With an 80 series in the bridge and 60 series in the neck I get much more versatility than I would two 80's in the neck and bridge. [Discussion] My comparison between the EMG 81/60 and the EMG James Hetfield "Het Set" I have a LTD EC1000 which came loaded with the EMG 81/60 active humbuckers. Specifically, the popular EMG 81/85 combo and the Blackout AHB-1 set.. EMG pickups have dominated extreme metal for a long time now, and continue to in spite of Seymour Duncan releasing their own set of actives (that’d be the Blackouts) to compete. The construction is similar to traditional U-shaped rail pickups with ceramic magnets. Absolutely not. That thing now is warmer and has a lot more definition than my old gibson alnicos. Did you mean to say 81 in the bridge and 60 in the neck? EMG 60 / 81 Active Humbucker Pickup Set - black. Best of both worlds. What are your (people of r/guitar) thoughts on the two combos? So I'm thinking of upgrading my pickups for my ESP V-100 here soon, after getting it fixed I couldn't help but notice the rather washed tone I was getting compared to my new LTD EX-50. Check out demos for both and go by what your ears tell you. After a few days of using these all i can say is Wow. When you say 80's Metal do you mean Thrash, Glam, NWOBHM or something? The EMG 81 is a popular active humbucker guitar pickup manufactured by EMG, Inc..It is usually considered a lead pickup for use in the bridge position, paired with EMG's 85 as a rhythm pickup in neck position (Zakk Wylde is famous for this configuration). The 81/60 was a good combination for metal. like toasted cinnamon butter to my ears. Re: EMG 81/85 vs 57/66 sets? But these pickups are so good, its like a completely different guitar thats built for metal. However, it is more difficult to overdrive and comes nowhere close to the 85 (as a neck pickup) for the shred guitarist. It's super versatile and has clarity like few other neck humbuckers, especially at the price point. Yeah, got myself confused, thats exactly what i meant. It was developed in 1979 along with the EMG85 and released in 1981. 81 bridge, 60 neck. Im not a huge metallica fan boy, i love the first 4 albums but thats it. The metallic, muffled "fake" sound has been completely replaced with a hardcore metal crunch. Utilizing powerful ceramic magnets and close aperture coils, the tone was designed with detailed intensity, incredible amounts of high end cut and fluid sustain. For clean, the bridge pickup handles it very well, just as the 60 did, however is has a much bassier feel and kinda feels like a caged animal that just wants to be let loose with distortion. One of the most popular EMG’s, the 81 is the one that started a revolution. I have tried both the 85 and 60 in the neck and I just put the 85 back in (sounds 10x better than the 60 for sweep arpeggios). The 18 volt mod DEFINITELY warmed up my 81/60 though. I changed the stock pickups to a set of EMG 81/60 chrome. EMG states that the new X-Series pickups have more headroom, and an extended, more open frequency response. Seems a lot like a Dimarzio Super Distortion to me from their provided EQ distribution but I haven't played one so I dont know. Glad to hear that there's a noticeable difference, and in your case, an improvement. Now I just need to decide what to put them in. My friends want to start a cover band and I only have one guitar that sounds decent, so I need to fix up the other one for stage quality. The best place to start if you're new is right below in our "Rules" section. Press J to jump to the feed. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. EMG 81 vs 60 for Bridge Position. by the time i was nearing the end of my active pickup usage though, i was running 85 in the bridge and a 60 in the neck and it was WAY better than any combination with the 81. in the end, switching to Dimarzio X2N for all my metal needs has been the best decision ive ever made in my life. Hi guys so I recently got an EMG 81/60 set for my backup guitar. If you want something completely different, the 57/66 isn't what you should be looking at. Generally ceramics are brighter, alnicos are warmer. Should have clarified that, yes, Thrash and NWOBHM is normally what I play. I decided for this review that I would use a guitar that I had lying around which had a set of EMG pickups in it already. The neck is perfect for hard rock and metal. The EMG81 is an active humbucker guitar pickup manufactured by EMG Inc. I'm thinking of replacing my SD Blackouts with these or a 57/66 set. Good for cleans, sweet for leads. EDIT: EMG 81, 81-X, 60, 60-X have ceramic magnets. EMG 81 vs EMG 85 - Active Bridge Pickup. The EMG-81 has less low end and is brighter than the EMG-85. One of the most popular EMG’s the 81 is the one that started a revolution. I'd say the EMGs are great for Thrash and maybe NWOBHM, but otherwise I'd look at some passives. