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#1
I play Metallica styled metal and I know what a good tone sounds like. This is the 2nd guitar with these pickups I've bought and the 2nd I hate because the tone is dead and fuzzy. I wanted to play a guitar, not a dead rabbit. And I'm not trolling. Yes, fuzzy even with the tone knob on 10, the treble on 10, using the bridge pickup, and the bass on 4. Palm mutes are as staccato as just deadening the strings. I'm just amazed how this could be so popular and sound good to anyone.

The one I just bought is a BC Rich nj deluxe jr v, and the one that I also bought new and still returned was a Jackson Kexmg Kelly. My amp is a Peavey Vypr 30 watt. Even after switching the battery to brand new high quality brand name batteries--twice-- they still sound bad. And the sound I get is the same on both guitars, leading me to conclude it's the pickups. My other guitar has BC Rich bdsm pickups and I'm getting them switched out today. Please tell me if there's anything I can do without switching pickups, I'll be glad to do it. I'm just a little mad because of all the trouble and money.
#2
Um, maybe buy a new amp. I am not a huge fan of actives, but I have the 85/60 (love that combo) in my flying V and love it. I have heard that modeling amps don't respond too well to active pickups. I am basing that off of others claims. I am not a fan of the 81 in the bridge. I do have the 81x and 85x and those are pretty decent pickups, more open sounding.
Have you tried your guitar through another amp?
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#3
I've got an 85 in one of my guitars and I don't know wtf you are talking about.
All I use are tube amps though, I suspect your amp is the problem here.
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#4
You're right. If all of these bands only used very low end solid state modeling amps with open back cheap speakers (and I own the same amp as you) EMG would never have sold anything. Nor would Seymour Duncan. In fact Active pickups would never have succeeded in the market since you really don't need to boost the input into a solid state amp to drive the preamp tube harder since that's an oxymoron. . .

I'll buy that B.C. Rich from you for $100 to take that crappy instrument and pickups off of your hands.
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Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
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TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#5
All of my wat.

"I have a set of very popular pickups that are used by a lot of professional musicians, and I play them through a £150 practice amp. It must be the pickups that suck!"

That said, I wouldn't expect the tone to be terrible because the Vypyr is not a bad amp. Could be an issue with dialing in tone.

Also, I strongly advise against swapping out pickups when the amp is not up to scratch, which in this case it isn't. The difference in tone is not going to be worth your money.

What I would suggest is play your guitar through a Rectifier or a 6505 or something and watch your balls melt.
#6
Quote by Random3
Also, I strongly advise against swapping out pickups when the amp is not up to scratch, which in this case it isn't. The difference in tone is not going to be worth your money.

Actually in case of largely different pickups it will always be very audible, especially active vs. passive. I had a chance to compare actives to passives on a Marshall MG15 and believe me the difference was enormous.

Either way, this must be an issue of dialing in the tone or something else. I'm not a big fan of the EMG81 tone myself but there's plenty of bands out there that use them and sound pretty good. You can always just try to borrow a guitar with different pickups or try in a store with a similar amp and see what happens.
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
There's no point in trying to convince a moron.
#7
EMG 81/85's can sound great if your amp is appropriate. Just as it is with any pickup.

Really don't know what you're talking about, TS.
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#8
When your set of pickups cost as much or maybe even more than your amp...

Yo, it's time for a new amp.
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#9
Quote by TheLiberation
Actually in case of largely different pickups it will always be very audible, especially active vs. passive. I had a chance to compare actives to passives on a Marshall MG15 and believe me the difference was enormous.


There will be a difference, and it may be very audible and even very preferable. My point is that generally speaking with practice amps and lower-end modellers, both of which apply here, pickups are not going to be worth your money. The difference in tone isn't going to be significant enough to warrant the cost of the pickups. It is always going to sound like a Vypyr regardless of what pickups you run through it. If TS wants to upgrade his pickups then by all means he can do it, but in my experience if the amp isn't getting you 90% of the way there it isn't worth it.

