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#1
which of this pickups is better for metal...


combo emg 81/85

combo emg 81/81

combo duncan blackouts

blusa l-500xl/duncan 59´

di marzio super distortion/paf pro
#3
Honestly, it's all tastes.

Some prefer the sounds of actives, some prefer passives (myself).

The Duncan '59 is nice...
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Quote by eggsandham2
cuz ppl hate how power metal they are cuz they think its "gay" or w.e, which is immature and dirogitory
#4
for newer kinda metal sound, EMG 81/85. More classic metal sounding, i'd go with SD '59
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#5
81/81 will give you the most gain/heaviness, that being said, Duncans are my fav.
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#6
Quote by OThugSd
81/81 will give you the most gain/heaviness

Dont be mislead. That doesnt mean they're the best automatically.

Why dont you go try all of them out?

The 81/85 set would probably be the most generic. Or, you could go with the ever popular JB/'59 set. I'm sure you could play more than metal with that.
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#7
EMG's will give you that annoying/****ty PURE bottom end sound, through most good tube amps will kill your tone with to much bass, except for the 60, go with passives, sound way better, actually have great cleans, are more versatile. Sound way better. Sound way better. Sound way better. Sound way better. I think you get it.


I own a Duncan '59 in my Ibanez, and I have one in my Gibson Explorer, they sound absolutely amazing through my Mark IV and my Mesa Single Rectifier Solo 50.
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#8
What kind of metal we talking about here? For straight up brutal death metal, it's hard to beat the sterile and powerful sound of an 81/85 combo. For everything else, a nice set of mid-output passives are awesome for some nice "chunk" in the low-end.
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#11
I'm running a 81/81 setup with a 9v-18v switchable system and its the best setup i have played so far. But its all a preference thing, some love emg's some hate them. I definitively prefer the 18v mod it really made them come alive and now there the only pickups ill use. But im still wanting to get my hands on some bareknuckles for a test run...
Last edited by IbanezPsycho at Jun 23, 2008,
#12
Quote by DSchmitty
EMG's will give you that annoying/****ty PURE bottom end sound, through most good tube amps will kill your tone with to much bass, except for the 60, go with passives, sound way better, actually have great cleans, are more versatile. Sound way better. Sound way better. Sound way better. Sound way better. I think you get it.


I own a Duncan '59 in my Ibanez, and I have one in my Gibson Explorer, they sound absolutely amazing through my Mark IV and my Mesa Single Rectifier Solo 50.

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#13
Quote by DSchmitty
EMG's will give you that annoying/****ty PURE bottom end sound, through most good tube amps will kill your tone with to much bass, except for the 60, go with passives, sound way better, actually have great cleans, are more versatile. Sound way better. Sound way better. Sound way better. Sound way better. I think you get it.

all preference. If EMG's are killing the tone in your good tube amp, and giving you "annoying/****ty PURE bottom end sound", that sounds like user error to me. I do just fine with them. They work very well for high gain applications because they are a tight, articulate, high fidelity pickup. They are also naturally quieter under high gain than most passives because of the smaller magnet. Plenty of well known metal albums have EMG's all over them. I might not want to use them for every genre, but they are far from ****ty sounding.
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#14
I've been told that EMGs have fairly poor interaction with clean channels, so steer clear if you plan on using cleans. They do seem to produce a tiny bit of extra gain, so if you really need that, you might like it.
I personally favor passives since they sound more natural and smooth.
#16
Damn, so much hate for active pickups on these forums!

I prefer my SD Blackouts to EMGs, but it's all personal preference.
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#17
I have guitars with active EMGs and passives and honestly prefer the sound of the passives over the actives.

Much more organic sounding and the cleans aren't as sterile, though I did love the cleans from the 60 in my EC-1000.
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#18
Whats with everyone bashing active pickups? I bet 9/10 of you haven't even used EMGs in a real high gain tube amp. I agree with everything Erock said.

TS, if you have a solid state amp, stick with a pair of passive pups. If you have a tube amp and can use the full potential of actives, then get a set of EMG 81/60.
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#19
Quote by rwalby9
Whats with everyone bashing active pickups? I bet 9/10 of you haven't even used EMGs in a real high gain tube amp. I agree with everything Erock said.

