#1
I've been looking around a lot at guitars and I was wondering what the differences these two types of pickups have. What does each brand excel in but suck at and why. I hear good things about them both but have never really seen the issue of comparing and contrasting them addressed.


(for those who don't like to read):

Why is EMG good? Why is Seymour Duncan good?
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#2
Well the biggest difference is that EMGs are active (use batteries) and SDs are passive. SD also has more different kinds of pickups than EMG, and most of them have lower output.
Personally, I think EMGs are better metal pickups and SDs are a lot more versitile.
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#4
Ok I guess the metal SD's then haha. I had no idea SD's were passive
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#5
i think if you took an average SD and ran it through a good preamp, you could get a more metal sound. so i would go with SD any day.
#6
Well, they both make passive and active pickups, but EMG is well known for their actives, ans SD for their passives. I don't recommend EMGs for clean playing, but many people use them. I do sometimes on my Jackson. But actives can handle a lot of distortion pretty well.
SD has a lot of good models for a huge range of styles. I would say SD passives are more versatile. From the ones I've heard, I think they have more tone and personality then a typical EMG when played on a tube amp.

So it really comes down to the style of music you play and what kind of sound you want. If you want brutal and heavy, go with the EMGs. If you want something with a bit more versatility, go with some kind of SD. Hoped this helped.
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#7
Well Seymour Duncan does make active pickups - they're called blackouts, but they aren't too popular when compared to the company's other pickups. But, personally, I'd rather have passive SDs over any active pickups, no matter what style of music I'm playing.
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#8
So EMG is freakin brutal but not very versatile and SD is more versatile but does it still do good with metal?

EDIT: their humbuckers I mean
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#9
Yes SD will still do good with metal
(i plan on getting a jackson with SD's as soon as i can afford it )
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#11
I have some SD SH6 pickups. They are awesome, and have a very raw and clean sound.

I have never tried Active EMG's
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#13
EMGs are known for their active Metal focused pickups. But SDs are known for a general rock sound, and their Antiquity single coils are also very nice.

I've only played a SD set of Jb/Jazz and an EMG combo of 81/85. The EMGs handled hard distortion very well and i heard no hum atall. The SDs were good for metal but were a lot more versitile than the EMGs.
#14
SD JB's are very good.
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