#1
I am wanting to buy a new set of pickups for my guitar but I can't decide. The EMG 81/85 combo has worked out great for many guitar players and produces great sound. But I also like the sound of the Seymour Duncan Blackouts. Both of excellent quality but seem too good to be true. What do you recommend?
#2
What amp are you playing through? What's your budget?
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#4
Amp first before the pickups. Changing your pickups at this point would be very pointless.
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#5
EMG pick ups are extremely noiseless but if your guitar is equipped with vibrato bars it may have a little vibration while playing some notes o chords ( you have to be focused )
Seymour Duncan Blackout pick ups are just a little bit noisy compared to EMGs
make sure your guitar is perfectly wired otherwise you'll have some noise when you get your hands of the strings ( you can hear it in distorted tones )
Both of are great pick ups
its just the matter of taste, both of them are great and both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Guitar : Cort X-TH ( EMG 81-85 )
Amp : Marshall TSL-602
Effects : Boss MT-2, Boss NS-2
#6
I wouldn't go active if I had a solid state amp... It wouldn't be awful, but it wouldn't use its full potential. I would get a dimarzio super distorion if I were you, but I am not. If you are full set on buying one of these, get a Blackout, neither pickups are very versatile, but Blackouts are more, and aren't as much of a one trick pony as the 81/85 set.
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#7
btw good amps are just a little bit expensive.
you might need to start saving
Even the best pick ups wont sound good on lousy amps
Guitar : Cort X-TH ( EMG 81-85 )
Amp : Marshall TSL-602
Effects : Boss MT-2, Boss NS-2
#8
upgrade the amp. pickups will only be a cosmetic thing at this stage.
#9
Get the blackouts. I have a esp m107 that has blackouts and a schecter c7fr that has EMG 707's. the blackouts sound more natural almost like a cross between passive and active sound. Now it is true that active PU's sound better through a tube amp but seriously any pickup will sound better through a good tube amp :P. Even though I have a Mesa triple rec, and a jcm-800 my esp still sounds killer through my Crate gx-130c solid state head while my C7fr w/the emgs sounds not as cool. But ya a great amp should be priority and then base every purchase around the amp.
#10
Alright cool, I'll start saving right away for an amp. Gonna take a LOOOONG time though,lol. Can't get a job just yet,lol.
#11
Don't use active pickups with a solid state amp. There's simply no point. At best, you will get no benefit from them, kill your cleans (the one thing solid state amps are really bought for to begin with) and will suffer excess noise. At worst you'll get horrendous speaker clipping and so much noise it'll drown out your actual playing. No matter what happens, you'll also suffer from the most sterile, vapid tone known to mankind.

Solid state amps are good for shimmering bright cleans when used with very low output passive pickups. That's about it. For anything else, you're going to need a valve amp.

Even then, active pickups are an incredibly specialised tool. You need a professional quality amp and you have to really know how to EQ and set everything up right or they will do much more harm than good. Active pickups, when set up and used correctly with the right gear, can sound amazing - but for 99% of people they will be nothing but trouble.
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#12
Quote by MrFlibble
Don't use active pickups with a solid state amp. There's simply no point. At best, you will get no benefit from them, kill your cleans (the one thing solid state amps are really bought for to begin with) and will suffer excess noise. At worst you'll get horrendous speaker clipping and so much noise it'll drown out your actual playing. No matter what happens, you'll also suffer from the most sterile, vapid tone known to mankind.

Solid state amps are good for shimmering bright cleans when used with very low output passive pickups. That's about it. For anything else, you're going to need a valve amp.

Even then, active pickups are an incredibly specialised tool. You need a professional quality amp and you have to really know how to EQ and set everything up right or they will do much more harm than good. Active pickups, when set up and used correctly with the right gear, can sound amazing - but for 99% of people they will be nothing but trouble.

I recently acquired a Marshall 89' 9000 Series amp through a trade (A damn good one at that too, two 20" speakers to boot.) I was wanting to know if either pickup set would work well for it, if not how about a Dimarzio Tone Zone or Evolution pickup?
#13
Quote by jking948
I wouldn't go active if I had a solid state amp... It wouldn't be awful, but it wouldn't use its full potential.


Quote by MrFlibble
Don't use active pickups with a solid state amp. There's simply no point. At best, you will get no benefit from them, kill your cleans (the one thing solid state amps are really bought for to begin with) and will suffer excess noise. At worst you'll get horrendous speaker clipping and so much noise it'll drown out your actual playing. No matter what happens, you'll also suffer from the most sterile, vapid tone known to mankind.

Solid state amps are good for shimmering bright cleans when used with very low output passive pickups. That's about it. For anything else, you're going to need a valve amp.


This is just not true. There's a number of solid state amps that quite easily handle the output from active pickups, they're just not that much hotter than a high output passive pickup. Active pickups are low noise, there's less noise when using them, and if the signal is too hot you can back off on the volume until it stops, without dramatically affecting the tone.

The tone will vary depending on the amp, and lots of solid state amps have stellar distortion, including when used with active pickups, just listen to Suffocation or Eyehategod or Fear Factory or Pig Destroyer.
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#14
OMG OMG CHECK THE SEARCHBAR LOLZ...


hahhaa just messin with ya...

here you go- I had a similar question a while back and this thread might help you:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1190606

I think I am going to go with the EMG 81-85 combo- it really is a classic pairing. If you want the EMG style sound- buy the EMGs.

At the end of the day, the SD blackouts are more versatile, and while the EMGs are more limiting tone wise, they do what they do very, very well.
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