#1
Man i went to a local music store today to test out some guitars and just mess around and i had stumbled on a guitar with emg's on it and i wanted to see why they have such a reputation.

they sounded horrible(to me atleast)! the clean sound was warm but really muddy and fuzzy.

the overdrive sound sounded ok but it was way muddier than anything i've ever heard.

the overall pickup sound soft and flat(in my opinion). These werent the "designed by emg" pups, they were the 81's and 85's.


what appeals to you about these pups, i dont get it.
#2
you musta been playing through a **** amp. and for one thing, people who use emgs don't use them for the cleans. i own three guitars, one having emgs, and i can definitely say that it sounds the best for what i play, which is thrash and death metal.

what was the guitar you were playing?
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Last edited by metalhead_99801 at Jul 26, 2008,
#3
Probably needed the battery to be changed. Usually they are among the most clear sounding pickups ever.
#4
Quote by metalhead_99801
you musta been playing through a **** amp. and for one thing, people who use emgs don't use them for the cleans.


im a pretty well rounded guy when it comes to genres but i am mainly a metal guy. played through a 5150 head and a mesa cab.
#5
Quote by All_Bodies
im a pretty well rounded guy when it comes to genres but i am mainly a metal guy. played through a 5150 head and a mesa cab.



in that case, i don't know what to tell you. they work for me.
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#6
Edit: Ah, misunderstood you. It was probably the battery, like I said. Or other factors, like something wrong with speakers/EQ and whatnot
#7
well, dimarzios have always been my pickup of choice and they are pretty versatile. i guess i like a little more punch and attack in my tone. emgs are just kinda soft.

what im wondering is why people like them so much that they have this amazing rep?
what do you like about them?
#8
the rep is probably just advertising.

they're just better than anything else i've used. i have a dimarzio h3 in my jackson, and i feel like it's lacking sometimes. i'd give you specifics, but at the moment i'm in alabama and my guitars are in alaska.
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#9
Quote by All_Bodies
well, dimarzios have always been my pickup of choice and they are pretty versatile. i guess i like a little more punch and attack in my tone. emgs are just kinda soft.

what im wondering is why people like them so much that they have this amazing rep?
what do you like about them?

Lots of acts use EMGs, and I think that has given them most of their reputation in the pickup world. I assume when bands like Metallica and Slayer started using them back in the 80's alternatives for high output pickups were considerably less than they are now, though in my opinion the tones they had back then were terrible, hell even Tommy Shaw had better tone on The Grand Illusion than anything Met or Slayer had pre black album/South of Heaven.
#10
Quote by metalhead_99801
the rep is probably just advertising.

they're just better than anything else i've used. i have a dimarzio h3 in my jackson, and i feel like it's lacking sometimes. i'd give you specifics, but at the moment i'm in alabama and my guitars are in alaska.


no the rep is just from people i know that play metal. many bigtime guitarists use them though.

the people on ug seem to like them alot.
i think there biggest advertisment is the zakk wylde series.
nevermore plays them alot too and brendan small(composer and the brains behind dethklok) puts them in his gibsons.
Last edited by All_Bodies at Jul 26, 2008,
#11
if you notice, the person endorsing them on this page also owns a B.C. rich. so that should tell you enough.
#12
Quote by tona_107
if you notice, the person endorsing them on this page also owns a B.C. rich. so that should tell you enough.


like what? eh?
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#13
Quote by tona_107
if you notice, the person endorsing them on this page also owns a B.C. rich. so that should tell you enough.

There's nothing wrong with BC Riches, they certainly are not in everyones taste, but they aren't all the **** that people believe them to be because of their Bronze line.
#14
Quote by rokket2005
There's nothing wrong with BC Riches, they certainly are not in everyones taste, but they aren't all the **** that people believe them to be because of their Bronze line.


thank you. finally someone with some sense. besides, it shouldn't matter what the hell you play, just what you can do with it.
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#15
Quote by rokket2005
There's nothing wrong with BC Riches, they certainly are not in everyones taste, but they aren't all the **** that people believe them to be because of their Bronze line.



