tjon901 01/18/2012

EMG JH HET Set : tjon901's user review

« The new Metallica sound »

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James Hetfield of Metallica has been playing EMG pickups for decades now. All his classic tones were done with the 81 and 60 EMG setup. Now he has a new set of pickups which are based on those old designs but are completely new. Hetfield said he went through 20 sets of EMG pickups to find something new. He didn't want to just slap his name on the old EMG 81 and 60 set like Zakk Wylde did to the 81 and 85. He wanted a completely new set of pickups that encompassed his new appreciation of passive pickups and his more refined tastes. Overall the tone is a bit different. It seems the pickups have less of the high end active fuzz but make up for it by being slightly brighter overall. The note definition is a whole lot better. Not that it was bad with the old ones but it is really improved now. The sound to me is a bit more round but with the better note definition they do not get muddy under high stress. The sound is more focused but in a way that is not harsh. They sound a bit more natural than the normal EMG's but they still have the super attributes of an active pickup. They are a bit more versatility because they are less compressed and metal'y. With these they have great dynamics and the hot output helps this because when you roll back on the volume there is still some output there. If you are looking for a set of EMG pickups that can do more than just metal these pickups are great. They have a new look for EMG's as well with their black nickle cases which I think looks pretty sharp. These pickups do not cost much more than a normal set of EMG's but they have a lot more modern and refined sound and if you do not like them it is very easy to swap them out with another set of EMG's with their quick connect system.