#1
I've been looking into Blackouts, Livewires, EMGs, Guitarheads, and Dragonfires. Any experiences with these pickups would be highly appreciated. I'm going for a high gain, cut-through the mix, chugging pickup. I know emgs are the traditional way to go, but how do they compare to the cheaper alternatives? I've heard dragonfires are as good as emgs for 1/3 the price.
#2
i personally prefer an EMG 85/60 combo, but theyr'e not cheap. i've heard good things about the dragonfires for the price too.
-carlton-
71 deluxe goldtop - mojo
09 LTD H-401FM - JB-8/59
10 LTD MH-350NT - slash A2pro/A2pro
99 LTD M-100 - distortion/496R \m/
peavey vypyr 100, bad monkey, peavey iPhone amp kit
#4
I've owned EMG's (81/85 and 81/60) and livewires, and I've preferred the 81/60 combo. it just seems to have a really good balance

that being said, you're gonna have to try them!!!!!
#5
I'm in love with my EMG 81TW in my LP Jr. It's an EMG 81 with a stacked single coil, the package includes a push pull pot intended to be wired for switching between the two. there's also the EMG 89 which is the EMG 85 equivalent of the TW model.

Edit: I should have mentioned, I find the 81 to be very trebly so it should definitely cut through the mix. Once EQ'd you can level it out where you want though and it seems to respond better to EQ than my passive pickups have.
My Gear:
Suzuki Classical Guitar from 60s
B.C. Rich Warlock
Epiphone Les Paul Junior
Monterey Steel String Acoustic
Maton M255 Steel String Acoustic
Agile AL-3100 w/ EMG 81/85
Bugera 6262-212
Last edited by nitestick at Jun 7, 2011,
#6
All of them will sound powerful and cut through well. All of them will do chugging well. Which one will be best for you depends on the tone balance (treble/mids/bass) you want, what you want your clean sound to sound like and what your guitar/amp are. For what it's worth though I've tried Dragonfrie pickups and found them to not be very good, they don't have the sensitivity of EMG pickups. LiveWires have a more traditional guitar tone which many people like but they also have more background noise. Regular EMGs are the most compressed sounding but for metal that can be a good thing. Blackouts and EMG-X pickups are basically the same thing, they have a little more headroom than regular EMGs but not as much as LiveWires, kind of a cross between the two. For metal you can't really go wrong with an EMG 81-X and 85-X set.
#7
81/60

Still one of the best pickup combos I have ever used.

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#8
i used an 81 in the bridge for 10 years then switched to an 85 at the bridge since its fatter sounding and a little hotter, less glassy.
-carlton-
71 deluxe goldtop - mojo
09 LTD H-401FM - JB-8/59
10 LTD MH-350NT - slash A2pro/A2pro
99 LTD M-100 - distortion/496R \m/
peavey vypyr 100, bad monkey, peavey iPhone amp kit