#1
So I love my esp ltd 331, I love the weight, the shape, everything about it is just really comfortable and the mahogany body and neck gives me a nice dark tone that I like but I'm not a huge fan of the pickups (the stock esp specialist pickups) I was wondering should I go with zakk wylde emg 81/85s or James Hetfield 81/60s. The chrome Hetfield emgs would look very nice with my glossy black finish on my ltd but at the end of the day, tone is what really matters. I mainly play lead guitar but I obviously do a lot of riffing too. So which ones would be my best option for leads? Also, I was wondering is there any benefit in buying zakk wylde signature emgs over normal 81/85s? My local guitar tech said that the ZW set would be voiced to how zakk likes his tone is this true?
#2
Signature sets are gonna cost a ton more. Remember, all those great players had great tone BEFORE signature crap came out. So, its basically pointless unless you like flashy gear and like spending extra money. A good amp and pedal combination would be a better investment. But 81/85's are pretty much the standard setup for what you want.
#3
The Zakk Wylde set is just the 81 and 85 in a single package. They are no different than the normal pickups, and they arent even priced any different than standard emgs. They even look the same. How do i know this? I had them, and i had a stock 81, and it was the complete same thing.
The Hetfield set is different tho. It is based on an 81 and 60, but its a bit different. I never tried it, but i did have an 80/60 set, and i have to say i like the 60 in the neck position much more than the 85. Sounds softer and more organic, has better cleans, and fuller leads.

But if i were you, id go for the 57/66 set instead of the Hetset. I love those the most, and the 66 in the neck is simply beautiful. Even better than the 60.
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#4
Quote by OneEyed
Signature sets are gonna cost a ton more. Remember, all those great players had great tone BEFORE signature crap came out. So, its basically pointless unless you like flashy gear and like spending extra money. A good amp and pedal combination would be a better investment. But 81/85's are pretty much the standard setup for what you want.


that's what i always think too- though gorky appears to be right, the ZW set appears to cost the same as the regular 81/85 so in this specific case it doesn't appear to matter- and also as he says it's the same thing as the regular set, at least as far as i'm aware. but yeah in most circumstances I'm a bit wary of the signature stuff because you pay more, you pretty much out yourself as a fanboy, and to add insult to injury you may well end up with kit which actually isn't as close to what your hero was using back in the day before he/she had the signature gear...

and yeah make sure you have a decent amp etc. before forking out for pickups.
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I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

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The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#5
I know this is kinda irrelavent but do you guys think EMGs have a huge influence on guitar tone? Say if I have an ltd Eclipse and an Esp eclipse both equipped with emgs both played through the same amp with the same settings, will there be much of a difference? I heard that emgs overpower tone woods and what you are hearing is 99% pickup. I can only imagine the natural guitar tone gets lost even more when paired with pedals. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing I'm just wondering.
#6
Quote by MadaRuaDubh13
I know this is kinda irrelavent but do you guys think EMGs have a huge influence on guitar tone? Say if I have an ltd Eclipse and an Esp eclipse both equipped with emgs both played through the same amp with the same settings, will there be much of a difference? I heard that emgs overpower tone woods and what you are hearing is 99% pickup. I can only imagine the natural guitar tone gets lost even more when paired with pedals. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing I'm just wondering.

I don't think EMG's make all guitars sound the same any more than any other pickups do.

It's just that pickups make the vast majority of a guitar's tone no matter what pickups you put in it.

This whole thing about 'tone woods' doesn't really exist when you put the guitar under realistic conditions with variables that affect the tone far greater than whatever the guitar is made from does.
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#7
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
I don't think EMG's make all guitars sound the same any more than any other pickups do.

It's just that pickups make the vast majority of a guitar's tone no matter what pickups you put in it.

This whole thing about 'tone woods' doesn't really exist when you put the guitar under realistic conditions with variables that affect the tone far greater than whatever the guitar is made from does.


You have a point. I've always wondered how wood has an affect on tone when the amp is plugged into an amp.