#1
Can the EMG 81/85 combo get good clean tones? That's the only regret i have with the EMG 81/85's, a lot of people say it doesn't sound good clean.
Ibanez IJX121
#2
Any pickups can have good clean tones if you have a decent amp and some kind of EQ pedal. What kind of amp do you have?
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#3
the 81 is absolutely awful, but the 85 is usable.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#4
Quote by muse-ik
Any pickups can have good clean tones if you have a decent amp and some kind of EQ pedal. What kind of amp do you have?



I have a Line 6 Spider IV 75w.
Ibanez IJX121
#6
Quote by PunkGuitaristx
I have a Line 6 Spider IV 75w.


Then the answer is no.
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#7
Quote by PunkGuitaristx
I have a Line 6 Spider IV 75w.

If you want to buy EMG, you need to buy a better amp first.
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#8
I'm guessing if you're looking at EMGs you're going to be doing at least mostly metal. For dist, they're awesome. But the cleans aren't terrible, imo.

I've actually done a comparison with my Shecter with EMGs and my Ibanez with passive humbuckers. You can really tell a difference. On the downside, the actives give a bit of distorted buzz on my more bassy notes if I hit the string hard, but on the upside, if you split the two, or just use the 85, the warmth and body of the music is outstanding. Throw in some effects like reverb, chorus, or delay, and you've got clean Metallica sounds like the intro on Fade to Black nailed!
#9
Emgs with a solidstate amp, a spider even? NO.
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#12
Put the money you were going to spend on the EMGs towards getting a good amp. They aren't going to help you.
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#13
This is why i prefer the 60, the cleans are at least useable. In all honesty you would have been better off getting a better amp, Solid State + Actives = EPIC FAIL.
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#14
If you had a high gain all tube amp, the EMGs would be fantastic. Yes you can get great cleans. Hell I've gotten good cleans with an EMG and a 5150. Tweaking tone isnt that difficult. But there is no reason to waste money on high output pickups (or any new pickups..) when you are playing through a spider. Put that money towards a better amp
#15
my, raw, opinion. EMG X-series. check em out man.
85X on the bridge, kinda single coily crispy cleans, love that sound.
81X on the neck, FAT. nice fat smooth clean sound, gotta love that man

havent tried any regular emgs as thoroughly as tose X's, but Ive heard that the 60 (or 60X) has the best cleans.

My X combo also does metal very heavily and well. Like the tone just a lil more than SDs Blackouts, and anyway, the Blackouts have poor cleans, or well, compared to the EMG X's.

Jonathan
#16
From my experience
EMG 81: Bad
EMG 85: Really bassy in the neck position
EMG 60: Starting to get decent
EMG Single Coils: Pretty good, great with good amp
#17
Quote by Ignite
Why do you want EMGs?

They're active and are high output, specifically to drive tube amps harder.



Wrong.

They were originally designed to boost the signal level for people who have really long effect chains. It was later discovered that if you use them with a short effect chain or no effects at all then the boosted signal will push your amp harder.


TS: You should seriously consider getting a new amp if you're unhappy with your tone. A pickup swap with your current amp won't do your tone any justice.
#18
I have an 81 on my guitar and it gets pretty decent cleans through my jet city amp....BUT its nowhere near as clean as my '93 duo-sonic with a single coil lace-sensor (red) pickup through my fender deluxe 90
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#19
Quote by fivepointnine
I have an 81 on my guitar and it gets pretty decent cleans through my jet city amp....BUT its nowhere near as clean as my '93 duo-sonic with a single coil lace-sensor (red) pickup through my fender deluxe 90


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#20
I noticed the opposite of many responders, emgs through solid state sound perfectly "clean" in that you don't hear breakup. Now do they sound good? that is a different story. It is with the tube amps that they tend to break up very easily unless you roll down the volume. Overall, emgs just don't have a lot of character when they are clean. This is a benefit if you want to slam them with effects and distortion because it is hard to muddy them up. If you want to play clean with no effects or distortion you likely won't be loving the emgs humbuckers as much as you would duncans.
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#21
EMGs are very particular pick-up. Every kid who likes metal wants them, but you have to gauge your playing and your equipment to make a good decision. Chances are, you're going to take away from your tone potential or your are going to load on unnecessary distortions to get the sound you want.

I love EMGs, but like I said, they are not for everyone.
#22
Yes, an 85 in the neck will do cleans. Give it the 18v mod to give it more headroom, it'll distort less when clean and it'll shine. Roll off the volume if it's got too much bass or the tone knob if it's too bright or eq your amp to taste. It's that easy.

The 81? Not so much, it's better for distortion rhythm playing.
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#23
85 on neck is great, screw whoever told you it sucks.. I need to admit it is pretty bassy but you gotta know, bass is good!

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