Like what makes more sense? Spending £100 on a pickup to put through a £150 amp? Or putting that £100 towards getting a better amp?
#10
Did you try the guitar in a shop with an amp similar to your own before you bought it?
#13
EMGs are just fine, but not for everyone. Considering I own a Vyp 30, I will say that the difference between active and passive pups is almost imperceptible. TS needs a new amp, not new pickups.

Yet another case of someone believing that pickups will do something they will not. As others have said, the amp needs to get you 90% of the way there.
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#14
Quote by WeZ-84
Did you try the guitar in a shop with an amp similar to your own before you bought it?


The problem definitely isn't with the amp though, because I use the same amp and tone with my other guitar. But the only real option I have for a music store is guitar center, and they don't have what I want, so I guess I'll have to keep doing it by trial and error. But the pickups sound great on youtube.
#15
Quote by xcamero360
No seriously, I use the same amp and tone with my other guitar and it sounds great.


No seriously, your amp sucks* and there's no reason to put EMG's in front of it, but if you insist you will need to alter your settings significantly.


* It's actually not a bad practice amp, it's just not really designed for what you're trying to use it for. Pushing a low-end modeler with low-noise pickups and a pre-amp (which is all the EMG's are) just doesn't accomplish much.

Put those same pickups in front of a good tube front end and I guarantee it will make you smile!!


Or, you can keep insisting it's not the amp, in direct contravention of literally decades of gear and gigging experience here, and nothing will change. Your call.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Sep 24, 2015,
#17
Well. Your favourite bands seem to disagree, is all i can say ;b Pretty sure Metallica has a history with those pickups.
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#18
All pickups sound bad through bad amps.

You need to spend upwards of $1k on a decent amp before you complain about any guitar or pickup sounding bad.


Also, bc rich make terrible low-mid range guitars imo.
#19
Quote by rickyj
(1.) All pickups sound bad through bad amps.

(2.) You need to spend upwards of $1k on a decent amp before you complain about any guitar or pickup sounding bad.


(3.) Also, bc rich make terrible low-mid range guitars imo.


1. I agree.

2. There are a LOT of excellent amps out there for less than $1k, that's crap.

3. The guitar he bought isn't the problem, it's actually quite good.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#20
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that this guy cranks the tone knob to ten on the bridge pickup, then cranks the treble on the amp to ten as well. Yes, the amp sucks, but no amp/pickup combo is ever going to sound good doing that. Save your money, buy a new amp. Luckily for you, lower wattage tube heads are more common and more affordable than ever before. But until then, turn down the treble, I bet it'll stop sounding so bad.
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#21
Quote by Arby911
1. I agree.

2. There are a LOT of excellent amps out there for less than $1k, that's crap.

3. The guitar he bought isn't the problem, it's actually quite good.


I would disagree with the $1k part but apart from that I agree with the point being made.
#22
As for the amp price debate, the 'essential' metal amp is the 5150, now known as the 6505. New, they run about $1000, but you can get them used for 500. Peavey also just released the 6505 Mini, which is a 50w version for $500 new, but I doubt you'll find used ones yet. If you really want 100w of power, look at the Bugera 6262, which is based on the Peavey 5150ii. They cost $500 new, but can go as low as 250 used, and sound nearly identical to the 5150. You do not need to spend a ton to sound great, but you need to do a lot of research and know what to look for. I know that someone will probably bring it up so I'll address it here: Bugera used to have issues with reliability, but in the last 5 years have been great. Watch out for the Tri-Rec though, they can be iffy.

Of course, amp heads need cabinets, and those can cost a lot, but for a decent price you can have the actual amps your favorite bands use, not just a cheap modelling of it. Your pickups are likely not the problem.
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#23
Quote by Arby911
No seriously, your amp sucks* and there's no reason to put EMG's in front of it, but if you insist you will need to alter your settings significantly.


* It's actually not a bad practice amp, it's just not really designed for what you're trying to use it for. Pushing a low-end modeler with low-noise pickups and a pre-amp (which is all the EMG's are) just doesn't accomplish much.

