EMG 81
ejendres 11/10/2011

EMG 81 : ejendres's user review

« Great pickup but not my thing »

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The thing I like most about EMG pickups in general is the absurd amount of clarity. The note separation is awesome and there is absolutely no mud. Its also dead quite due to the active preamp.

What I like least about the EMG81 is the low end response. Its very very punchy, which is good, but its also tight to the point of stifled in my opinion. I have a very tight rig to start with, so that combined with the tightness of the EMGs pretty much takes away the low end from my rig. That said, the EMG 81 would work really well with a looser rig.

Also, the EMG 81 is really bright, which adds to the clarity, but also needs to be compensated for with eqing on the amp or it can be too bright.

A lot of people give say the EMG81 is a one trick pony, I don't agree with that. It definitely has more output than most passive pickups, but if you expect that and setup the gain on your amp with respect to it you can get great crunch and clean tones out of this pickup.

I think the real trick to getting excellent tones out of EMGs is knowing that you'll have to eq your amp differently than you would for passives. Personally, I don't like them, but that doesn't mean they're bad. I've heard a lot of guys get amazing tone out of them.