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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I WANT THE TRUTH! (and dont tell me i cant handle the truth because i can) I know people who go ape over the name emg, and i know people who hate anything thats not passive.

GOOD THINGS IVE HEARD ABOUT EMGS-Wonderful harmonic response, good sustain, high output, no noise.

BAD THINGS IVE HEARD ABOUT EMGS-Horrible tone, no dynamics, no clean tone, really muddy, batteries dont last long.

Ive played dimarzio pickups for awhile now i have owned an EVO, X2N, MOJOE, PAF JOE and i love them. the thing is i recently picked up a jackson v and i want to make it a metal beast. i hear all the hype about EMGS and how all the metal legends played them like Glen Tippton, KK Dowing, Hammet, Hetfield, and a hole bunch more. i just want to know if they live up to the hype...most things nowadays dont.
 

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You need to try them for yourself. You can check any of the countless EMG threads that have already been started here and they all are the exact same. I doubt this one will be any different.
 

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I am iffy on EMG's, I would probably have one guitar with them but other than that I will probably stick with other companies. I really want to try the Q-tuner and Bare Knuckle pickups.
 

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My $.02,
I have pretty limited experience with emg's. I have an older (1984 ish) Ibanez roadstar RG440 that has a EMG looking pick-up in it, that is middle of the road.
I also have a 1989 RG570 with stock pick-ups.
And I have an Epiphone Special II with stock pick-ups.
I just very recently picked up a used Jackson, not sure of the model, probably low to mid-grade guitar, that has EMG HZ's in it, and I can tell you that I am not impressed. It has a push-pull knob that switches on the high gain part, and it sounds pretty good for what I think would be a good metal rhythm sound. But VERY VERY NOISY NOISY!!!.
When I got it, the battery was dead. So I was excited to see how it would sound when I put in a new one. It didnt come to life like I expected it to. Maybe I bought a battery that had been on the shelf awhile and was slightly de-charged, but it didnt impress me like I had hoped.
Also it is very difficult to get any good pinch harmonics out of it.
My Epiphone humbucker gets better crunch and easier pinch harmonics, although it feeds back very easily.
My 570 sound is mid to medium-high metal sound, with good crunch and sensitivity (what I would consider easier to get pinch harmonics).
Maybe the ease of getting these P.H's are what I view as being a good pick-up quality; and I could be all wrong. But I am looking for a new pick-up for my new hybrid Ibanez RG something or other, and I am pretty sure that an active pick-up (of any brand, not just emg's (I dont like batteries that go dead) will NOT be my choice.
Just my opinion.
 

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I forgot to add-
The dude I bought the jackson from was a 45 year old man that had just given up playing music. He had been playing semi-professionally and was in a local band for a while, but had been playing for 30 years.
It is very possible that he had the jackson wired differently to suit his sound. It could be that the HZ's are a killer sound, but I just dont have it set up the right way. I am just now learning about different wiring techniques.
If he did have it custom wired, whoever did it did a pretty good job, as it doesnt look hacked.
I thought I should mention this.
 

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I used to be a hater of EMG's because of the cold sterile tone you get from them, but after discovering that running two 9v batteries in series pretty much negated all the bad things I used to hate from it (the illustrious 18v mod). Customers of mine who have been long time EMG fans can't go back to using the regular 9v EMG system after the 18v mod has been done.

