The best active pickups on the market?

gnoll

SS.org Regular
Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Messages
1,726
Reaction score
1,078
I've settled on emg 81 bridge, and 81 neck if I'm gonna do mainly leads or 60 if mainly cleans.

81 is so articulate, tight and aggressive, I haven't heard anything that makes me want to go anywhere else. It does its thing perfectly, and that happens to be exactly what I want from a pickup.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
8,452
Reaction score
5,751
Location
Maryland
I've settled on emg 81 bridge, and 81 neck if I'm gonna do mainly leads or 60 if mainly cleans.

81 is so articulate, tight and aggressive, I haven't heard anything that makes me want to go anywhere else. It does its thing perfectly, and that happens to be exactly what I want from a pickup.
You should get a 5150
 

lewis

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
8,124
Reaction score
4,600
Location
Norfolk, UK
I've settled on emg 81 bridge, and 81 neck if I'm gonna do mainly leads or 60 if mainly cleans.

81 is so articulate, tight and aggressive, I haven't heard anything that makes me want to go anywhere else. It does its thing perfectly, and that happens to be exactly what I want from a pickup.
81 in the neck is one of the best and most sinister as fuck neck lead pickups going!
my main duo is dual 81s.

I was put onto that by Fluff. He said for the longest time his favourite EMG neck pickup was an 81
 

slavboi_delight

SS.org Regular
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
209
Reaction score
115
Location
Austria
Maybe I shouldn't get rid of the km6 and install some active pickups in there and get rid of those Nazgul pups.
IF you like the actual feel of the guitar and the way it plays, or the way it speaks to you (however absurd that sounds), definately keep it. Changing pickups can open a whole new level of guitar playing to you and it's probably the easiest way to change the sound of a guitar.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
8,452
Reaction score
5,751
Location
Maryland
IF you like the actual feel of the guitar and the way it plays, or the way it speaks to you (however absurd that sounds), definately keep it. Changing pickups can open a whole new level of guitar playing to you and it's probably the easiest way to change the sound of a guitar.
...wow...I almost wish I was that optimistic about guitars..
 

zimbloth

Nick // Axe Palace
Vendor
Forum MVP
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
17,873
Reaction score
4,989
Location
Boston
First it was EMG, then Blackouts, now Fishman.

There isn't a "best" because the opinion will change with the fad.

Not really. I never liked EMGs, I never liked Blackouts, I always liked Fishmans. Every guitar I've installed Fishmans in replacing those, immediately sounded/felt exponentially better. Pretty consistent.

Not everything is a fad.

I've seen some posts on this forum that the new Fishman Fluence line of pickups made great amp setups sound like shit compared to old school EMGs.

That only shows how amateurish some dude's sound clips are. I can make mind-blowingly good sounding recordings with Fishmans in my sleep. EMGs can sound really good too, but IMO Fishmans consistently sound clearer, tighter, more versatile, less compressed.

might I add, recent Fishman QC and customer support has been an absolute disaster. More and more pickups are turning up dead in the box from new OR die super fast after installation.

I mean, I am sure its happened, but I can tell you we've installed HUNDREDS of Fishman sets for people here locally, and have only encountered 1 defective pickup. Getting a replacement was quick and easy. I can only speak to my own experience, of course.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
8,452
Reaction score
5,751
Location
Maryland
Not really. I never liked EMGs, I never liked Blackouts, I always liked Fishmans. Every guitar I've installed Fishmans in replacing those, immediately sounded/felt exponentially better. Pretty consistent.

Not everything is a fad.

At what point did I say you specifically? Each of those have been the flavor of the forums..until the next thing that's the best thing ever. That's how it goes.
 

zimbloth

Nick // Axe Palace
Vendor
Forum MVP
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
17,873
Reaction score
4,989
Location
Boston
At what point did I say you specifically?

