#1
Im thinking about replacing the pickups in my gibson with EMGs, but i dont know whether i should have the 85 installed in the bridge, or the 81, and its driving me crazy. I watched a youtube video where someone said that i could always switch the pickups with ease (just unscrew, switchum out, and screw back in) if i wanted to try a different placement of the 81/85. The 81 is ceramic, and the 85 is alnico, soooooo, which is hotter??? Ive heard that the 81 is brighter, but the 85 is more versatile, more bassy, and deeper. What do you guys think i should do??? i play mostly metal. Thrash and death, i want my rhythms to be crunchy as ****, and i want my leads to tear right through the mix, but have some depth and richness as well. Your input would be most appreciated. Thanks!!!
#2
If you want depth and deepness you probably want the 85. The 81 is quite bright, and cuts a bit better, but the 85/60 set is the only EMG setup I could get along with. I just can't stand the 81, it gets a bit too flat and bright for my taste.
#3
Id go with the 81 at the bridge. It's crisper and clearer than the 85. But like Roc8995 said, it is a bit flat
#4
Quote by Roc8995
If you want depth and deepness you probably want the 85. The 81 is quite bright, and cuts a bit better, but the 85/60 set is the only EMG setup I could get along with. I just can't stand the 81, it gets a bit too flat and bright for my taste.

Exactly this.
#6
depth and richness... not to be trolling but try the 58...
I tried one a couple months back, it's like an uncompressed 81...

but it's LOUD!! and lotsa hum, just put a noise gate

to me:
81: smashing
85: Rumbling
58: screamnig
???
#7
Honestly, from what you described in the OP, you'd probably be best off with the standard 81/85. I mean, as long as you have a good amp that will let the EMG's do what they do, the 81 is crunchy as ****. The 85 is more smooth. It sounds more powerful, but it's more punchy, and not as crunchy. The 85 sounds perfect for you in the neck. I have a 60 in the neck right now, and I hate it for "cutting" leads. It's too mellow. Cleans are nice though.
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#8
if you don't like it then no big deal because the EMGs have that easy swap system, so if you don't like the sound you can swap the bridge and the neck positions easily.
Quote by barden1069
A "tubescreamer" is a person paid by a guitarist to stand behind the amp and scream at the tubes. This terrifies the tubes into overdriving and delivers a thick, harmonic-rich tone.
#10
81/60 set. the 81 is going to be far tighter sounding and give you excellent crunch. ive found that an 85 in the bridge position is almost always flabby and too boomy. just didn't like it.

the 81, though certainly suceptible to sounding sterile if eq'd badly, is absolutely punishing as a bridge unit. the 60 gives you a solid clean tone, a good lead tone, and with the right eq you can use it as a rhythm unit.
#11
The others have covered all the tone stuff so I'll just add this, the 81 specs out to be higher output than the 85 but the 85 has stronger mids which hit your amp harder. On a British-style amp the 85 will sound hotter but possibly muddier. On a American-style amp the 81 will seem hotter but also more sterile. Obviously that means the 85 on an American amp will seem slightly less aggressive but have more character and the 81 on a British amp will seem the slightly cooler of the two but will respond better.

If you have a solid state amp or get your distortion from a metal distortion pedal then get the 85 to give you the best chance of having any presence to your tone. If you use a modelling amp then use the 81 for the most basic tone so the modelling can do its thing properly. But really EMGs should be used with a good tube amp in either case.
#12
I dont like the 60 in the neck. to sterile for my tastes. and the 81 works for me. Its pretty tight but clear, leads on it on the bridge I like a fair bit too. I think I prefer the 81/85 combo more than the 81/60 I have now