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81/85 & HZ


Speedy McFeely
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hi all,

i just played a jackson i really like, but it has EMG HZs instead of say an 81/85 combo. i know that the HZs are the more affordable EMG pick ups, but what are the differances between the two. if i were to buy the jackson and swap for 81/85 EMGs would i even notice? i want active p/us, but i have very little knowledge on them. i really like Zakk Wylde's tone; my reason for wanting EMGs.

THANX

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While I have NO experience whatso ever with EMG-HZs, I do have a Jackson KE3 with the mentioned active combo in it. The difference I noticed after the change is that I get alot more "bite", or definition in my sound, plus more harmonics (much more "alive"-sounding). That's compared to whatever were in 1990 KE3 though, so I don't know how that compares to HZs, but from what I've heard, HZs "suck monkey balls" and so on (compared to active EMGs), so I definateyl think you'd notice a difference.

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in a word ,YES!!!!!

the difference in tone between the hz and the 81/85 is HUGE.imo the hz's are just an economy pickup and are not even as good as duncans or dimarzios.where emg excells is in the active line.

if you like the jackson,get it and swap the pickups.you will be glad you did.

the hz pickups are extremely noisy and feed back continuously.they hurt my ears.i don't reccomend them.

the active line however is quiet and sounds great.

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i played one of those jacksons.. with the HZ... my immediate reaction after plugging into a familiar amp was EWWWWWWWW they sound so bland.. and dead... and just.... YUCK... definitly a far cry from the 85's i have in my strat... and i agree with wes... they are much noisier then the active line of emg's... ask the store if you can just take the pickups out, and get a discount off the price cause i see HZ on ebay all the time... people can barely give those things away... but they might be good for projects.. good "shop" pickups i guess

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keep in mind that there are a few different types of hz pickups and the h4 is decent(high output)while the rest are pretty much as derek describes.

i really don't understand why so many manufacturers are installing them.the active line really compliments a guitar better.

probably because of the EMG reputation... if they can tell the little kiddies "they're EMGS" (which is true...), it doesn't occur to the l'il ****ers to ask if they're the real thing... though they do have a fast-growing rep, and that rep is not a good one.

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though they do have a fast-growing rep, and that rep is not a good one

I'd be interested to hear if you have heard of problems with EMG's reputation if that's what you meant.

I have read some reviews about the HZ line and it does seem as though most players don't care for them. I tried an ESP with the HZ's in it and didn't care for it much. It may have been the guitar also but the whole thing just seemed lifeless to me.

The active (81/85/...) pickups are excellent. You just need to be sure that the type of music you play matches with what they were designed for. They are not versatile in my opinion but are top quality for the thick- harmonic rich distortion type of sound.

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well i got the jackson, and ordered a set of ZAKK WYLDE pick-ups. i love the tone that Zakk gets, i can play his riffs, but his pinch harmonics elude me. i tried out a REAL kirk hammet ESP at guitar center and i was squeeling like that guy from deliverance. the 81 F'n rules!!!

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not to get off the subject but when i learned pinch harmonics years ago i just fretted at the 12th(where they are easiest to get cause there are more of them) and just searched around until i found all of them.once you get them there you gradually find them everywhere.once you get it down you can get them easy,although it doescut your fingernails when you do it alot.

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nails? i play the harmonic with the side of my thumb while picking.... no nail here... lol have i been doing it wrong all this time?

i agree with wes, start around the 12th fret.... then wander after you found all the ones for there

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you guys are thinking of artificial harmonics i think. those are the kind you get from lightly holding you fretting hand over a fret. natural, or pinch, or whaterever it is known as today is done by holding a finger over the string on you picking hand and playing any note frettable on the neck and striking the sting in such a way as to create a natural harmonic half note instead of a fretted whole note. its really a matter of string amplitude. i was refering to how Zakk gets his pinch harmonics so clear and defined, i have been playing steadlily for ten years, and ever since i first heard Zakk, he has given my nightmares over those silly squeals. untill i found out he uses EMGs, now i see how much different a REALLY HIGH output pick up and allot of gain really is from my current set up.

sorry for sounding so confusing before... and yes you can get natural harmonics from the side of you thumb and pick. clasical guitar players use their forefinger and pick.

