Price paid: £ 144
Purchased from: Andertons
Sound — 8
The sound is excellent for both cleans and heavy distorted music in my opinion, I do think though that the 81 is too muddy if you want sparkling cleans but if you have EMG's that's not what you are really after. I use the 81/85's with a Vox VT 40+ and an Ibanez Tone Blaster 100 stack with an array of Boss distortion pedals, they all sounds pretty solid with no horrible muddy rhythm sounds it does however sound the best though the Ibanez.
Overall Impression — 9
I love the heavy distortion sounds that can be attained by the EMG's, the 85 is a little muddy for my liking but they are a great setup non the less. I have the 81 in the bridge and the 85 in the neck with the EMG 3 way toggle (supplied free and I can fault them for metal/hard rock genres.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The pickups seem to be pretty strong, I've only had them in my Vintage V100 a few days but their look and feel to me say they are going to last.