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EMG's in my 09 LP Standard?

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My 80's Silverburst LP came with stock EMG 85 pickups and I've always had great results with them. They didn't only sound great for metal, but they sounded great for classic rock and hardrock too...They had all the 'edge', 'bite' and 'cut' to be heard through the mix, combined with that thick Les Paul tone. To be honest, I loved the EMG 85's. Despite the fact that they're active pickups, they didn't sound that 'active' or overly hot at all...still classic (not mid scooped).


I just got tired of the old black EMG looks. Now I use passive humbuckers (medium hot) and the guitar still sounds the same (thick, warm, rich, bassy, ballsy), but with less compression and more articulate cleans...just in a passive jacket.


It also depends on the guitar; no matter what pickups you'll throw in it, it will always keep its naturel character (if it doesn't, then it probably won't sound naturel). You can't turn a dark sounding guitar into a bright sounding guitar or a bright sounding guitar into a dark sounding guitar. 'Thickness', 'darkness', 'brightness' etc. are all in the wood/guitar.


If you love the EMG tone, then go for it.

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I blame much the bad rep that actives get on the fact that the market has been flooded with cheap actives for the last 20 years or so.


It seems every no name guitar had them for a while, and most of them lived up to their price in tone. The better actives have suffered in their popularity from the perception that people got from the cheapos. The funny thing about that is, that there have always been crappy passive pickups around, and it never seemed to affect the perception people had of passives. Everyone just knew the difference, and didn't label all passives as crap.


So don't let your misled perceptions guide you. Get out to the shops and try out a few good guitars with some good active pickups, and I am sure you will be impressed by their tone and versatility.


BTW, well made active pickups are built to higher standards than passives, but work almost exactly the same. The main difference is that they are designed to be preamped, which allows you to shape the tone to a finer degree. Most can also be used as passives. Just take the battery out of the circuit, and you've got a passive setup. The only loss is the cut and boost function that the preamp delivers.


Another plus for the active EMGs, is that most are built on the blade design, which does away with the poles and the need to match their spacing. As an added bonus, you never get volume/tone loss when bending a string.

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