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Old 03-21-2012, 08:46 PM   #1
ncguitar
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Opinion on EMG's

I post this because active pickups get a bit of hate from tone elitists. I think they're crystal clear and well defined. Share your opinions, lads.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:18 PM   #2
Sad But True
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They're alright.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:13 AM   #3
chronopops
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If you like extremely sterile, pingy ass, unbearable cleans and hyper sterilized undynamic lead tones I assume they might be your thing.

The only "practical" application I've seen for them is extremely hi-gain metal riffing...for everything else, bluerghg.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:18 AM   #4
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EMG non-actives = complete and utter muddy crap

EMG actives = okay


I've really only had experience with the 81 (B)/ 60 (N). I was surprised by the 60 in the cleans department. I mean, for all the flack EMG gets about their cleans. Neither really sounded that great to me in the distortion department. They did have a sterile sound compared to other pickups I've used (a decent bit of DiMarzios and a handful of Seymour Duncans).

Knowing myself I probably would like the 85. I'm very partial to Alnico V magnets (maybe it is a coincidence) and my favorite pickups all have them. I'll never know unless I happen upon a guitar with an 85 in it.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:11 AM   #5
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It goes in the same cycle as:

1. Perceived by the whole guitar community as the best metal pickups, popularity increases
2. Internet forum guitar community shuns them because they're too popular and not obscure enough to 'have the right tone'
3. As soon as interest drops, re-vitalise popularity by suggesting they're 'misunderstood' or 'have become obscure'
4. Internet forum guitar community raises interest due to perceived obscurity
5. Repeat ad nauseum

remember the digitech distortion pedals, anyone?

I've never had EMGs meself. But it's good enough for Devin, therefore I wouldn't mind a set.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:00 PM   #6
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The 81 is a piece of shit. The 85 in the bridge paired with a 60A in the neck is genuinely a fantastic setup. I would that set with an SA in the middle.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
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Never actually played through them, and wouldn't know enough about other artists setups to judge from their tones either.

I do know that Zakk Wylde has a fucking terrible tone now, but that's probably more due to his over use of a Wah pedal and rotovibe, with a heavily downtuned guitar.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:17 AM   #8
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Iv got the Zakk Wylde set in an LP custom. I dont play it too much because the guitar doesnt play too well anyway, but that is an inherent problem with Les Pauls. Id say the pickups are good for metal playing, the 85 in the neck can give an alright blues tone, but its a little too powerful. Id say that you definately dont have a great deal of control over the dynamics of your playing than you would with a passive hum, but they are good for high gain riffing and the like.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:18 AM   #9
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Anyone checked out the new Hetfield EMG's? Iv heard good things...
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:13 PM   #10
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Judging by what I've heard from players with EMG's, they prolly don't sound too good UNLESS you've got a good rig to drive those suckers.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:11 PM   #11
Sad But True
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benfan View Post
Anyone checked out the new Hetfield EMG's? Iv heard good things...
What the same EMG 81 pickups that he's always used and EMG have sold for 30 years?

Yeah I'm gonna drop my dollar on that.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:18 PM   #12
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Crystal cleans, but not the sort of overdriven tone that I like.
Some people love em, some hate em.
Hey man, let's all respect each other's personal tastes.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:35 PM   #13
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i like them on my ESP Ltd - ripping, clear tone
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:20 PM   #14
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That super compressed tone can sound pretty decent over certain things.

For myself id like to start with a much lower output pickup, that way I can add as much gain as I want later on if needed. You can always add more, but with the EMG you can't really take it away which hurts its versatility.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sad But True View Post
The 81 is a piece of shit. The 85 in the bridge paired with a 60A in the neck is genuinely a fantastic setup. I would that set with an SA in the middle.
Okay guy, chill. We get that you don't like 'em, but the 81 is hardly a piece of shit. I've been using it in my rig for the past 8 years and it has produced some of my best tones.

In response to the OP, they are versatile but best suited for Hard Rock/Metal.
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