Could anyone explain the diference between the emg 81 and 85 pickups on say, a schecter C1 hellraiser and the emg h4 and the emg h4a pickups on say, a schecter Damien. I mean in terms of tone and quality. the seperate volumes on 81/85 are a given.
I have a C-1 Hellraiser FR and know this from experience...

81/85: are active pups, they require batteries that operate the internal preamp which gives you more sustain, punch etc.

H4(a): are passive pups like on most guitars, you don't have to have batteries to power them, you just plug and play. but EMG makes some terible passives, no matter what anybody tells you do NOT get anything with passive EMG's unless you plan on replacing them Soon. They are ****
Yeah, definitely.

A few years back I was almost dead set on a Viper 300 (EMG HZs). I waited a few months, and they had released the Viper 400 (EMG 81s). I played the Viper 400, and the difference was night/day.
yeah cause i played a hellraiser yesterday and i really liked it but, it was like 800 bucks so i wanted to see what the damien pickups were like because i mean i can get both with floyd rose. I wasnt really aware of the difference between passive and active pickups.