#1
Hey, I have a Hagstrom XL-2 with a Emg 85 in the Bridge, and a Emg 81 in the neck position. I recently bought a Blackstar Ht-1 and I am planning to upgrade to a Blackstar stage 60

I mostly play hard rock/metal, but i dabble in all genres such as country, progressive, classical, etc (basically whatever catches my ear)

I like these pickups but i feel that when I switched to active pickups from passive I am missing something, especially in the clean department. I like to have zero distortion in my clean tone, but i like to go to ultra high gain tones when i crank it up.
Another thing is that my guitar had a coil tap before i switched and I want to be able to coiltap to be more dynamic with my clean tones, and make my Blackstar shine

with my lead tone i was thinking something like a dimebucker with that grinding chainsaw sound, but way more fuller.

Note that i have a 85 in my bridge and 81 in the neck, instead of vice versa like most people, and I want that same comparison between the two passives i'll get that the 85 and 81 have (if that makes sense lol)

yeah srry bout the grammar and whatever im pretty tired, ill give more information and add it later

tl;dr I want passive pickups that I can coil tap, that balance with each other like a EMG 85 in the bridge and 81 in the neck, and that go from super clean to ultra high gain

Last edited by brytanoutrage at Mar 7, 2013,
#2
Seymour Duncan JB and '59 are usually a winning combo, a lot of guitars come out as either 81/85 or JB/'59. Give it a try and see if you likey.

EDIT: They're also 4-conductor pickups, so you can coil tap them.
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#3
Put an 89 in the bridge and a 60X in the neck.

If you want to go passive though, a DiMarzio X2N would be a much better choice than a Dimebucker. Try an SD Jazz in the neck, or maybe a DM PAF Pro.

EDIT: Actually a better choice for the neck would probably be a DM D Activator X Neck. It cleans up well, it'll balance well with an X2N, and I think it splits well as well.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at Mar 7, 2013,
#4
Ill throw in the BKP cold sweat matched set... super super versitile metal/rock pickups. the neck has a smooth PAF type tone.
bridge feels like a duncan distortion but more mids in comparison (in the ear not on the paper)

the mentioned and tried true jb/59 or even jb/jazz can never go wrong.
#6
I get better clean, rock and metal tones with my active EMGs than I ever did with passive humbuckers. I recommed the 81b/60n set.
I think the only thing EMG's suffer form is stereotypes.
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#7
EMG's are just cold pickups you either love them or hate them. So if he is wanting to switch out his EMG's for something different chances are that Another EMG pickups will get him more frustrated. Just because the 60 has a different voice than the 85 and 81 there still EMG's.

As everyone mentioned above the JB/59 or JB/Jazz are go to pickups. Since you have an 81 in the neck i would go for the Jazz personally.

If you have an 85 in the bridge in would try what the others are mentioning like the D-Activators and X2N by Dimarzio. There very loud passive pickups very similar to EMG's.

If your wanting to calm it down a hair i would try a 59 HYBRID, Distortion or JB. There awesome pickups.
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#8
Nah, I've played passives my whole life and recently started playing actives. Cold and sterile are generalizations perpetuated by EMG haters. Often as a result of visual labels. Much like the digital amp modeling debate. Most guitarists would end up losing their shirt in a blind bet shootout regarding the matter.
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#9
Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz combo gets my recommendation.

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#10
I've decided to get a pair of Dimarzio D-Activators, and just fyi I've gotten better clean tones with my stock Hagstrom pickups than I did with the Emgs, although the lead tone is way better
#11
Oh good lord, not D Activators. You think your EMGs sound lacking now? Wait 'till you hear D Activators. All the same feel of active pickups only with a more limited frequency response range and more noise. God damn are they awful.

Easiest thing for you if you want a split tone (it's 'split', not 'tap') and you want the narrower response of passives is to use an EMG 89RX and 81TWX. They're just the same as what you have now but with more headroom, wide dynamic range, even wider frequency response and even less noise, plus a split mode which also remains hum-cancelling and low-impedance. Best of all, you won't have to change anything other than swithcing the tone pot to a push-pull.

Failing that, if you're dead set on going passive (remember to ground the bridge!) but still want high output for pushing your amp hard, go for the Seymour Duncan Alternative 8, Custom or DiMarzio Evo 2. They've all got much more 'life' to them than D Activators, work better split and have enough output for the most extreme drive you could ever want whilst not having noise-inducing output like the D Activators. For the neck, an SD Jazz or DM PAF Pro is going to be your best bet.
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#12
Quote by Van Noord
Nah, I've played passives my whole life and recently started playing actives. Cold and sterile are generalizations perpetuated by EMG haters. Often as a result of visual labels. Much like the digital amp modeling debate. Most guitarists would end up losing their shirt in a blind bet shootout regarding the matter.

Ive done a blindfold test. And Emg's were the first to go. Trust me i can tell. Most cant but i know how to tell whats active and passive. To me its a night and day comparison to EMG and Duncan or Dimarzio's.

Oh and good luck with your DActivators. There nice but like the name its very close in tone to an active without the battery. There a little flat in my opinion. MrFlibble recomended me some Duncan's before and thats what im doing in my EPI here soon. I think it was a Distortion/59 if my mind remembers correctly. It will be a month or so before i get mine. Bye Bye EMG 60/85 Hello sweet Duncans!
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