I don't think the EMG 81 itself is to blame at all. I think there's a lot of reasons behind peoples' negative views of EMGs. EMGs have been around for a long time, they've been very popular, and they're very different to passive pickups. They're not old and original enough to be cool like a vintage PAF, and they're not new and interesting enough to be cool like Fishman Fluence or whatever new thing the kids have moved on to. It makes perfect sense that people hate on them.