#1
Long time user of this site, finally registered for the forums...anyway, [WORDS] to follow, summary at bottom

I recently bought an early-'90s Jackson Performer (have yet to find the exact model-year, but pictured below in my apartment practice setup) and am looking to replace the factory Jackson pickups with some EMGs.

Since I can't find the exact construction year I don't know what wood the body is made of, but hopefully the following will help: I bought this particular guitar for one thing and that's METAL. I am mostly a rhythm player that writes primarily in death and black metal styles. I tune 3 steps down to A#/standard and string it with heavy, heavy strings.

Initially I considered the classic EMG-81/85 bridge/neck setup, but as I rarely do any soloing I figured I'd prefer the fatter chunk of the 85 at the bridge position, and to avoid sounding too tinny/bright when what I write is intended to be dark, nasty and hateful. But as I do play a fair amount of melodic single or dual-string tremolo picking, maybe the 81 would still be better suited at the bridge?

Then there's the matter of the neck pickup, and the 60 has a smooth tone that might work well for the times when I kill the distortion for those soulraping melodic cleans. So an 85/60 setup sounds attractive on the outset, but I don't want to nix the opportunity for a screaming lead once in a while. I suppose I could throw an afterburner behind the pickups, but I'm trying to get the best initial tone I can before I go modifying the signal.

But EMG sells the Kerry King 81/85 setup with a PA-2 gain booster switch, and that would just make things almost too easy.


Here's the guitar:




Sorry for the long post,
CLIFF NOTES:
-bought a Jackson performer
-I play death and black metal
-can't decide between EMG-81/85/60 bridge/neck setups
-opinions?


Thank you all for your time!
#2
is there any reason you are set on EMGs?

for uber low drop tunings I'd go Bare Knuckle every time
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#3
81/60
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#4
i love the 81-85's but if you dont solo and want cleans the 60 would be better in the neck but if you really want versitility go with the 81TW/89. They are humbuckers that are very similar to the 81/85 but with a push pull coil tap that basically makes them single coils. They are a god send if you need the power of an 81/85 but still want to go clean time to time
#5
A#?!?!?! ive never even heard of that!!! thats lower than a gangsters pants!!!

but why EMG? why not duncan or bare knuckles? but if you do use EMGs, go for the 85/60+AB
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#6
81TW/89 split in the neck is good
Last edited by Tempoe at Dec 11, 2008,
#7
I hadn't even really looked into Duncan or Bare Knuckles, I'll do that now. Any reason you'd prefer them over EMG?

edit: I did look at the 81TW/89...forgot to include that in my post. Is it truly that great? sounds almost too good to be true, but I'm still worried about the brightness of the 81
Last edited by brutaldave at Dec 11, 2008,
#8
Quote by brutaldave
I hadn't even really looked into Duncan or Bare Knuckles, I'll do that now. Any reason you'd prefer them over EMG?

Most find that Seymour Duncan Blackouts (actives) sound less sterile than EMG actives, I agree with these people. But, though you are calling yourself 'brutal' Dave, for metal and high-gain sounds, you don't NEED active pickups.

Also, are you getting a middle pickup replacement, or are you just going to be using the two humbuckers?
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#9
Quote by brutaldave
I hadn't even really looked into Duncan or Bare Knuckles, I'll do that now. Any reason you'd prefer them over EMG?

edit: I did think about the 81TW...forgot to include that in my post, but this is more for gaining some more insight and strategy than for having someone specifically tell me what to put in my guitar


less compressed sound for me

EMGs are pretty good for like mega fast leads but I always find their tone lacking when it comes to slower stuff or rhythm. Bare Knuckles are much more organic sounding

whether thats what you want for death metal is up to you though



EDIT: I have blackouts in my main guitar. They are better than EMGs (my opinion) but they are VERY sensitive and they are rather brittle and snappy on clean. I cannot seem to dial in any warmth on them
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#10
Quote by jaffawoman
...you don't NEED active pickups.

Also, are you getting a middle pickup replacement, or are you just going to be using the two humbuckers?



I know active isn't a requisite, I've sworn by passive in the past but I'm ready to try it out and I want this guitar to be loud and disgusting before it even hits the head. My only real experience with active setups are in my basses, but this is a whole different game. As far as the middle pup, I'm not sure what to do with it. I almost never use it, I'm pretty much a neck/bridge only kinda guy.


Quote by Dopey_Trout
less compressed sound for me

EMGs are pretty good for like mega fast leads but I always find their tone lacking when it comes to slower stuff or rhythm. Bare Knuckles are much more organic sounding

whether thats what you want for death metal is up to you though



sounds like what I'm looking for. something active with a more natural, passive-esque frequency response would be wonderful
#11
81/85

Do the 18v mod. I personally didn't like the 85 in the bridge but that's me. I think in A# standard the 81 will sound sick!
#12
Quote by brutaldave
sounds like what I'm looking for. something active with a more natural, passive-esque frequency response would be wonderful


dimarzio d-activators?
blackouts maybe

EDIT: was the whole organic sounding thing the "what you were looking for" or the compressed EMG sound?
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#13
the guitar player in my band plays an old gibson-v (honduran mahogany neck, the real stuff) with 18v-active pickups and an afterburner out of a JCM-800 through two laney cabs, so much natural gain it's sickening. his only pedal is a chromatic tuner, everything else is pure nastiness...might have to consider that.


and dopey, yeah I was looking for the organic sound. I've been passive in the past because I like the natural tone, and I agree that the EMGs do sound compressed and over-processed. I'm liking these Bare-Knuckles so far, without having heard them first-hand. I'll look up the dimarzio and blackouts...
Last edited by brutaldave at Dec 11, 2008,
#15
An EMG 81 won't sound that bright, listen to Slayer, Converge or dozens of other heavy bands for examples of an 81 in the bridge.

Perhaps try a Blackout in the bridge and an EMG 60 or EMG HA in the neck?
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#16
Quote by brutaldave
the guitar player in my band plays an old gibson-v (honduran mahogany neck, the real stuff) with 18v-active pickups and an afterburner out of a JCM-800 through two laney cabs, so much natural gain it's sickening. his only pedal is a chromatic tuner, everything else is pure nastiness...might have to consider that.


and dopey, yeah I was looking for the organic sound. I've been passive in the past because I like the natural tone, and I agree that the EMGs do sound compressed and over-processed. I'm liking these Bare-Knuckles so far, without having heard them first-hand. I'll look up the dimarzio and blackouts...


lol cool
i'd probably go for the painkiller, miracle man or the warpig in the bridge
the nailbomb or cold sweat in the neck
Quote by fleajr_1412
You have amazing taste in men.


Are You a PROG-HEAD? I am.
#17
Seymour Duncan Blackouts
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#18
From checking them out online I haven't been too impressed with the blackouts...might have to hit up the shop and see what I can find that has them installed