i think if there is anything to learn about this thread it is that even though the world of guitars is a business that is partially based on name and reputation and you cant judge a guitar or product until youve played it.
#16
Alot of its advertising hype. And the old "well everybody is doing it". There was alot of heavy metal music made with regular old passive pickups. I have a set in a guitar set up for drop tuning. And they work pretty well for that. But they arent the ultimate choice as some would have you believe.
#18
I have EMGs and they are great pickups. I play everything from country to metal and it does every genre well.
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#19
personally I'm not a fan of them, but it's really just a preference thing. I would really like to try them with the 18v mod. But i think the next guitar i get will have passives in it (RGR1570).
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#21
Sounds like you had a dying battery, I feel like they are crisp to the point of being sterile sounding, "soft and flat" sounds like there was something wrong to me.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not some EMG fanboy that claims they are the end-all be all pick-up for everybody. I have 1 guitar with an EMG set in it, I like the sound but I wouldn't put them in every guitar I own.

"if you notice, the person endorsing them on this page also owns a B.C. rich. so that should tell you enough."

Go away you parroting tool. Just because you tried/heard the bronze warlock doesn't mean you know **** about their line of guitars. They have a quality mid-range with nice rockfield pick-ups and solid build quality.
♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪
#22
Quote by IbanezPsycho
I love my set, but if you want them to really open up you need to do the 18v mod. Stock there great but modded there amazing...

indeed.
Gibson SG Standard + 18volt EMG-81 & 85
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#23
Quote by All_Bodies
i think if there is anything to learn about this thread it is that even though the world of guitars is a business that is partially based on name and reputation and you cant judge a guitar or product until youve played it.


i have played one and i just think it's extremely ironic that metalheads are such elitists about tone, then they buy a guitar that is made solely for looks not sound. honestly, if you strung a skateboard and stuck 81 85s in it, it would sound the same as a bc rich, not because the bc rich has the same quality as a skateboard (although the one i played did), but because those pickups make every guitar i've ever heard them in sound very similar to say the least. that doesn't mean they aren't good, it just means don't expect to be able to produce a variety of sounds outside of generic metal voicing. they're better than those active dimarzio's anyways.
and same with most v's...the ones that don't cost an arm and a leg at least, they're made solely for people silly enough to invest in something based on what it looks like and how COOL it makes you look.
Last edited by tona_107 at Jul 27, 2008,
#24
Quote by tona_107
i have played one and i just think it's extremely ironic that metalheads are such elitists about tone, then they buy a guitar that is made solely for looks not sound. honestly, if you strung a skateboard and stuck 81 85s in it, it would sound the same as a bc rich, not because the bc rich has the same quality as a skateboard (although the one i played did), but because those pickups make every guitar i've ever heard them in sound very similar to say the least. that doesn't mean they aren't good, it just means don't expect to be able to produce a variety of sounds outside of generic metal voicing. they're better than those active dimarzio's anyways.
and same with most v's...the ones that don't cost an arm and a leg at least, they're made solely for people silly enough to invest in something based on what it looks like and how COOL it makes you look.

You're so ignorant it isn't even funny. Just get the **** out.

While active pickups do sound similar to a certain extent, they only sound as generic as they amp they're being played through. Dimarzio doesn't have an active pickup, they have the D-Activator which is a passive designed to sound like an active. As for Flying V guitars, I know the LTD Alexi-600 I used to have was the most amazing guitar I've ever played once it was setup, it basically played itself and I didn't get it to look "cool", I got it because it played well.

It is completely okay do not like a brand of guitars, but to bash someone for owning one of them is just plain asinine. Grow the **** up.
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#25
Quote by rwalby9
You're so ignorant it isn't even funny. Just get the **** out.

While active pickups do sound similar to a certain extent, they only sound as generic as they amp they're being played through. Dimarzio doesn't have an active pickup, they have the D-Activator which is a passive designed to sound like an active. As for Flying V guitars, I know the LTD Alexi-600 I used to have was the most amazing guitar I've ever played once it was setup, it basically played itself and I didn't get it to look "cool", I got it because it played well.

