EMG neck options

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by angl2k, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    After recently rediscovering the EMG 81 I need recommendations for a neck pickup, preferably EMG but open to other active options.

    Guitar is an ESP Eclipse (mahogany with rosewood fretboard) and it shipped with 2 81s. I don't like the sharp picking noise of the 81 in the neck. Even with the tone rolled off it sounds kinda metallicy? I can't even hear the difference between just the bridge pickup engaged and bridge+neck :(

    I'm a huge fan of the BKP Cold sweat neck and I dig the SD alnico II pro neck too. I guess I like soft attack for fluid leads. Woman tones :) Looking for something similar sounding to those. Good cleans are nice to have but not required :) Preferably with an output that can match the 81 bridge.

    I dislike the Fluence neck pickups, both modern and classic I've tried weren't really my thing.

    So here's my shortlist:
    - 85, bassier then the 81
    - 60, people say it's trebly but with smooth high end
    - 60A, alnico magnet will give it more bass, but most players say they like the 60 more
     
  2. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    60 is more glassy, while the 60A will be a bitnsmoother. Skip the 85, it's way, way,way too much for the neck.

    Another option would be possibly finding an EMG 66 by itself.
     
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  3. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    60A. I liked the 85 in the neck a lot, very fluid and middy but the 60A is probably the safest option from EMG.
     
  4. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I'm a fan of the 66, super versatile :yesway: my next pick would be the 60, though I've never tried the alnico version
     
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  5. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    Well after listening to some clips of the 60 vs 66, the 60 had a bit darker tone than the 66. So I ordered a 60A I guess that will sound great with my setup. Will post here after I install it :)
     
  6. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    joint first choice
    60X & 66

    second choice
    HAX (single coil Alnico in humbucker casing)
     
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  7. Bearitone

    Bearitone SS.org Regular

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    I would also grab the single coil but, the HX
     
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  8. Strobe

    Strobe SS.org Regular

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    Well... I normally would not steer someone to the EMG85, but it is good for fluid woman tone's. It's kind of dark. The output is quite high, but I have usually found I can adjust the height to get a decent balance of output and tone.

    If cleans are more important, the 60 is definitely brighter, but it has pretty good cleans (from a person who does not generally like EMG cleans). It's good for leads, too, just not as you describe preferring.
     
  9. setsuna7

    setsuna7 Poor Gearwhore

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    60 or 60X
     
  10. BananaDemocracy

    BananaDemocracy 8 String Impaler

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    I love the S/SA, Slanted single pup! IMHO nicest lead pup from EMG.
     
  11. StrmRidr

    StrmRidr Hide your Jacksons

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    I had an Eclipse with a 81/60 combo. I really liked the 60 in the neck position. I have never tried the 60A. I have recently replaced the pickups in that guitar with a Het Set and they are absolutely killer. My favorite EMG pickups by far.
     
  12. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    Interesting I haven't considered the single coil options. Do they take medium/high gain well? And what about hum?
     
  13. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    60 is my choice EMG for the neck. I had the 85 in the neck of my Eclipse and hated it for clean sounds.

    I have since changed to X-series EMGs and dig them a lot.
     
  14. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I like the S, SA & SAX in the neck, but find that a PA2 helps bring the output level of those up to the same level of bridge pickup of choice to facilitate even output levels when flipping back & forth between pickups when soloing. It's quite noticeable in recording.
     
  15. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Because they are EMGs and the way they are designed - they are 100% hum/noise free. Which is why they are my favourite single coils.
     
  16. waffles

    waffles SS.org Regular

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    A bit off topic: Has anyone tried an EMG 81 bridge and EMG 66 (or maybe even the EMG hetfield neck) for the neck? Is it possible?
     
  17. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    60AX (or just 60A), 66 or even the HAX (the single coil SA in humbucker case)
     
  18. erdiablo666

    erdiablo666 Do not go Djently

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    Yeah I had that combination in my old KH602.

    Also have an 81-8x and 66-8 in one of my 8 strings. Good combo!
     
  19. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Devin Townsend was using that setup for a while before he went to Fishman
     
  20. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    You can really dial in the voicing you want on any of these neck pickups by wiring an RPC after the pickup, prior to the toggle so that it affects only the neck pickup. I have some friends that do this, and just tape off the RPC to the desired setting, then have it wrapped in foam under the hood of the control cavity.
     
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