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SPEEEEED HOOOOLES!!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I decided that since I own and EMG 81, 85, & 60, I'd make a comparison between them. i also stumbled across Darren's reversable 18v mod, so i threw that In the mix as well.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=909671&songID=9537596

There's the clip, it's basically 2 repeats of the riff for each pickup/mod. This is ONLY for the bridge position, I don't have any clips for the keck poition yet. There's a Distorted section and a clean section for each pickup, but beware...it's about 7 mins long.

Here's the rundown, since you kinda have to listen for when each part comes in, if you're not paying attention, you'll probably miss it. These are each pickup/mod in the order they appear in the clip.

Distortion

9v EMG81
18v EMG81
9v EMG85
18v EMG85
9v EMG60
18v EMG60

Clean

9v EMG81
18v EMG81
9v EMG85
18v EMG85
9v EMG60
18v EMG60

I hope this helps someone. This was all done on my XXX and TD, with the g-system providiong FX for the clean stuff. All knobs at 12:00 except for gain and volume. The speaker I recorded was the v128, with an SM57 (MAY mount version).
 

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Maybe it's because there's been so many great recordings with them now, but I actually really like the sound of EMGs on clean tone, especially the bridge pickup. I mean, not for everything, but for "that sound", they're the only way, and sound really cool.

Cool demo, you can definitely hear the difference, though it's not as huge as some people make it seem :lol:
 

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Wirelessly posted (A Destroyer of short people: Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4B1 Safari/419.3)

Will check this out later, thanks.
 

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SPEEEEED HOOOOLES!!!
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)

Prepare for shittily thrown together youtube ownage. Go to the site and read the details. There's time based links so you can jump between whatever config you wanna hear fairly quickly.
 

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Bro of Bros, Bro.
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15,373 Posts
The video is much more helpful to determine the breaks of where the next pickup change comes in.

Oddly enough, the 18V 81 sounds very similar to the 9V 85.

I've gotta say that probably my favorite combination is an 18V 81 bridge with an 18 V 60A neck from what I've experienced. I think I have a guitar here for just about every EMG combo you can get, and that's what I like the best.

Thanks for taking the time to do that.
 

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SPEEEEED HOOOOLES!!!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The video is much more helpful to determine the breaks of where the next pickup change comes in.

Oddly enough, the 18V 81 sounds very similar to the 9V 85.

I've gotta say that probably my favorite combination is an 18V 81 bridge with an 18 V 60A neck from what I've experienced. I think I have a guitar here for just about every EMG combo you can get, and that's what I like the best.

Thanks for taking the time to do that.
I'm really digging the 18v 85 in the bridge. I haven't had a chance to go through and do a neck pickup test yet, but so far I think the 81 sounds pretty damn good as a neck pickup. It's not overly bassy, so it doesn't do like the regular 81/85, where the neck pickup is pretty much just mud, and the bridge is an ice pick.

Can someone embed that video for me please, or at least tell me how?
 

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Bro of Bros, Bro.
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I have an 18V 85 in the bridge on one of my guitars, and that's probably a close second for me right behind the 81.

I've gone through a lot of EMGs in my days, and I will say that some (and I'm talking model specific) can even have a drastic range in sound. I've had a few 81's that sounded really killer, and a few that sounded just okay.
 

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NSLALP
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My smartass post disappeared...

As thanked earlier, nice post dude. Clips definitely appreciated. And Aaron, you're right... EMG cleans aren't as evil as some say.
 

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Premium Member
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My smartass post disappeared...

As thanked earlier, nice post dude. Clips definitely appreciated. And Aaron, you're right... EMG cleans aren't as evil as some say.
They aren't evil at all. EMG cleans can be way better than cleans on any passive pickup in existence. :yesway: Assuming they are done right.
 

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RG 7 player of doom
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Not to sound like a dick because I do appreciate you went to the trouble of doing this, but the distorted tones are way too muffled and boxy.
Listen to the multi tracks of any great production, well obviously the rhythm guitar tracks and they don't sound anywhere near as dark and muffled as this.
I think this is a combination of amp settings and relatively poor mic'ing contributing to this.
XXXs are already mid heavy amps as it is, so don't see why you would bump the mids all the way up to 12 0 clock.
The mids on about 3-4 should be enough, and the presence higher too.
Change the mic position too, and this should bring out a lot more upper mids in the guitar tone, and also sound less boxy.
 

