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Hates Richie Kotzen
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14,719 Posts
I love 81s in the bridge. If it ain't broke don't fix it. The 81 still kills 90% of the new-school boutique pups IMHO.
The funniest thing about the boutique passives is that the whole BKP thing was fed by everyone wanting Jon Schaffer tone early on, and everyone knows his best tone was an 81.

 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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11,836 Posts
I used EMG's for like 10 years. Think they are great.
My issue was that I play very clean, and with a very clean pickup and clean playing, it doesn't have much flavor. I wanted more texture, more of a raw black metal thing. I think the 81 is awesome if your looking for super clarity, but alot of metal generas don't benefit from that straight foward clarity. For shit like the iced earth clip above, I think it sounds great.
 

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HEAVY HACKJOB RIFFER
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874 Posts
I love EMG pickups mainly in Mahogany or Poplar guitars, they work really well with dark types of woods. I could never quite stand them in Basswood or Alder though, I find them harsh for what I do. Tried the 81, 81x, 85, and 60. My favourite was the 81, but used with 2 9v batteries instead of 1.
 

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Premium Member
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23,428 Posts
I don't like the feel. I had a 57/66 combo in my LP, and while they sounded pretty good, they felt terrible. I would argue that they are better at hiding picking hand dynamic changes, because that's exactly what I felt I lost with that combo.
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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6,916 Posts
Love EMG's. I went 100% passive for a while, and not out of any kind of snobbery or anything like that, simply because I preferred the feel and how they reacted to my playing, but I do fucking love it when I pick up a guitar with EMG's in it. So easy to play. Pure fun.

I've been thinking of EMG-ing my new Charvel actually, for two reasons: 1) It's got very Les Paul-ish qualities. Big low end, warm, still clean/clear but huge-sounding. And 2) No matter what I do I can't seem to get it properly earthed. It's quite a loud guitar anyway (as in lots of output, pickups just feel hotter than they would in another guitar) which means it's quite electrically 'buzzy'. Not majorly so, it's still earthed, but it's still there.

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.
:agreed: People neglect that they're a great rock pickup, they're not just for stupidly high gain. They have a lot of output but it's very CLEAN output, as in very hi-fi and pristine. This is why they work so well in a guitar mix. They don't just 'cut' in a treble sense, but they don't have any junk in there. This means, despite what people think, they really can work for low gain. Alright, not clean, but still... low gain.
 

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HEAVY HACKJOB RIFFER
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874 Posts
they really can work for low gain. Alright, not clean, but still... low gain.
I have to say, I had an Ibanez RG2550 Prestige that I switched to all EMG H-S-H configuration and seriously, the cleans on the neck (EMG85) were really clean and alive at the same time.
 

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Banned
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3,697 Posts
If you are using these 2 guitars just for recording atm, why not keep one passive for different textures? Does the passive do better cleans for example?
 

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Banned
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835 Posts
I tried rocking a 57/66 set for a while, but eventually I realized that if I wanted to sound like I'm wiring my pickups in parallel and running into a SD-1, I could just do that.
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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6,916 Posts
FIGHT! :flex:
Nah were both right, just taking it from different angles. If you're a tight player you'll enjoy how easy the notes and nuances jump out of EMGS. But for a sloppy player, that creates an awful lot of unwanted scratchy noise and mush!
 

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glass enthusiast
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1,665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
If you are using these 2 guitars just for recording atm, why not keep one passive for different textures? Does the passive do better cleans for example?
Not especially, it has the V7/V8 set so I don't know what it does well at :lol:
 

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Registered
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1,157 Posts
Another EMG fan here. Especially the 85/85x and 89/89x models. All the single coils are great too. I too prefer them in a darker guitar though, preferably mahogany and shorter scale. The good thing with EMG's is too that they can make a relatively 'dead' sounding guitar come to life a lot of the time.

I always use Steve Lukather as my EMG player example. Reb Beach is another. And if anybody here hasn't already, please check out the superb playing of Michael Casswell (RIP). One of my all time favourites and I sure do miss him. He had EMG's in his DNA.
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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6,916 Posts

Randomly came across this. It's a great example of the 81 doing a (fairly) convincing vintage rock/blues tone. If I didn't know, and I was just in the room with that guy but had my back to him, I honestly couldn't tell that was an EMG 81.

EDIT: An even better example! This guy's tone is fucking great!

 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
Y'all are really making me want to put an 85 in my 91 540S... I'm so not into routing out a battery hole though... there's no way around that, is there?
 

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glass enthusiast
Joined
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1,665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Y'all are really making me want to put an 85 in my 91 540S... I'm so not into routing out a battery hole though... there's no way around that, is there?
Put the battery in the control cavity
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
Joined
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2,866 Posts


Not really enough room in the cavity... unless I cram it in there - which might create other problems. The pic doesn't show it, but the cavity is super shallow, being a Saber...

And, I don't want to disable the single coil... not that I use it much, but ya never know...
 
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