I never said you did. I'm just responding to the insinuation that Fishman's popularity is due to a fad rather than for the real reason: the vast majority of those who've tried them love them and prefer them to EMGs.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
8,452
Reaction score
5,751
Location
Maryland
I never said you did. I'm just responding to the insinuation that Fishman's popularity is due to a fad rather than for the real reason: the vast majority of those who've tried them love them and prefer them to EMGs.
Yeah...and the same could be said about Blackouts..and EMGs...and Vader cabs...and Mills Acoustic cabs..and BBE Sonic Maximizers, etc,etc.

Everything is the best thing ever until the next best thing ever comes along.
 

zimbloth

Nick // Axe Palace
Vendor
Forum MVP
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
17,873
Reaction score
4,989
Location
Boston
Yeah...and the same could be said about Blackouts..and EMGs...and Vader cabs...and Mills Acoustic cabs..and BBE Sonic Maximizers, etc,etc.

Everything is the best thing ever until the next best thing ever comes along.

Most people I know *never* liked any of those things, bro. I think you're overrating the hype you see from a small vocal minority rather than the masses. The reason Vader and Krank went out of business in 2 minutes is no one actually gave a shit. It was smoke and mirrors, not reality. In real life, people love Fishmans, and its only been growing in popularity over the last 5 years. It's not a fad.

People on here used to say Bare Knuckles were a fad. 15 years later I still use them and prefer them over everything, and their popularity also grows with each day.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
8,452
Reaction score
5,751
Location
Maryland
Most people I know *never* liked any of those things, bro. I think you're overrating the hype you see from a small vocal minority rather than the masses. The reason Vader and Krank went out of business in 2 minutes is no one actually gave a shit. It was smoke and mirrors, not reality. In real life, people love Fishmans, and its only been growing in popularity over the last 5 years. It's not a fad.

People on here used to say Bare Knuckles were a fad. 15 years later I still use them and prefer them over everything, and their popular also grows with each day.
....until the next best actives ever.....
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
8,452
Reaction score
5,751
Location
Maryland
Nick do you sell Fishmans?
tenor.gif
 

zimbloth

Nick // Axe Palace
Vendor
Forum MVP
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
17,873
Reaction score
4,989
Location
Boston
Nick do you sell Fishmans?

Yep. I also sell Seymour Duncans, and I'm more than happy to tell you I think Blackouts are awful. My opinions are, and always have been, genuine. I dont like every Fishman set, but by and large I've yet to hear any active that comes close.

....until the next best actives ever.....

Whatever you say dude. If something better comes along, I'll be the first to acknowledge it. Until that happens, I am perfectly fine sharing my opinion that Fishmans are my favorites. The differences are pretty obvious when you handle the amount of guitars I do on a daily basis.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
8,452
Reaction score
5,751
Location
Maryland
Whatever you say dude. If something better comes along, I'll be the first to acknowledge it. Until that happens, I am perfectly fine sharing my opinion that Fishmans are my favorites. The differences are pretty obvious when you handle the amount of guitars I do on a daily basis.

Coincidence...the latest thing is the best thing.

....until the next best thing comes along.
 

zimbloth

Nick // Axe Palace
Vendor
Forum MVP
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
17,873
Reaction score
4,989
Location
Boston
Coincidence...the latest thing is the best thing.

....until the next best thing comes along.

You must be new here. I've been consistent on this forum for the last 15 years that I never liked active pickups. Fishmans are the only actives I've ever consistently liked. As much fun as dealing with snarky dudes with hot takes on the Internet is, I must be going for now. Enjoy whatever pickups you like.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
8,452
Reaction score
5,751
Location
Maryland
You must be new here. I've been consistent on this forum for the last 15 years that I never liked active pickups. Fishmans are the only actives I've ever consistently liked. As much fun as dealing with snarky dudes with hot takes on the Internet is, I must be going for now. Enjoy whatever pickups you like.
You do realize you came in here snail trailing and crying because I essentially agreed with the idea that there is no "best" seeing as though it's a matter of personal taste and because I told someone not to jump in on the forum "flavor of the week" thing?

You've been here for 15 years and all it took was a general statement not even pointed at you to send you into defense mode? I hope your next 15 have better results.
 


Top