Price paid: $ 239
Purchased from: Sam Ash, Hollywood.
Sound — 9
First off, I'm not a big fan of Metallica (only the first album). When I bought the EMG 81X, that was suppose to be a regular 81 with more headroom (the punch of a passive) I was surprised about how good it sounded. After some time playing the 81X I heard that James would release his own signature pickups, saw the interview with him and he talked about the punch of a passive and the wall of an active. About how the 81X was designed I got interested and thought that they had taken this one step further. I have recorded some stuff using the same presents as I used with the 81X and I have to say that the JH Set has a little bit higher output. Witch is high! I love the output on these, reminds me of the Gibson Dirty Fingers. I use a Marshall JCM 2000 lead and it sounds very very good with the JH Set. The tone is fantastic! Tight bass, super awesome mid and nice treble. This is how an pick up should sound to my ears. I play alot of pop-punk, Hardcore and easycore, and the JH set is perfect for that sound. It's not only just for metal or so it fits my style perfect (blink 182, found year strong, set your goals). The dirt fingers is a 10 but this is 99% of an dirty fingers in my ears so I will give it an 9.
Overall Impression — 10
It's nothing to hate about it, maybe I find something to hate when I try it with an different amp or something but I don't think so. What I love is the quick connect, it is so good, didn't change anything other than the pickups it self, and I did it in three minutes. I putted these in my Hagstrom Ultra Swede, basswood body, and it sounds really bada-s! I really love the bridge pickup and to be frank I don't care to much about clean tones or the neck pickup. Buy these if you like modern distortion and attack!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I seems really solid! When I first started using the EMG solderless system I didn't think it would stand our live performance since we jump around and throw our instruments all around the stage but everytime I open it up to change batteries I see how well it stands my shenanigans. Yes I can depend on it! I have had some trouble with other guitars and electronics, nothing is as solid as these, no loose cables or anything.