KH-21 Prewired Pickguard review by EMG

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (5 votes)
EMG: KH-21 Prewired Pickguard
2

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: Straight Music

Sound — 9
The KH-21(Kirt Hammit) is a direct drop in prewired pickguard for any model of stratocaster, even imports. It comes with 2 EMG 81's and all the pots and switches prewired, all you need to do is sodder a jack and battire(s) to the setup. The top knob is the bridge volume, the second from top is the neck volume, and the bottom knob is for tone. I would have to say the output of the KH-21 is fairly high, even though I'm only running a 9 volt through the EMGs. I use a Boss Ds-1 and a Valveking 112 to play this and I have to say the KH-21 can acheive a destroying tone, yet also a warm tone. The tone the KH-21 is petty much what any EMG 81 would acheive. Its a very trembly and bassy tone with alot of punch. The 9 volt mod dosent have as much output as the 18 volt mod, but I have found that the lower output is better for blues and classic rock, while still holding its metal tone when you want it. The best postions really depend on the type of sound you want to go for, the bridge postion is best for rythem and lead, because it has the most clairty. The middle postion is kinda funny, if you have the volume up for both pickups then it will sound more like the neck pickup. What I like to do is to drop the neck volume down about a 1/4 of a turn, gets it a really good rythem tone without too much bass. The neck pickup is more for cleans becuase it has so much bass output. I think it gives a really good Metallica clean tone when you use it with a chours.

Overall Impression — 7
I love the kinds of heavy tones I can pull out of the KH-21, but just as quickly get a nice warm tone out of it. It looks very clean on the guitar, dosent have any flaws on apperance so it flows with your guitar. I installed the KH-21 in my 2006 Squier Affinity Strat. No problems installing it. One thing I dislike about the KH-21 is the battire, it does fit in the cavity, but theres not enough room for a second battire. Another thing I dislike about the KH-21 is the lack of volume on the high e, and b strings, for some reason the bridge pickup dosent pickup these strings as loudly. Also when you drop the volume on any of the pickups it looses all high end, becomes very low out put with just an 1/8 of a turn.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The pickguard is a pearloid pickguard, it is alot stonger than the normal 3 ply pickguards, also it dosent scratch, which keeps it looking nicer longer. Overall its a tough rig, I giged with it for about 5 months without any kind of failure, and I used it alot. I can defintly depend on this, its tough as nails.

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    MetalSlvg
    Why do most people care more about spelling errors than review content? I was very interested in this review and as with other reviews I read, I read the user comments. A lot of good info comes from the comments, but most people seem to be focussed on errors instead of staying on topic. Shame on you all, putting spelling before information sharing.
    Ali-b912
    fluffpuff999 wrote: ricv2106 wrote: maybe this guy is from a non English speaking country lets not be to harsh on him. Texas, USA = English speaking
    Barely.
    ethan_hanus
    I read a couple of the comments and yall need to find something better to do than find some minor spelling errors in reviews and bitch about them. If you didn't find it helpful then dont make a comment. Its the first one I've done, and I wrote the review because I've had people ask me how well the KH-21 works.
    Lordi71uk
    yes his mother tongue may not be english...but hey lets leave his mothers tongue outta this..
    Firering56
    saint_berzerker wrote: fluffpuff999 wrote: ricv2106 wrote: maybe this guy is from a non English speaking country lets not be to harsh on him. Texas, USA = English speaking Not really...there's more damned Mexicans down here than anything else. No joke.
    Too true dude
    saint_berzerker
    fluffpuff999 wrote: ricv2106 wrote: maybe this guy is from a non English speaking country lets not be to harsh on him. Texas, USA = English speaking
    Not really...there's more damned Mexicans down here than anything else. No joke.
    saint_berzerker
    blackborrego wrote: lol kirk hammit, sounds like kirk dammit.
    Not really...there's more damned Mexicans down here than anything else. No joke.
    jetwash69
    hendrixftw wrote: Well of course it's high output - they're 2 active EMG 81's!! Seems a little pointless - you're strat couldn't do anything except metal...and they're are better guitars for metal anyway for a lot cheaper... schecter/ibanez/jackson anyone?
    First time I've heard anyone accuse a Squier Affinity of being good for metal (21 frets, vintage trem, sloppy tuning pegs). Also I've never seen a schecter/ibanez/jackson sell for less than $179. Even $389 (179 + 210 for the KH-21 won't get you one of those with active EMGs)
    Vitooch
    whoo caaarees about spelling seriously guys. give him and everyone on ug who doesnt care much about spellin a break. is it impossible to read? no, so stop complaining its not like the dudes tryin to get a novel published
    megano28
    this dumbass guy needs to learn to spell before he write reviews. But seriously go with the seymour duncan blackouts they are way better. I put some into my ibanez rgt42dx and haven't regretted it since.
    pete-c
    Heh, "Kirt Hammit". Surely if you bought an artist edition of something, you'd know how their name goes?
    fluffpuff999
    ricv2106 wrote: maybe this guy is from a non English speaking country lets not be to harsh on him.
    Texas, USA = English speaking
    ricv2106
    maybe this guy is from a non English speaking country lets not be to harsh on him.
    Andragon
    Profile says Texas, so cmon. It's Kirk Hammett, battery, achieve, rhythm, chorus and doesn't. Does the UG team/system check these featured reviews? Aside from that, it seems pretty cool.
    hendrixftw
    Well of course it's high output - they're 2 active EMG 81's!! Seems a little pointless - you're strat couldn't do anything except metal...and they're are better guitars for metal anyway for a lot cheaper... schecter/ibanez/jackson anyone?
    shredder3386
    MetalSlvg wrote: Why do most people care more about spelling errors than review content? I was very interested in this review and as with other reviews I read, I read the user comments. A lot of good info comes from the comments, but most people seem to be focussed on errors instead of staying on topic. Shame on you all, putting spelling before information sharing.
    Let me help you out. The 81 is an amazing bridge pickup and I have heard good things about it in the neck position as well. It would probably be cheaper to buy them this way, but you would also be getting that super gay, glittery pick guard which Kirk Hammett most certainly doesn't play. I would scrap that piece of shit and wire the pickups myslef. Otherwise, good steal for the price (cheaper than two 81s separately).