Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Durham, England
Re: EMGs? Love em or hate em? Discuss
The Emg's I have experience of are the 85 and the 81. Here's my quick thoughts on them.
All the EMG's have a habbit of ignoring the guitars wood tones, and replacing it with thier own sound colour. Therefore if you want to hear the sound of the wood realy shinning through, these pickups arn't for you.
Distorted, the above pickups have a usuable lead tone, and a lot of cut, You don't realy get round sounds out of the the box, but fiddling with the volume and tone can dull some of the harsh and shrill top end.
THe 81 as a bridge pickup is very Chuggah-Chugg-Chugg, Is well defined for heavy riffing, palm muting, and cuts through a lot in the mix. It's cleans are shrill, and if picking individual notes, imo not nice to the ear.
In the neck, It provides an unmuddy soloing tone, a useable clean, and again, provides a lot of cut.
THe 85 as a bridge pickup has more lower mids and less top that the 85. it appears to sound lounder than it is, and has a more rounded solo voice. Clean it performs slightly better than the 81, but still sterile, and in the neck it has a rounder solo voice, that at a long stretch is comperable to an air norton. The neck has nice clean sounds, and can get quite jazzy with some creative use of volume and tone.
Where these pickups really shine is in the studio, when you have lots of time to get your sound just right, live when your playing metal, and when you're a session musician and you don't want to colour someones track with your own tone.
The problem with EMGS, are that they're a one trick pony, and you pretty much dig em or you don't.
With other brands such as dimarzio and Seymour duncan, you have much more variety of choice, and can usualy find a hybridised combination of your favourite pickups quite easily. As well, they blend with your guitar rather than taking it over, and are usualy better priced.
I hope this was off help.