800-ZZOUNDS (800-996-8637)
When you call, mention priority code 12BL-0XVC
close [x]
  • Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri 8AM - 10PM (EST)
  • Sat 9AM - 6PM (EST)
  • Sun 1PM - 7PM (EST)
Email Print
 

EMG 81 Active Humbucker Pickup

The EMG 81 offers fantastic tone for lead applications. With a rail magnet and high output active electronics, the EMG 81 is perfect for shredding. (40) Read 6 reviews for this product | Rate and Review This Product
Ships to: Can ship to United States Can ship to Puerto Rico
Can ship to APO/FPO
close [x]
zZounds.com 800-ZZOUNDS (800-996-8637)
Click to Enlarge Black

Product Description

The EMG 81 is EMG's most famous model; the one that started a revolution. Utilizing powerful ceramic magnets and close aperture coils, the tone is endowed with detailed intensity, incredible amounts of high end cut and fluid sustain. Traditionally used in the bridge position, this pickup will make your leads slice right through even the densest mix like a hot knife. When used in both positions the sound can only be described as blistering. Other recommended pairings include the classic 81/85 setup and the versatile 81/60 combo.

During their search for sourcing the best available "chrome" finish cover cap, they found that the available products could not be ordered with any consistency. Most importantly, since the manufacturing process would not be controlled by EMG, there was no way of knowing how the sound and tonal performance characteristics of the pickups would be affected. This characteristic was something that also could vary from batch to batch. Finally, they could not find any US manufacturers. EMG knew at that point, that the "buy" solution would not work for them.

Since putting a nickel or chrome plating on a common base metal is just a low cost way to simulate polished stainless steel, EMG decided to look at the feasibility of doing the real thing. This was the "build" solution. EMG engineers worked out a way to produce a one piece, high quality, mirror polished, stainless steel cover cap while maintaining comparable pricing to the plated versions. In addition, the sound and tonal properties were virtually identical to EMG's molded cover caps, and controlling the process guarantees the consistency and high quality level of the products. They are pleased to now offer humbuckers in the real deal, mirror polished stainless steel, known as "Chrome EMG's".

The "gold" version is the same polished stainless steel cover cap with a gold colored finish that is commonly used to harden machine tools. It is a finish that both hardens the cover cap surface and penetrates the stainless steel substrate, rather than surface coating it as a plating would. This assures a durable, longer lasting surface finish that will stand up to your pounding riffs and all the abuse the road can dish out.

Designed and produced in the USA.
Package Includes: EMG's exclusive Quik-Connect(TM) cable, prewired split shaft volume/tone control set, output jack, battery clip set, screws & springs. zZounds is an authorized dealer of EMG products.
Specifications
Resonant Frequency: 2.25 kHz

RMS Output Voltage: 1.25

Peak Output Voltage: 1.75

Output Noise: -91dBV

Output Impedance: 10kOhm

Current @ 9V: 80 Microamps

Battery Life: 3000 Hours

Package Includes: EMG's exclusive Quik-Connect cable, prewired split shaft volume/tone control set, output jack, battery clip set, screws & springs.

A Brief FAQ
What's an active pickup, and why would I use one?
An active pickup is one that uses electronics to improve the sound and enhance its operation. There are a variety of ways to "Activate" a pickup. A simple "buffer" pre-amp will do the trick, but it will also amplify the hum and buzz the pickup produces. Just because a pickup is "active" doesn't guarantee you'll get great results. EMG pickups utilize an internal pre-amp (inside the pickup), which not only makes the pickup louder, it also reduces the noise!

What are the advantages of an EMG pickup?
The greatest is reduction in noise. No longer will the dimming of the house lighting system cause your guitar to buzz incessantly. You can use an extra long cable, or a wireless, and you'll get the same great tone every time.

Why an internal pre-amp?
It's the most efficient way to create an active pickup. All the coil connections are shielded, the pre-amp is shielded, and the output of the pickup cable is low-impedence, which makes it less susceptible to noise. Also, it avoids a spider web of wires and possible loose connections in your guitar and the installation is simple. All the benefits with none of the hassle.
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Black
Shipping Weight: 1 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 6 x 3 x 3 in
Chrome
Shipping Weight: 1 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 2 in
Gold
Shipping Weight: 1 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 2 in
EMG Warranty If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 707-525-9941
This item must be exchanged directly through the manufacturer if it is found to be defective, and can only be returned to us if it is unopened. details
What Our Customers Are Saying About zZounds "I would definitely tell a fellow musician to shop with zZounds! I got my instrument in lightning fast speeds. I cannot be any more satisfied!" - customer on February 9, 2014
New, Black
$99.00
Play as You Pay
on orders $249.00+ details
List: $129.99
Savings: $30.99 (24%)
In Stock Will Ship Apr 18   Seen it for less?
Free Ground Shipping
Faster Shipping
New, Chrome
$119.00
Play as You Pay
on orders $249.00+ details
List: $159.99
Savings: $40.99 (26%)
Only 2 Left! Will Ship Apr 18   Seen it for less?
Free Ground Shipping
Faster Shipping
New, Gold
$119.00
Play as You Pay
on orders $249.00+ details
List: $159.99
Savings: $40.99 (26%)
Only 1 Left! Will Ship Apr 18   Seen it for less?
Free Ground Shipping
Faster Shipping
Customer Reviews
5 out of 5 (40 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
"EMG 81's RULE"
Sound: Mean, crushing. This is the best rock pick-up ever. High output and absolute crunch removed the necessity of an outboard pre-amp for me. The sustain is unbelievable. My only complaint would be that they are sooooo powerful that they pickup every little noise. Every pickup hole in ALL my guitars will soon be plugged with EMG 81's Feature: This is a mean nasty pickup....must have for any metal guitarist Quality: Totally solid. Absolute quality Value: I paid $79 a piece. That's about $50 less than I expected to pay when I went "shopping" Manufacturer Support: Unknown The Wow Factor: Solid black...they look badass Overall: I expect to be using EMG 81 pickups for a long time. I use them in conjunction with Marshall heads and cabinets. Its definitely the best pickup I've ever tried in 25 years of axemadness. It has given me the tone I want for every note I need to play.
Style of Music: Speed Metal
13 of 14 people (92.86%) found this review helpful. Did you?
Thanks for your opinion!
close [x]

