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All user reviews for the EMG 89X

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Average Score:4.0(4/5 based on 1 review)
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Hatsubai's review"More open EMG 89"

The EMG 89X is part of the new X series that EMG developed to help rejuvenate their active pickup line. It shares the same physical attributes as the original 89, but they revised the preamp inside of the pickup.

Recently, people on forums have been experimenting with running pickups at 18V to get more headroom out of their pickups. This helps them sound more organic and less linear and compressed. The newly revised X series preamp basically takes the concept of running at 18 volts to a new level.

The EMG 89X is very similar to the original 89. You still have the two pickups inside one housing. This time, it’s almost like an EMG 85X and EMG SAX combined into one pickup. When in humbucker mode, the pickup is very fat and thick sounding. It bears resemblance to the 85, but it’s a little clearer with maybe a tad more treble. In single coil mode, you have that awesome, round single coil tone going on that works absolutely amazing in the neck position. Basically, the preamp isn’t clipping as much as it used to.

The EMG 85X works in any wood you throw at it, but I find that EMGs typically sound best when they’re in mahogany. Some people argue about EMGs having a signature tone that takes over the guitar, and this is true to an extent, but wood still plays a very important factor. I’m not a huge fan of EMGs in basswood, but they can work with the correct EQ.

If you ever wished your EMG 85 sounded more open and more like a passive pickup, check out the EMG 85X. I love this pickup in the neck position, but it also works great in the bridge for neutral to brighter sounding woods like alder, walnut and maple.