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i really appreciate you posting this man, since i'm also about to try an 85 and 81 in my rg3120 for recording.

don't mean to sound like an ass, but i can't really hear a significant difference between your clips, man :(

i think you could work on trying a different mic placement/angle and/or amp settings. there's definitely room for improvement :yesway:

i've heard a few 9v vs 18v as well as EMG81 / EMG85 comparison clips over at the sneap forum, and the differences were always very audible. sometimes just nuances, but still audible.
 

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i really appreciate you posting this man, since i'm also about to try an 85 and 81 in my rg3120 for recording.

don't mean to sound like an ass, but i can't really hear a significant difference between your clips, man :(

i think you could work on trying a different mic placement/angle and/or amp settings. there's definitely room for improvement :yesway:

i've heard a few 9v vs 18v as well as EMG81 / EMG85 comparison clips over at the sneap forum, and the differences were always very audible. sometimes just nuances, but still audible.
:lol: Yeah, they all sound different in real life, but with the recording I listened to it from beginning to end and it sounded to me like it was the exact same pickup through the entire thing.
 

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SPEEEEED HOOOOLES!!!
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Not sure what to tell you guys. I hear a difference. especially in the EMG60. I just put all the controls to 12:00 for the sake of just letting the amp's tone do it's thing.

If the pickups made that big of a difference, then you'd hear it no matter what the settings were. Also, yeah, I didn't spend a lot of time with the mic positions. What you hear is the pickups and voltage being swapped out of the same guitar, with the same amp settings, and same room/mic position in all the clips. What you hear is ExACTLY what the mic picked up. Maybe the bride pickup doesn't make that big of a difference. Maybe 9v -> 18v isn't as big a change as people seem to think.

It's an experiment for a reason. No one ever said the changes would be night and day. Maybe the pickups affect different amps in different ways. That'll be another experiment for another day.

@Naren & metalcunt: I can listen to the youtube video with my iPod headphones and hear the changes easily, so I'm not sure why you think it sounds like the same pickup. Again all 3 of them are EMG pickups, so it makes sense that they sound similar, no?

Compressing a 43mb wav file down to 10mb, for soundclick, then down to whatever youtube uses for their sound would also have a pretty severe impact on the sounds as well. It is what it is, though.

@harry: XXX doesn't have a presence control. It does sound muffled, but I blame this on having to be in the same room as my amp when I record. I can't get away from the speaker so it bleeds all into my headphones while i place my mic. Probably had pretty tired ears by the end of it too. I thought it was too shrill and middy at the time, who who knows. Also, what's with telling me it's too dark and muffled sounding, then telling me I need less mids? That logic seems a little backwards to me, unless I'm missing something here. Care to elaborate?

Maybe I'll have to take another stab at placing my mic. This whole project only took a couple hours start to finish, so maybe I'll do some better takes on my favorites, and try out some neck position stuff too. We'll see.

I can hear the changes between all pickups and voltages pretty clearly on my speakers, even through the youtube quality audio. maybe turn it up and have a REALLY good listen. It's plain as day to me.

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD!!!

I should add that I'm not trying to knock you guys. I'm glad you posted the negative-ish comments. I've never been good at placing mics so this could take some work. Any other areas for improvement would be helpful as well. I wanna move away from VST guitars, but placing mics is hell in my apt, so general tips are super welcome.

EDIT: You know, I feel pretty stupid now. You think it could be that I forgot to charge my batteries? They still have a lot of charge left in em, but I'm not sure how much having a less than full charge affects the tone of the EMG preamps. I'm gonna charge 'em up and see how big a difference it makes on the 85 at 9 and 18 volts.
 

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SPEEEEED HOOOOLES!!!
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Part of it could be the boost, too. I've always found that using a Tubescreamer or similar boost can make a lot of guitars/pickups sound similar, as you start mainly hearing the boost pedal's tone.
I noticed this when I played on a Mark V at london guitar shoppe. I hooked up my boost and all the sudden is started to sound like my XXX (which I had been boosting). You wouldn't think using a boost would make THAT much difference.

Even so, my clean sound is basically my guitar's raw signal with some EQ and FX straight into the XXX power section. it's not even using the XXX clean preamp section. if people are saying they hear no difference at all, even on the clean tone, the boost can't be to blame there.
 

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Even so, my clean sound is basically my guitar's raw signal with some EQ and FX straight into the XXX power section. it's not even using the XXX clean preamp section. if people are saying they hear no difference at all, even on the clean tone, the boost can't be to blame there.
No, I definitely heard an obvious difference on the clean tone. It was mainly the gain tones that sounded very similar.
 

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SPEEEEED HOOOOLES!!!
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
well, when my brother crawls out of bed and the construction crews start doing thier thing, I'll take a stab at this again. Maybe I'll turn it up a bit this time.
 
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