I am considering a guitar with an EMG 81 for the bridge and a 60 for the neck. I know EMGs are awesome for metal, but would they also be good for crystal clear rhythms?

A few hours later...

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Guitars: Gibson SG Classic (with P-90 Pickups), Martin DCX1E Acoustic-Electric, and Rouge Viola Bass
i have the 85 in neck i think it sounds realyl warm in the clean channel and if u scroll down u're tone knob and vol knob u will get this nice jazzy tone.
the 60, 85, and 89 neck pickups are personally too subtle for metal when I play. I use the 81's pretty much exclusively (I am a rhythm player though).

Check out EMG's website, they make custom sets for David Gilmour you can buy, who's about the most unmetal player I can think of
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In my experience, the 60 in the neck gives very fat cleans and great lead tones, and I like the sound from the 81 in the bridge...both in a mahogany guitar. Granted, I don't use exclusively EMG.....I have 2 guitars with Dimarzios, one with Seymour duncans, and one with EMG's. I'm probably going to try out some blackout's soon.
For the super clean stuff i rather passives. But cleans are do-able you just have to tweak some stuff. There actually pretty decent for blues too. They add a little grit to the mix...
the do=ude from dire straits uses them 2 and they are sweet but not a metal band.

some guy says bon jovi is not metal (YA RIGHT 2 MUCH KRELL) but ritchie sambora used 2 sometimes have them
In my experience EMG can do clean but it is still a gritty clean. I mean perfect for blues I'm sure...and jazz uses some gritty sounds too so I'm sure you can get away with them live but idk about crystal clear clean on recording. I'd think that would be very hard with EMGs.
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I play metal a lot, but I also play clean songs. Would I rather get EMGs?
Quote by neon10th
I play metal a lot, but I also play clean songs. Would I rather get EMGs?

Its personal prefrence, go to guitar center or music store and play around with both styles. I used to think my dimebucker was right for me until i got to really test out a emg... But sometimes i do wish i had a guitar with a good passive neck pickup. I've got a Duncan SH-59 sitting around the house too and it haunts me sometimes lol

But all i play now is Metal and Blues so on the odd occasion i need something super clean i just power through it and tweak some stuff to make the emg work. Also chorus is your best friend from what i've heard if your using a emg for the clean stuff.

Also there is no perfect setup thus the reason you can buy more then just one guitar...
Last edited by IbanezPsycho at Jan 26, 2008,
IMO, the EMG 89 is the best sounding picking for smooth leads, and clean rhythms on the market. Keep in mind, that was IN MY OPINION.
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you can play any genre with anything. might not sound great, but don't worry about stereotypes at all.
that being said, emgs can definitely do more than just metal. the 60/81 combination is easily my favorite. the 60 sounds very nice, very full, and will do great cleans. but emgs aren't for everybody. i personally don't care for them very much. but 60/81 is my fave emg combo.
That combination of pickups is definately created for metal and especially with the 60 in the neck it works great for rhythm. The fact that you are going with the 60 in the neck is a good choice, it is the most versatile if you ask me (I have the same combo in one of my guitars and I love it) so it will sound quite good on a clean channel. You might want to consider looking at the SD Blackouts, I haven't personally used them but from what I hear they have a more muddy, warmer sound but are also great for metal.