I've been curious to try the EMG 57/66 combo ever since they came out. The Jackson Archtop Soloist Pro I bought from Garrett had an EMG 81X/89X combo, so I figured it would be an excellent test subject for the 57. I figured I'd try the 57 first rather than buying the 57/66 combo, even though it might cost me a couple more bucks to get the two pickups separately if I decide to go that way.
Anyway, here's the installation:
I recorded a test audio file. The first part is my Charvel 750xl with the Jackson J90C ceramic bridge pickup. The second part is the AT Pro with the EMG 57. It's going through my Axe-FX 2 with a Friedman BE amp sim, TS-808 Mod drive block, and the 4x12 Basketweave AX and TV Mix cab sims.
My preliminary review: the 57 still sounds like an EMG, but the dynamics and definition are much better, and there is much less of that harsh plastic-y sound that you get with an 81. It's not as dynamic as a passive PU, though.
The output is hot as hell. To balance the two guitars in that test file, I had to reduce the input trim on the AFX2 pretty substantially for the EMG part. That's something, since the Jackson J90C is similar to a Duncan Distortion or Custom in output.
EMG seems to market the 57 as a sort of "active PAF," but the high output means that you could never use it to replace a real PAF. It's pretty much a metal-only pickup, but I like it so far. Tonally, I'd say it's in the neighborhood of an EMG 85, but with more cut. Probably too fat a sound for people who like a traditional PAF, but it'll do chunk for days.
I don't run actives in anything but I dig the sound of that. Can you share that patch, I been messing a bit with that amp on my axe but I had to go to work and never got it dialled in.