TS, if you have a solid state amp, stick with a pair of passive pups. If you have a tube amp and can use the full potential of actives, then get a set of EMG 81/60.



i've used a Hellraiser through a Peavey XXX and it was too...thin for me. it was too trebly and idk. i just didn't like how it sounded. i know i was probably doing something wrong, but whatever. lol.
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Quote by Bentheemo
Thats probably some of the best advice I've ever received on here.
#20
Quote by ugmung
i've used a Hellraiser through a Peavey XXX and it was too...thin for me. it was too trebly and idk. i just didn't like how it sounded. i know i was probably doing something wrong, but whatever. lol.

XXX's are very bright high gain amps. I personally don't like them regardless of what pickups you put in front of them.

The thing with actives is that you get them if you want the sound of active pickups, not if you want the sound of passives. They give a very distinct sound that passives don't come close to. Asking which is "better" is pointless because its entirely up to the person who wants to use them. They don't take on the tone wood very much so they won't get the same warmth, but they handle the high gain better than any other pups out there. Less noise and very responsive.

It just bothers me that when someone asks about EMGs everyone gives the same responses: they're only good for metal, their cleans suck, they're completely lifeless. You can get a great overdriven bluesy tone out of EMGs, and if you know how to use your volume know well you can get great cleans out of them depending on your amp. Sterile I don't even know why people say, doesn't make sense to me.

And I don't want to come off like you are saying any of these things, because you aren't. But lately there seems to be a lot of active pup (specifically EMG) bashing going on.
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#21
oh i know, i don't say any of those things, i personally just like passives better.

and i have been noticing that a lot lately as well.
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Quote by Bentheemo
Thats probably some of the best advice I've ever received on here.
#22
Quote by rwalby9
Whats with everyone bashing active pickups? I bet 9/10 of you haven't even used EMGs in a real high gain tube amp.


I love EMGs, in the right guitar. Some guitars they just don't seem to mix well with imo at least. They sounded great in my EC-1000 and in other mahogony guitasr, but I don't think they sound good at all in Alder body guitars. However, I do like them the best out of 7-String pickups, though it sucks you have to route the guitar to put them in if they're not stock.

Quote by rwalby9
It just bothers me that when someone asks about EMGs everyone gives the same responses: they're only good for metal, their cleans suck, they're completely lifeless. You can get a great overdriven bluesy tone out of EMGs, and if you know how to use your volume know well you can get great cleans out of them depending on your amp. Sterile I don't even know why people say, doesn't make sense to me.


I think most of the comments of the pickups being lifeless and sterile come from the 81 or 85 played clean. The cleans I get out of my SG are bland and boring, but the cleans I could get out of my EC-1000 with the 60 were great and definitely not sterile. I completely agree though, they are much more versatile than people give them credit; however, I wouldn't buy any of their humbuckers if I didn't at least have a major focus on playing metal as there's simply better passive pickups out there that can cover a wider range of styles better and, in some cases, are even cheaper.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
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#25
Quote by Wulver
For people who diss EMGs, I think Mr. Gilmour would like a word with you.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=BFrg_Ka8-II

Well yeah, but he's using singles.

No one's talking about their single coils here...
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





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#26
For me, I just don't like the overall sound of active pickups. Totally different character than passives, and it just doesnt sound right for me. Go for a pair of passives!
#27
Really depends on the type of "metal" you're playing.

I mean, it's such a huge genre with total different tonal variants, that it's hard to say.

I like EMG's, I like passives, really depends on what you're looking for.

I'd head up to Guitar Center or whatever you have near and test a guitar with stock EMG's and if you can same wood to see if you like that sound. Then just kind of go from there.

The real issue is that you're not just changing pups, you're going from passive to active. Once you do that it's kind of a pain to go back if you realize you don't like 'em.

