#1
From what i can tell from reading reviews and other general information EMGs are the best pickups avaliable on guitar, but i dont know why, ive never played with them and i havent seen a proper explanation why they are so good usually i find things like 'Put an EMG in that bitch' etc; so can anyone tell why there so good?
Quote by valennic
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#2
They aren't the best, for all styles.
In my opinion, they are the best for Metal. The EMG 81/85 Combo is orgasmic.
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#3
They aren't the best pickups, it's just that they are the default humbucker used for metal, so alot of people recommend them regardless of whether it'll give the desired tone or not.

Personaly, I'm sick to death of my 81s now.
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#4
Quote by pigeonmafia
They aren't the best pickups, it's just that they are the default humbucker used for metal, so alot of people recommend them regardless of whether it'll give the desired tone or not.

Personaly, I'm sick to death of my 81s now.


I agree with first point. But, EMGs give some nice cleans for me.

I just got my 81/85s tonight in my new guitar, and I love them.
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#5
they arent the best,actually they are far from the best..

but they are the industry standard actives on the market today
Last edited by archenemyfan at Jun 30, 2010,
#7
It's like coffee, or Glock pistols... either you love them or hate them. There's not a whole lot of in-between.

Don't rush out and buy a set without trying them first to see if you like the sound. Typically best for metal, but I also like the clean sound I get from mine. Go to a guitar shop that carries them and ask to try out a guitar that has them.

If you do go with them, realize that you'll have to change out all the electronics on your guitar (pots, switch, BOTH pickups...) because it's a completely different system. They're very easy to install, but most guitar shops will install them for you if you buy from them.

Some things to consider:

-Low magnetism, so you can get them real close to the strings without messing up the tone. This leads to increased sustain.

-Easy installation and changeout. You don't have to solder, it's just plug-n-play (the pickups have a little plug connection on them... I wish all pickups were like this!). This means that if you have an 81/85 set and you want to try a 60, it'll only take a couple minutes to drop it in.

-They sound amazing for metal.

-Some people complain that they sound "cold." I don't know what this means. I think they sound awesome. It's a matter of personal taste. I'm guessing by your signature that you like Metallica, so chances are you'll like the sound of them.

-The system requires a 9v battery. The battery only gets used when a cable is plugged into the jack, so as long as you remember to unplug when you're done playing, one battery should last a year or more.

-If your guitar isn't made for EMGs, you may have to rout a pocket to hold the battery if you can't fit it in the control cavity.

-EMG also makes a few easy-to install switches to affect the system. Check their website.

-The most important thing is to try them out to see if they're right for you. $250 or so is a lot of money for a set of pups you haven't ever tried.

If you don't want to go with an active system, a hot passive pickup like a Seymour Duncan Invader (about $80) can get you a great metal tone as well.
Last edited by jerm138 at Jun 30, 2010,
#8
Hmm, single post, no follow up, controversial question.............. do I smell a troll?
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#9
Ive tried the blackouts, and I like EMGs more. People say 81/85, I say 85/81. People say 81/60, I say 85X/81X. Thats the kickass set. I havent tried the 60X yet...
#10
Quote by jerm138

Some things to consider:

-Low magnetism, so you can get them real close to the strings without messing up the tone. This leads to increased sustain.

-Easy installation and changeout. You don't have to solder, it's just plug-n-play (the pickups have a little plug connection on them... I wish all pickups were like this!). This means that if you have an 81/85 set and you want to try a 60, it'll only take a couple minutes to drop it in.

-They sound amazing for metal.

-Some people complain that they sound "cold." I don't know what this means. I think they sound awesome. It's a matter of personal taste. I'm guessing by your signature that you like Metallica, so chances are you'll like the sound of them.

-The system requires a 9v battery. The battery only gets used when a cable is plugged into the jack, so as long as you remember to unplug when you're done playing, one battery should last a year or more.

-If your guitar isn't made for EMGs, you may have to rout a pocket to hold the battery if you can't fit it in the control cavity.

-EMG also makes a few easy-to install switches to affect the system. Check their website.

-The most important thing is to try them out to see if they're right for you. $250 or so is a lot of money for a set of pups you haven't ever tried.