Put those same pickups in front of a good tube front end and I guarantee it will make you smile!!


Or, you can keep insisting it's not the amp, in direct contravention of literally decades of gear and gigging experience here, and nothing will change. Your call.

What would you recommend?
#24
Quote by xcamero360
What would you recommend?


How much money ya got? Where do you live?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#25
When I bought my first EMG's I plug in my guitar and was like WTF??? I then realized my cable wasn't plugged in all the way and hit a few palm mutes and was like that's more like it. I would like to get a guitar with the 85. Just hasn't happened, yet.
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#26
If your sound is fuzzy, you might reconsider maxing out the treble. And, as others suggested, get a better amp.

I don't like EMG's at all, mind, but "fuzzy" isn't what comes to my mind. Actually they're less fuzzy than my preferred pickups. To me they're just too thin and bland. But I don't think that's a real issue before you have a good amp.
Last edited by Knarrenheino at Sep 24, 2015,
#27
Quote by JD Close
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that this guy cranks the tone knob to ten on the bridge pickup, then cranks the treble on the amp to ten as well. Yes, the amp sucks, but no amp/pickup combo is ever going to sound good doing that. Save your money, buy a new amp. Luckily for you, lower wattage tube heads are more common and more affordable than ever before. But until then, turn down the treble, I bet it'll stop sounding so bad.

Yeah, I don't remember my Vypyr sounding that bad...
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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.
#28
Quote by xcamero360
I play Metallica styled metal and I know what a good tone sounds like. Please tell me if there's anything I can do without switching pickups, I'll be glad to do it. I'm just a little mad because of all the trouble and money.


It's a poor workman who blames his tools.

1. Amazing how many people can use those same pickups and get the sounds they need without loudly proclaiming that those pickups "suck so bad."

2. It's worth looking at the rest of your rig AND your playing technique before condemning pickups out of hand.

3.
Quote by xcameltoe360
The problem definitely isn't with the amp though, because I use the same amp and tone with my other guitar.


If you change your guitar *and* your pickups, have you considered that you might have to CHANGE settings on your amp? We've certainly seen instances where the same complaint has surfaced when someone is switching from single coils to humbuckers (or the other direction, or even just switching on the coil taps on a guitar with humbuckers).

4. Have you considered that the sound you're looking for might be at least partially generated by a different amplifier? There are also all the changes applied during the recording process, but we'll leave those aside for the moment.

I'd suggest that you find someone (and there are a lot of someones) getting the tone you want out of those same pickups and ask them what they're doing. There's little question that whatever you're doing ain't it.
#30
I think I know the problem here...

It's not your pickups, it's stereo amp, and I don't think it's tube. However, for a stereo amp, it is very good. Don't plug guitar into it; just use it as hi-fi if it works.
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#31
Quote by Arby911
How much money ya got? Where do you live?

I live in South Carolina, I really didn't plan on buying a new amp, but I don't think I'd like to spend more than $300. If the cost is gonna be a lot higher I think I'll probably just return it and go back to my other guitar
#32
Why not sell the amp you have and then use that $300 in combination with the money you get from your amp and get a much better amp and keep the guitar. Its not the guitar! Its the amp!
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#33
Find a Peavey 6505+ 1x12 combo or a Bugera 6262 (non-infinium) combo. You truly can't understand the difference until you've used one.


http://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Peavey/6505-Plus-1X12-60W-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp-111362279.gc

They'll ship it to you.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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Last edited by Arby911 at Sep 24, 2015,
#34
While I agree with you whole heartedly, it's not for the reasons you've arrived at the conclusion.

I play thrash through a custom JCM800 based amp, and I MUCH prefer my Super Distortion/PAF to EMGs

But that's not the problem here.
The problem is your amp.
You're pushing it harder than it was intended to be pushed, and, trust me on this, Vypyrs don't take to being pushed well.
Get a new amp, and you'll be balls deep in ueber tonage.

