Anyone keep going back to EMG?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by lewis, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Everything about EMG just makes me want to keep going back.

    the effortless wiring, the ease of switching pickups out on the fly to try new models from them, the fact that they offer open coil actives now in the retro series and a passive/active hybrid like the 57/66 etc Even their coil split pickups in the 89 and 81TW etc etc are a breeze to install and use and sound great.

    Obviously Fishmans are also great pickups, but I feel the simplicity, price and tonal options EMG offer, is still unrivalled. Ive never really got on well at all with Seymour Duncan (tried the Distortion, the 59 neck, the pearly gates bridge, the Sentient neck and the Nazgul bridge - and disliked all of them bar the 59)

    not to mention, there is a reason that they (EMG) have likely been used on more albums than any other pickup company.

    I dunno guys, i just feel that once the initial hype of a new product/brand dies down, i want to go back to EMG again.
     
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  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    nope. i've never gelled with emgs despite having tried a bunch of em. i always end up ripping them out and going back to passives because there's so many options in terms of pickup choice and how you wire them.
     
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  3. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I always have a handful of guitars with EMGs.

    I have an LPC and a Washburn WI556 that I've probably tried a few dozen different pickup combos in and keep coming back to the 81/85. They just work in those guitars.

    I also have a project RG7620 with a 81-7/707 set that I keep meaning to replace, but every time I play it the need to change them just floats away.
     
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  4. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    yeah i guess its a love/hate thing but for those that dig them, there just never feels like a reason to stop using them. Especially when you have like a Kemper/Axe fx and have so much tonal shaping, its almost irrelevant what aftermarket pickup you have, as long as it isnt a terrible stock pickup, its going to sound fantastic.

    thats exactly it. I THINK i need to replace guitars with EMGs in (probably because I listen to the online hype on the next new thing) but when you actually sit down and play again with them you just honestly dont have to at all.
     
  5. Strobe

    Strobe SS.org Regular

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    I am going to always keep at least one with EMG's. It is still a good sound, but I am mostly on the Fishman train at this point. The reason for me is not the wiring; I am pretty comfortable with wiring - I do a lot of guitar work for friends and it just kind of clicks.

    The reasons for keeping EMG's (specifically the 81 bridge) is that they have a really good attack, and the highs get rounded at just the right point to avoid being harsh. This makes them very well suited to heavy rhythm while also being sweet for leads. A lot of modern metal is using a lot of compression, so the fact that EMG's are on the compressed side (even for actives) is not actually a bad thing for most folks.

    They have been popular for so long that I think they will keep a lot of folks no matter what comes out.
     
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  6. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Most of the pickups I prefer are passive Dimarzios.
    I like EMGs though, just because I don't have anything else that quite sounds like them. They have their thing, and sometimes that's what you want.
    I've never had any of the newer ones with the easy wiring so I can't speak to that. I've also only really ever used the 81/60 combo (I think that's what it is, I'm not really sure).

    I don't think that's true. Would need to see a source on that one before I'm convinced.
     
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  7. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    EMGs are really good at what they do but in my opinion they’re not really that versatile. The compression makes them really cool for metal rhythm and they record great. Every time I try some I like them but then get tired of them quick.

    I’ve tried a bunch of pickups from a few manufacturers, tried some Dimarzio years back when they were more popular on the forum but I never really liked any of them. Seymour Duncan is good, but I’ve now got Lundgrens in two guitars and I think they’re the ones for me, very happy with them and no desire to change.
     
  8. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    Your ears will determine what you like better than any hype train. It’s nice to try something new on the menu; even if it re-enforces the fact that you only really like the one dish you always get there.
     
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  9. GatherTheArsenal

    GatherTheArsenal SF2 > Everything

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    I've played and recorded exclusively with passives for a long stretch since 2010, up until 2 weeks ago when I got my new guitar in the mail (NGD post soon) which has 707's and it felt like I had an epiphany when I plugged it in. I was like ohhh :facepalm:... that's the sound I've wanted for years!

    Quietest pickups I've played in awhile, not to mention a noticeable difference in output, compression and just overall punchiness.

    I went back and played my RGA8 which I outfitted with SD Nazgul + Sentient set, those are supposed to be the best passives with "active sound" but nope, they just don't hold a candle to the 707's imo. My other 7 has the DM Dactivator bridge, I'm probably not going to be touching that for awhile, may just go ahead and sell it or refit it with a really good passive set that doesn't go for the "active sound".

    I think passives should stick more to what they do best and not try to go after the "active sound". In my experience if just doesn't work without making them sound really hot and clippy.

    At this point I'm convinced that I need to rethink my gear, instead of buying pickups that try to blur the lines between passive and active I think I'll just have a guitar for each. That way I might maximize both active and passive properties individually to their full potential.
     
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  10. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    Lots of people get great tones with EMGs... but I am not one of them. I've had a bunch of guitars with them and have just never had a tone with them that I liked. So nope. I've gotten along better with the Fishmans I've tried, but still not something I am in a hurry to have around.
     
