#1
Okay, so MOST guitars that come stocked with active pickups come with EMG81s nowadays. I have an LTD, a Schecter Hellraiser c-1 and a Schecter Hellraiser C-7frs and they all come with EMG81s. I decided to go for something with a slimmer neck, and ordered an Ibanez Iron Label RG7 exotic wood (blue). This comes stock with a set of dual EMG 707's. I have a few questions. First of all, what is the point of a dual pickup set? Wouldn't it be best to have 2 different types of pickups for more variety? Or are the pickups instead just designed to work together as a set and sound better in the mixed position when using both? Also, how different from the EMG81s will the 707's sound? I've heard great things about Blackouts but haven't had a chance to try them yet. I'm looking for a nice versatile clear sound, even with high amounts of distortion, but also enjoy a nice chugga chugga as well. I am into the djent scene as well, and a nice clean deep neck pup sound is extreme important to me.

I just don't have much experience with any other active pickups other than the EMG81's. My Hellraiser c7 Frs has sustainiac and the stock neck pickup that comes with the sustainiac is actually wonderful! It's very clean and bright, and it has that wonderful "pop" sound when playing clean or when doing sweeps with high gain.

My last question is, since the 707's are active, will the neck pickup require a battery as well? My LTD has dual EMG81's and that isn't the case, but does the neck pickup just feed off of the one battery as well or is it not actually an active pickup as opposed to the bridge? Sorry for the huge load of questions but I'm going to be going on tour soon and I figured I might as well clear some of these things up so I can get the sound I want. Also, I'm super excited for my Ibanez, if you look up the model, the guitar is just stunning from looks alone and I'm excited to play the thinner neck as even though I love schecters, my 7 string sorta feels like a tree trunk and my thumb gets cramps (yes I do put in in the right position)

Thanks!
#2
Regardless of model, the neck pickup and bridge pickup are going to sound very different and between a pair of similar pickups (say an EMG 81 and an EMG 60) on a particular guitar the difference in sound is mostly due to the pickup positions. A guitar with two of the same pickups will have the usual differences between neck and bridge, with the neck being smoother and bassier, and the bridge having more mids and attack, only both positions' tones will be coloured similarly by their respective pickups.

I can't really comment on individual models because I've never used actives, but I'm fairly sure you'll only need the one battery. Either the preamp is separate from the pickups (I'm completely illiterate with EMGs so I don't know if this is something they do) or both pickups are supplied from the same battery.
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#3
Quote by King Elijah at #33545839
I have a few questions. First of all, what is the point of a dual pickup set? Wouldn't it be best to have 2 different types of pickups for more variety? Or are the pickups instead just designed to work together as a set and sound better in the mixed position when using both?


This is an entirely subjective question. Where the pickups are positioned on the guitar makes a huge difference. Some players simply want the same pickup voicing in different positions because that's just what they prefer. Some pickups are voiced for certain positions in the guitar and others are not. There's no set-in-stone rules for this.
Also, how different from the EMG81s will the 707's sound?

They're both identical. The 707 is just an 81 with a 7 string width.
My last question is, since the 707's are active, will the neck pickup require a battery as well?

No. Both pickups draw current from the same battery.
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#4
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE


They're both identical. The 707 is just an 81 with a 7 string width.



I had been under that impression for a long time, but then I saw that they also make an "81-7" model, and also still offer the 707. I have no idea what the difference is, but I do wonder.
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#5
Quote by the_bi99man at #33546917
I had been under that impression for a long time, but then I saw that they also make an "81-7" model, and also still offer the 707. I have no idea what the difference is, but I do wonder.

Scratch that, I was wrong.

