Many years on, 81 vs 57/66 vs Het Set

Emperoff

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I think Emperoff means the newest released models in the EMG lineup like the 57/66, Het Set etc have newer versions of their internal preamp. To my knowledge they've left all the classic models alone as is.

Yup. That's exactly what I meant.

So which one is generally considered the "real" or legit one?

The ones from the 24Volt mod company or something. Y'know, the expensive ones :lol:
 

soldierkahn

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100%. Gives the notes more "bloom" :lol:

are we talking about how the 24v mod works on the CLASSIC 81, or on the newer models (Het set, 57/66, etc)?

i remember running the classic 81s with the 18v mod for the longest time, but i never bothered adding a 3rd 9v in the mix.
 

jaxadam

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are we talking about how the 24v mod works on the CLASSIC 81, or on the newer models (Het set, 57/66, etc)?

i remember running the classic 81s with the 18v mod for the longest time, but i never bothered adding a 3rd 9v in the mix.

That would be the dreaded 27 v mod and you don’t want to do that, because then all high end tube amps will just shake their heads, get up, and leave.
 

soldierkahn

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That would be the dreaded 27 v mod and you don’t want to do that, because then all high end tube amps will just shake their heads, get up, and leave.
you forgot that theyll scuff your Pumas before walking away
 

hamoftruth

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are we talking about how the 24v mod works on the CLASSIC 81, or on the newer models (Het set, 57/66, etc)?

i remember running the classic 81s with the 18v mod for the longest time, but i never bothered adding a 3rd 9v in the mix.
Supposedly it makes the most difference in the older designs. The newer models are higher headroom by default, however I notice a difference in feel/compression between 9v and 24v in my 57/66 set. Subtle, but it's there.
 

Flappydoodle

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81 - sounds like an 81. Mid-forward but not quacky. Compressed.

57 is darker and smoother, with less bite and a bit more chunk. It still sounds like an EMG though.

Het Set is higher output and fatter again. Not my favourite, to be honest.
 

Grindspine

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I hope not. I can't stand the X versions of their pickups.

A normal 81 + 24v mod craps all over an 81X
I had an 81 with a mini toggle for 9/18 volt operation. The 18 volt mode sounded better to me in every circumstance. The bass seemed more controlled, cleans seemed more dynamic. Pick attack was clearer.

I have since moved that guitar over to having an 81x with an SPC tone circuit. The 81x is a bit lower output than the 18 volt 81, but shares the same dynamics since it does not clip out like the standard 9 volt 81. The SPC boost, however, adds a huge, huge mid boost. I never need to use overdrive pedals with that guitar. With the SPC down, it is a more dynamic, cleans friendly version of the 81. With the SPC turned up, it is instant deathgrind. With the SPC knob at half way, it is straight Slayer thrash tone. The 81x with the SPC circuit is the best possible combination that EMG has offered IMO.

I once handed it to a hippie friend and he immediately started playing black metal.
 

Seabeast2000

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Wait what? A 24 v mod? Where have I been?!? Is it just two car batteries in series?

Yes and the 14 AWG 3 prong power cord with proprietary connectors is worth the extra cost. The trickle charger isn't.
 

Spaced Out Ace

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I had an 81 with a mini toggle for 9/18 volt operation. The 18 volt mode sounded better to me in every circumstance. The bass seemed more controlled, cleans seemed more dynamic. Pick attack was clearer.

I have since moved that guitar over to having an 81x with an SPC tone circuit. The 81x is a bit lower output than the 18 volt 81, but shares the same dynamics since it does not clip out like the standard 9 volt 81. The SPC boost, however, adds a huge, huge mid boost. I never need to use overdrive pedals with that guitar. With the SPC down, it is a more dynamic, cleans friendly version of the 81. With the SPC turned up, it is instant deathgrind. With the SPC knob at half way, it is straight Slayer thrash tone. The 81x with the SPC circuit is the best possible combination that EMG has offered IMO.

I once handed it to a hippie friend and he immediately started playing black metal.
I don't care for the 81, but I have one in a guitar with the SPC and EXG, and like it a lot. I can add a bunch of mids or a hefty low end/sparkly top end boost if I want. Very versatile.
 


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