EMG 81X - Black
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EMG 81X - Black

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

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Hatsubai 12/04/2011

EMG 81X - Black : la opinión de Hatsubai (content in English)

"More open EMG 81"
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EMG released a newly revised preamp for all of their models in 2009. This revised internal preamp is what is used in the X series. The 81X still features the same basic tonality as the original 81, but thanks to the newly revised preamp, it is much more open and less compressed than before.

Recently, people on forums have been experimenting with running pickups at 18V to get more headroom out of their pickups. This helps them sound more organic and less linear and compressed. The newly revised X series preamp basically takes the concept of running at 18 volts to a new level.

The EMG 81X still sounds very much like the original EMG 81. It has that aggressive and clear bite to it that cuts through any mix. It’s extremely tight and precise, but this time around, it’s less compressed and more open. During more complex chords, it seems to be less “digital” and more organic sounding. Single notes lose that heavy compression, but you gain that more passive feel when playing. Basically, the preamp isn’t clipping as much as it used to before.

The EMG 81X works in any wood you throw at it, but I find that EMGs typically sound best when they’re in mahogany. Some people argue about EMGs having a signature tone that takes over the guitar, and this is true to an extent, but wood still plays a very important factor. I’m not a huge fan of EMGs in basswood, but they can work with the correct EQ.

If you ever wished your EMG 81 sounded more open and more like a passive pickup, check out the EMG 81X. The EMG 81 is still my favorite pickup, but the 81X is great for those who used to run their 81 at 18 volts. If you find that the 81 is too bright, check out the 85 or 85X instead.