I remember now that the 707 is actually an EMG 85 with 7 string spacing. The 81-7 is an 81 with 7 string spacing. They could've kept the names consistent, but they chose not to just to confuse people.
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#6
Guitars end to come with matched sets because that makes it easier to set up for matching volume. The manufacturers don't often push for more than that because there are too many possibilities to make most people happy, so they just try to address basic needs.
#7
you'll notice a much larger difference once you upgrade to the wonderful realm of passive pickups where everything doesn't sound like compressed mush
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#8
Hail kind of went to where my mind was going as I read the OP. It sounds like you are looking for something a little different but you buy similar style guitars all with active EMG pickups. I doubt there is that much of a difference between them. How about some single coils or humbuckers? Maybe something other than a solid body? You know that same old thing expecting different results.....
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Aug 13, 2015,
#9
Quote by King Elijah
Okay, so MOST guitars that come stocked with active pickups come with EMG81s nowadays. I have an LTD, a Schecter Hellraiser c-1 and a Schecter Hellraiser C-7frs and they all come with EMG81s. I decided to go for something with a slimmer neck, and ordered an Ibanez Iron Label RG7 exotic wood (blue). This comes stock with a set of dual EMG 707's. I have a few questions. First of all, what is the point of a dual pickup set? Wouldn't it be best to have 2 different types of pickups for more variety? Or are the pickups instead just designed to work together as a set and sound better in the mixed position when using both? Also, how different from the EMG81s will the 707's sound? I've heard great things about Blackouts but haven't had a chance to try them yet. I'm looking for a nice versatile clear sound, even with high amounts of distortion, but also enjoy a nice chugga chugga as well. I am into the djent scene as well, and a nice clean deep neck pup sound is extreme important to me.

I just don't have much experience with any other active pickups other than the EMG81's. My Hellraiser c7 Frs has sustainiac and the stock neck pickup that comes with the sustainiac is actually wonderful! It's very clean and bright, and it has that wonderful "pop" sound when playing clean or when doing sweeps with high gain.

My last question is, since the 707's are active, will the neck pickup require a battery as well? My LTD has dual EMG81's and that isn't the case, but does the neck pickup just feed off of the one battery as well or is it not actually an active pickup as opposed to the bridge? Sorry for the huge load of questions but I'm going to be going on tour soon and I figured I might as well clear some of these things up so I can get the sound I want. Also, I'm super excited for my Ibanez, if you look up the model, the guitar is just stunning from looks alone and I'm excited to play the thinner neck as even though I love schecters, my 7 string sorta feels like a tree trunk and my thumb gets cramps (yes I do put in in the right position)

Thanks!


The same pickup will sound different in the neck and bridge positions.

Both pickups share the same 9V battery.

You may want to try the 18V mod (2x 9V batteries wired in series) to increase the headroom of the EMGs. Check it out on their site.
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#10
Quote by jpnyc
Guitars end to come with matched sets because that makes it easier to set up for matching volume. The manufacturers don't often push for more than that because there are too many possibilities to make most people happy, so they just try to address basic needs.



Up until about 1980, guitars did NOT come with "matched sets" of pickups. Both pickups were exactly the same pickup. If you strum an acoustic guitar very near the bridge, you'll find that the sound is more trebly, and it doesn't have a lot of punch and power. Strum the same guitar close to the fretboard it will be more powerful and have more mids and lows. If you put a pickup in each of those locations, you'll have the same result. Early electric guitars had one pickup just off the fretboard. That's where you got the most powerful and "fullest" sound.



A second pickup offered a different sound by itself, and combined with the original neck pickup, yet another sound.



In the early '70's, Bill Lawrence created a pickup that was "hotter" (louder) than the standard pickups that Gibson was using. Some musicians used them to beef up their leads, leaving the neck pickup as it was. Marketing wonks at Gibson began calling these a "balanced" set of pickups, or "matched." It gave them another marketing bullet point in the "Features" list. Most of my Gibsons, in fact, are pre-1980 vintage, and do NOT have "balanced" pickups. Truth is, I prefer them that way.

Balanced pickups, or a "set" of pickups are absolutely NOT mandatory. In fact, in guitars where I've changed the pickups around, most do NOT have a matched set. In one guitar I have a 9.2Kohm '57 in the bridge and an 18Kohm single-coil-size DiMarzio in the neck. That second pickup is at least double and maybe triple the volume of the bridge pickup.
#11
Quote by Hail
you'll notice a much larger difference once you upgrade to the wonderful realm of passive pickups where everything doesn't sound like compressed mush

You seem to be working hard for the position of the most annoying and pretentious poster around.

