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Emg Bridge With ____neck?


Hughes
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hey, im currently getting my parts together for my build. i want an EMG in my bridge possistion (because the bridge is what i use for distortion) and something more good for clean tones. is there a problem with sticking a EMG with a nice warm pickup? if its all good, what would you guys recommend putting in the neck?

thanks

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Mattia, EMG's description of the 85's "beefy bottom end and fat top end" probably doesn't equate to a "nice and crisp" clean sound, but again that's subjective depending upon taste. I personally like more treble and high-mids in my clean sound.

Hughes, you don't describe the guitar you're putting them in, but most people use the 81 in the bridge and an 85 or 89 in the neck. Some people do 81's in both. The only real difference in the 85 and the 89 is that the 89 is a dual-mode pickup that will sound like an SA single coil in that mode, and very similar to an 85 in dual mode. I personally prefer the S single coil sound, which is what I have in my Strat, but the SA isn't bad. It has more midrange than the S. If you just want a single coil sound that is more crisp, the EMG H (not to be confused with the H4 and HZ passive pickups) is an EMG S single coil in a humbucker body, and would work well in the neck.

So, in summary, I'd go with an 81 in the bridge and either an 89 in the neck with a push/pull pot (included) for the switching modes, or an 81 in the bridge with an H in the neck. Either should get you what you want. Or, if you change your pickup routing and go H/S/S, you can do an 81 in the bridge with an S and SA in the mid and neck positions for some awesome tonal flexibility. I would honestly stick with a full EMG setup unless you want to deal with headaches involved in trying to put both in.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...

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well im making a mockingbird which is going to be a mahogany body with a quilt maple top and a birdseye maple neck.

im looking to stick a nice smooth sounding pickup in the neck because thats what i switch to when i play clean, then i switch to the bridge for distortion...i probably will end up putting 81 and an 85 in but i just wanted some other options

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Can't really go wrong with the 81/85 or the JB/Jazz combos. Both combos have probably recorded more tracks than any other setups out there.

Think about what you're going to use the guitar for most of the time, how simple of an installation you want, and what kind of maintenance you want to deal with.

Both setups will sound great either clean or with overdrive, but if you're going through a bunch of effects, the EMGs will give a cleaner, more consistent signal all the way to the amp or board. The EMGs also come mostly pre-assembled with very little soldering needed and the pickups are encapsulated in epoxy, so there's no chance of them ever really wearing out, but that comes at the cost of sounding too "hi-fi" and sterile.

The Duncans can be a little more versatile and you can play with your cap and pot values to change up the tone, and there's no battery to replace. But there's passive noise to deal with, signal chain breakup, a bit more complicated initial setup, and the dreaded Ground of Death, but passive pickups can be a little sweeter on the ears for traditional sounds.

Give it some thought.

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What you save in price you pay in extras. Shielding for the cavities, some noise at high levels, not a big deal, and the SD choice is good, I had them before in both my Epi and a different set up in my strat but once I changed to EMG... I think it is hard to go back unless I'm looking for an especific sound.

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When your talking about clean sounds, you really just need to go down to a guitar store or borrow a mates guitar and just muck around with the EMG's as they really do have their own type of clean sound. For the neck position, it doesn't really matter what pickup you try, whether it be the 81, 85, 60 or SA, you will still get the idea of what an EMG pickup sounds like clean. You can definitely hear what people label as the 'sterile' sound. I personally don't have a problem with it, and I love the sound my EMG's dish out, but I would suggest you know it before you go ahead and buy a set.

Also, when your comparing EMG's and SD's, as Maiden more or less said, I would advice you dont make the decision based on price, as the difference is that huge as far as I have seen, and it should really be based more on what sound you are after.

If you're happy with the clean sound EMG's give, then I would say go for it, because the sound of EMG's under gain is extraordinary in my opinion and I might even suggest you go the 81/89 combo because I find the SA has a slightly more manageable clean sound (and the 85 is definitely smooth, so both in one package would be a good choice). If your unsure about the 'EMG clean', then maybe the Seymour Duncans might be worth the safer choice.

Make sure you let us know what you decide to do - it would be interesting to find out what you end up going for.

- Dan

PS: Just to clarify, im not saying that all EMG pickups have the same clean sound. They all have their tonal differences, however my point was that they all share that same.... sound... thingy... that makes them very recognisable as EMG's :D

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well, has anyone tought of bartolinis? They do break the bank, but I think they have some active models that would totally do the job!

Now that you mention it, they aren't that expensive really :D More than Seymour Duncans and less than EMG's, but without any of the extras EMG's come with (to my knowledge).

I have never actually bought a set of Bartolini's, but when I emailed them to ask for advice some time ago I was recommended the ZBS-80 in the bridge and the ZBS-75 in the neck, and that was for a guitar which I wanted primarily for hard rock/metal, but I also wanted it to be able to hold its own for clean sounds. That was the advice I was given anyway.

http://www.starspickups.com/ZBSelectric.php

http://store.pickupcentral.com/bartolini.html

- Dan

PS: It looks like that pickupcentral store doesn't stock as many bartolini guitar pickups as they used to... but I get the impression starspickups sells them, so maybe you could email them for pricing.

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I am curious how to wire in a emg 81. I have standard pots from a strat will they work with an 81? or do i need emg pots, also i've already wired it up according to the diagram on emginc.com and for some reason if plug the input jack in half way i get sound and all the way in no sound? got any idea's as to WHY? e-mail me back at kimberlee_n_john@yahoo.com thanx-john

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I have standard pots from a strat will they work with an 81?
They will work (after a fashion), but they're far from optimal - you need to replace them with 25K pots to match the pickups.

...for some reason if plug the input jack in half way i get sound and all the way in no sound?
You've screwed up the wiring on the stereo jack - take a closer look at that wiring diagram and try it again.
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...for some reason if plug the input jack in half way i get sound and all the way in no sound?
You've screwed up the wiring on the stereo jack - take a closer look at that wiring diagram and try it again.

And it's not hard to do either if you have the older EMG paper diagrams.

If you look at the stereo output jack with the inside facing you (the side with the prongs) there should be three lugs, the middle lug is ground. The lug immediately to the left (clockwise) of the ground lug is negative from the battery clip, and lug immediately to the right (counter clockwise) of the ground lug is signal hot. I picked up a couple of older sets of EMG pickups before the quick connect, and almost always wired the output jacks correctly because of how poorly they are represented in the paper diagrams. The newer diagrams online are well done though.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...

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