81-7X review by EMG

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.1 (18 votes)
EMG: 81-7X

Price paid: £ 91.68

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Sound — 9
I purchased this Bridge pickup to replace my stock EMG 707 pickup. I wanted a pickup with as much punch but more clarity and brightness. The EMG 81-7X delivered just that! My Low A is clear and punchy and my High D is smooth and crisp. A problem I had with the bridge 707 is that is sounded too harsh/fizzy on leads. The 81-7X offers a much smoother alternative. Notes are clear, bright, balanced and heavy! The pickup also provides a warm and balanced clean tone which is far better than the Standard EMG pickup model. I use Blackstar and Laney Amps/Cabs (Vintage 30s) with Alesis Nanoverb 2 Reverb and a Decimator Pro G Rack Noise Gate. If needs be I also use a Boss OD3 pedal in the loop. All of these things work/sound great with the Pickup.

Overall Impression — 9
This has to be one of my favourite metal/rock pickups of all time. It clears up several of my gripes with the standard EMGs but keeps the heavy sound I love! I installed this in my Mayones Setius GTM 7 in the Bridge (this is a Bridge pickup afterall). Ideal for all kinds of rock and metal!

Reliability & Durability — 9
Too soon to say for sure but I had no issues installing it. I've never had any issues with EMG pickups before either. The standard EMG pickup casing is as tough as ever (it's probably quite hard to damage these). Because I was simply replacing EMG pickups I had no issues with pickup size etc... However, these pickups are not the standard width of most pickups and would probably offer problems to people who are replacing a different make of pickup.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Is it active or passive?
    Why all the thumbs down for the poor guy? It's a legitimate question for someone unaware of EMG's products. And to answer the question, they're active. The only line of humbucker EMG's that are passive besides a few odd and end signature pups (like the Laiho set) are the H, SE, and the SRO series. 81's and 85's are always active pickups, regardless of variant.
    Thank you for not being a prick like everyone else! I tried to find my answer online but had no luck finding this model of pickup Thank You!
    i love my EMG 81/51 in my Rich. I even added the other 9v battery for more power in the headroom. I might take out the other volume and tone pots and run with one volume pot. Plus when I added my Marshall Ma-100c I have the sound I was looking for.
    These pups BITE! Got the 81-7/85-7 configuration in my Schecter, best sound I've ever gotten out of a guitar!