#1
Have a couple questions about this set. I've never owned a guitar with actives before and am looking at one now that has this set. I do like the sound for metal but there isn't very much tonal variation with them at all from the guitar's standpoint.

What I'm wondering is if a good amp could change the sound enough to play classic rock, say zz top or zeppelin, or blues/blues rock? And actually get tones close to what I mentioned.
Or will they always just sound like power crunch in your face metal?
#2
*my personal opinion*

Imho the EMG-81 is great for high gain solo wankery, especially with loads of effects, but average to bad for anything else. Clean they're plain shite, way too thin and sterile, for classic rock/blues crunch they lack dirt and character, and for my personal liking of metal shredding they're too soft and lack bite. I find the Seymour Duncan JB better at everything, except for Satriani and melodic death metal with loads of arpeggio fiddling and stuff like that.

Sure, you can play everything with it, and your amp is probably the most important thing for your sound, but imho for classic rock there aren't many pickups worse than an EMG-81, for that I'd prefer Gibson pickups anytime.

Just my two cents, others will have different opinions.
#3
Quote by Knarrenheino
*my personal opinion*

Imho the EMG-81 is great for high gain solo wankery, especially with loads of effects, but average to bad for anything else. Clean they're plain shite, way too thin and sterile, for classic rock/blues crunch they lack dirt and character, and for my personal liking of metal shredding they're too soft and lack bite. I find the Seymour Duncan JB better at everything, except for Satriani and melodic death metal with loads of arpeggio fiddling and stuff like that.

Sure, you can play everything with it, and your amp is probably the most important thing for your sound, but imho for classic rock there aren't many pickups worse than an EMG-81, for that I'd prefer Gibson pickups anytime.

Just my two cents, others will have different opinions.


That's kind of what I was afraid of..I have been thinking about getting an Ephiphone Custom Classic Pro, but I came across a Nick Cantonese PRS SE that I really really like..only problem is the EMG's.
#4
Personally, I'd choose the Epiphone, it has Gibson pickups which eliminates the greatest problem of Epiphone guitars, which is Epiphone pickups.

But please, don't take what I say for granted, that is my personal opinion, and wait for other opinions on this.

edit: also, I can't say anything about the 85. I'm used to the 81, but have no experience with the 85.
Last edited by Knarrenheino at Feb 14, 2015,
#5
many of the positives that Active pups have are kinda opposite of what is considered good for blues and classic rock. i've never gotten a blues tone that i really liked with actives. i d think that actives have an undeserved rep for being sterile and sounding the same. in many cases the players are using the same or very similar gear and thus produce a similar sound. actives tend to have a somewhat wider tonal range which throws off many players. wouldn't be my first choice for ZZ or Zep.
#6
I think one has to differentiate there. When talking about actives, most people think about EMGs. But not every active pickup is going to be like an EMG. I learned that some dislike EMGs but love SD Blackouts, for example.
#7
Quote by basudz


What I'm wondering is if a good amp could change the sound enough to play classic rock, say zz top or zeppelin, or blues/blues rock? And actually get tones close to what I mentioned.


You're going to be much better off with a guitar that has more versatile pickups. You can still play great metal with them, but you won't have a one-trick pony.
#8
Quote by monwobobbo
many of the positives that Active pups have are kinda opposite of what is considered good for blues and classic rock. i've never gotten a blues tone that i really liked with actives. i d think that actives have an undeserved rep for being sterile and sounding the same. in many cases the players are using the same or very similar gear and thus produce a similar sound. actives tend to have a somewhat wider tonal range which throws off many players. wouldn't be my first choice for ZZ or Zep.



I definitely play a lot of metal and I wouldn't get this exclusively for ZZ or Zep..I'm just wondering if I could at least get close with amp settings..I'm still a beginner / intermediate level player so even with a better fitting guitar, it's still not going to sound great due to my current level of play. I definitely have good ear for sound though, just lack the experience to know how much I can change the tone of these EMG's with pure amp settings.
#9
Quote by basudz
I definitely play a lot of metal and I wouldn't get this exclusively for ZZ or Zep..I'm just wondering if I could at least get close with amp settings..I'm still a beginner / intermediate level player so even with a better fitting guitar, it's still not going to sound great due to my current level of play. I definitely have good ear for sound though, just lack the experience to know how much I can change the tone of these EMG's with pure amp settings.


well pure amp settings regardless of pickups used may not work that well. much of that would depend on the amp used. duplicating tones can be a tough (and maddening) thing. your guitar makes a difference to. a strat into a fender amp ain't getting you Page or Billy without a lot of help. as mentioned you may be better off getting pickups that have a wider range of abilities. you certainly don't need actives to play metal.
#10
Quote by monwobobbo
well pure amp settings regardless of pickups used may not work that well. much of that would depend on the amp used. duplicating tones can be a tough (and maddening) thing. your guitar makes a difference to. a strat into a fender amp ain't getting you Page or Billy without a lot of help. as mentioned you may be better off getting pickups that have a wider range of abilities. you certainly don't need actives to play metal.


I definitely wasn't looking for actives, just saw and played a guitar that I liked that had them. I was/am considering an Ephiphone LP Custom Classic Pro that has Gibson pups in it. I just happen to run across a PRS Nick Cantonese SE Evil Twin that played really nice and was in perfect condition. And cheaper than a new Epiphone.
#11
Quote by basudz
I definitely wasn't looking for actives, just saw and played a guitar that I liked that had them. I was/am considering an Ephiphone LP Custom Classic Pro that has Gibson pups in it. I just happen to run across a PRS Nick Cantonese SE Evil Twin that played really nice and was in perfect condition. And cheaper than a new Epiphone.


well pups can be replaced. not saying you couldn't play Zep or ZZ with that guitar just that you won't nail the tone. if you like the guitar and it's a good deal then personally i'd go for it. the Epi you are talking about would be ideal for Page and Gibbons but not as good for metal so you can't win either way
#12
Quote by monwobobbo
well pups can be replaced. not saying you couldn't play Zep or ZZ with that guitar just that you won't nail the tone. if you like the guitar and it's a good deal then personally i'd go for it. the Epi you are talking about would be ideal for Page and Gibbons but not as good for metal so you can't win either way


haha if only I could afford both of them...problem solved!
#13
I would go with the PRS. IMO the PRS SE line are some of the best guitars at that price point.
#14
I vote for the PRS, it will be a better guitar than the Epi in terms of feel and quality - at least in my experience with the two brands. Its also cheaper to replace pickups than the guitar later on. If you go for the PRS try putting the 85 in the bridge (EMGs can be unplugged and swapped) and you will probably find the guitar and pickup a lot more versatile.