#1
Hey, lookin at getting a LTD that comes with EMG's. People are tellin me that EMG's are only good for metal and crap for everything else which i think is true to some extent but im just wondering if there still worth gettin when i play metal but still alot of softer cleaner stuff?

thanks
#2
EMGs in general aren't only for metal. I like the clean sound EMG SAs give, but with the Hums, not so much. If you want Metallica type cleans then you should be fine.
#3
Yeah...

Try to get one with an EMG 60 in the neck, if you want to do cleans.

All of Metallica's clean stuff (not that there's much), is recorded with EMG pickups (or at least played live with them). If you like the cleans in the songs "One" or "Sanitarium", then you should be happy with EMGs.
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#4
60s are very versatile, but not as good for metal. At any rate, you can get one with 81/85 installed, buy a 60, and swap them out, thanks to the ez switch whatever wiring harness they have.
#5
60s are very versatile, but not as good for metal. At any rate, you can get one with 81/85 installed, buy a 60, and swap them out, thanks to the ez switch whatever wiring harness they have.


I don't know... Virtually all of Metallica's rhythm is recorded with an EMG 60, as well as their cleans.

Hetfield's guitar is pretty metal, if you ask me. Then again, he is playing it through a Mesa Triple Rectifier...
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#6
They do very, very heavy or very, very clean. Not much in between. That's why I'm getting a Gibson SG Special, a Musicman SUB or a Schecter C1 Blackjack to go with my C1 Hellraiser.
#7
Quote by Guitarislife125
EMGs in general aren't only for metal. I like the clean sound EMG SAs give, but with the Hums, not so much. If you want Metallica type cleans then you should be fine.


Easy fix to that is get a 81 or 85 in the bridge and put an 89 in the neck. It coil splits to an SA
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#8
Quote by Aidy Damage
They do very, very heavy or very, very clean. Not much in between. That's why I'm getting a Gibson SG Special, a Musicman SUB or a Schecter C1 Blackjack to go with my C1 Hellraiser.

I'd have to agree with that, at least with the humbuckers they make. They're a little too modern voiced for the inbetween imo, but high gain and very clean they can do quite well.

I'd have to agree with the 89 too, I like it more than the 85 in the neck personally. Better cleans, and imo, better under high gain.
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#9
Personally, I have been able to get a great sound out of my EMGs albeit for blues, metal, rock, or jazz, I can usually get the sound I want.
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#10
Quote by SGStrummer61
Personally, I have been able to get a great sound out of my EMGs albeit for blues, metal, rock, or jazz, I can usually get the sound I want.

yeah, people underestimate their versatility. Some great musicians like Gilmore have used them live for their natural noise reduction, and still get great tone. I saw Bela Fleck using a set live in one of his banjo - guitar hybrids, and he sounded phenominal.
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#11
There is certainly a difference in tone compared to normal humbuckers. Dunno if it's just me but the 81 sounds like a fat twang if you're clean bridge. If you pick softer and have a bit of chorus and reverb it sounds beautiful though. And the neck 85 is perfect for blues in my opinion.
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#12
any of the EMGs more vintage voiced? ive heard they make one with an alnico magnet. how is it?
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#13
Do not get the 85. They are overrated as crap. Kirk Hammett of Metallica uses the 81-81 combo while James has an 81 in the bridge and a 60 in the neck.
#14
Quote by Ihearthetfield
Do not get the 85. They are overrated as crap. Kirk Hammett of Metallica uses the 81-81 combo while James has an 81 in the bridge and a 60 in the neck.


Kinda hypocritical don't you think?

I use an 85 and I love it. It has a very rounded tone though, when distorted, so perfect for runs and fast bits.
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#15
Quote by general_koffi
I don't know... Virtually all of Metallica's rhythm is recorded with an EMG 60, as well as their cleans.


Hetfield uses EMG 81 for his crunch guitar sound, not the 60. He only switches to the 60 in the neck position for his clean tones. The 60 is fairly low output. I've heard it in the bridge and it's better for classic rock, jazz or blues than for any of the more aggressive styles of music.


