#2
Unless you have tried them before, go try a guitar with them in it. I think they are lifeless p/u's, but many use them. They will mak a $10 yard sale guitar sound the same as a $5000 guitar. I would sugesst going with some nice high output passive. Dimarzio, Seymour Duncan, Bare Knuckels are a few that come to mind.
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#3
There are good descriptions on their website.

But the most common setups are 81 (B) / 85 (N), or 81 (B) / 60 (N). 81 / 81 is also popular. Other combinations that aren't popular but work well are 85/85, and 85/81. The least common is probably 85/60. I don't think I've ever heard of that being used.

81 is very searing and powerful. The 60 is pretty mellow and relatively dark. The 85 is kind of in the middle. It's much more powerful than the 60, but it's not as cutting as the 81.

People say that the 60 has the best cleans, but honestly I've gotten good cleans with all 3. It's all a matter of EQing. Obviously the 81 will have really bright cleans.

If you're looking for more versatility, there's the 81TW, and the 89. The 81TW is 2 pickups in one, accessed via a push/pull pot. "Down" is a full 81, and "up" is an EMG S (single coil with ceramic pickup.) The 89 is basically the same deal. "down" is an 85, and "up" is an SA (alnico single coil). Unfortunately there isn't a dual version of the 60, for whatever reason.

There are also "X" version of all the pickups, which give them more headroom, making them slightly warmer, sound more organic rather than sterile, which tends to leads to more full and lively sounding cleans and distortion, at the cost of not being quite "as" biting. Which version is better is not an objective, but just determines on what the player is looking for in their tone.

That pretty much covers the actives. The passives are more or less complete garbage to be avoided, except apparently the new SRO series. I haven't tried them personally, but they're supposed to be very good for their price.
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#5
I've been into metal alot lately and i outfitted my esp/ltd with the 85x(b)/81x(n) I love the x-series i Think they sound great my configuration is a little unorthodox compared to some with the 85 in the bridge but I tried them both ways and like the 85 best in the bridge. I can get all kinds of good tones with it by rolling back the volume or just coloring it a little with eq or preamp settings on my gt-10
#6
i'm thinking about putting EMG's in my Squier
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#7
Emg 81 (bridge) and emg 60 (neck) are my favourite! You get the perfect heavy metal sound and you get really nice cleans!
#8
so you already got some good descriptions. the main ones out there, 81 = great distorted punchy metal rhythm pickup. EMG 60 = very known for its smooth leads in the neck positions and good cleans. 89 = coil tap-able, great in pretty much all aspects. EMG 85 = also great for neck/leads. not the best cleans. The X series is just tha same pickups with more headroom. those are the most popular
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#9
There's also the very uncommon 58 which I have installed in my ESP SV-II in the neck position.

The 58 is the model that preceded the 85 in the early days of EMG. It's smooth and round like a PAF but it's quite noisy for a active pickup.
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#10
I've been a metal/rock guitarist for a while, but i've been training in jazz for a couple of years now. If i wanted to maintain the tone that i get for distorted leads out of my neck pickup while also being able to get smooth clean leads and clear chords, would the 81x(b)/85x(n) combo or the 81x(b)/60x(n) combo be a better choice?

Also, how does the battery system work on EMGs? like, how long do they typically last and how do you know if they're almost dead?
#11
the higher the number the more they suck
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#12
Quote by Offworld92
There are good descriptions on their website.

But the most common setups are 81 (B) / 85 (N), or 81 (B) / 60 (N). 81 / 81 is also popular. Other combinations that aren't popular but work well are 85/85, and 85/81. The least common is probably 85/60. I don't think I've ever heard of that being used.

81 is very searing and powerful. The 60 is pretty mellow and relatively dark. The 85 is kind of in the middle. It's much more powerful than the 60, but it's not as cutting as the 81.

People say that the 60 has the best cleans, but honestly I've gotten good cleans with all 3. It's all a matter of EQing. Obviously the 81 will have really bright cleans.

If you're looking for more versatility, there's the 81TW, and the 89. The 81TW is 2 pickups in one, accessed via a push/pull pot. "Down" is a full 81, and "up" is an EMG S (single coil with ceramic pickup.) The 89 is basically the same deal. "down" is an 85, and "up" is an SA (alnico single coil). Unfortunately there isn't a dual version of the 60, for whatever reason.

There are also "X" version of all the pickups, which give them more headroom, making them slightly warmer, sound more organic rather than sterile, which tends to leads to more full and lively sounding cleans and distortion, at the cost of not being quite "as" biting. Which version is better is not an objective, but just determines on what the player is looking for in their tone.

That pretty much covers the actives. The passives are more or less complete garbage to be avoided, except apparently the new SRO series. I haven't tried them personally, but they're supposed to be very good for their price.


The SRO series are very decent pickups. They are based off the pickups that AXL put in their Mayhem series guitars, which, I had one, and did a bunch of clips on, pickups, great, guitar, piece of junk.

The SRO OC1 has more output than my BKP Painkiller it's alot more bassy than my PK, and has more grunt, but it's not as tight as my PK, I actually liked it, was a nice contrast to my PK.

But yeah, I think you covered actives pretty well.
#13
Quote by sporkman7
I've been a metal/rock guitarist for a while, but i've been training in jazz for a couple of years now. If i wanted to maintain the tone that i get for distorted leads out of my neck pickup while also being able to get smooth clean leads and clear chords, would the 81x(b)/85x(n) combo or the 81x(b)/60x(n) combo be a better choice?

