Price paid: $ 100
Purchased from: Local store
Sound — 10
This is one of the most famous pickups around, and coming from EMG, you couldn't expect anything better. Kinda tricky to wire it though, but once you have wired two or three, it's like the alphabet. The main use for this pickup is for lead tones, solos and lead guitarrists. It has a rich warm tone, a crunchy high and a FAT low bottom end. I wired mine for the bridge, but it will work fine on either position. I seriously recommend pairing this one with the EMG 60 or 89.
Overall Impression — 10
The sound and endurance you get from this pickup is just amazing, but the high cost and wiring dufficulties can really make you crazy. I installed this in an RG321EX, on the bridge position, I replaced the original pickup with a set of 58 on the bridge and the 60 in the neck. So I got a very versatile combo.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The last EMG I had was an EMG 58 in the bridge, that last one lasted me about 5 years. Then got the 81 2 years ago, what can I say, it still sounds like new. I'll definately get another one if this one breaks or just blows out. You just have to be carefull to not let t hit anything as this is very fragile.