#1
Well as some of you may know, I was looking for a new guitar such as an Ibanez S320, LTD KH-202, a few other LTD's etc but none of them had decent pickups so now I have decided to spend a little more and get one that already has a decent set of pickups in it or get the S320 and upgrade it's PUPS.

I have been looking on a site which is Australia's top ESP dealer and I have noticed that a few of the LTD's (mainly XX-400's) are available with either EMG 81/85 (some have other EMG combo's like 81/60 etc) or with Seymour Duncan JB and Seymour Duncan 59 pickups (see here and here .

I know that EMG 81's are awesome for metal, which I do play a lot of, but I have not heard many good things about them for playing anything else other metal and I play a fair bit of other stuff such as classic rock and blues. I have never really heard much about SD pickups at all but if they are a decent and good for playing pretty much anything, I may get a guitar with them over EMG's.

So for what I play, metal, classic rock and blues, would I be better of getting EMG's or Seymour Duncan's?
My Stuff:
ESP LTD MH-400 (pic's here)
Epiphone G-400 SG
Vox AD30VT
Marshall JH-1 Jackhammer
#2
I played a Schecter at the store with some Duncan pickups, it was like the cheapest schecter an omen i think, through a Vox AD50VT (which i bought) and it sounded PURE PWNAGE. Pinch harmonics, thick sound, just great. I have my eyes set on some SDs but i cant tell u alot about EMGs sorry.
#3
Seymour Duncan's. Definitly. I have a friend who got EMG and he says he prefers to play another guitar when playing classic rock or blues, because the EMG doesnt sound too hot for those genres.
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#4
The thing I find with my 81/60 combo is that its great for metal and pretty good for cleans, but not something to use for lighter rock or blues.
#5
I've heard EMG's sound sterile and lack character. Mainly only useful for very high gain situtation for a ton of fuzz.
#6
So SD are they way to go? What are they like for very distorted sounds like Slayer ect? Will they give me a good distorted tone or will the suck for very high gain stuff?

Tedward, if I got one with SD than it would almost be identical to what you played so if they sound as good as you say, I'll be extremely happy.
My Stuff:
ESP LTD MH-400 (pic's here)
Epiphone G-400 SG
Vox AD30VT
Marshall JH-1 Jackhammer
#8
I personally love EMG's but I will agree, they are ONLY good for metal and cleans (the 60 that is). Nothing really inbetween. However I do NOT agree that they are sterile and just good for producing a lot of fuzzy distortion. Maybe on an MG and low end guitar, but not on a decent amp and guitar. So yes, go for SD's. They will do metal comfortably, but you might need an OD pedal.
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#9
Id say get a DiMarzio X2N for the bridge. An absolutely brutal crushing distortion but it still sounds defined and not fuzzy.
#10
I've just been doing a but of thinking and I have realized that although I used to play a lot of classic rock and blues, I hardly play anything other than metal anymore. Seeing as 90-95% of my playing it usually metal, would EMG's be fine and then when I want to play classic rock and blues I could use my OD pedal or my current guitar or maybe even get a cheaper guitar with EMG's (what are those HZ's like?) and put a SD in my current guitar?
My Stuff:
ESP LTD MH-400 (pic's here)
Epiphone G-400 SG
Vox AD30VT
Marshall JH-1 Jackhammer
#11
I heard that the HZ;s arent that good and most people just replace them .
#12
For a metal bridge pickup, Id say out of these;

DiMarzio X2N
DiMarzio Super Distortion
Seymour Duncan Invader

As for EMG's, I personally dont like them. To my ears they DO sound too electronic and lack warmth. Passive is the way to go Also, you never have to worry about changing batteries
#13
EMGs 81 and 85 combo

Typical

If you want a rad combo, which gives you cleans, then replace 81 with a 60 for neck..

Listen to sound samples and decide.
#14
Quote by jake911
I heard that the HZ;s arent that good and most people just replace them .


i think lamb of god uses HZs im not sure i dont remember what the band was i seen it in an interview they said they liked them better than actives
#16
Quote by SamxNHO
i think lamb of god uses HZs im not sure i dont remember what the band was i seen it in an interview they said they liked them better than actives


they use seymour duncans but they endorse EMG

Alexi from Bodom uses 1 EMG-HZ in his ESP sig .... personally im not a big fan of the passive emg's they arent great pickups imo

however i totally disagree when people say EMG's are only good for metal, they can quite easily pull off blues or classic rock tones with lighter distortion, with a 60 in the neck you wouldnt surrender cleans like you would with an 85 and with the 81 in the bridge you can get a more brittle strat like clean. there will always be people who say that EMG's are only good for metal but then again most of the people i see say that have never owned a set or "heard from this guy"

honestly unless you've used a set for a decent length of time through your own setup with your own eq settings you're never going to know what you can do with any pickup EMG's included.

if im honest either way you're going to get a really good set of pickups with those 2 combinations.
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Last edited by tommyt at Jun 21, 2007,
#17
What do you guys think of getting a guitar like an Ianez RG370DX or something similar in price and putting an EMG 81/60 combo in it? What would I do with the single coil though because if what i have been told is true, you can not easily put active and passive pickups together.

So if I can do that, it would be better and cheaper than getting an LTD with EMG-HZ's and then having to change them to active's right?
My Stuff:
ESP LTD MH-400 (pic's here)
Epiphone G-400 SG
Vox AD30VT
Marshall JH-1 Jackhammer
#18
Generally i prefer Duncans. Much more versatile, in my opinion, but EMGs can do some things quite well.

