I've been thinking of buying the EMG SA set, but I'm not sure if those are the right pickups I want. I don't want these pickups for the "omg so metal such br00tz" idea, I need a nice, powerful clean tone that can stay crystal clear with nice string separation (what some people would call a "sterile" or "clinical" clean, I really like that sound), and from what I've heard on youtube, the SA set gets me what I want. However, no demo I've seen shows the 2 and 4 positions, the "quack" spots on a strat. Can these pickups do that quacking out of phase sound? Secondly, I know the neck pickup can get me that perfect clean and liquid high gain metal tone because it's an EMG, but can it also do a nice bluesy sound with a tiny bit of gain? Or are the EMGs basically clean/dirty, with nothing really in between? If this helps, I'm playing through a model of a Matchless DC-30 on a Zoom G5, my current tone is like https://soundcloud.com/wahalrus/bullet-in-the-back. By bluesy gain, I mean something around the level of the gain lead in that or a bit less.
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Ages since I've tried them but I think the SAs are the more vintage EMG strat-type pickups. I don't see why they wouldn't do what you want, but I could be wrong. In fact I'd be maybe more concerned about those higher gain tones you want, if anything.

EDIT: I haven't tried them but if you want more vintage tones the SV or SAV might be better since they use alnico polepieces instead of an alnico bar magnet (which is closer to vintage fender pickups' construction).
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 11, 2014,