#1
hey UGers! ummm to much gay rumors about this subject, i want someone that knows whats their talking about not just screaming about which ones are better etc. ok so im thinking about buying an EC1000 deluxe and getting the EMG 81-60 combo in them, i like metallica and several other more "hard core" bands but i dont play metal all the time, i like and play any kind of rock/punk/alternative too so will the EMGs totally screw up the sound of thaty style of music??(btw i own and love a CUBE 60) so do EMGs have high output and simply play whatever effects you have or do they stuff your tone with tons of gain???? thanks
#2
The 60 is good for cleans. A large difference compared to the more common 85 in the neck. It should be more than fine.
Be cool.
#3
I love EMGs. I get tired of everyone saying they suck, and I play everything from folk to death metal. IMO, thay won't screw up the music. EMGs output mostly picks up EVERY little scrape slide whatever you do, so they also amplify every mistake. I know you don't want to hear this but IMO, and this is just me, I believe that SD Blackouts have more character, just saying!!! But overall, EMGs rock.
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#4
i always thought active pickups in general sound terrible clean (with exception to clapton custom type mid booster setups). the output is very focused on emgs which is good for cutting through massive distortion but in my opinion the clean sound sounds a little thin and without character. try out a guitar equipped and hear for yourself. i dont think youll like it but you just might. just TRUST YOUR EARS!
#5
The 60's are very good for cleans. The 81-60 is a great versatile set imo..
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#7
Quote by MichaelOfCanton
i always thought active pickups in general sound terrible clean (with exception to clapton custom type mid booster setups). the output is very focused on emgs which is good for cutting through massive distortion but in my opinion the clean sound sounds a little thin and without character. try out a guitar equipped and hear for yourself. i dont think youll like it but you just might. just TRUST YOUR EARS!


I took the EMG active plunge yesterday and bought the 81/85 combo. Distortion was great but it didn't match the cleans on my passives....then I did the 18v mod this afternoon and it made a big difference, especially on cleans so definitely check that out. But I agree its what sounds good to you so try before you commit.
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#8
I own an EC-1000 and am in the process of selling my Cube 60. Since the cube is a modeling amp the sound of the EMGs as compared to passive pickups will be less noticeable. The 81/60 combination is quite capable of pulling off the sound you are looking for, but most of tone will come from your model choice and EQ settings.
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#9
IMO EMG's sound like crap going through a SS amp. Also, aren't clean as said above. EMG's can hide alot of mistakes in peoples playing. If you play a guitar with EMG's and a guitar with SD's side by side, it's more then likely the EMG's would hide more. They're noisy as hell too, which can be a pain in the ass. I have a set of them in my Eclipse, and I think I'll be switching over soon. Probably go Bare Knuckle or something..
#10
Quote by caraluzzo
IMO EMG's sound like crap going through a SS amp. Also, aren't clean as said above. EMG's can hide alot of mistakes in peoples playing. If you play a guitar with EMG's and a guitar with SD's side by side, it's more then likely the EMG's would hide more. They're noisy as hell too, which can be a pain in the ass. I have a set of them in my Eclipse, and I think I'll be switching over soon. Probably go Bare Knuckle or something..


It sounds like your EMGs are faulty or the battery is dead.
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#11
Quote by CHIEF-CHEESE
It sounds like your EMGs are faulty or the battery is dead.


No faulty EMG's or dead batteries here. I've had guitars with EMG's besides the Eclipse, I was just basing my opinion off my Eclipse in that post because I had just got done playing it. EMG's are very noisy pickups compared to alot of different pickups, and it covers up alot of mistakes for people. Kind of like the reason alot of tone no0bz turn the gain all the way up on amps and say it sounds good, because you can't hear mistakes. I've played the Blackouts, and they're much quieter than the EMG's. I've yet to play any EMG that wasn't loud and covered up my mistakes, but the worse one IMO is the 81.
#12
Quote by caraluzzo
No faulty EMG's or dead batteries here. I've had guitars with EMG's besides the Eclipse, I was just basing my opinion off my Eclipse in that post because I had just got done playing it. EMG's are very noisy pickups compared to alot of different pickups, and it covers up alot of mistakes for people. Kind of like the reason alot of tone no0bz turn the gain all the way up on amps and say it sounds good, because you can't hear mistakes. I've played the Blackouts, and they're much quieter than the EMG's. I've yet to play any EMG that wasn't loud and covered up my mistakes, but the worse one IMO is the 81.