It is completely okay do not like a brand of guitars, but to bash someone for owning one of them is just plain asinine. Grow the **** up.


the alexi is like 1200 dollars, and like i said, the ones you pay for are good sounding guitars.
and i don't think it's a stretch to judge someone based on their actions, although i was joking.
#26
I'm gonna have to agree with all bodies on this one. I personally don't own a guitar with EMG's, but the other guitarist in my band does and every time I play his guitar it feels "flat and soft". For an active pickup, they're awfully weak sounding imo.
#27
Quote by tona_107
i have played one and i just think it's extremely ironic that metalheads are such elitists about tone, then they buy a guitar that is made solely for looks not sound. honestly, if you strung a skateboard and stuck 81 85s in it, it would sound the same as a bc rich, not because the bc rich has the same quality as a skateboard (although the one i played did), but because those pickups make every guitar i've ever heard them in sound very similar to say the least. that doesn't mean they aren't good, it just means don't expect to be able to produce a variety of sounds outside of generic metal voicing. they're better than those active dimarzio's anyways.
and same with most v's...the ones that don't cost an arm and a leg at least, they're made solely for people silly enough to invest in something based on what it looks like and how COOL it makes you look.



i'm not really getting your arguement. if emgs sound the same in any guitar, then why not go for the most badassed looking one? am i so wrong to play on a bc rich just because i prefer the sharp edges as opposed to a dull looking strat? because what i am hearing is that they'd sound the same anyway...

EDIT: after i get home in a few days i'm putting in that 18v mod, so mine won't sound the same anyway.
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Last edited by metalhead_99801 at Jul 28, 2008,
#28
^ they just don't get us, it's okay.
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#29
Quote by All_Bodies
Man i went to a local music store today to test out some guitars and just mess around and i had stumbled on a guitar with emg's on it and i wanted to see why they have such a reputation.

they sounded horrible(to me atleast)! the clean sound was warm but really muddy and fuzzy.

the overdrive sound sounded ok but it was way muddier than anything i've ever heard.

the overall pickup sound soft and flat(in my opinion). These werent the "designed by emg" pups, they were the 81's and 85's.


what appeals to you about these pups, i dont get it.


I agree. To me they sound horrible. I don't see what anyone likes about them. Not to mention the fact that once you put them in you will sound like a carbon copy of 99% of today's metal guitarists... I don't know about everyone else, but I like having an original sound.
#30
Yep I mentioned it in another thread I tried a some kind of DEAN Dime the other day on some high gain $1700 head through some "best cab you can get" cab. ...and to me... the amp sounded better with stock fender single coils. The tone with the EMGs sounded like crap to me.... almost like a solid state amp with the gain maxed.. The Emgs did sound amazing in the clean channel though with the gain turned way up. Nice smooth overdriven sound which would be great for some Mellencamp tunes. But on the high gain channel I would gladly take my PAF's or the Fender Single Coils over the EMGs. At least the tone would have a bit of character.
#31
I think EMG's are plain awful after switching to SD. They make every guitar sound the same practically. Just my opinion, flame away if you wish
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#34
yeah the battery definitely went on them. i've got the 81/85 in my epi sg and i couldn't be happier.
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#35
I wouldn't agree that they make every guitar sound the same. I think of EMGs as regular pickups with a built-in boost pedal that's always on. Some of the versatility is lost since turning down the boost kills the tone, so the clean tones suffer and the dynamics are squashed somewhat.
However- with the 18v mod, and as long as you understand that they're going to really push your tone in a certain direction, I have to conclude that they don't suck.
#37
From my experience with EMG's is that they kicked ass on anything metal related, but they were some of the worst sounding pickups I have played when I tried to play clean or with very low distortion.
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#38
Quote by Kurt Russell
What is this 18v mod? I've never heard of it before.


Basically your doubling the voltage which makes the pickup a bit more responsive, increases clarity and makes them a bit more organic so there not so sterile. So you keep the hot factor of an active but they react more like a passive pickup. You can actually go all the way up to 27v's if you wanted too but the change from 18 to 27 is minimal and not really worth the extra time or battery. But going from 9 to 18 is a huge jump in the right direction, if you have EMG's its a cheap mod with amazing results.

Also on other matters... Emgs can do cleans fine you just have to roll back the volume and have a decent neck pickup. If you want versatility a 81/60 is great for all around tone and more then likely most people saying cleans suck haven't played a 60 or kicked the volume down. 95% of the guitars with emgs on the demo floor are 81/85 combos which 85's are decent but there mainly a blues pickup there still pretty hot for clean work and if you picked up a guitar with emgs in the first place you probably weren't demo'ing it on a fender or an amp with decent cleans to begin with.

Also here is a 60 played on a Fender deluxe... For the none believers...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4FpP5P-OF8&feature=related
Last edited by IbanezPsycho at Jul 28, 2008,