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EMG 81 pickups

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Postby lord_ariez » March 31st, 2005, 12:47 am

Im interested in getting a set of emg 81's to put on my ESP LTD-50... I personally have never used an active pickup, I mainly play metal and rock so I imagine they would help..?

any input?
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Postby Taintedreality » March 31st, 2005, 3:41 am

I've heard that the 81 to some ears sounds very shrill in the bridge. I personally haven't been able to play through EMG actives, but from what I hear I reallly like them. YOu should try some different pickup configurations. They say the EMG-60 in the neck is superb (Hetfield's guitars have that pickup), and the 81 is great for high gain leads. Only. Clean sound is too trebly apparently. Some people have put the 85 in the bridge, and they're much more satisfied than an 81. It's all personal taste.

Remember that just because an artist puts his pickups somewhere doesn't mean you have to copy it. People that have bought the Zakk Wylde set have sometimes reversed their pickups, 85 in bridge, 81 in neck. I'm buying a guitar soon with the 81/85 and I will test both pickups in both positions.

And yeah, EMGs are good for metal. Many shredders would recommend it.

Hope that helps a little bit.
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Postby lord_ariez » March 31st, 2005, 7:22 am

Awesome! Thanks for the input, I'm going to the GC today and hopefully they'll have something with active pickup's I can try out. Let me know how your 81/85 config goes. I do mainly play lead but I would definatly need something to rock out the rhythm.

It is possible to put active pickups in a non-active rig right?
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Postby Taintedreality » March 31st, 2005, 3:04 pm

It is definetely possible to install active pickups. You will need to remove your volume/tone controls, and your input jack, and of course the pickups. Desolder from your pickup switch the wires. Oh and make sure it's a 3-way switch!! I've heard EMG's are very simple to install, just need to solder 3 joints I think.

Unfortunately my local Guitar Center doesn't carry ANY guitars with EMG actives. Very disappointing. When I get my guitar (it'll probably be 2-3 weeks from now) I can post my results if you want me to then ;).
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Postby Ignar Hillström » March 31st, 2005, 4:35 pm

EMG81s totally destroy whatever sound your guitar has. A multiplex squier bullet sounds almost exactly the same as a all-mahony LP when both are equiped with EMG81s. I hate them myself, but some love them.
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Postby lord_ariez » April 1st, 2005, 5:44 pm

Is it possible to use an active in the bridge and a passive at the neck?
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Postby Taintedreality » April 1st, 2005, 8:02 pm

I have heard it is possible to mix the two. You take into senario though: if you guitar only has room for say.. 1 volume control, you would use the standard 500k pot with both pickups. For the active pickup, the 500k pot acts more like a kill switch. that's all I can remember on that :O. Haha.
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Postby lord_ariez » April 2nd, 2005, 2:46 am

what would the 25k pot do to the passive pickup?
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Postby Taintedreality » April 3rd, 2005, 12:58 am

I am actually not sure on that one.

I bet you won't get much sound, or it will be very bassy and small. Because a 250k pot will sound darker, a 500k pot will be brighter, so a 25k pot isn't saying much.
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Postby Minus_Human » April 3rd, 2005, 8:37 am

dude i'm a BIG EMG fan they rule - they are that damn good - i have 2 other electric guitars and as great as they are they don't come close to my explorer loaded with EMG 60/81.

They are alot more versatile than people will make you believe.

Go get them you won't be dissapointed.

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Postby Ignar Hillström » April 3rd, 2005, 1:17 pm

They are alot more versatile than people will make you believe.


Care to post some clips to back that claim up?
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Postby jay_ashcroft » April 3rd, 2005, 2:11 pm

if your looking for good pick ups you should try bareknuckle pick ups. They hand made and same price as big name factory made pick ups. I havent got mine yet, goin to though, just read the reviews on harmony central!
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Postby lord_ariez » April 3rd, 2005, 6:30 pm

So i'd probably have to drill a new hole for a second volume pot, then put each p/up on it's own?
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Postby Minus_Human » April 4th, 2005, 6:05 am

ahh arjen why am i not surprised :D

i'll try go 1 better. Rather then put a random clip up tell me what "the sound" is you think they can't match - with a clip if u got one. and i'll see what i can do.

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Postby Ignar Hillström » April 4th, 2005, 6:17 am

I know I am predictable :D

Ok, I'll give you four sounds, I can make some 20sec clips if you need them, but I guess you know these songs anyway:

-Lenny (by SRV)
-Sweet home Alabama (Lynard Skynard)
-Thrill is gone (BB King)
-Texas Strut (Gary Moore)

Admittedly some might be a bit tough (the single-coil sounds) and I don't expect you to have the multi-million dollar budgets these artists had availlable. But looking forward to see how close you can come!
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