#1
Hey everyone,

I wanted to put this out there and see if anyone has experienced something similar or if it's all just in my head.

My setup is Jackson Dinky with EMG 81/85 and EB Skinny Top Heavy Bottom strings into a Peavey 5150 Combo (JJ 12AX7s and 6L6s). When I first got this amp I thought things sounded great but then it seemed that the bass was getting very "Tinny" or Metalic sounding (and not in the Metal this kicks ass sense. . . ) - basically sounds very bad. I recall this happening a couple of weeks after putting the fresh set of JJ tubes in. The mids and highs seem ok but I play mostly rhythm so it's very noticeable. I remember this setup kicking me in the chest with the bass. The sound continued to degrade to my ear and is most noticeable on the Lead channel though its still there through the Rhythm channel.

I've changed the strings and changed the EQ settings (including the presence and resonance) on the amp all over the place chasing this. I've also turned down the gain and tried rolling the guitar volume knob down.

When I play with my Kelly SD JB/Jazz with .10s with the same amp settings it thumps and the low end sounds great to my ears.

For what it's worth my full signal chain today is Guitar > Korg Pitchblack+ > Joyo Vintage Overdrive > High Gain Input on 5150 > FX Send > MXR 10-Band EQ > ISP Decimator > FX Return.

I've tried with and without the Vintage Overdrive and tried changing the MXR EQ all around as well without solving the "issue".

I've changed the battery and even tried the 18V mod with no success as well.

Any ideas if something is up with the EMG 81, tone pot, tone capacitor, etc. or is this just a case of me not really liking the way active pickups sound with high gain amps?

The 85 in the neck doesn't sound too hot either though it has more bass response.

Also for what it's worth I have the EMG AB (Afterburner) on this guitar as well but rarely ever use it - it's stock from the mid 2000's era.

Even if it's all in my head I did convince myself to get the OD and EQ in chasing this!

So has anyone heard of or experienced this before or is it all simply in my head?

I appreciate the feedback.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#2
I have a Schecter Damien Platinum FR with the EMG 81 in the bridge, I'm also using the same strings, but keep in mind I'm not an expert. I can agree with you about the tinny sound, mine can get a little thin with certain settings. Have you tried messing with your bass and treble levels on the amp? I have a solid-state Peavy Vypyr (one of the older "analog" ones, not the new digital ones), so I can sort of relate (but it doesn't compare to tubes).

If all else fails, it might just be your guitar/pickups. From what I can tell, sometimes pickups just don't match with certain guitars. You might want to look at some other pickups. I heard those SD Blackouts are pretty good, but if you know how to solder you could look at getting passive pickups. I'm a fan of the SD sound, I'm considering swapping my EMGs for Blackouts. Good luck!
#3
swapped any tubes around yet? could be off but i have had power tubes die simularily. its nice on the 6505 as they are fixed biased and could throw any set of new power tubes in there.

if it wasn't powertubes, you should have extra around for when the do go.
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#4
http://www.electrosmash.com/emg81

There's a frequency response chart, the 81 isn't super bassy to begin with IMO.

I find the 81 to be a little crunchier than bassy to be honest. That being said, could be the tubes in your amp.

Have you tried just removing certain things from the signal chain al together?
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#5
Quote by metalmingee
When I first got this amp I thought things sounded great but then it seemed that the bass was getting very "Tinny" or Metalic sounding (and not in the Metal this kicks ass sense. . . ) - basically sounds very bad. I recall this happening a couple of weeks after putting the fresh set of JJ tubes in. The mids and highs seem ok but I play mostly rhythm so it's very noticeable. I remember this setup kicking me in the chest with the bass.


I'm wondering why the title of this post is about EMG's? Especially if you noticed the problem after a tube swap. I would think it would be about the amp...
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#6
Thanks for the replies so far. I don't believe it's a problem with the amp as my other guitar - Jackson Kelly with SD JB/Jazz - sounds great. I was thinking it was the amp as well at first but the second guitar ruled that out for now. I'll pickup another set of power tubes as I need a spare set around anyway. The "Tinny" weak sound is isolated to the guitar with the EMG 81.

I've also removed everything from the signal chain - i.e. ran guitar > amp - and it didn't make a difference.

I also notice the sound running through a Vox Amplug for silent/travel practice as well. I'm pretty sure what I'm hearing is limited to the guitar with the EMG 81.

Has anyone ever had the capacitor go bad or run an EMG 81 without the capacitor on the tone pot? What about an EMG 81 going bad or microphonic?

Thanks!
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .