EMG 81 - Black

EMG 81 - Black

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81 - Black, Gitarren Tonabnehmer from EMG belonging to the 81 model.

11 user reviews
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EMG 81 - Black tech. sheet

  • Fabricant : EMG
  • Modèle : 81
  • Catégorie : Gitarren Tonabnehmer
  • Fiche créée le : 30/07/2002

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Produktbewertungen EMG 81 - Black

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Produktbewertung von jkessel (content in English)"Tight crunchy, but stale tone"

EMG 81 - Black
I tried to avoid active pickups for the longest time, just didn't want to have to deal with batteries and all the negative views on them. Eventually I just bought one and was pleasantly surprised. They do have a different sound from passive pickups but it's in no way a negative difference. They are very tight sounding, low noise, and have a great crunch to them. They are pretty bright so that's all personal taste, but I like it. Hard to describe the stale sound but it's like they're so tight and clean sounding it's almost unnatural, but in a good way. There's no fizziness or any annoying spiked frequencies to these, just overall a great pickup. On cleans they really excel IMO. I like a very bright, sparkly, chimey clean tone and these just nail it. Perfect example is the clean tone off MetallicA's And Justice For All album. They used EMG 81's in the neck into a Roland JC120 for that album and the EMG 81 is a huge part of that tone. Later they switched to using the EMG 60 in the neck but that album is all 81.
Anyways there’s a 18 volt mod that some people are doing, it increases the headroom. The new X series are designed to be like the 18 volt mod but more dramatic, and only run on a single 9 volt. I tried the mod and wasn’t really impressed. I didn’t notice much of a difference at all. It was slight, the overall tone was quieter and thinner, but nothing you’d ever notice in a band setting or multitracking. I’d prefer to stick with 9 volts to save batteries.
I own 3 along with some of the X series and various other EMG pickups, this one is by far my favorite. Check out my 81x review for a little more in depth comparison.
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Produktbewertung von James... (content in English)"Try 18 volt for extra awesome"

EMG 81 - Black
I tried my first 81 model probably a decade ago in an ESP guitar. At the time it blew my mind. It was super aggressive and super hot. It always cut through and seems to slice through every amp I used with it. It had killer bass response too. Sure the cleans don't sound too hot with it but isn't that what the EMG 60 is for? I really think this pickup only lends itself to heavy metal type players. It's way too overdriven for light rock or anything like that. It's hard to get a sound out of it that's not blistering distortion.

These are active pickups of course and so your EQ will be a bit more responsive. One problem I always had with my 81 was a lack of dynamic response. Rolling down on the volume knob never seems to do too much to clean it up (god forbid when you want a little less DISTORTION) from it. A friend of mine suggested a mod he heard about where you wire another battery in the loop to make it an effective 18 volt pickup. I figured heck why not and gave it a go. The result is a very responsive and dynamic pickup with tons of headroom. It almost turns it into a passive pickup in some ways. It makes the 81 sound more organic and less machinelike if that makes any sense at all.

I don't really recommend this to anyone but hard rock and heavy metal type players. I have tried it for other genres and it's just not fit for it, even with mods. Still, for my prog metal playing it can't be beat. I love it. The clarity is just so much better than passive pickups. notes really pop. It's really a love or hate kind of pickup.
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Produktbewertung von myriam63660_en (content in English)

EMG 81 - Black
- I had two of them in 2000 and in 2007. I didn't keep the first in 2000 because i find the sound thin and trebly. In 2007 i decided to give it a second chance in case i got a faulty one the first time: the sound was still synthétic to my ears (even on a tube amp). I also had EMG 60, 85, SA and only dislike the 81 and the 60 (those two have céramic magnet).
- as the others EMG, the 81 has great clarity, définition and gain, they are great for métal, and i think they would be perfect with Mésa tube amps (to bring more clarity and articulation to the distorsions)
- a very good pickup, but i prefer by far the 85
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Produktbewertung von Rockmonster (content in English)

EMG 81 - Black
Used this pickup in an Ibanez RG550 for over a year... Basswood has a very balanced smooth tone, so.. I think it was a forgiving canvas for a pickup to make an impression. I have had extensive experience in tone dissatisfaction.. so I am always changing stuff in and out of guitars.. It IS a disease! I have used Fender, Gibson, Paul Reed Smith, EMG, Dimarzio, Seymour Duncan, Carvin, etc, etc.
Alright. So, now the pickup. EMG81. The pre-eminent metal pickup of choice for all the Nu-Metal kiddies. This pickup has been around FOREVER. I think I was using this 12 years ago.. maybe longer... so this is definitely not the new piece of gear lots of people think it is. Very high output, neutrally voiced pickup. It has a lot of clear, boosted signal. Kind of the opposite gain approach of the Dimarzio HS-3.. which is a low output... very, VERY neutral pickup. Zakk Wylde seems to love this in a Les Paul.. I imagine it might be a good choice in that guitar.. as the maple may add brightness.Let me also add that he has a maple neck, so.. this has a small bit of impact as well. In the Ibanez, it was opaque. Flat. Neutral. Can't think of any other boring adjectives to describe it. The good news is.. it should take on the characteristics of your rig. If you have a good preamp... or a Marshall JCM800.. with a bunch of Boss pedals in front of it.. you might be able to get a nice dark, heavy tone. (like Zakk) Not particularly complex.. pretty straightforward, high gain. Easy pinched harmonics, but not rich and detailed sounding. The best way to get a rich sound would be if you have a crunchy amp.. and use this to push it into higher gain. I'm sure Zakk Wylde's rig would not scream quite so loudly if you played a Strat thru it. The best part about this is that it is verbose. Huge. Fat. Like playing a regular humbucker with a clean boost. (One good way to avoid buying this, changing your pots and adding batteries) But if you want a dead quiet, high output solution.. need your notes thick and meaty (and your rig provides the character you want) this is the way to go. You hear it on lots of heavy albums nowadays... the question one has to pose themselves is... Do I want to create my OWN sound? This might be it... but there are lots of other options.

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