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Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by lewis, Jan 30, 2019.
You love lamps? Kinda odd, but... Hey dude, let your freak flag fly.
To be fair I've never played their SAs and would be curious to give them a shot, but I've never liked EMG humbuckers. I don't like dealing with batteries and worrying if I left a gyuitar plugged in or not, but it would be worth it if I cared for the tone, and I don't. I think the 707 sounds like a heavily compressed singlecoil, which is actually kind of awesome for certain applications, but for most of the times I pick up a guitar with humbuckers, that's not the sound I'm going for. They stay well defined under heavy gain, but don't really hold up well under low to medium gain sounds, which is most of where I spend my time.
So, good on you for figuring out what you like... But for me, it's moderate output PAF style pickups with open, clear, and round neck position sounds and midrangey bridge sounds with smooth, slightly burnished high end and upper-mid harmonic haze that blooms on the sustain... And that's absolutely not what you get out of a EMG.
Isn't it possible to play without the batteries?
He means EMGs, you mean a preference for passives.
Drew, what you need is one of these and a stereo cable.
I would be super interested in that, if only I actually liked how EMGs sounded.
I just swapped out the duncan SH-5 from my Ibanez and popped in an 81 x, my first time trying an x series out through my own rig. I love it. It is a little better for mid gain leads in a single pickup scenario, and the high end is just a little less razor sharp. Eq wise it sounds pretty similar to the sh-5, but the 81 x has way less low end for sure. Simply bringing up the low end on my amp and its basically all the changes I wanted in my sound.
I myself have 'come back' to EMGs earlier in the decade after trying my stint at various Duncans and Dimarzios. There's really just something about that 'bite' of the 81 in the bridge that makes it really perfect for metal. I mostly play thrash and death metal anyway and at this point, I really don't see any reason in replacing the 81/85 sets in two of my guitars.
Also worth noting is that once I 'came back' to EMGs, I really don't feel that need to try out other pickups anymore the way I used to be whenever I hear or watch something about some new pups a band is using, some new pups ola englund demoed or some new 'metal' pup at NAMM, etc. Probably something to think about.
Thanks for reminding me to get an 81x. Really need to do some side by side comparisons with the 81, 81x, and het set.
On a side note, I just realized what a nightmare can it be to be a marketing officer for EMG, at least for the 6-string guitar segment. Most people decide on getting EMGs because of the 81 - the 85 or 60 in the neck just to accompany the former. They've sort of been pigeonholed for that specific tone and most people are overlooking their other 6 string actives as well as their 6 string passive line. But it's probably harder for the passives. I mean who thinks 'I want a passive pickup' and decides on an EMG? That's not to say passive EMGs suck but you get the picture.
It's EMG's fault for marketing thier passives as "budget" pickups for many years. But, seems like they're doing more with them these days, they almost have as many signature passive sets as active.
I tried the Hz passive series and they were absolutely awful.
So that doesnt help.
But i plan on trying the 57/66s, the retro active Super 77s and the X series 81/60 set
The HZ weren't bad depending on the model. I forget which one, but the Alnico one was actually pretty in some guitars.
I'm interested in trying the Lars set.
The passed few years they've been trying at least starting with the SCO and really kicking it in gear with the GZR and MF sets. I'm curious about the MF pickups still.
There just haven't been enough examples of people taking advantage of their other sets for other tones. And the few that I can think of always used it for maybe an album or two and then switched to passives or, in Townsend's case, Fluence.
EMG related stuff I always wondered about:
85 in the bridge w/ 18v mod
85 vs 85x bridge
x series 18v mod or does the improvements of the x series make pumping more voltage redundant
also does the 18v mod make it impossible to clean up with the volume pot
from what I remember the x series is basically the equivalent of doing the 18v mod to a regular series. I know that it was that way for the 707 and 808 at least. I don't remember if it applied to the 81 or not though.
Shit there's the retro active 77 and fat 55 now too