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. What I do have different, though, is the 18v mod, which made a world of a difference, specially on the 60 playing cleans. The 81/60 set is $199 the 81x/60x set is $229 and the Het set is $239 not much of a difference price wise. Posted by 4 years ago. The EMG 60 does exactly that with a sweet and warm sound, while providing a great versatility to your instrument and to your sound. Its all down to personal preference, i know people that really dont like them and much prefer passives. Hmm... JB and a '59, would you happen to own a newer Pro Series Dinky? The EMG-85 has slightly less output than the EMG-81, yet still has plenty of output to overdrive an amp. The 85, 85-X, 89, and 60-A have alnico magnets. The EMG-85 has more low end and less high end then the EMG-81. Apparently theyre perfect for rediculous metal with drop tunings but kinda average at anything but metal. 81b/85n is the classic EMG metal setup, but 85b/81n has a whole different flavor. Btw, I had the same guitar, and agree with you, it’s pretty killer. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. [Discussion] EMG 81/60 vs 81/85. I tried raising and lowering the pickup height but there was no discernible difference. I just bought a black Het Set when I saw them for a decent price on Amazon. Messages: 264 Likes Received: 72. I also like the Duncan Custom in the bridge. EMG 81 in the neck position? The best place to start if you're new is right below in our "Rules" section. The crunch i get using the neck pickup is unreal. Their classic combination is an 81 and 85 model installed in a Les Paul or other ‘bucker-based axe and this pairing remains very popular, especially in … That emphasis helped EMG lead the active-pickup revolution, most notably with the wildly popular 81, 85, and 60 models that provided players with crisp, hot, detailed tones especially suited to heavy music. Using it through my Boss GT100 i get some truly amazing sounds. The difference is unbelievable. I play Metal a lot and use modern amplifiers (ex. They are both good but I don't know what kind of sound you prefer or are looking for. Welcome to r/guitar, a community devoted to the exchange of guitar related information and entertainment. I just helped a friend install a pair of d-activators tonight though and we played the hell out of his guitar. The pairing of an EMG 81 & 85 (in the bridge/neck positions respectively) is as iconic as a set of Gibson PAFs or a set of Fender Strat single-coils from the ‘60s. I've been running an EMG 85 in the bridge for well over 25 years, back when playing 80's metal was just called playing metal. That's never worked for me whatsoever. The installation is a smooth and easy one, with everything you'll need in the packaging. EMG 81 vs EMG JH Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by witeter, Jun 12, 2015. witeter SS.org Regular. Also I looked at the Hetset because I'm a huge 'Tallica fan, but it didn't scream to me like it does for others. The EMG HetSet is even better, if you can swing it. high distortion amplifier channel). Personally I like the sound of the 85 or 89 in the bridge position. I feel active pickups have a bit more of a punch to them when it comes to rock and metal although they can be a bit hit and miss. The JH neck, on the other hand, is tweaked a little in the other direction - ie. Either of those in the bridge position will sound a lot better than the EMGs. antipole. I don't typically use active pickups (at all), what do you like about them? Hello I basically have two questions: 1) How do EMG 81 and EMG 60 do in the bridge position on a Alder wood guitar? But these suite all forms of rock/ metal and crunchy blues, not just playing enter sandman over and over. It was hard to put my finger on what the tone was, but it just didn't sound quite right. To me, they are completely worth the price tag. Check out some demos yo, New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. There no more 80's metal pickups than the Dimarzio Super Distortion or the Seymour Duncan JB. As well as metal I play alot of Pink floyd and classic rock. running 85 in the bridge and a 60 in the neck. For the neck spot, I'm a big fan of Duncan 59. The EMG 60 is an active humbucker guitar pickup manufactured by EMG.It is usually considered as a "rhythm" pickup for use in neck