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EMG 81 Active Humbucker Pickup
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EMG 81 Active Humbucker Pickup

The active pickup of choice for extreme lead guitarists! With a rail magnet, the EMG 81 offers high output and low impedance for consistent, cutting tone.

Overall User Ratings (based on 35 ratings)
Overall:
Sound:
Features:
Ease of Use:
Quality:
Value:
Manufacturer Support:
The Wow Factor:
Overall:
(35)
Submitted December 6, 2003 by a customer from cox.net
"EMG 81's RULE"
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.
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
Features
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
Musical Style:
Speed Metal
20 of 22 people (91%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Submitted December 30, 2003 by a customer from kent.ac.uk
"Loud and aggressive but perfectly clear and sound-friendly."
Features
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
Musical Style:
Metal (progressive death)
8 of 12 people (67%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Submitted October 26, 2012 by Malik Ore in Joplin, MO
"EMG 81 Humbucker"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This pickup is definitely in the five years i have been playing guitar the best pickup i have ever come across. The best pickup for metal used in the bridge position.
Sound
I has a really high gain output its kinda hard to describe the sound of it.
Features
Not that much features
Ease of Use
It is not easy to get good sound from it, it is very easy to get AWESOME sound out of it.
Quality
It was made well no doubt about it.
Manufacturer Support
It is just that good of a pickup you wont need any contact.
The Wow Factor
ITS an awesome pickup and has the best sound for metal nuff said.
Musical Background:
I have been playing guitar for 5 years getting close to six. I play bass, guitar, and drums and i do jam and in a band
Musical Style:
Meta core, nu metal, black metal, death metal, thrash metal, etc
1 of 2 people (50%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Submitted May 11, 2008 by a customer from yahoo.com
"The cream of the crop for metal sound"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Ill never use another set up than emg active pickups. I'll always use an 81 on my bridge. I might experiment with another emg active on my neck such as a 60 like james hetfield but probably not.
Sound
Sound is great. I have an emg 81 on my bridge and 85 on the neck which is a great setup that a lot of people use. For instance one of the memebers of slayer, Zackk Wyld and kirt hammit from metallica. Also james from metallica uses an 81 on the bridge but a 60 on the neck. I havent tried that setup. I love how the harmonics flow out. the amp makesa huge diff on how the pikcups sound. The better the amp the better the sound of the pickups. I recommend a randall those are great for metal and the emg 81 and 85 is mostly used for metal. A good guitar has a lot to do with it to. I reccoment just buying a guitar with the emg setup. U would have pay at least 600-700 for a guitar with the emg setup since a active emg set is worth 200 bucks. the comapny wont put a 200 set of active pickups and a 300 dollar guitar. I reccomend a esp or a esp ltd for these kind of pickups. I use the ltd mh400nt(the best one in its class). It was 680 and it came with the 81 85's. Esp class is very expensive. If your going to buy an esp ltd which are the cheaper ones but still great.(mostly your paying for wood in the esp class) If your goign to buy a ltd get the best one in its class which would be around 700. Or go for a ltd deluxe which is around 850-900. Yes the active pickups use a battery but dont worry one 9v gives u a lot of hours. If your worryd about if actives give more noise than passive just get a noisegate pedal. I dont like passive pickups it really takes away from the sound. Don't mix active with passive.
Features
lots of features with the sound.
Ease of Use
Sound comes easy out of these. Espically pinch harmoincs or regular harmonics. so much eaiser to hit them with active pickups.
Quality
Emg in my opinion makes the best active pickups for metal! I'm sure passive might be better for other styles. How do i know emg makes the best active pickups for metal? Because for one i know esp makes the best guitars for metal. I look at the roster for musicians and they got the guys from metallica, alexi laiho, will adler from lamb of god, stephan carpenter from deftones, the guys from chimara one of the guys from slayer, and tons more. And most of those guys all use active emg pickups with there esp. Except i know will adler uses passive for some reason and alexi uses a seymor duncan blackout on his bridge and he has nothing on his neck. I think thats because he never has a clean tone ever in his music or something.
Value
These are priceless
Manufacturer Support
im sure its good never used it yet
The Wow Factor
They look mad sexy on a dark guitar
Musical Background:
Active musician
Musical Style:
metal
6 of 13 people (46%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Submitted February 9, 2010 by a customer from hotmail.com
"EMGs RULE!"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Expect them to last a long time, haven't had any problems with them, they sound great, look great, and overall 10/10
Sound
Crunchy. Extreme highs. Brutal lows. Insane metal pickup, picks up harmonics like a beast. Great quality, wouldn't regret the purchase for a second.
Features
The best active pickups.
Ease of Use
Really easy to get good sounds from this guitar, makes harmonics a breeze. Although the paper explaining how to install could have been better.
Quality
The best quality, the finish is amazing looking on my red guitar (i have black EMGs), 100% reliable. Nothing bad to say about it.
Value
Couldn't ask a better price for what you are getting.
The Wow Factor
oh my gosh insane looking, I couldn't believe how much of a difference in how awesome my guitar looked after having them installed.
Musical Background:
Active Musician (Metal Band)
Musical Style:
Metal
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Submitted August 1, 2003
"Heavy and Clear at the same time."
All future guitars of mine will have the 81 installed or I'll install it myself
Sound
It's like an after-market turbocharge for guitar. That's how significant the change is compared to stock pickups. These pickups open up the midrange allowing you to cut through the mix. Articulation and definition is achieved which is a miracle when going heavily distorted. Oh yeah... I forgot... It's heavy.
Features
The Switchcraft knobs are silent and spread their effect over the entire potetiometer spectrum. There are no "sensitive spots." Just a smooth mix.
Quality
It hasn't broke yet and has that solid-weight letting ya know that it ain't gonna break
Value
Costs about as much as a good pedal but does way more for your sound
The Wow Factor
Black is a standard look-good color
Musical Style:
Hard Rock
4 of 6 people (67%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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