#1
I've stripped a guitar of all it's parts and I'm customizing it a bunch.

I've decided that I'm going to try out EMGs as I've never had them and would like to give them a shot.

I'm going to use an 81 in the bridge but what would people reccomend for the neck. 60 or 85? What are the pros and cons of each?

I have basically no experience with them, aside from just playing around at music stores.

Thanks in advance.
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#2
Before you decide on 81 for the bridge: don't do it. Go for 81tw.

And I spent many hours and nights trying to make the decision of which EMGs for my custom build. I chose 60/81tw. The 60 is much easier to clean up, but can still get that sweet chunky chugga-chugga. Unless you don't want a clean option, go for 60.
#3
If you can afford it, go for the X series, I hear nothing but good things about them.
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#4
Although I agree with Mr Winters that they ARE good, I would rather not buy active pickups designed to sound like passive ones. I'd rather have active ones (plus, do the 18v mod and they sound EXACTLY like the X series anyways).
#5
Quote by Wisthekiller
Although I agree with Mr Winters that they ARE good, I would rather not buy active pickups designed to sound like passive ones. I'd rather have active ones (plus, do the 18v mod and they sound EXACTLY like the X series anyways).


18v mod isn't doable in certain cases. Where the battery compartment is a separate unit from the control cavity, there is only room for one battery. I certainly don't want to do unnecessary drilling in my guitar You could I suppose try to fit both batteries under the pickup but if 18v is what you want you'd might as well just get the X. Also, EMG X's don't sound like passives. They still sound very active, just with a less compressed sound.

OP - as for emg's, it depends what guitar you're putting them into and what style you're going for
#6
Quote by fixationdarknes
18v mod isn't doable in certain cases. Where the battery compartment is a separate unit from the control cavity, there is only room for one battery. I certainly don't want to do unnecessary drilling in my guitar You could I suppose try to fit both batteries under the pickup but if 18v is what you want you'd might as well just get the X. Also, EMG X's don't sound like passives. They still sound very active, just with a less compressed sound.

OP - as for emg's, it depends what guitar you're putting them into and what style you're going for


I've heard that they were EMG's attempt at sounding more "organic" which I interpreted as "like passives." But you are probably right.
#7
EMGx's have a lot of love going on, a lot of people are saying like, EMGX>Blackouts>EMG'S

I'd say go for the x series man.
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#9
The 60 sounds more vintage than the 85. The 60 cleans up nicer, is smoother and doesn't have as much output. But it's also more bassy. I have an 81/60 set right now, and I honestly don't like the 60. A lot of people do, but I don't. I think the 85 sounds much better for leads.
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#10
The 60 doesn't sound 'vintage' in the slightest. Dunno what you're on about there.

The 60 is super bright. Ceramic pickups in the neck aren't a good idea with passive pickups and with actives the problems are taken to the extreme. If you don't like typical neck tones and you basically want a neck pickup that sounds like a middle pickup or a second bridge pickup then get the 60. The 60 is a pure metal neck tone. Classic it ain't. It's pretty much an 81 but slightly weaker to get the brighter sound.

The 85 is more or less an 81 with an alnico magnet. Huge mids and the most output. It gets muddy and overbearing in the neck but some people like it. Depends how 'brutal' you want to be. If you position it far from the strings it does produce a fairly decent all-roudn neck tone. At its correct height it's just too powerful. Personally I don't think the 85 shoulf be used anywhere but in the bridge.

The 60A is inbetween the two. Much warmer tone than the 60 but also a lot clearer than the 85. That's the one that sounds closest to a classic neck pickup.

81 isn't too bad in the neck. Basically same problems as the 85 but a little clearer. Good if you want full power there without the muddiness.

If you really care about your neck tone you should really use EMG Xs. They have much more headroom which helps with the clarity problems the neck position always has. And no they do NOT just sound like passives, they do still sound like active pickups.
#12
...yeah. I own a 60. In the neck. It's not bright.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#14
Geez, reading comprehension. I never said the 60 was vintage. I said it was more vintage sounding than the 85. Which it is. The 85 is more scooped, and is higher output than the 60, and therefore sounds more modern than the 60, which has a more rounded EQ.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#15
Definitely go James Hetfield set. It's not just the looks, they sound WAY better than usual EMGs.
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#16
i like the 60, its got a much better clean sound and i like the smooth lead tone of it over the 85 any day
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#17
I've got two Les Pauls, one with EMG 60/81 and one with EMG 85/81

The 60 in the neck is an amazing clean pickup while the 85 is a great neck pickup to solo with in my opinion (Has an ermmm... tubey sound to it sometimes, little like a half cocked wah pedal especially for runs up the neck)

Depends what you play, in a shootout the 60 wins on cleans everytime for me while the 85 is a better pickup for lead playing. Although the 85 can clean up pretty well by backing off the volume for a nice warm clean sound.
#18
(Repeating what alot above have said)
60 definitely sounds bassy, which I love, and they sound great for cleans.
85 definitely has more mids, from what I could tell, and sounds great for neck pickup playing.
As for the 81, I love it.
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