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  11. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    yeah true guys.

    Also i think alot of people decide for no reason that what they were using (and fine at that) is now shit just because they jumped on the new thing.

    EMGs sound great. As do Fishmans. (i have both). But i dont decide for no reason that EMGS are shit now just because I bought a set of Fishmans.
     
  12. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    to be fair you've been pretty schizophrenic in your pickup choices over the last year or so. ZOMG BKPS ARE TEH SHIT ZOMG FISHMANS ZOMG EMGZ RULE I get being excited by different pickups but it's a bit hypocritical to try and call out other people for bandwagoning when you did the same thing.

    I've tried tons of pickups but I begrudgingly admit that fishmans are the best actives in terms of clarity/overall versatility/options out there at the moment, though that's a pretty low bar to hurdle over, considering most emgs are one trick ponies and the blackouts I tried sounded like muddy diarrhea.
     
  13. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I think the 57/66 & Het Set are their leased compressed & most versatile of their actives. Their Retro-Actives are quite nice too. The aboves are no where in the 81/85 range when it comes to dynamics. The 81/85 is the most compressed of their lineup.
     
  14. GatherTheArsenal

    GatherTheArsenal SF2 > Everything

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    I'm playing devil's advocate here, but on principle I see nothing wrong with finding something better and holding a negative opinion on what's not.

    If x is better than y then go ahead and say with your own conviction that y is shit, it's all subjective in the end. Nothing wrong with taking a strong stance, negative or otherwise, on something like pickups.

    It's all part of evolving your taste and sound, for some it's a bit floppy floppy but hey that's just how it is for them.
     
  15. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    oh yeah, definitely, the 57/66 and retro active sets are great, but they are the exceptions imo. that's why I said most of the emgs are one trick ponies. Nothing wrong with pickups that do one thing really well like the 81/85 set or say lundgren m8s, but I just never personally mesh with their lack of versatility compared to other pickups.
     
  16. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    ive already addressed and admitted this in my initial post.

    i.e I get sucked in by the "hype" online only to realise it wasnt really that warranted and didnt give me anything different than what EMGs might (and in alot of cases be more expensive and more akward than EMGs - for a variety of reasons)
     
  17. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    I love an emg 85 in a 6 string. My 96 ltd explorer will forever have an 85 bridge and 60 neck.
    To me, its the quintessential 6 string metal pickup set. I play deathened-black metal on this guitar and the 85 is perfect.
    Now, if I were to acquire a 6 string that had passive routes/hardware in it already, I'd go with the black winter pickup there (simplicity and amazing tone) but otherwise it'll be 85/60 all the way!

    For 7 string, I like the paf. For 8 string I like the d-activator.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
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  18. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    I've got all my gigging guitars with EMGs at this point and they're OK. I like the fact that they're uniform, back when I used passives I had to adjust settings for each guitar, noise gate levels, eq and so forth was different at every venue.

    I don't really like them that much but they're quieter live and seem to be a little more dense sounding.

    My other guitars have passives and I am a fan of Dimarzio as well. My favorite guitars for touch and depth of sound are MM Steve Morse and a Godin that I outfitted with Joe Barden soapbars.


    BTW I don't find their new "easy" solderless system beneficial at all, having done guitar electronics I can tell from experience that those things are going to be a nightmare in a few years and the more assembly points you add, the more you signal degrades, plus you add on a lot of screws and other parts that easily fall apart. Luckily, none of my guitars have the new EMG setup.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
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  19. bnzboy

    bnzboy Asian Dying

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    EMG 81s got yanked out asap and have 3 of them in a box. 85s and 60s I have tried tend to stay.
     
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  20. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 Jackson Elitist

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    Honestly after reading through this thread it has only further encouraged me to do something that I have planned on doing for a little bit now.

    I wanna get one guitar that I can throw new pickups in and have it as my test guitar. I plan on trying many different pickups all from different brands and such. Active and Passive. Get clips of me playing them and such and write down what I like/Didn't like from them and go until I have gone through a whole list (right now I have over a dozen pickups) or until I find one that just absolutely blows my mind in terms of what I like.

    I plan on making a thread saying I want this and what pickups would provide this. No matter if they are active or passive. I also plan on emailing a few different pickup brands and asking them the same thing and trying out what the companies suggest me and what you guys do along with stuff I heard on YT of pickups being played and such. I would say I am really happy to try something like this since I want to know what is out there and have more of a better knowledge on pickups and refine what my standards are for them.

    So far I like what I have now: Emg 57/66 in my Schecter HH and the Seymour Duncan Mick Thomson Blackouts in his Jackson Sig. Sure they lack in some things and excel in others, but I just like the way they sound. I got the DT set in my scheter solo-ii custom and although it is some amazing technology, I feel that they are a bit brighter to some degree and dont have as tight of a bass sound as I would like. Are they still goods? yes. Who knows, it could also very well be the guitar they are in that is causing the things that I dont like about it to be present.
     
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