#1
I was searching for a new bridge pickup for my epiphone les paul and came to a split decision between the emg 81 and seymour-duncan alnico II pro pickups. I never ever use my neck pickup and was wondering: Is it possible to put the emg 81 in where my neck pickup is? If so, will I lose any tone if I do?
#2
so u want to put an emg 81 in your neck and bridge?
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#3
yeah, matt donais (i think) of shadows fall has an 81 in the neck, but you cant put an active pup (the emg) into the same circuitry as a passive pup (the duncan, or the pup thats already in there) because there's an impedance problem between the two different types of pots you need to use. id reccomend either going all active or check out dimarzio's D Activator pups. theyre designed to sound like actives but in a passive design.
#4
Quote by strq010
yeah, matt donais (i think) of shadows fall has an 81 in the neck, but you cant put an active pup (the emg) into the same circuitry as a passive pup (the duncan, or the pup thats already in there) because there's an impedance problem between the two different types of pots you need to use. id reccomend either going all active or check out dimarzio's D Activator pups. theyre designed to sound like actives but in a passive design.

yes you can , my guitar teacher has a les paul with an emg 81 in the bridge and the stock neck pickup
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#5
Quote by phohasmtopad
I was searching for a new bridge pickup for my epiphone les paul and came to a split decision between the emg 81 and seymour-duncan alnico II pro pickups. I never ever use my neck pickup and was wondering: Is it possible to put the emg 81 in where my neck pickup is? If so, will I lose any tone if I do?

Okay, so you've just picked 2 pickups out at random, presumably because you've seen the names bandied about.

The EMG 81 is an active pickup with a fairly flat EQ response. It's an extremely low-output pickup but the signal is then boosted by an on-board preamp and the resulting output is much higher than with passive pickups. It has a ceramic magnet that gives a sharp attack and a bright, compressed tone, and a tight low end. It's primarily a bridge pickup, and excels at high gain modern metal tones due to it's ability to push a tube amp harder. Not recommended as a neck pickup unless you hate clean tones with a passion.

The Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II is a low-output, vintage type passive pickup. It uses Alnico 2 magnets to provice a soft attack, spongy low-end response and warm tone. It's an expressive pickup with an open tone and full midrange and excels through a low-medium gain amp.

In short you're pretty much considering two polar opposites...neither of which may be ideal for you.

What amp do you have and what kind of sound are you looking for? When I say sound I mean what sound...not what bands you want to sound like. If you can't describe the sound without referring to bands then it's doubtful that you need new pickups.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Aug 12, 2007,
#6
My amp is a Marshall jcm2000 dsl 401, and the reason I want both is because I'm torn between two sounds: the fat, heavy crunch of the emg for metal, but the really warm middle and treble sound from the duncan. If I have to pick one due to incompatability I'll probably have to go with the duncan for all-around playing (especially jazz band at school), but I really really want that crunchy emg sound for when I'm playing with my metalhead friends.
#7
that crunchy EMG sound can be achieved by other non-EMG pickups
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#8
In that case go for a decent, high output passive that will cover everything. Bear in mind that a pickup that's too hot won't calm down easily. Some options to consider are:

Seymour Duncan Custom - ceramic magnet so leans towards higher output tones and handles metal well, maybe a bit harsh for the jazz stuff.
Seymour Duncan Custom 5 - as above, but with an Alnico 5 magnet. A bit warmer and better at the lower gain stuff than the vanilla custom. Sounds awesome in a Les Paul....I have one.
Dimarzio Norton - Alnico 5 magnet, more modern sound than a traditional Paf but not the level of compression and output that you get from the hotter Dimarzios. Versatile and can cope with any styles.
Dimarzio Breed - Alnico 5 magnet, sounds like a PAF on steroids...almost a cartoon pickup in that respect. Really fat and warm, again hot enough for heavier stuff but warm and responsive enough for low gain stuff. Not great for more modern nu-metal type tones as the lower midrange is very thick giving you a lot of warmth. Does great jazzy tones, can make a mahogany guitar sound almost like a hollowbody.
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#9
Thanks for the replies, I think I'll check out the SD Custom 5. It seems pretty well rounded from what I've read here and a quick google search and if you (steven seagull) have one then that's good enough for me.