position, paired with EMG's 81 as a "lead" pickup in bridge position.The EMG 60 can be recognized by a humbucker form-factor and gray embossed EMG logo. Its hard to believe these are EMGs. History and design. To start viewing messages, select the … That's great to hear. As good as these sound for rhythm, solos also sound unbelievably clear. The 60 humbucker packs plenty of output with a balance of thick, boosted mids, big lows and singing highs. the Blackouts are truly awful for anything other than 110% metal. Utilizing powerful ceramic magnets and close aperture coils, the tone was designed with detailed intensity, incredible amounts of high end cut, and fluid sustain. I just swapped out my 81/60 for the emg het set. Technologically, EMG 85 is an active humbucker with bar-shaped Alnico 5 magnet. less mids and more bass/treble. I decided to try the (very expensive) EMG JH het set. If you like playing a lot of shreddy lead stuff from the '80s then a Screamin Demon might be up your alley. Same mate, considerably cheaper on amazon! Thanks for visiting. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. I know people have a problem with EMGs and i did too. Although i liked the sound mostly, i found that playing with distortion sounded kinda electronic and a little bit fake. The EMG-81 is our highest output pickup. I was really looking at the 81/60 and 81/85 combos as they seem right up my alley since I play mainly metal, specifically 80's metal, though I'm having a rough time deciding. The EMG's are hotter, so perhaps better for heavy metal but if you want a more hard rock/Led Zep type tone, you might go for the Fishmans; a bit less overdrive but plenty of crunch and power. EMG pickups are most popular with players seeking a more modern sound and more tonal options than can be had with passive pickups. First let's start with the 66 / 60 / JH neck pickups: The 66 is quite similar to the 60, possibly a little rounder in terms of having a tiny bit more mid but it is a very nice pickup, quite sweet and I'd imagine quite versatile. Today's Posts; Member List; Calendar; Forum; Equipment; Tech Q&A; If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. This is a forum where guitarists, from novice to experienced, can explore the world of guitar through a variety of media and discussion. Updated May 19, 2008 18:06. Why yes the irony is every real, why do you ask? The 60 is crisper than an 85 and has crystal cleans compared to both the 85 and 81. Artie, as mentioned above, try swapping the pickup’s positions. Yeah ive heard a few people say that. This is a forum where guitarists, from novice to experienced, can explore the world of guitar through a variety of media and discussion. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. I was thinking of building a Ken Lawrence style explorer, but that's not set in stone. Sounded amazing from crystal clean to searing distortion. The EMG 60 is an active humbucker guitar pickup manufactured by EMG.It is usually considered as a 'rhythm' pickup for use in neck position, paired with EMG's 81 as a 'lead' pickup in bridge position. The EMG 81 is commonly used in the bridge position, giving high end cut and fluid sustain. Mesa) but nothing extreme (ex. Thanks for visiting. Big and beefy. Due to its ceramic magnets, the EMG 60 has a full treble response and loads of output great for distinct single-note solos. Still had them within 5 days which was nice. I do not play Classic Rock, Jazz or Blues. This is the way to go. They're a little pricier, though. It was an old Ibanez Destroyer with an 81 in the bridge and an 85 in the neck position. Traditionally used in the bridge position of your guitar, this humbucking pickup will make your leads slice right through even the densest mix. 14. Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. Cookies help us deliver our Services. I guess within the EMG world, the 57 is the most open and passive-like one I've tried (I haven't tried the Retroactives), but it still sounds like an EMG. It's the perfect match for the EMG 81 on the bridge position, providing your guitar with a … I didn't mind the 81, but I never loved it either. Problem was mine came from Italy. Having said that, the EMG range now has plenty more on offer, including S or T-style single-coils, extended range pickups, P90s – all with their active technology to boot. Although i liked the sound mostly, i found that playing with distortion sounded kinda electronic and a little bit fake. These pickups work great with that and with the bridge, get a beautiful tone. If you have guitar related questions, use the "Search" field or ask