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no i am talking about pinch harmonics and so is derek.the same ones zakk wylde is so famous for along with randy rhoads and coutless others.and you do get them with the side of your thumb or your fingernails depending on how you hold the pick.i am no beginner i have been playing for 13 years seriously and i have no problem hitting pinch harmonics anywhere on the neck.i use my middle finger on my pick hand to get the a.h. you are speaking of .

fret the 7 fret on any string(works best on the higher strings)then use your middle finger on your right hand to lightly touch the same string over the 19th fret.that is another form of artificial harmonic.you can do it on other parts of the neck too.

zakk wylde likes to pinch his notes at the lower registers,between the 3rd and 7th fret,although he does it higher as well.

ithink you have your terms confused.

just to be clear.pinch harmonics are creatid with your picking hand while you are picking.artificial harmonicsare created with your fretting hand on open strings or a combination of both hands on fretted notes.

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here is a site with definitions of natural and artificial harmonics

pinch harmonics are different but similar to the definition given for artificial harmonics.the difference is that you are using your pick hand to create the harmonic.

what is confusing is the misinformation out there on the net.you pretty much have to stick with the dictionary type sites.

but anyway pinch harmonics are what zakk wylde and zz top use to create that squeal.

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i wasn't triing to make anyone upset, i was going by info passed on to me. i am a classicly trainend guitar player, no lessons except in theory and improv. the only metal i have learned is what i have taught myself. i am sorry for the misinformation. i know that natural and artificial harmonics are all over the neck. i am new to the whole pinch harmonics thing, a few years or so. i was under the impression that natural harmonics are at the 12th, 7th, 5th, 3rd and 0 (if applicable, classisal guitars have them sometimes, and i think some electrics too, correct me if i'm wrong). artificial harmonics are made from the picking hand but always 12 frets or an entire octive up from the fretted note. this is how i was taught, i wasn't implying that i have all of the right answers, and appologize for any confusion. :D

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no no no i am not upset i am trying to help.i'm sorry if it came out wrong.

the way you get that harmonic zakk gets...and this is hard to explain....take the note you want the squeel on(try the low e 2nd fret it is easy)and pick it,but hold your pick angled slightly towards the bottom of the guitar,and pick it hard,so that your thumb brushes the string after you just picked it.the trick is that you have to pick at certain spots to get the harmonic,and on different scale guitars it is a slightly different spot.start by picking above the poles of the bridge pickup and move towards the neck until you find the pitch you want.

and here is the other hard part.some notes when fretted have more than one "sweet spot" for the harmonics,and each one is a different pitch.that's why on tab when it shows a pinch harmonic,it shows a note above it (c for example)and that is the pitch you want with the harmonic.

and zakk uses them all

by the way the 7th/19 harmonic i was talking about in another post is also called a harp harmonic.anybody reading this,if they don't know about it,should try it.it is very easy and sounds way cool.if you have the gain and volume up u can hit the 7th fret,let it ring for a second,lightly touch the string above the 19th fret,and vibrate it slightly,and it will feed back to the sweetest bell like note you've ever heard,and it will continue infinately,as long as you vibrato it slightly.

by the way you were taught correctly,that is an artificial harmonic and you do get it with your picking hand.i use my middle finger to get it.i was just trying to explain that and the squeel at the same time.

and the emgs will make it easier to get those pinch harmonics,but you also need slightly high gain,and the more gain the better they come out.

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what do you want to know about metal?i have been seriously focused on metal for 13 years and i would love to share anything i know about it.i would love to see metal make a comeback and the best way to do that is to teach people so ....all you gotta do is ask.

if you have any specific questions about things like tapping,pinch harmonics,dive bombs and pulls,those hellacious noises slayer makes,anything.... just go to player's corner and start a topic.i will tell you everything i know and,while i don't know everything i am the person every local guitarist comes to when they have a queston.

if i don't know the answer maybe someone else does and then i would learn as well.

i think it would be great to have a topic for those sort of questions...i think players corner would be great.probably what it was intended for anyway.

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Where are you located Wes? It would be cool to try and do a video lesson type thing. I don't know how we would arrange it, but I have access to a digital video camera and am an editor at a tv station here in Phoenix, so I could shoot and edit it. Might not work, but thought I would suggest it.

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Where are you located Wes? It would be cool to try and do a video lesson type thing. I don't know how we would arrange it, but I have access to a digital video camera and am an editor at a tv station here in Phoenix, so I could shoot and edit it. Might not work, but thought I would suggest it.

oh i am in texas and i have a face made for radio.but all i am suggesting is nothing more than you could get from any storebought video on tecqniques.just for free and with input from everyone

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