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glass enthusiast
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1,665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yo, I have two main recording guitars in the tuning I use for my project which shall be revealed in not too long. The Jackson RR24 and the Ibanez RGD2120. The sound and general feel of the EMG 81 in the Rhoads has really grown on me, especially in combination with the Einstein. There's an iron as fuck, clanky, hammer smashing feel it gives off, giving an awesome tone for what I want.
I've been meaning to put some slightly more interesting pickups into the RGD for a while and with the relatively newfound EMG love (although I still love my Duncan Distortion) I've been considering putting an 81/85 set in it, however, it is a passive guitar so battery storage would be a bit of a fiddle and I do kind of want contrasting sounds on my recordings so maybe putting the same bridge pickup in would make it sound too similar? I don't know though. Any opinions?
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
I use two different guitars for recording and purposefully use different pups. My playing style and tone inclinations are going to make them similar enough with having the same pickup. Just my $.02...
 

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Guiterrorizer
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15,696 Posts
Use the right tool for the job. If the RR sounds better for it, track with the RR and make EQ changes.
 

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Premium Member
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7,286 Posts
You gotta try an EMG 60 in the bridge!
It sounds like an EMG 81 but it's a bit lower output, and a bit more articulate highs.
Stunning for riffing!

Here's a comparison I've made (same guitar on both):
https://soundcloud.com/tudio2-akt/emg-81-vs-60-in-the-bridge-comparison

0:00 EMG 81
0:06 EMG 60
0:10 EMG 81 (without drums)
0:15 EMG 60 (without drums)
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
You could also try going with SD Blackouts... Similar but different enough to give two distinct tones, especially with some preset & amp tweakage.
 

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Its Nis Pe, bitch!
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605 Posts
Ever try the Fishman Fluence pickups out? Might be something to look at if you like actives but want more variety out of them.
 

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Premium Member
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3,714 Posts
You gotta try an EMG 60 in the bridge!
It sounds like an EMG 81 but it's a bit lower output, and a bit more articulate highs.
Stunning for riffing!

Here's a comparison I've made (same guitar on both):
https://soundcloud.com/tudio2-akt/emg-81-vs-60-in-the-bridge-comparison

0:00 EMG 81
0:06 EMG 60
0:10 EMG 81 (without drums)
0:15 EMG 60 (without drums)
The 60 sounds more Full and Open especially on the Bass side, its small but its there.
 

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Premium Member
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3,714 Posts
Well im listening with Headphones (Sennheiser HD 380) which are very Bass flat and I could sense it. More than increased highs.
 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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11,836 Posts
So I'm using the same pup in most of my guitars. A Duncan SH-14(Its a custom alnico V). I got tired of doing eq changes on my amp. Now since they all have the same voicing, I let the guitars themselves be the determining factor of flavor. Same pups, same settings, but they still have slightly different flavors.
 

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glass enthusiast
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1,665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Both Iron1 and Chris have summarised my two conflicting thoughts :lol:
Rocka, that is a good shout, although lower output isn't quite what I'm after ;) I'm pretty happy with the output of the 81.
Good shout Nate, I did try the single coils and loved them but all of the Fluence sets would burn a massive hole in my pocket :(
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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14,719 Posts
81 is still the king of metal rhythm pickups. I put it in everything for a load of reasons.

-Clarity, makes you a better player, a lot of people dig the squishy forgiving feel of passives because they can't take the more accurate translation of EMGs.
-Low noise, low impedence signal works better with pedals.
-Doesn't infringe on bass territory, there are a lot of passives that sound great if you are playing guitar alone, but that's because they are playing by themselves or just want a "simplistic guitar as bass" feel.

I would recommend an 81-TWX, which is a dual mode, so you also have the S pickup, which is awesome versatile for other non metal genres.

I've also done the 60 in the bridge as Rocka mentioned. Very cool, pretty close to the 81 though, a bit twangier and more versatile if you want to do classic rock kind of stuff. Also, the 81s single weakness in the bridge is leads (although often they can sound great, depends on guitar) and using either a 60 or a dual mode helps with that.

I wouldn't get the Fishman Fluence. :lol: What happened is a bunch of companies tried to unseat EMGs for years with all sorts of elitist marketing and it didn't hold, so all these dudes decided, "If you can't beat them join them" and started doing things that did what they claim are EMG esque sounds with a side of nebulous elitism.

