NPD: EMG RetroActive 77s

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by narad, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    So I've had this WR-1 with an 81/85 set. Despite this being classic metal tone, I've never really been super happy with the tone in the room. Double tracked, sure. Single tracked, thin..trebly..and not a great feel to them.

    I decided to keep with EMGs because of the connectors, but to be honest I was really impressed with the clips of the RetroActives, both the 55s and 77s. Seems like no one actually bought these pickups?? It's been a while and there's hardly any discussion of them.

    Anyway, they've been a huge improvement. The neck clean has gone from a like 2/10 to a 9/10. It's very musical, very passive sounding. I can't put the quality into words, but as I'm chording and passing through the treble strings, the B and E just sound perfect. A little bit of shimmer, but not particularly bright. With distortion, they don't seem so good for lead tones. Still an improvement, but no liquifire.

    On the bridge/distortion, exactly what I wanted. A great sort of megadethy sound. I have the HetSet in another guitar which replaced like a 85/60 or something. The HetSet was a huge improvement by making things fuller sounding, each note got a ton of heft to it, and a slightly "round" sound to it. I don't know what that is in terms of EQ/response. The 77s are an improvement on the complete opposite end. They retain the "crispy" nature of the 81s in the midrange, while still thickening things up a bit and giving the low end a very passive feel and bounce.

    So I would describe the HetSets as a great pickup, but not necessarily true to the 81/85 sound. The 77s are much more a spiritual successor, a brash pickup with a fuller sound. Sorry I don't have any mics here but I do have a camera:


    [​IMG]
     
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    that warrior is sexayy
     
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  3. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    this is great news.
    I havent gotten around to them yet but was half tempted in one of my guitars
    cheers for the review dude!.
    Excited these are this good.

    that warrior really is a stunner.
     
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  4. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    they sound amazing here (7 string version)

     
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  5. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    That sounds really close to what I'm hearing in my setup. The midrange still has a bit of that "artificial" active kind of sound, but I think that timbre is quite good for metal, or at least we've learned to associate it with metal after hearing so many EMG albums. And the clean here is a hair not quite as good as what I'm hearing, but similarly has that vibe of a relaxed top-end.

    Of course, it does sound more awesome extended to 7 than in my setup. None of my 7s were wired for actives so I didn't consider it, but damn...
     
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  6. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    man, that custom warrior is beautiful!

    anyway ive had the 77 retroactive in my dinky but i went back to the 57 and hetset i had. just a matter of taste since i like the JB-like sound of the 57 on that guitar. the 77 is more like a distortion/tone zone thing.
     
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  7. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    woah thats interesting!!
    Might get the 77 zebra set in my Fender Showmaster and the 57/66 in my headless to cover most bases.
     
  8. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 Jackson Elitist

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    I am going to need more pictures of that warrior man. That pic is a TEASE!

    EMG retroactives have always looked interesting to me.
     
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  9. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Anything's an improvement over the 85 for the neck. It's way too round and bassy for the neck position. Cleans sound dull and distortion sounds muddy. The 81 or 60 is a huge improvement.

    I tried the Het Set, and while I ADORED the neck pickup, the bridge was eh. It kinda reminded me of a less compressed EMG 85 with a scooped midrange and more twang to it. Didn't have the immediate tightness and attack of the 81.

    Kinda makes me curious about both the 57 and Super 77. You make the S77 sound appealing, and I hear the 57 has the best characteristics of the 85 and 81.
     
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  10. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I was curious about the Retroactives and was considering a set for my Les Paul until I decided to go with the Black Winters lol.

    In any case more pictures of the Warrior please!
     
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  11. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    I've seen some sweet sound clips of these pickups and they are probably the EMG's I enjoy the most (from sound samples I've heard anyway). Happy to hear you like them!
     
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  12. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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  13. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I've actually liked that thread when you first posted it and I'm ashamed I forgot about this stunning instrument. But we get bombarded with so many amazing guitars in this thread it's difficult to remember all of them. Stunning nevertheless!
     
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