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Have EMG pickups "improved" in the past 25 years? (66/57tw opinions?)

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  • Have EMG pickups "improved" in the past 25 years? (66/57tw opinions?)

    When I first started playing, I was into EMGs. Then I realized they sounded "empty" and started using passives. Also, I left the guitar plugged in too many times that it was not worth it to have to replace the batteries.

    Are the newer breed of EMGs passive-like in tone and performance, or are they like the old EMG 81 /85 that sound fundamentally different than passives?

    The reason I ask is that I have my eye on this guitar that comes with EMG set.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-natural-burst


  • #2
    Based on the videos I could find, the 57 has a bit less cut in the high/high-mid range, which to me sounds more pleasing on an isolated/soloed track (which is rarely the case). But the pickups wouldn't stop me from buying a guitar that I otherwise totally like!

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    • #3
      I still tend to accidentally leave my active axes plugged in. That's a gorgeous guitar. And of course, (as you know), you can always swap out and sell, the current pups if you don't like them. Let us know if you snag it.

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      • #4
        There are a lot of head to head shootouts of the new EMGs vs older EMGs on youtube.

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        • #5
          I have a set of EMG Retroactives in my SG and they sound as good or better than a lot of the passives I've had over the years.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dweebrocker2.0 View Post
            I have a set of EMG Retroactives in my SG and they sound as good or better than a lot of the passives I've had over the years.
            Which ones?
            Oh no.....


            Oh Yeah!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PFDarkside View Post

              Which ones?
              The FAT 50s set. I'm very happy. And the solderless install is super nice.

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              • #8
                I posted a thread not too long ago where someone pointed out the design of the EMG preamp has indeed changed in the last couple of years.

                So, IME, even a current EMG 81 doesn't sound like an EMG 81 from a few years ago.

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                • #9
                  I'm not an LTD fan nor an EMG fan, but that guitar is gorgeous. Except for the horrid pointy! Plus, it seems to be out of place on that body shape.
                  Originally Posted by IanBallard
                  Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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