If you don't want to go with an active system, a hot passive pickup like a Seymour Duncan Invader (about $80) can get you a great metal tone as well.


also

-they have a narrower dynamic range

-passives have a more organic tone

-Because of the flatter frequency response, active pickups tend to sound "sterile" and lack "character"

-have to replace the battery and thats a pain

-active EMG's do not work well with all string brands.and as a result they might enhance string oscillation and create an unwanted,dirtier sound with certain brands


#12
It don't take more than 3 minutes to change the battery..
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#14
ok then thats a null point..

I was just pointing out some things that you should consider If you're buying actives

#15
you could use a Dimarzio D Activiaters. THey have the active sound but without batteries
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#16
Quote by Cathbard
Hmm, single post, no follow up, controversial question.............. do I smell a troll?


No, i went to my guitar lesson
Quote by valennic
They'll rape you in 6 different directions till sunday...and then eat you.


#17
EMG 81/85 combo = Dull compressed tone.

SD AHB-2 Blackouts Metal/AHB-1 Blackouts =

Though I prefer Passives for my cleans.
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#18
Quote by timbit2006
They aren't the best, for all styles.
In my opinion, they are the best for Metal. The EMG 81/85 Combo is orgasmic.


2 81's... the true way to raise hell
#19
Quote by dark Mass
EMG 81/85 combo = Dull compressed tone.


+9999999

I can't stand the tone of the 81/85 combo, and the clipping you get when playing clean is horrendous. I've modded my EMGs for 18v and it sounds a million times better than it did before, but still not as good as a good quality pair of passives.
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#20
Eh. I disagree. I did just finally get rid of my 81/85 set.

But...Honestly people exaggerate. They weren't the most emotional pickups, but I think words like sterile and flat take things way to far. EQed right I could even get decent blues tone.

Cleans..You should be able to get decent cleans without the 18v mod. I used to get great cleans with EMGs and a 5150 combo. They aren't the most ideal, but it's completely possible.

The one thing I will say for EMGs is that they are pretty much totally noiseless which is a huge plus.
#23
I like my combo of 85 / SA. The SA pulls off that post-Waters Gilmour clean nicely - crystaline. The 85 still can pull a nice clean too as long as you keep all you levels and gain in check. I'm assuming these are for a Les Paul type yes? In that case no SA for you!

But low noise, EMGs are great for low noise. Marvelous!


Still, no point until you have a good amp.
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#24
Quote by archenemyfan
also

-they have a narrower dynamic range

-passives have a more organic tone

-Because of the flatter frequency response, active pickups tend to sound "sterile" and lack "character"

-have to replace the battery and thats a pain

-active EMG's do not work well with all string brands.and as a result they might enhance string oscillation and create an unwanted,dirtier sound with certain brands




I think sterility and character are determined more by the playing style than the pickup.

What exactly makes a tone "organic?" I'm not trying to argue here... I just constantly hear words like "sterile," "cold," and "lifeless" when people are criticizing EMGs. I don't know what people are trying to describe here, but if the sound those things make is "sterile, cold, and lifeless" then sign me up for that sound any day! I love my EMGs for playing metal. My other metal guitar has a passive SD Invader and while I love the sound it puts out, I still prefer the EMGs.

I agree that they don't work well with all string brands. Fortunately for me they work great with Earnie Ball, which has always been my string of choice.

And I agree with another post that talked about how noiseless they are. Dead silent until you want them to make noise.

Like I originally said though, people are usually very polarized about them. Either they love them or they hate them.
#25
I have a EMG 58/85 Setup on my WRMG.

It's completely different tone for metal though since the 58 is noisier that 81 and 81. Though it packs a lot bass and high for active pup.
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#26
Quote by jerm138
I think sterility and character are determined more by the playing style than the pickup.

What exactly makes a tone "organic?" I'm not trying to argue here... I just constantly hear words like "sterile," "cold," and "lifeless" when people are criticizing EMGs. I don't know what people are trying to describe here, but if the sound those things make is "sterile, cold, and lifeless" then sign me up for that sound any day! I love my EMGs for playing metal. My other metal guitar has a passive SD Invader and while I love the sound it puts out, I still prefer the EMGs.

I agree that they don't work well with all string brands. Fortunately for me they work great with Earnie Ball, which has always been my string of choice.

And I agree with another post that talked about how noiseless they are. Dead silent until you want them to make noise.

Like I originally said though, people are usually very polarized about them. Either they love them or they hate them.


By "organic" I meant natural(or original)

passives strongly colour the sound..thats what makes them sound "natural" and "lively"