$300 won't get you much, but you'll probably be able to grab a Jet City JCA combo and (maybe) an overdrive pedal (I suggest the Bad Monkey)
Last edited by darkwolf291 at Sep 24, 2015,
#35
Dude, your Vypr sucks.
I put the good ol 81/85 in all of my guitars because they sound amazing and nothing really compares to them.
..I was watching my death.
#36
I have the 81/85 combo in one guitar and 81/89 in another. I have to say i quite prefer the 89 to the 85, but even so, they all sound pretty killer. And im playing them trough a JetCity JCA50, so its not like i have some sort of high end amp.
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#38
Quote by TheLiberation
Actually in case of largely different pickups it will always be very audible, especially active vs. passive. I had a chance to compare actives to passives on a Marshall MG15 and believe me the difference was enormous.

Either way, this must be an issue of dialing in the tone or something else. I'm not a big fan of the EMG81 tone myself but there's plenty of bands out there that use them and sound pretty good. You can always just try to borrow a guitar with different pickups or try in a store with a similar amp and see what happens.

Output will be very different, that's probably most of what you hear. But the nuances are lost on a shitty amp.
#39
I feel like the Vypyr is getting an undeserved bad rap in this thread. It isn't a terrible amp by any means. A Marshall MG is a terrible amp. It's just that the Vypyr doesn't compare to the high-gain tube amps it models. It does a decent job emulating various models; actually a VERY nice job for the money. But to get the nuances of those tones as well as the playing feel, you definitely need to go with the real thing.

I would propose that TS's problem has as much to do with EQing and gain-setting as it does with anything else.

I have the very amp in question. I do not EQ it AT ALL the same way I EQ my real 6505 -- when trying to get a similar tone. The Vyp is a fairly bright amp. Running the treble all the way up sounds like garbage no matter what pickups are feeding it. Running the gain past "5" also sounds like garbage on most of the high-gain models as well. And don't even think about "boosting" those high-gain models with the onboard tubescreamer pedal model. That just adds fizz, noise, and gain that is wayyyyyy over the top.

I've found that the treble has to be backed off to around 2-4, and bass has to be increased to 6-8 to sound "proper." Also, FWIW, I play mine with a passive-equipped guitar and a guitar with SD Blackouts -- which have insane output. It sounds fine with both guitars. I suspect I could get equal results with EMGs, as they are very similar to my Blackouts.

Again, this is not the amp's, nor the pickup's fault. It's user-error. Either that, or TS is expecting high-end TUBE performance out of a $150 amp.
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#40
Quote by KailM
I feel like the Vypyr is getting an undeserved bad rap in this thread. It isn't a terrible amp by any means. A Marshall MG is a terrible amp. It's just that the Vypyr doesn't compare to the high-gain tube amps it models. It does a decent job emulating various models; actually a VERY nice job for the money. But to get the nuances of those tones as well as the playing feel, you definitely need to go with the real thing.

I would propose that TS's problem has as much to do with EQing and gain-setting as it does with anything else.

I have the very amp in question. I do not EQ it AT ALL the same way I EQ my real 6505 -- when trying to get a similar tone. The Vyp is a fairly bright amp. Running the treble all the way up sounds like garbage no matter what pickups are feeding it. Running the gain past "5" also sounds like garbage on most of the high-gain models as well. And don't even think about "boosting" those high-gain models with the onboard tubescreamer pedal model. That just adds fizz, noise, and gain that is wayyyyyy over the top.

I've found that the treble has to be backed off to around 2-4, and bass has to be increased to 6-8 to sound "proper." Also, FWIW, I play mine with a passive-equipped guitar and a guitar with SD Blackouts -- which have insane output. It sounds fine with both guitars. I suspect I could get equal results with EMGs, as they are very similar to my Blackouts.

Again, this is not the amp's, nor the pickup's fault. It's user-error. Either that, or TS is expecting high-end TUBE performance out of a $150 amp.


/thread
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