Right now in my ESP SV, it has a pair of EMG 81's. I like the tone the 81 gives in the bridge, but for the neck position I want something with a different sound to it.

The 81 is pretty aggressive and biting, which is good, but I don't think I really need it in the neck. So, I was thinking about switching to a 60 or an 85.

How do these sound, and compare?

I'm looking for something that might be able to do cleans better, but more importantly, I want something a bit warmer and darker. More rounded off, maybe.

And in case anyone is wondering, the ESP SV has an ebony fretboard, maple neck, and alder body.
im not sure how they compare since i've never played a 60 but if you end up wanting an 85 i have one for sale
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As someone who has a guitar with the 85, I don't really like it. I played an ESP LTD FX400 a few times, and I must say that the 60 had a much tighter, and less bassy sound in which you're looking for. The 85 gets a bit muddy for me, but that maybe due to the settings on my amp. The 60 on the other hand was clear as day. I loved it.
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Last edited by zappp : Today at 4:20 PM. Reason: Suck on my balls, UG

The best way I can describe the tone I'm going for is smooth, dark, and deep. It doesn't have to be bright, but I don't want it to be muddy.

I suppose the closest comparison would be something like the leads and solo in this song...


and I'm aware that's done with passives (and on a custom PRS), but it's the best example I could think of at the moment. That, and...

owning both, id have to say i like the 60 better, better cleans and better distorted sound, but thats all opinion its a little cooler sounding, smoother thats why i like it, does leads really well
Jackson DK2M Dinky Pro W/ EMG 81/85 18v Black
ESP LTD EC-1000 W/ EMG 81/60 See Thru Blue
Schecter C-1 HellRaiser W/ EMG 81TW/89 Black Cherry
Peavey 6505 W/ 2x12 V30
the 85 is a mini humbucker in a humbucker casing, its a little more aggressive than the 60 imagine
85 is good for when you have both the bridge and the neck pickups on, it gives it a bit more crunch
but if your going for a cleaner soundin the neck, so id say defently go for the 60.