Also, how does the battery system work on EMGs? like, how long do they typically last and how do you know if they're almost dead?

either the 85 or the 60 will give nice leads. the 85 has a lot more output than the 81 and 60. a 9v (or 2, for 18v) battery snap is put into the control cavity, and is connected to the pickups.

they will last probably over a year if you remember to unplug your guitar when you're done. or else they will drain, and you will notice your clean tone being distorted and thin.
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#14
Quote by lbj273
the higher the number the more they suck


You're just a bundle of joy aren't you?

I'm going to throw a couple of names out.

Tosin Abasi, Zakk Wylde, Devin Townsend, etc. etc. EMGs have great tone.

To the TS. If you're switching out your stock passive pickups for active EMGs, you are getting yourself into quite a commitment. In case you don't know already, you'll need to do some routing into the guitar to make room for the battery.

Definitely try some guitars that already have them installed before you make the leap...and maybe even consider just getting a guitar that's already equipped with them. If you end up not liking them, it would suck to have a hole in the back of your guitar.

I use an EMG 81 and EMG 85...and they sound great. I think you'll like EMGs a lot. They just get a lot of hate from purists who haven't accepted that new technology can be good sometimes.
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#15
Zakk Wylde has good tone?


and yes I was being sarcastic in my first post, still not an active fan
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Quote by Dmaj7
I don't know how to count canadians, the metric system is hard

Quote by gregs1020
well if lbj pokes his head in here and there's no nuts shit's gonna go doooooooowwwwwwwwwn.



{Pedalboard Thread Native: The Muffin Man}
#16
Quote by lbj273
Zakk Wylde has good tone?


and yes I was being sarcastic in my first post, still not an active fan


Yeah, Zakk Wylde has good tone. Not the best, but it's good.
Quote by rmr024
Well, in California, people carry around devices that control the minds of bears. So expect to see people walking their bears.

Also, don't be surprised if some robot hookers try to solicit sex to you on the streets.
#17
also this Toshi Abai dude's tone is teh suck and who the hell is Devin Townsend?
Call me Dom
Quote by Dmaj7
I don't know how to count canadians, the metric system is hard

Quote by gregs1020
well if lbj pokes his head in here and there's no nuts shit's gonna go doooooooowwwwwwwwwn.



{Pedalboard Thread Native: The Muffin Man}
#18
Quote by lbj273
also this Toshi Abai dude's tone is teh suck and who the hell is Devin Townsend?


Hope you're trolling.

If you think this tone is bad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt-RoSzsEKA

Then you're an idiot.
Quote by rmr024
Well, in California, people carry around devices that control the minds of bears. So expect to see people walking their bears.

Also, don't be surprised if some robot hookers try to solicit sex to you on the streets.
#19
its fizzy and overly compressed
Call me Dom
Quote by Dmaj7
I don't know how to count canadians, the metric system is hard

Quote by gregs1020
well if lbj pokes his head in here and there's no nuts shit's gonna go doooooooowwwwwwwwwn.



{Pedalboard Thread Native: The Muffin Man}
#20
I use a rechargeable battery in my guitar with EMG's. I fitted a small phono jack to the back of the guitar. Before a gig I just plug a battery charger into it and give it a charge. I've been using the same battery for 10 years or more.
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#21
If you're playing anything besides metal, dont get them. sure you can play other stuff with them, but you'll have to fiddle with the eq so much. honestly, i have a schecter with 81 and 60 in it, that or the 81 and 85 and I really hate the tone. wanna buy it?
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#22
Quote by lbj273
its fizzy and overly compressed




TS: Please don't let this guy discourage you. EMGs are great. Hell, don't even let us decide for you. Let the people who use them speak for themselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt-RoSzsEKA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvfg0iLnzsw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT4OxitIAxQ
Quote by rmr024
Well, in California, people carry around devices that control the minds of bears. So expect to see people walking their bears.

Also, don't be surprised if some robot hookers try to solicit sex to you on the streets.
Last edited by SLonergan at Jul 1, 2011,
#23
Quote by JAHellraiser
If you're playing anything besides metal, dont get them.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox2yPHlLr1s&feature=related
Quote by rmr024
Well, in California, people carry around devices that control the minds of bears. So expect to see people walking their bears.

Also, don't be surprised if some robot hookers try to solicit sex to you on the streets.
#24
Long ago I had an LP copy with EMG 81-60 and two of the knobs were replaced with EMG EXG and EMG Afterburner.

Holy hell, that was a killer guitar, clean or dirty it did it all.

You might want to check out the Seymour Duncan Blackouts. I had a set in my Carvin DC127 before I went passive (Carvin M22s).
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#25
Quote by Cathbard
I use a rechargeable battery in my guitar with EMG's. I fitted a small phono jack to the back of the guitar. Before a gig I just plug a battery charger into it and give it a charge. I've been using the same battery for 10 years or more.



You would you genius.
#26
Quote by sporkman7
I've been a metal/rock guitarist for a while, but i've been training in jazz for a couple of years now. If i wanted to maintain the tone that i get for distorted leads out of my neck pickup while also being able to get smooth clean leads and clear chords, would the 81x(b)/85x(n) combo or the 81x(b)/60x(n) combo be a better choice?

Also, how does the battery system work on EMGs? like, how long do they typically last and how do you know if they're almost dead?

Look up Jody Fisher. He's an awesome jazz guitarist who uses a Klein (one of those Ovation Breadwinner-shaped guitars with the Steinberger headless system) with EMGs. I'm not sure what set it is, but he gets a great jazz tone out of them.
#27
Offworld92 pretty much covered it.
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