EMGs are known for being pretty quiet because they have the preamp built in, and I've never experienced a noisy EMG giving a lot of feedback and hum and whatnot. Personally I think they lack the warmth, clarity and articulation of a passive pickup but I like the even, biting tone for certain situations. I'll probably be changing mine out for some Dimarzio D activators.
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#14
Don't go with EMG's. Go with SD Blackouts instead. Trust me. I was an EMG user for 15 years. The Blackouts are much better. They are both more natural and "high-fi" sounding at the same time. They have warmer, richer cleans and clearer, more articulate distortion, even at the highest gain (my 5150 is a whole new beast with these things). My EMG equipped guitar sounds muddy, digital, and hollow in comparison now. I'm going to be swapping the EMG's out of it for Blackouts ASAP.
#15
Quote by madrigal77
Don't go with EMG's. Go with SD Blackouts instead. Trust me. I was an EMG user for 15 years. The Blackouts are much better. They are both more natural and "high-fi" sounding at the same time. They have warmer, richer cleans and clearer, more articulate distortion, even at the highest gain (my 5150 is a whole new beast with these things). My EMG equipped guitar sounds muddy, digital, and hollow in comparison now. I'm going to be swapping the EMG's out of it for Blackouts ASAP.

There isn't much difference with their cleans, but when that one guy on here did a blind testing, i preferred the EMGs.
#16
hey thanks again everyone i am just gonna have to drive way out to guitr center and see for myself but i got alot of opinions really fast haha so ya
#17
1. Metallica isn't "hard core".
2. Get passives for your Cube, X2N for high output, JB for almost anything, SH-6 for more crush than the JB.
ಠ_ಠ
#18
emgs are really clean with a clean channel (some would say sterile, but i'd say "processed"), and with distortion it is pretty clear, but they hit an amps front end hard, and I find with a dirty channel the 81 and 85 I have don't clean up well. Also they only sound good in tubes; in SS they sound quite bad, but better than shitty stock no-namers on a lot of guitars.

However, I remember using an EMG 60 in an LTD EX-400 and it cleaned up really well, so i'd say go for it. I'm gunna see how changing the pickups in my Hellraiser goes (SD Hot Rodded set i'm aiming for) since I've branched out from playing brutal chug chug to more post-hardcore, experimental/art rock, progressive metal, and still love to dish out metalcore, but i'm leaning towards not as heavy genres any more.
#19
The quality of active pickups depends almost entirely on your amp.

This is the checklist for active pickups. If you're doing all of this, then go for it. If you're missing even just one of these, you'll be better off with high-output passive pickups rather than active pickups:

- You own a medium-gain or high-gain tube amp.
- You always have that amp cranked in every way as far as it will go, including basic volume.
- You have a smooth speaker cab (4x12" speakers is pretty much the minimum for this).
- You want the hardest natural overdrive possible.
- You do not use pedals for distortion/overdrive/fuzz/boost.
- You do not use the amp's gain/pre-gain control.
- You do not mind sacrificing some of the dynamic responsiveness of your tone in exchange for that harder overdrive.

If you can positively check-off all of those points, then active pickups are for you. They'll drive a high-gain amplifier harder than anything else without causing excess background noise.

If however you have to say no to any of the above points, then active pickups aren't for you. You'd be much better off with high-output passive pickups instead.
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#20
I play my 81 18v in a SS line6 and it sounds great. Better than my old usa strat and marshall 50w combo. And the setup is SO quiet i forget my amp is on, i think the amp has a gate built in, but even when i play at hi volume, the spaces between notes are silent. I hate hum...quietest pickup i have ever tried. If your EMG has any noise, something is wrong with it or another part of the guitars electronics. Using a cheap cable is the worst thing for noise.
Last edited by Tempoe at Oct 27, 2008,
#21
Quote by HighPotency
There isn't much difference with their cleans, but when that one guy on here did a blind testing, i preferred the EMGs.

Not my experience at all. The EMG's sound thin in comparison and they always sound like they are just on the cusp of distorting. The Blackouts are much warmer and organic sounding to my ears.
#22
Quote by madrigal77
Not my experience at all. The EMG's sound thin in comparison and they always sound like they are just on the cusp of distorting. The Blackouts are much warmer and organic sounding to my ears.

Sorry i think i was getting mixed up. I believe it was the distorted tone that was the hardest to tell the difference. I still preferred the EMGs, but maybe that's just me.
#23
Quote by HighPotency
Sorry i think i was getting mixed up. I believe it was the distorted tone that was the hardest to tell the difference. I still preferred the EMGs, but maybe that's just me.


With ya there. I'm sure there's plenty of people here that think I'm nuts for it, but I do likes myself some 81/85 action.