As for the battery question, I haven't exactly checked that with EMGs, but I'm quite sure they should work on just one battery. I have a guitar with a set of actives and there's just one battery.

(That I changed once, after a year and a half, and only "just to be sure", after playing the guitar regularly, so don't worry about power consumption...)
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#12
The most likely answer is that it was simply a cost effective choice, that "works". You can't make a guitar that works for every person because it's subjective. The company just tries to get the most effective combination of both worlds for profit.

If you become interested in tone, or begin to hear small details you want to change in the sound, then you can delve into the world of more elaborate pickup designs/companies that exclusively focuses on pickups.

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#13
To address your curiosity about Blackouts, I'm very fond of mine. Even after owning several popular, higher-end passive pickups. You can't really apply a blanket statement to active pickups saying they're "lifeless or overly compressed." They are more compressed, yes. But they sound great for a lot of things. I find that single note runs are more punchy. Whenever I do tapping runs, my Blackouts (could have something to do with that guitar's ebony fretboard too, I don't know) sound a lot clearer and the notes "jump out" noticeably more than my other guitar with SD Black Winters -- which are awesome pups in their own right.

Anyway talking about the bridge pup now, Blackouts compared to EMG 81s are a little less compressed, darker, and warmer. They sound a little more "passive," if you will. The neck Blackout provides nice, warm, clear cleans. I don't really use the neck pickup much for anything but cleans, so I can't really comment there. The neck Blackout will do the typical neoclassical shred sound, if you're into that.

As for the "djent" sound -- I don't know how Blackouts stack up for that. I do my best to ensure my tone doesn't sound like a duck with tourette's. (Djent = syncopated, poly-rhythmic duck-quacking). ...at least in my opinion.
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Last edited by KailM at Aug 14, 2015,
#14
Quote by KailM
To address your curiosity about Blackouts, I'm very fond of mine. Even after owning several popular, higher-end passive pickups. You can't really apply a blanket statement to active pickups saying they're "lifeless or overly compressed." They are more compressed, yes.


Actually, that's not true of all actives, either. Most folks on this board are ONLY aware of EMG and SD's AHD active pickups*. I have guitars with active Alembic and Bartolini pickups, as well as several guitars with active preamps. Those guitars actually have extended ranges, many more EQ options, plus boosts and cuts beyond the range of "the usual."


*This is the curse of "consensus" and "popularity" and large-box stores like GC and Samash. Newbs tend to believe that's all there is, focus on those and entirely miss a much larger picture.
#15
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE

They're both identical. The 707 is just an 81 with a 7 string width.

God no, far from it. The 707 is different in quite a few ways. One, it's an alnico magnet. Two, the winding is different. Three, they sound SUPER different. the 707 is very, very loose and scooped compared to the 81 or 81-7.

It's also not an 85 in 7 string spacing. That's the 85-7.

The 707 is a totally different beast, probably a modified bass pickup if I had to guess. It's much looser and very different sounding from the rest of the EMG lineup.
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Last edited by oneblackened at Aug 14, 2015,
#16
Quote by Hail
you'll notice a much larger difference once you upgrade to the wonderful realm of passive pickups where everything doesn't sound like compressed mush


+1

open yourself up to guitars other than metal shreddies with active pickups. Also, the 707 sucks, i've never enjoyed it in any guitar that's had them.
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#17
Quote by oneblackened at #33548305
God no, far from it. The 707 is different in quite a few ways. One, it's an alnico magnet. Two, the winding is different. Three, they sound SUPER different. the 707 is very, very loose and scooped compared to the 81 or 81-7.

It's also not an 85 in 7 string spacing. That's the 85-7.

The 707 is a totally different beast, probably a modified bass pickup if I had to guess. It's much looser and very different sounding from the rest of the EMG lineup.

What is the difference between the 707 and the 85-7?
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#18
Well, they sound different for one. The 85-7 sounds just like an 85, and the 707 is a completely different beast. The 85-7 is tighter and more mid focused than the 707.

As far as construction differences, the 707 is wide aperture and the 85-7 is narrow.
Current Gear:
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Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.