I'd only get EMGs if you're willing to shell out for the batteries though, the passive ones aren't amazing.
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#19
Quote by XtAsY2007
I've heard EMG's sound sterile and lack character. Mainly only useful for very high gain situtation for a ton of fuzz.


EMGs sound sterile and lack character? Lol.. thats a new one..
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#20
Quote by mad4metal
I've just been doing a but of thinking and I have realized that although I used to play a lot of classic rock and blues, I hardly play anything other than metal anymore. Seeing as 90-95% of my playing it usually metal, would EMG's be fine and then when I want to play classic rock and blues I could use my OD pedal or my current guitar or maybe even get a cheaper guitar with EMG's (what are those HZ's like?) and put a SD in my current guitar?


What if you start playing other music in the future? I say get SD's. My Jackson has two SD's (SH-4 JB at the bridge and SH-2 Jazz at the neck) and they sound pretty good for metal and probably many other styles.
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#21
Quote by Stentroll
What if you start playing other music in the future? I say get SD's. My Jackson has two SD's (SH-4 JB at the bridge and SH-2 Jazz at the neck) and they sound pretty good for metal and probably many other styles.


I probably will only have the guitar for a few years until I finish school and uni and afford a Gibson '61 reissue SG (a guitar I have wanted since I first started playing) and ESP KH-2. So if I do start playing something else, which I doubt I will as I am a fair bit better at playing metal than I am at classic rock and blues, I could just use my current guitar for that genre, change the PUPS in my guitar or just wait until I have my SG .

Right now I am only speculating, I could still end up with either as I am undecided on what to do.
My Stuff:
ESP LTD MH-400 (pic's here)
Epiphone G-400 SG
Vox AD30VT
Marshall JH-1 Jackhammer
#22
If you already have a G-400, which are pretty decent guitars and you want to upgrade, don't look at anything under the LTD -400 series or you will be getting agathis body etc. and it will not be an upgrade.

As for pickups, I say just get whatever guitar you feel most comfortable playing and worry about pickups later. The EMGs or SDs are both great high end pickups so you can't really go wrong there.

If it was me in your situation I would get an LTD with EMG 81/60 seeing as you play mostly metal, and they will do them great, and they are also WAYY more versatile than people on UG give them credit for. They WILL do classic rock and with the right amp settings could pull off blues.

I dare say they would still sound way better for those styles than stock Epiphone pickups and then if you wanted to later down the track you could upgrade your SG pickups to a classic rock and blues voiced pickups which would then give you 2 great guitars for your styles of music.

I hope that all made sense. That's what I think anyway.
#23
^^The reason why I have been looking at Ibanez is because of the Wizard II neck, I love them. My G-400 is a good enough guitar for me but I hate the neck on it as it has a glossy finish on it and it feels too big for my liking. The only other thing I don't like about the guitar is it's pickups and that is why I am after a RG370DX, great neck and it leaves me money to upgrade the PUPS on it therefore fixing the two things that I don't like with my current guitar
My Stuff:
ESP LTD MH-400 (pic's here)
Epiphone G-400 SG
Vox AD30VT
Marshall JH-1 Jackhammer
#24
Quote by XtAsY2007
I've heard EMG's sound sterile and lack character. Mainly only useful for very high gain situtation for a ton of fuzz.


If you have a basswood guitar, a MG or a Line 6 and a metalzone, then you will get that sound.

With a decent amp, and a decent guitar (doesn't have to be THAT good, but at least playable), it can sound pretty decent.


Wow, that's pretty decent
#25
So a guitar with a basswood body is a no go for EMG's? FUK!!!! Now I need to find a guitar that has a Mahogany body and separate tone and volume controls so I can only change one pickup for now. Anyone got any suggestions? My price range is around the price of an Ibanez S320.

EDIT: Hey guys I think I'm just going to get either a LTD M-400 or LTD MH-400 instead. Both will cost me less than getting something like the S320 and changing the PUPS and both already have EMG active PUPS. Now which one to get? The M-400 has the inverted headstock, which I like, but has two 81's whereas the MH has a normal headstock but an 81/85 combo.
My Stuff:
ESP LTD MH-400 (pic's here)
Epiphone G-400 SG
Vox AD30VT
Marshall JH-1 Jackhammer
Last edited by mad4metal at Jun 21, 2007,
#26
Quote by mad4metal
So a guitar with a basswood body is a no go for EMG's? FUK!!!! Now I need to find a guitar that has a Mahogany body and separate tone and volume controls so I can only change one pickup for now. Anyone got any suggestions? My price range is around the price of an Ibanez S320.

EDIT: Hey guys I think I'm just going to get either a LTD M-400 or LTD MH-400 instead. Both will cost me less than getting something like the S320 and changing the PUPS and both already have EMG active PUPS. Now which one to get? The M-400 has the inverted headstock, which I like, but has two 81's whereas the MH has a normal headstock but an 81/85 combo.


id go with the dual 81 setup tbh
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Dammit, beaten to it, and by someone with the same name

CURSE YOU TOMMYT!!!!!!!!!!!!


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#27
Quote by tommyt
id go with the dual 81 setup tbh


Cleans are for wussies. I am not one, so go dual 81
simple set up, one tone and one volume needed.


j/k about for wussies. I once heard this clean tone, it was so BROOOTAL.