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Sound Quality

[Perceived output level] Hottest pickups i've ever used and don't particularly car for anything passive anymore. [Tone] It really depends on the position you use them. The 81 isn't very middy, it has searing highs and is scooped sounding. 85 is a "fatter" pickup. [Sonic evaluation] People always say run the 85 in the neck and 81 in the bridge, "that's what it was designed for." That's the biggest pile 'o crap i've heard. Both pickups were designed for both positions and I found that when I swapped them. For me, my style and my gear the 85 in the bridge was a %100 better. The 81 in the bridge sounds very dry, and thin. Harmonics come very easy though. The 85 in the bridge is totally what you want if you want a fat metal sound with good cutting mids. It still has good bass response and enough highs in the bridge position. The 81 sounds good also in the neck, it doesn't really have the fatness the 85 had but it still sounds good. I think it handles fast picked runs even better than the 85 did in the bridge because it's a more trebly pickup. I'm not saying that the 81 should never be in the bridge because when I get my SLSMG soon, (which is a very dark sounding guitar) I may want the 81 in the bridge. I don't think these pickups completely drown out your guitars natural tone but the do have a distinct clarity that is quickly recognizeable. Maybe two EMGS 85's might kicks serios *SS. [For which styles and positions is this pickup (un)suitable] Does great for my style, whic is metal. 85 bridge, 81 neck


General Comments

[Comments] I like these pickups but am curious to try others. I have heard that EMGS aren't the be all and end all to heavy sounding pickups. I don't have a comment on clean tone because I don't even know good clean tone. I've been playing since '97 and am still playing my first guitar. I've owned several amps to include various SS amps and a 5150. I like the look of the pickups and they make any guitar look great. You do have to change batteries from time to time but it's no big deal. It's hard to tell when you're batteries are going but a fresh one always seems to make a difference. My Jackson as it is right now through a 5150II with 5150 4x12 is "my" sound. Also, I did not install these myself and I think I payed 40 bucks to have them installed. I have yet to have any problems yet and was really impressed with the 85 in the bridge, once I swapped them.



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