At the end of the day, the proofs out there, the 81 has been reigning for decades (the 85 is loved by a load of people too). I used to be in the "My precious tone! I'll sound like everyone else! I'm going to buy BKPs? Oh, Seymour Duncan is making more expensive stuff? I'm going to buy those." camp, and I always go back to EMGs. I've ripped pretty much every elitist brand of pickups out of guitars to replace them with EMGs.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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14,719 Posts
Besides dude, it's not a coincidence that all the guys the rave about whatever hot new passive is flavor of the month are always switching to something else which is, of course, "even better", and EMG has a roster of players that have been using the same pickup for 30 years.

Once you go EMG you don't go back.
 

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glass enthusiast
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1,665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fuck's sake Garrett, you're really convincing me, although to be fair the single coil Fishmans are pretty wicked.
I probably wouldn't go for the X version of the TW though, as they're pretty hard to find over here, especially in white, which is important because A E S T H E T I C
 

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Tarantula Lobbyist
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5,281 Posts
Yeah, you can talk down the 81 all you want but it always makes you turn up the volume and play a bit longer :)
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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14,719 Posts
Fuck's sake Garrett, you're really convincing me, although to be fair the single coil Fishmans are pretty wicked.
I probably wouldn't go for the X version of the TW though, as they're pretty hard to find over here, especially in white, which is important because A E S T H E T I C
Don't let me be the one to convince you, the evidence out there on a professional level is overwhelming.

I mean, let's be real here, the majority of the EMG hate is,
-People that played stock EMGs on a shitty guitar with dead strings in guitar center and have never actually owned a guitar they modded with EMGs.
-People spreading ridiculous fear mongering about magnets being some sort of magic that is integral to your tone.

They are incredibly hard to beat. I'm not some die hard EMG fan, I've had everything else, EMGs are just the best period.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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14,719 Posts
Besides, people just totally gloss over the fact that a bunch of early adopters for EMGs weren't even metal. Steve Luthaker, David Gilmour, and Mark Knopfler are/were all huge users of the single coils (which you can get in the dual mode humbuckers), and I don't think they would be into using something shitty just for the hell of it.
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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7,286 Posts
81 is still the king of metal rhythm pickups. I put it in everything for a load of reasons.

-Clarity, makes you a better player, a lot of people dig the squishy forgiving feel of passives because they can't take the more accurate translation of EMGs.
-Low noise, low impedence signal works better with pedals.
-Doesn't infringe on bass territory, there are a lot of passives that sound great if you are playing guitar alone, but that's because they are playing by themselves or just want a "simplistic guitar as bass" feel.

I would recommend an 81-TWX, which is a dual mode, so you also have the S pickup, which is awesome versatile for other non metal genres.

I've also done the 60 in the bridge as Rocka mentioned. Very cool, pretty close to the 81 though, a bit twangier and more versatile if you want to do classic rock kind of stuff. Also, the 81s single weakness in the bridge is leads (although often they can sound great, depends on guitar) and using either a 60 or a dual mode helps with that.

I wouldn't get the Fishman Fluence. :lol: What happened is a bunch of companies tried to unseat EMGs for years with all sorts of elitist marketing and it didn't hold, so all these dudes decided, "If you can't beat them join them" and started doing things that did what they claim are EMG esque sounds with a side of nebulous elitism.

At the end of the day, the proofs out there, the 81 has been reigning for decades (the 85 is loved by a load of people too). I used to be in the "My precious tone! I'll sound like everyone else! I'm going to buy BKPs? Oh, Seymour Duncan is making more expensive stuff? I'm going to buy those." camp, and I always go back to EMGs. I've ripped pretty much every elitist brand of pickups out of guitars to replace them with EMGs.
Good summary! :metal:
 

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glass enthusiast
Joined
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1,665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah I think I'm mostly decided. After all, some great sounding bands like Obscura, Kamelot, Wintersun, Scar Symmetry and even Morean from Alkaloid (I think?) use them. I still won't go 100% loyalist as I still like the Duncan Distortion in my hand built superstrat and the PAFs in my JEM but now I've more or less made my mind up on what to put in the RGD.
 
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