The 85 is a pretty high output pickup too, and much bassier than the 81. I used to use it in the neck of my guitars, but ended making the switch to 60s instead because I wanted that clarity and didn't like the muddy low end of the 85 when playing clean. However, for shredding on the neck pickup, the 85 is awesome.
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#16
I have heard that a 85 is better for alder guitars in the bridge than a 81.
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#18
This was a sound test I recorded a while back to test the sound of EZDrummer / Drumkit From Hell. The clip is of Metallica's Enter Sandman. I didn't get the Metallica clean tone at the start, but rather used my usual clean tone. It's clean, glassy, and shimmery. The EMG 60 excels at that. I love that pickup. I can get great clean tones out of the Duncan Jazz in the neck of my Les Paul, but to me, nothing quite touches the clarity I get with the EMG 60.

http://www.sonicbakery.com/DFH_Demo_2-Sandman.mp3
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#19
well, from what I have figured, as I am using an Viper 301 ltd guitar, it is not quite as bad for cleans as some say. Possibly due to the passive pickups, the EMG Hz's, but I have found the guitar to be a very good mix of hard rock/metal distortion where it is needed and some very warm and bluesy sounds, which, on the other hand, are more likely to be the effect of playing the guitar through a PEAVEY Classic 50 combo. anyway, it seems that the EMG 81's will crap out your cleans, and there is not much you can do about it. try some other pickups
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#20
Quote by igor1901
well, from what I have figured, as I am using an Viper 301 ltd guitar, it is not quite as bad for cleans as some say. Possibly due to the passive pickups, the EMG Hz's, but I have found the guitar to be a very good mix of hard rock/metal distortion where it is needed and some very warm and bluesy sounds, which, on the other hand, are more likely to be the effect of playing the guitar through a PEAVEY Classic 50 combo. anyway, it seems that the EMG 81's will crap out your cleans, and there is not much you can do about it. try some other pickups


81's dont damage cleans, in the neck they actually have quite a think clean tone, and in the bridge they have a brittle strat quality
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#21
Quote by tommyt
81's dont damage cleans, in the neck they actually have quite a think clean tone, and in the bridge they have a brittle strat quality


I have never played on 81's, other than on a friend's epiphone, but, to me, they sounded like crap on clean channel. There is also another friend who just bought a Kirk Hammett styled ESP Ltd with twin 81's setup, and is constantly complaining how the cleans suck ass. Did not get to play the guitar though. However, I AM satisfied with how my EMG Hz's sound, but I am considering buying a Fender Telecaster Deluxe USA '70-ish nonetheless. (Would never sell my guitar however)

oh, sorry, they (81's) actually do not damage cleans, they simply purify the signal and make it completely too clean for that matter. The warmth in a proper clean sound is not achieved by its purity. That may be subject to personal taste though, so no need to bother answering
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Last edited by igor1901 at Jun 18, 2007,
#22
I've only goofed around with EMGs a few times. One experience of mine was in a Les Paul and it was SEX.

The other? In a Fender Stratocaster, and it made me want to cry. *Thumbs down.*
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#23
Here's a short review of all common EMG active pickups:

- 81
The best bridge pickup for metal and very high gain distortion playing style. Very trebly and extremely clear, takes out pinch harmonics almost alone xD. Quite nice clean sound. Trebly and a lil' bit overdriven, but beautiful. As a neck pickup, I don't like it very much. Good for lead but lacks on tone, and sucks on cleans. Recomended only for bridge.

- 85
Very good bridge pickup for everything. Still very high output, but not as much as the 81 (it can still get the same sounds with the right EQ). Very clear and with the same harmonics xD. Very beautiful clean sound, but you can still make it sound a lil' bit dirty. As a neck pickup, is my favourite (humbucker) too. It doesn't have the same clarity as the 81, nor the great cleans of the 60, but combines both in a slightly lesser measure. For me, this is the best EMG, 'cause it can make everything very well, and is less... conventional, maybe.

- 60
As a bridge pickup, is great for rock, blues, and softer styles. Not very high output, so don't expect it to scream like an 81 or 85. Overdriven (or distorted), this pickup isn't a very thing out of those styles, but where this pickup excels is at cleans. Maybe the cleanest sounding active humbucker pickup. Recomended only for neck.

- SA
The active single coil. Add high output, no noise, and very clear and a big amount of treble to a Strat pickup and you'll have this. As opposed to what lots of people think, it can do a very good job as a bridge pickup when distorted, and so on cleans. On middle and neck positions, is just like a standard single coil, but with that added stuff. Very good overall pickup.

- 89
Just a more complex pickup, combines an 85 with an SA when split. If you think you're going to use both modes, go for it, but if not, it's (in my opinion) a waste of money and batteries xD

- 58
The old and original version of the 85. Same response, but more vintage sounding, and with a lil' bit of noise, like a standard humbucker would do.


Hope this has helped you.

PS: My ideal EMG's set-up is (for neck-mid-bridge) SA-SA-85
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