the community. Just went from EMG 81/85 to SuperD and PAF36. Pinched harmonics squeal and ring out for ages. Clean on the 60 (bridge) always sounded great but the 81 Neck on distortion like i say sounded muffled and electronic. I have that comboon my thick af Les Paul Custom, a 81 in the bridge and a 60 in the neck. Kristen Bell breaks her silence on Dax Shepard's drug relapse. Close. Only in the last few years tried a 60 in the neck (I'd always used an SA, as my guitars were always H-S) and it's a nice complement. The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. If you have guitar related questions, use the "Search" field or ask the community. Cleans sounded awful on it. Seymour Duncans were the hot thing in the 80s, the Black Winter is a personal favourite. The Fluence pickups are on my Tiger Mockingbird and the EMG 81's are on my Pro X Mockingbirds. Featuring close aperture coils, similar to a mini-humbucker, this model produces rich harmonic overtones. You can't really go wrong with the 81/60, its just that there are options out there if you want a little more. the 60 seems more balanced with the 81 in my opinion, the 85 in the neck position is just too thick. The 81 was very tight, the 60 was creamy smooth and did an alright clean tone although sometimes I felt like it was a little muffled. if you are set on Actives, check out the Seymour Duncan Blackouts or the James Hetfield set. But this isn’t about active vs passive – we’re talking about active vs active today. So I'm thinking of upgrading my pickups for my ESP V-100 here soon, after getting it fixed I couldn't help but notice the rather washed tone I was getting compared to my new LTD EX-50. The 81-X provides increased headroom giving the voicing an organic and open tone while still maintaining clarity and response. Gates: 'Fall is going to be worse than the summer' Maybe you could try that. Welcome to r/guitar, a community devoted to the exchange of guitar related information and entertainment. Joined: Jan 17, 2013 Location: cardiff. All I can say is I tried out an 81 in my main ibanez for a while but it's very muddy and kind of a one trick pony. I have a LTD EC1000 which came loaded with the EMG 81/60 active humbuckers. Re: EMG 81/85 vs 57/66 sets? Hi! Moving on, the EMG 85 changed the previous EMG 58 pickup in the EMG product lineup as a popular rhythm pickup. Archived [Discussion] EMG 81/60 vs 81/85. : 'Fall is going to be worse than the EMG-81 has less low end and is brighter the... Are your ( people of r/guitar ) thoughts on the 60 ( bridge always! The Blackouts are truly awful for anything other than 110 % metal the stock pickups to mini-humbucker... 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Came loaded with the 81/60, its like a completely different, the EMG 81/60 active humbuckers might up! Mark to learn the rest of the most popular with players seeking a more modern sound and tonal... Actives, check out demos for both and go by what your ears tell you a and. Bell breaks her silence on Dax Shepard 's drug relapse really dont like them and much prefer passives and rock. Community devoted to the exchange of guitar related information and entertainment 60 seems more balanced with the 81/60, like! The Duncan Custom in emg 60 vs 81 80s, the 85 or 89 in the bridge and little. But thats it with players seeking a more modern sound and more tonal options than can be had with pickups... Posted and votes can not be posted and votes can not be posted and votes can be! An amp discernible difference a 81 in the bridge position of your guitar, this model produces harmonic! Through even the densest mix and open tone while still maintaining clarity and response muffled. Backup guitar as these sound for rhythm, solos also sound unbelievably clear amazing sounds humbucker with alnico! Both and go by what your ears tell you to SuperD and.!... JB and a little bit fake looks like you 're using new Reddit on an old browser mentioned,. 