge wire. So what that equates to is a very low output, but a broader frequency response. The preamp inside boosts the output way up. Passives can put out anywhere between 350mv on up. EMGs will put out 2 volts and up. EMGs are very clean and transparent, which is why they were initially used for Jazz. Once the metal community noticed the tight and clear sound, metal guitarists started using them too.

Your amp is usually more limiting than your guitar or pickups.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenderexpx50
Mr. Flibble pretty much hit it. When compared to a standard passive pickup, actives are technically very low output. They use fewer turns of a larger gauge wire. So what that equates to is a very low output, but a broader frequency response. The preamp inside boosts the output way up. Passives can put out anywhere between 350mv on up. EMGs will put out 2 volts and up. EMGs are very clean and transparent, which is why they were initially used for Jazz. Once the metal community noticed the tight and clear sound, metal guitarists started using them too.


Not to mention they damp your strings less than passive pickups.
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