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Old 07-12-2010, 06:26 AM   #1
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EMG 85 (both bridge and neck position)?

Is it possible to use a 85 in both the neck and bridge position or will it sound like ....? Would be fun to try it, because I like the sound of the 85 in the neck but hate the sterile tone of the 81 (my guitar is a Ibanez RGT6EFX BK).

Any suggestions?

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Old 07-12-2010, 06:33 AM   #2
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Yes. Many bands use the 85 in the bridge. You can also throw an 81 in the neck. I used to run 81/81 and now I'm running 81/85 B/N respectively...

But... I've heared of bands swapping them and having an 85 in the bridge and an 81 in the neck.

85 is chunkier to my knowledge.

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Old 07-12-2010, 08:08 AM   #3
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it is possible, and with emg's connection wires they use all you would have to do is take out the 81, unplug it, and put the 85 you want in. you could even take the 85 out of the neck slot of your ibby to try it out. I'm assuming that the RGT6EXFX does use emg connectors though. . and if they do then there's no issues with trying out different emg's. it's one of the things they've done right as a pickup company

and yes, the 85 is much stouter in the mids and bass than the 81 is. so if one thinks their tone is a bit thin but likes emg's, they're a great solution

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Old 07-12-2010, 08:42 AM   #4
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i have a suggestion for ya buddy, post some fookin pics of that damn ibanez
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:42 AM   #5
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On all my guitars with actives I use 85/85 combo. Try running them at 18v if its possible. Really brings them to life. I find personally that an 85 in the bridge is smoother, chunkier, and a lot more pleasurable sounding.
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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18v mod, I'd personally put an 81 in the neck, but I probably like my neck tone to be a lot brighter than you do.

Also try swapping them and then running then both at 9volts, then the neck on 9 and the bridge on 18, then neck 18, bridge 9, to see if you like 18volts for both places or only one.

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Old 07-12-2010, 01:16 PM   #7
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:00 PM   #8
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I used to be an EMG whore. These are the guitar/pickup combos Ive used and the results.....

Gibson Les Paul and Jackson RR1 with fixed bridge and Carvin DC200 with fixed bridge.

1. Bridge- 81/Neck- 85. This is a great all around hard rock combo. The 81 in the bridge was always a bit too bright for me. The 85 sounded great. Full and warm.
2. Bridge 85-Neck-60. This is like a warmer and slightly less hot version of the above. No treble spike from the bridge anymore like the 81 had.
3. Bridge 85 Neck-85. Both were warm full sounding. Nothing amazing.
4. Bridge-60 Neck-60- The 60 isnt the pickup I would use in the bridge its too muddy. The neck thats another story. The 60 sounds great in the neck.
5. Bridge-81 Neck-81 Bright and powerful. Cuts thru very well.

The LP had more low end balls to it probably cause of the body woods between the two. The RR1 had more classic metal punch to it and a bit more brightness.

I started running EMGs at 9 volts then after a few years I bumped them up to 18v and I really like the extra headroom that I could get from the extra 9v. One thing that made a pretty noticeable difference was the type of 9v I used. Using a ....ty no name battery they sounded ok. I then tried an Energizer E2 and I got more sustain, it was louder, punchier. Then I went and bought two of those $15.00 Ultralife Lithium Manganese Dioxide Batteries. You know the ones that claim to last 10 years in a smoke alarm. So those really boosted everything. Lots more sustain and punch and a bit more low end.
So maybe try out some different 9v see what that does for you.

As for players that use some of the above combos.....

I know Zakk Wylde uses the 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck in all his guitars except the "Bottle Cap" LP that has two 81s.

Kirk Hammett is all about the two 81s in everything.

Steve Lukather uses an 85 in the bridge and 2 SLVs in the mid and neck

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Old 07-12-2010, 10:02 PM   #9
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Given that the 707 is the 7 string equivalent of the 85 it would appear to be a common combination (I've used it for ages).
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