Basically, here's what I have to say to you if you're looking to get a metal beast. Get the EMGs and get the 18v mod, you won't be disappointed. If you're going to get the EMGs but are afraid of doing the 18v mod or just can't get it done for some reason or other, get the Dimarzio d-activator instead, it'll probably sound better than the stock 9v EMG 81. (oh yeah, if you want a warmer more organic sound from EMGs, try a set of dual 85's or a EMG 60 in the neck and the 85 in the bridge, with the 18v mod of course).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My $.02,
I have pretty limited experience with emg's. I have an older (1984 ish) Ibanez roadstar RG440 that has a EMG looking pick-up in it, that is middle of the road.
I also have a 1989 RG570 with stock pick-ups.
And I have an Epiphone Special II with stock pick-ups.
I just very recently picked up a used Jackson, not sure of the model, probably low to mid-grade guitar, that has EMG HZ's in it, and I can tell you that I am not impressed. It has a push-pull knob that switches on the high gain part, and it sounds pretty good for what I think would be a good metal rhythm sound. But VERY VERY NOISY NOISY!!!.
When I got it, the battery was dead. So I was excited to see how it would sound when I put in a new one. It didnt come to life like I expected it to. Maybe I bought a battery that had been on the shelf awhile and was slightly de-charged, but it didnt impress me like I had hoped.
Also it is very difficult to get any good pinch harmonics out of it.
My Epiphone humbucker gets better crunch and easier pinch harmonics, although it feeds back very easily.
My 570 sound is mid to medium-high metal sound, with good crunch and sensitivity (what I would consider easier to get pinch harmonics).
Maybe the ease of getting these P.H's are what I view as being a good pick-up quality; and I could be all wrong. But I am looking for a new pick-up for my new hybrid Ibanez RG something or other, and I am pretty sure that an active pick-up (of any brand, not just emg's (I dont like batteries that go dead) will NOT be my choice.
Just my opinion.
i was talkin about real emgs, i know the hz suck
 

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active emgs are a little one dimensional IMO. They are clear distorted, have a lot of cut and drive and dont blur as much with fast picking or dropped tunnings. They have a natural compression sound and so as i said they cut well. They lack the dynamics and feel of passive pickups which means they sound very cool and lifeless when played clean.

for rock/metal they are great recording pickups, they typically dont have as much hum and like i said cut well. For clean use, look at maybe an s or sa single coil they are humbucking and sound much better clean the say an 81 or 85.

anyways here is my clip.

 

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I hate EMGs with a fiery passion. Any Ibanez V7 will sound better.
I have tried several EMG guitars with or without 18V mods and it is always the same for me:
- no dynamics
- compressed sound
- extremely bad cold overall sound
- totally lifeless

Go with D-Activiators if you want high output.

One thing is for sure though:
If you are not so good at playing, due to the enormous amount of compression the EMG does, your false picking technique wont show as much, whereas if you have a very dynamic pickup (SuperDistortion, Evo, Fred, D-Activator) people will clearly hear that your picking sucks.
 

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Played EMG's when I first started playing, then I developed a ear for good tone and will never play them again. Passives are by far better, even for metal. I'll take a X2N over EMG's anyday if I played more metal.

My fav's are Evo, Breed, Paf Pro/Joe, Air Norton and on and on...
 

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I'll agree that in basswood, EMG's aren't that great.

But for extreme metal playing, I have a mahogany neckthrough with dual 85's with an 18v mod, and I couldnt be more pleased with the performance and sound. For me, EMGs are strictly for Metal, and I'd only put them in one of my guitars, the rest are high output Dimarzios.
 

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I'll agree that in basswood, EMG's aren't that great.

But for extreme metal playing, I have a mahogany neckthrough with dual 85's with an 18v mod, and I couldnt be more pleased with the performance and sound. For me, EMGs are strictly for Metal, and I'd only put them in one of my guitars, the rest are high output Dimarzios.
Good point.
 

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One thing is for sure though:
If you are not so good at playing, due to the enormous amount of compression the EMG does, your false picking technique wont show as much, whereas if you have a very dynamic pickup (SuperDistortion, Evo, Fred, D-Activator) people will clearly hear that your picking sucks.
I agree with that, a lot of ppl use emg's along with excessive wah and gain to also help cover up their suckage
 

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EMG's are a taste that is so higly individual, it's hard to say whether or not someone would like them or not over the internet.
My advice is to try them out in a guitar that you are not happy with and see what you think.
I disagree with those who say that it won't make a bad guitar sound good; I find the opposite, actually. EMG's can make a bad guitar sound decent.
However, you do get a certain "sound" from the EMG's.
They don't bring out the tone of the guitar's wood as passives do.
I ALWAYS recommend the 18v mod regardless with EMG's.
The cleans are night and day from the standard 9v.
 

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You could always try the new Seymour Duncan Blackouts.

Supposed to have MUCH better harmonics and a lot more dimension than EMG's

In fact more and more EMG players are moving over to Blackouts because of the fact that they are simply a superior design.
 
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