Okay I'm new to the forums but I want some user opinions. I have a Paul Reed Smith Santana SE (a lower quality model, so I probably cannot count on the quality of the wood). I was considering putting an Emg 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck and replacing the stock PRS pickups (not sure what model they are in the guitar, they are covered though if that helps you identify them). I was wondering how the 85 sounds on a clean tube channel as far as playing jazz runs or any other precision clean lines with minimal muddiness. As far as distortion, I planned on running the 81 due to its extreme output. I was wondering though if I would still have a good clean sound while running the 85 and if this upgrade was really worth it considering the pickups already in the guitar. Thanks in advance for your replies.
More importantly than the clean with the 85, pull of one of the pickips and check what type of wood it is...or look it up online. Less dense woods like alder and plywood dont sound good with EMG's.
wrong. the wood is mohagany, which is good sounding. and as far as emg's goes, they are supposed to be great for metal and with distortion but awful for cleans.
The Gear:

Custom Strat
Mesa Boogie Stiletto Ace
Fulltone OCD
Electro Harmonix Small Clone Chorus
Dunlop Crybaby Classic
MXR EVH-117 Flanger
Fulltone Soul Bender
Okay thanks, I just looked it up and it said the body was solid mahogany.
EMG's are mainly made for heavily distorted sounds. Clean channels aren't that great with them. If you are looking to upgrade pickups, Dimarzios are quite versatile.
Yea I've played a few Custom 24s with emgs in them, it's a pretty kickass combo. And like always I'll reccomend 60 in the neck instead of 85, tighter, cleaner, and deeper with a warmer, less harsh voicing as the 85 (ie great clean with full sound, lots of bass respons and treble with balanced middle and a really smooth dirty neck sound for leads and shredding).
  • Framus Cobra Head
  • Peavey 5150 Head
  • Marshall MF280 4x12 Cab
  • PRS Custom 24 w/ 3-Way/Coil Tap
  • Ibanez RGT220A w/ EMG 85 Neck/81 Bridge
  • Rack w/ BBE 482i, Hush Super C, and Furman
Mahogany. Best wood for EMG actives IMO.
These go to eleven...
Last edited by JimPlaysGuitar at Aug 15, 2006,
Trapman, I wasnt saying it was plywood or alder. I just said to check and make sure.