Best of luck
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#28
I much prefer Seymour Duncan Blackouts to EMG's. Blackouts have amazing clean tones in Mahogany guitars. The distortion is versatile, and noiseless. EMG's are okay, its just that the blackouts are everything and more than EMG's are.
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#29
Quote by IbanezPsycho
I'm running a 81/81 setup with a 9v-18v switchable system and its the best setup i have played so far. But its all a preference thing, some love emg's some hate them. I definitively prefer the 18v mod it really made them come alive and now there the only pickups ill use. But im still wanting to get my hands on some bareknuckles for a test run...


Ok i've always wanted to ask this:
Why two of the same pickups?(not trying to be an ass, I'm just wondering)
Do they sound much different between the neck and bridge position?
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#30
Quote by DSchmitty
EMG's will give you that annoying/****ty PURE bottom end sound, through most good tube amps will kill your tone with to much bass, except for the 60, go with passives, sound way better, actually have great cleans, are more versatile. Sound way better. Sound way better. Sound way better. Sound way better. I think you get it.


I own a Duncan '59 in my Ibanez, and I have one in my Gibson Explorer, they sound absolutely amazing through my Mark IV and my Mesa Single Rectifier Solo 50.


Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail.
#31
Quote by xMikeyxMetalx
Ok i've always wanted to ask this:
Why two of the same pickups?(not trying to be an ass, I'm just wondering)
Do they sound much different between the neck and bridge position?


Well its what i had on hand... I had three Emg 81's laying around and hated the HZ's that came in the guitar and i knew i wanted a 81 in the bridge and honestly didnt want to put anything in the neck spot but figured what the hell i have pickups laying around i need to put them in something. So said what the hell lets see what two 81's sounds like.
#32
The EMG's arent bad clean with a bit of chorus or something.

If possible try and go passive/active if you want a lot of different styles.

I have an EMG 81 and 2 stock passive pickups in my Les Paul right now. Going to replace the neck pup with a Seymour Duncan of some sort (I'm thinking Jazz). Sound like a good idea?
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#33
Quote by laurens666
Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail.


yeah....no.
we're all throwing our own opinions here, there's no need for that.
disagree if you like, but don't send us any fail mail.
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Quote by Bentheemo
Thats probably some of the best advice I've ever received on here.
#34
Quote by IbanezPsycho
Well its what i had on hand... I had three Emg 81's laying around and hated the HZ's that came in the guitar and i knew i wanted a 81 in the bridge and honestly didnt want to put anything in the neck spot but figured what the hell i have pickups laying around i need to put them in something. So said what the hell lets see what two 81's sounds like.


So is there much difference in sound between neck and bridge?
Some guitars I'm looking at have this combo and I'd like some distinct sounds out of each position.
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#35
Quote by xMikeyxMetalx
So is there much difference in sound between neck and bridge?
Some guitars I'm looking at have this combo and I'd like some distinct sounds out of each position.


They keep the same general tone but the bridge is going to be brighter and neck is going to be darker and warmer sounding of coarse. So for example its not a drastic tone change like say having a two totally different pickups in there. Its a smoother transition from one to the other so its not gonna be as versatile as having two totally different pickups in there.
#36
How many threads are you going to make about this?
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#38
Quote by IbanezPsycho
They keep the same general tone but the bridge is going to be brighter and neck is going to be darker and warmer sounding of coarse. So for example its not a drastic tone change like say having a two totally different pickups in there. Its a smoother transition from one to the other so its not gonna be as versatile as having two totally different pickups in there.

Hmm...alright.
Thanks for the insight by the way.
I think i might need a really nice warm one in the neck for sweeping/melodic solos, so i should probably find two different models of pickups.
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#39
Quote by ugmung
this would be the second i believe.

3rd today actually.
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#40
Quote by MatrixClaw
Well yeah, but he's using singles.

No one's talking about their single coils here...


Personally, I can get a pretty bluesy tone out of my 60 in the neck. I'd say best combo of EMGs for metal would be 81 bridge and 60 neck, you get the articulation and heaviness of the 81 (and the 60 for that matter) and the great sounding cleans out of the 60, plus a great rhythm sound with high gain.

But passive, maybe like a set of Bareknuckles?
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