emg 81 85 active pickups review.

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by Arindam Dey, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Arindam Dey

    Arindam Dey New Member

    Can anyone give a review for emg 81 85 active pickups.

    I heard they are run by batteries and we have to keep changing the batteries.

    I also heard that these pickups are no good for guitars with tremolos, tremolos tend to suck out the low end.
    And these actives have a really flat output...i.e. don't add volume to any particular frequency.

    They have no true tone, and take the tone away from the guitar, they aren't transparent at all. Is this true?

    Let me tell here that I am very much possessive about the tone, specially the clean ones and yes the distortion sound should be decent (blues).... So should I go for EMGs?

    Please help out....
  2. guitarplayer729

    guitarplayer729 New Member

    You didn't hear anything good about them?
    For blues get seymour duncans(well I would)
  3. Arindam Dey

    Arindam Dey New Member

    Ha ha ha.... Nothing like that bro, its just when you wanna buy something, you have to take care of the disadvantages :p
    Please let me know the good things about them and also correct me if I am wrong somewhere in the above post...

    Actually as suggested in here, I was supposed to buy the Cort EVL K6, which comes with an EMG pick up.
    But I also got another option, i.e. Schecter Omen Extreme FR, which comes with Schecter pick ups.

    I have compared the clean sound of both the guitars and found that the Cort sounds a little dark while the Schecter sounds much more warmer. So wanted to know from you experts... Do not wanna regret later :p

  4. wylder

    wylder New Member

    I have been using EMG 81/60 combo on my Ibanez RG with a full-floating Floyd Rose type tremolo. I am very satisfied with my tone.

    Transparency/Flat Output - EMGs are neither totally flat nor too heavily EQ-ed. Depending on the model you choose, they have slightly different voicings, each with their own application.
    I am not sure what you meant by needing transparency. If you are talking about tone compression - yes, the EMG clean tones feel slightly compressed but that's something that I like on my clean tone. If it bothers you a lot, you can opt for an easy 18V mod (basically adding an extra battery to the circuit).

    EMG 81 has a reduced bass/low-midrange allowing tight tones at high gain and works very well as a high gain rhythm pickup for metal. Say for example the kind of tone you would need for the heavy rhythm part in the ending of One by Metallica. This thing can scream out harmonics with the mildest coaxing...

    EMG 85 on the other hand has a boosted midrange and will sound very 'warm' and bluesy. The bottom end can be a little all over the place if you are using very high gain. Clean tones are a little dark but still very pleasant. If you listen to Ozzy, this is the pickup that Zakk Wylde uses for cleans and mild overdrive solos ala the first part of the solo in "Old LA tonight".

    EMG 60 is a more flat EQ-ed pickup that sounds fantastic on clean tones and mild overdrive. Very similar to James Hetfield's clean/lead tone in the interlude of 'Master of Puppets' by Metallica.

    At the end of the day, tone is subjective to the artist. All the top pickup manufacturers like EMG, DiMarzio, SD etc have a fine range of high quality pickups. When people who categorically classify the entire brand as trash, they usually don't know what they are talking about.

    If you think your tone sounds great, it will give you the confidence to play better and hence it will end up sounding better anyway. That's simply because a lot of the sounding good on a guitar also depends on your hands, technique and confidence while playing.
  5. guitarplayer729

    guitarplayer729 New Member

    If it would be on me, I would buy 3 cheap guitars with HH configuration, replace pickups on them with the ones which I think would be good of the 3 brands and then see how each sounds and keep them for whatever I need them for.

    What I think would be good for me
    Dimarzio:- Super Dist.(B) Tone Zone(N)
    Seymour Duncan:- JB(B) 59(N) or Dist(B) 59(N)
    EMG:- 81(N) 60(N) or H4(B) H4A(N)

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