Hi everybody, my problem here is that I am thinking on buying a new SLSMG Jackson Guitar, and I want to switch the EMG Hz to EMG actives, but I don't know which is the set that more suits my music style. The options are: 81/81, 81/85, 85/81, 81/60. I play mostly Thrash Metal (like metallica in the old days, Master, ..And Justice, not kreator or slayer or that kind of stuff). Also, an important detail is that I am the only guitarrist in my band...
TWO EMG-89s if possible. Buy the two EMG-89s, two EMG 25k push-pull volume pots, and set it up so that each volume pot splits each EMG-89 to single coil mode. Ultra versatility, plus the brutal sound of the EMG-85 and the added versatility of the EMG-SA.
If you're not into versatility, just at least get the EMG-85 in the bridge. [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] There's a growing cult for that pickup in the bridge position here on the JCF... shhhhhh... you didn't hear it from me... [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] [img]/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
I have an 85 in the neck on my SL2H. It is a bit warmer sounding than an 81 but also does not have quite the aggression of an 81. If you like active pickups you would probably like it, I don't like it because I don't like active pickups...they are just too much for me....I really have been wanting to try an SD EVH pu.
Any position for EMGs is cool! [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] In my three EMG-equipped guitars at the moment, my favorite seems to be the 85b/60n in my Jackson or 85b/81n in my Les Paul. I've also got a Hamer with chrome 81/81 anniversary set that's great too, but I usually like the bridge pup to be a little warmer in most guitars and that's why I usually prefer the 85.
Since your not sure, a best bet is to get an 85 and and 81. They're easily interchangeable with the quick-clips they have, and both those pickups sound good in the both positions. Depending on your amp, the guitar, and whether you detune alot, you might prefer one over the other in the bridge position. Good luck!
Just one more favor, can anyone explain me how every pickup sound?? Because I have no idea of the sounding, and the explanation in EMG website aren't very clear (I'm not an english native speaker). For example:
"EMG 81 = the EMG active pickup with more gain + tied low end, etc"
"EMG 85 = a little warmer than...."
Also, a also prefer an agressive pickup in the bridge and a warmer pickup in the neck.
The following is my own interpretation of the pickups. Please take it with a grain of salt.
The EMG-81 has more bite, that is to say that it sounds like a pickup with more of the treble frequencies, suited to cutting through. I personally don't enjoy its sound, although there are people who swear by it. To me, it sounds flat, but I think that's perfect for processing purposes if you have the right equipment to supplement this pickup.
The EMG-85 has more growl, that is to say that it sound like a pickup with lots of low-mid ("fat") frequencies, suited for thick crunchy rhythm work, which is why I prefer this pickup in the bridge position since I play powerchords on the bridge pickup.
I find that both have the same output. Both are capable of subtly overdriving my clean channel if I strike the strings very hard. To say that one is hotter than the other is strange to me.