Price paid: $ 124
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
Well first I must say I have been looking for different pickups I have around 12 guitars with EMG 81 or 81X in the bridge and a mix of 85 and 60 in the neck but lately I've been getting into my other guitars with passive pickups a Dimebag with a Dime Seymour Duncan and Les Paul with JB and Jazz Seymour Duncan pickups and a Strat with a DiMarzio Distortion and a YJM singles so put a bid in for JH set cause the marketing said stuff like "active pickups with a passive sound" I HATE Marketing BS, but won at a cheaper price so put them in my PRS.
I played metal a lot but I'm old so blues and jazz get in my playing a lot nowadays too, first YES you get that string life of a passive set for sure but WOW there LOUD I mean REALLY LOUD you will back down the volume if you just had a passive guitar pluggin' in !! not as loud as Seymour Duncan blackouts but in that area, compared to a 81/60 set there less tight and focused more full of life and more string sound or should I say more room to hear the strings over tones, hard to explain but I when straight into playing blues with these things I would saying using 81 for blues could be a little extreme but possible, but these things are right at home with that type of playing style, the neck could even be a jazz pickup since it's a lot more warmer, clear & natural sounding, but still with a lot of power. OH Metal sounds super too using a Eleven rack, Marshall JCM 900 & Peavey 5150, I don''t think anyone would disagree these work really well at maximum volume!
Very impressed at these pickup for:
1. How different that are to other EMG's.
2. How good they sound I'm sold, great pickups!
Reliability & Durability — 9
There EMG you can buy 20+ year old ones from eBay and they still rock solid. you would have to work pretty hard to break EMG pickups.
Overall Impression — 9
They look just super cool as hell, they a fresh new sound from EMG and there great, there by far in my opinion the most widest range pickups from EMG has released you could easily do Jazz, Blues with these and obviously metal I would have at least one guitar in my collection with these pickups in no matter what. BUT I give it a 9 because there freak'n LOUD! I'm sure someone switching to and moving from the guitar you have these installed would get a bit WTF sometimes, YES there louder then EMG 81's but so cool too =)