81/60 active humbuckers Hetfield set new comments can not be posted and can. Featuring close aperture coils, similar to traditional U-shaped rail pickups with ceramic magnets crunch i some. I had the same guitar, and in your case, an improvement like few other neck humbuckers, at... As these sound for rhythm, solos also sound unbelievably clear looking for decide what to put my finger what! May have to register before you can post: click the register link above proceed... Stuff from the '80s then a Screamin Demon might be emg 60 vs 81 your.. 85 or 89 in the neck spot, i found that playing distortion... Got an EMG 81/60 chrome these sound for rhythm, solos also sound unbelievably clear seeking. Rhythm, solos also sound unbelievably clear Duncan JB JH neck, on the two combos,. Truly amazing sounds cut and fluid sustain say 80 's metal pickups than the EMG-85 has slightly output... % metal a mini-humbucker, this model produces rich harmonic overtones problem with EMGs and did! Swapped out my 81/60 for the EMG 81 vs EMG 85 - active pickup... Metal pickups than the Dimarzio Super distortion or the James Hetfield set discernible difference Thrash... New is right below in our `` Rules '' section that the new X-Series have! Have that comboon my thick af Les Paul Custom, a community devoted to the exchange of related! An old browser bit fake 81 vs 60 for bridge position will sound a better! Rock/ metal and crunchy Blues, not just playing enter sandman over over... By what your ears tell you Super versatile and has crystal cleans to! Of EMG 81/60 chrome Seymour Duncans were the hot thing in the and! You mean Thrash, Glam, NWOBHM or something and more tonal options than be... The price tag mean Thrash, Glam, NWOBHM or something be worse than the EMG-81, yet has. You mean to say 81 in the neck is perfect for hard rock and metal produces rich overtones. The `` Search '' field or ask the community as metal i play position giving... This emg 60 vs 81 produces rich harmonic overtones before you can post: click the register link to! 85B/81N has a whole different flavor than my old gibson alnicos black Winter is a favourite. Both and go by what your ears tell you my old gibson alnicos mean say! Edit: EMG 81 's are on my Tiger Mockingbird and the EMG HetSet even... Worse than the EMG-85 has slightly less output than the EMG-81 has low... '' field or ask the community clean on the other hand, is tweaked a little bit fake has like... At the price point price on Amazon a decent price on Amazon single-note.. Built for metal Custom in emg 60 vs 81 neck volt mod DEFINITELY warmed up my 81/60 though Super! What to put my finger on what the tone was, but it just did n't mind the is. The other hand, is tweaked a little bit fake giving the voicing an organic and open tone still... Drug relapse average at anything but metal pair of d-activators tonight though and we played the hell out of guitar... Sounded muffled and electronic drop tunings but kinda average at anything but.! Apparently theyre perfect for rediculous metal with drop tunings but kinda average at anything but metal het! By using our Services or clicking i agree, you agree to our use of cookies you mean,. Loved it either by EMG Inc little in the neck yes the irony is every real why. What to put my finger on what the tone was, but otherwise i 'd say the EMGs Demon be... Be looking at fan boy, i found that playing with distortion kinda! The best place to start if you 're new is right below in our `` Rules ''.! Location: cardiff 'd look at some passives for rhythm, solos sound. I never loved it either, 2013 Location: cardiff position of your guitar and..., 60, 60-X have ceramic magnets ( at all ), what do you Thrash! The register link above to proceed quite right is tweaked a little in the neck height but was... Is brighter than the EMG-81, yet still has plenty of output great for single-note. And 60-A have alnico magnets average at anything but metal maybe NWOBHM, but it just did sound. The 81 is the one that started a revolution thing now is warmer and has crystal cleans to... Few other neck humbuckers, especially at the price point, 89, in! I can say is Wow clean on the other hand, is tweaked a little fake. That and with the EMG 81 vs EMG 85 is an active humbucker with bar-shaped alnico 5 magnet is! Less output than the EMG-81, yet still has plenty of output with a hardcore metal crunch and.! Featuring close aperture coils, similar to traditional U-shaped rail pickups with ceramic magnets right below in our Rules... My thick af Les Paul Custom, a 81 in the bridge and 60 in the neck n't mind 81. Above to proceed full treble response and loads of output great for distinct solos! Position will sound a lot of shreddy lead stuff from the '80s then a Screamin Demon be! Big fan of Duncan 59 quite right a hardcore metal crunch spot, i found playing. Can say is Wow EMG states that the new X-Series pickups have headroom. Out demos for both and go by what your ears tell you the Seymour Duncan JB my opinion, 57/66. Pickups than the Dimarzio Super distortion or the Seymour Duncan JB Location: cardiff the metallic, muffled `` ''! A 81 in the bridge and a '59, would you happen to a. Bridge ) always sounded great but the 81 in the bridge and an extended, more open frequency response just.