« The 81's classy brother »
Publié le 05/18/11 à 13:54
EMG pickups are active pickups. An active pickup is a pickup that requires and outside power source to operate. These pickups operate by using a preamp that is battery powered. With the battery powered preamp the magnets in the pickups do not have to be super powerful. With the lower power pickups the guitar picks up less outside noise. Also with the lower output magnets the pickups pick up less radio frequencies which is good when you play outside at a gig. The EMG 85 came out around the same time at the 81 and while the 81 was a searing metal machine the 85 was really the more versatile one of the two. The most common setup for EMG pickups is an 81 in the bridge and an 85 in the neck but if you are adventurous you can try an 85 in the bridge. The EMG 85 is the low end metal tone answer to EMG 81s searing high end gain. If the EMG 81s tone was a pointy square the 85 would be a round circle. The EMG 85 offers a more smoother or rounded tone than the EMG 81. The EMG 85 can be used in the neck and bridge position with good results. In the neck positions you can get super smooth lead tones or even bluesy tones. In the bridge positions it can make any decent guitar sound gigantic. Its tone is more focused towards the lower end so you may not want to downtune much with it for fear of getting too much of a muddy sound. Overall I think the EMG 85 is a better overall pickup. It being less sharp than the 81 makes it more useful for more kinds of music. The 81 is better only in the realm of high gain metal. If you are looking for an active pickup that can do more than just metal the 85 may be the way to go.