Thank you. Your vote has been counted. Could you briefly tell us why the review was or was not helpful?

"Loud and aggressive but perfectly clear and sound-friendly."
Feature: The noise impedance really works. I use mine with cabs and head and play in large venues with lots of interference and yet when used in combination with a noise gate it stops humming the second you turn your guitar volume down. It
Style of Music: Metal (progressive death)
7 of 9 people (77.78%) found this review helpful. Did you?
Thanks for your opinion!
close [x]

Thank you. Your vote has been counted. Could you briefly tell us why the review was or was not helpful?

BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site
Questions? Our gear experts can help!
800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
When you call, mention priority code 12BL-0XVC. Llame Gratis en Español: 800-460-7976
Lunes-Viernes de 9AM a 5PM EST
Customize Search Results for Your Location
Shop with those who respect your privacy — we do. Copyright © 1996-2014, zZounds Music, LLC. Terms of use apply.
X

ALL ACCESS PASS

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD SIGN UP FOR THE ZZOUNDS NEWSLETTER

  • Limited-time payment plan offers
  • Weekly deals
  • Exclusive giveaways
  • Exclusive artist interviews
  • Insider info on your favorite gear
To get your cool stuff, we'll need your address:
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
 
close [x]Faster Shipping Options
2 Day Air$6.99
Overnight$15.99
close [x]Limited InventoryWe only have 2 left. Though our system does indicate availability for this item, there is a chance that the item will not be available. Multiple orders may be placed within a short period before our system can update the availability on our website. If there are any problems shipping this item, you will be notified.
close [x]Faster Shipping Options
2 Day Air$6.99
Overnight$15.99
close [x]Limited InventoryWe only have 1 left. Though our system does indicate availability for this item, there is a chance that the item will not be available. Multiple orders may be placed within a short period before our system can update the availability on our website. If there are any problems shipping this item, you will be notified.
close [x]Faster Shipping Options
2 Day Air$6.99
Overnight$15.99
close [x]
1 item added to your cart
View Cart Continue Shopping
close [x]
Please select a product:
Add to Cart
close [x]
Available on
orders $249+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]
Available on
orders $249+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]

You don't have to trade service for savings when you shop at zZounds!

We'll beat any price
Really. It's not a problem for us. In fact, we'll thank you for the chance to live up to our lowest price guarantee!
It's fast and easy
Just tell us where you saw the lower price - another website, an email offer, your local store - and we'll send you our lowest price offer in a matter of hours.
Simply click the Seen it for less? link
Next to the item you want, or give us a call at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637).
close [x]

With zZounds you'll never have to worry that you paid too much.

We'll beat any price
Really. It's not a problem for us. In fact, we'll thank you for the chance to live up to our lowest price guarantee!
It's fast and easy
Just tell us where you saw the lower price - another website, an email offer, your local store - and we'll send you our lowest price offer in a matter of hours.
Simply click the Seen it for less? link
Next to the item you want, or give us a call at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637).
close [x]
on most orders $49+

Just $2.99 on
smaller orders

Really heavy stuff might cost you a
little more

learn more

Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
close [x]

1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as You Pay installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as You Pay plans.

zZounds payment plans details »

2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.

zZounds.com price match details »

3. zZounds gets you your gear fast

At zZounds, you‘ll get your gear fast and, usually, with free delivery. Because we have warehouses in New Jersey and Nevada, nearly 75 percent of Americans reside within our two-day shipping zones. Combine this with the fact that many of our best-selling products qualify for free two-day delivery and you get expedited shipping without the additional cost.

zZounds.com shipping details »

4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

zZounds.com return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

zZounds.com customer service »
close [x]
Available on
orders $249+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]
on most orders $49+

Just $2.99 on
smaller orders

Really heavy stuff might cost you a
little more

learn more

Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
close [x]

A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!