#1
I'm thinking about taking out my EMG 81 and putting an EMG 85 in the bridge. I absolutely love the 60 so I'm leaving that in the neck. My question is, can the 85 handle heavy distortion when it's in the bridge? I just can't stand the 81's clean sounds, and I'd like my bridge to be able to do cleans as well as distortion :\
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#2
Yeah, it can, its an active EMG, it can handle any amount of distortion. Now will it give you a better distorted tone at the bridge compared to your 81, prolly not, but its worth a shot.

I actually think the 81 has pertty decent cleans. I manage to get decent fender like cleans out of mine.
#3
Yeah the 81 has a twangy sound, it reminds me of a Tele. But it's just too thin sounding to me. As long as the distortion on the 85 is still good, Ill probably just switch em
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#4
The 85 prolly will sound good doing lead work, but prolly wont have the crunch your looking for rythem. I know its ususally used as a neck pickup because its not as bassy, it might actually be thinner than the 81 for that reason, I have an 81 81 set up, and when I use the neck pickup, the bass just shakes my room, litterly knocks stuff off my wall.
#5
the 85 can handle some gain but it get really muddy when pushed.
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#6
I picked up an Explorer with an 85 in the bridge and it sounds pretty sweet. 85s are fatter and less compressed than 81s which gives it a better clean and, IMO better riff tone for anything that isn't super technical speed picking the entire time. IMHO 60/85 is the best combo for EMGs that I've played.
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#7
The 85 is warmer and fatter sounding then the 81. It's thicker sounding and can get muddy if you EQ too much bass in.
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#8
If you want a nice balanced sound the EMG 85 will provide a heavier tone under heavier conditions than the 81. The 85 is cleaner, but also has a powerful sound when mixed with the right amount of distortion. To much distortion will make it sound awful.

Yeah the 81 has a twangy sound, it reminds me of a Tele
Yeah it does have that Telecaster like sound, but a little heavier though.
#9
Well I use a whole lot of distortion, so it's probably wise I keep my 81, and just switch to the 60 for cleans.
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#10
I would try the new EMG X 81, there supposed to be alot more natural sounding and you dont have to run the 18 volt mod with them to get them to sound decent. They sound much better than the original 81 running 18 volt when the EMG X is only running a 9 volt mod. I think there around the same price as the original EMG 81's.
#11
Quote by Lovecannon
Yeah the 81 has a twangy sound, it reminds me of a Tele. But it's just too thin sounding to me. As long as the distortion on the 85 is still good, Ill probably just switch em


I have an 81/60. I agree that the 81 is a bit of a thin sound. I'll usually use the 60 for clean tones, 81 for distorted as I like the sound on that better.

I have never tried an 85 however, although I do want to.
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#12
i have a 60a and i like it a lot better in the bridge than the neck. the 81 was an ok neck pup but at next string change, the 60a is going back in the bridge and my spare 85 will go into the neck.
i can get some ok cleans from the 81 at the bridge but they are indeed thin sounding. the 60a was much more versatile for everything.

by the way, has anyone played a 60 and a 60a back to back and heard a difference? ive never heard a 60.


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#13
Quote by ethan_hanus
The 85 prolly will sound good doing lead work, but prolly wont have the crunch your looking for rythem.
it's got plenty of crunch in the bridge
I know its ususally used as a neck pickup because its not as bassy, it might actually be thinner than the 81 for that reason,
it's way thicker than the 81, and far less compressed. different magnet types also.
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