EMG 81 - Black
EMG 81 - Black

81 - Black, Pastilla de Guitarra from EMG belonging to the 81 model.

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ibanez4life SZ! 09/04/2011

EMG 81 - Black : la opinión de ibanez4life SZ! (content in English)

"Tight, compressed, all out metal!"

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For years, EMG has been an instantly recognized name in heavier genres of music for their high output active pickups. And who doesn’t recognize the ‘blacked out’ look of their matte black covered pickups? Used by top acts such as Metallica, Slayer, Zakk Wylde, and MANY more modern bands, EMG has defined a sound of its own that some love, and others don’t.

The 81 a ceramic magnet humbucker usually found as the bridge pickup in EMG’s recommended sets. As with all EMG pickups, it features a quick connect interfacing of circuitry and pickup, so that pickups can be swapped easily. In an active design, pickups usually have weak magnets, and couple with a preamp (the ‘active’ part of the circuit) to boost and mold the signal. This is why EMG pickups are usually found set very close to the strings. The preamp is also why EMG’s tend to sound a bit more similar in different guitars than your average pickup.

In the bridge, the 81 is a very sharp, compressed, and percussive pickup. It offers a very quick and tight low end, which lends itself well for adding clarity to dropped tunings. The midrange is slightly scooped, and treble response is sharp. Harmonics fly off nearly every position of the fretboard with this pickup. Those looking for a constantly aggressive, tight, and quick sound tend to love the 81, though it quickly comes off as sterile when used in more mellow applications. The hot signal of the EMGs pushes an amplifier hard, so cleans can come off as harsh and even distorted. When using the 81, I like to couple it with the 18V mod, to add a little depth and undo some of the treble peak.

Oddly enough, I also find the 81 to be a GREAT neck pickup. It is much clearer than the usual 85 EMG recommends, and definitely produces a more ‘glassy’ sound. With the quick connect cables, it is easy to try this, and you might be pleasantly surprised!