EMGs for Clean Tone

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Octorfunk, May 9, 2021.

  1. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Holic

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    Obviously EMGs are well-regarded for their great heavy tones, but I just wanted to point out how much I love them for clean tones as well.

    I get some of the most full, punchy, powerful clean guitar out of my active EMGs (81 & 89). Most recently I've been playing them through my Boss Katana 50's clean setting, gain around 1/2. The EMGs clean up so well, but also can drive the crap out of it when dimed.

    I'm by no means the first person to point this out, just wanted to see if anyone else has been appreciating this from their EMGs lately. Thanks!
     
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  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I like em’!
    I play clean most of the time.
    They can sound a bit “hi-fi”, at times.
    I love em’ in Strats and bass guitars.
    I am seriously considering the David Gilmour set with the pre-amp for my Warmoth hardtail Strat.
    They’re easy to install, too.
     
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  3. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    Had 81/89R in a Schecter and could get superb cleans when the 89R was "split." Really nice SRV tone when overdriven as well.
     
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  4. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a set of their passive humbuckers on my parts build and they do clean up nicely.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Cosmic Cowboy

    Cosmic Cowboy Tele-Holic

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    There was a time (early to mid eighties) when all the country players seemed to be using EMGs straight into the console for the cleanest of tones.
     
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  6. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Holic

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    Interesting! I plugged mine into the power-amp-in of my Katana 50 and it sounds pretty good to my ears.
     
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  7. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    Not my pickups of choice, but the X series especially have my respect.
     
  8. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    The original EMGs had a mid hump for some reason, it's was a deliberate feature of their circuit, not a limitation of technology or anything like that. The new X series has a response that is flat as a board and a longer battery life. I assume that along with removing the mid bump, the overall gain was reduced, too. The X series can sound thin compared to the originals, but if you pair it with the SPC mid boost, it will put that mid bump back in via a control, and then some, and that lends a versatility that's truly vast, where the flattest setting is sparkly and single coil sounding, and having the SPC all the way up gives a thick humbucker-like response. Because the mid boost is broad and round, where as a passive pickup has a resonant knee, even with the mid boost active, they never sound dark or shrill, as hot passive humbuckers often do. All the while they're dead quiet, quieter than a passive humbucker.

    With the new USB chargeable 9 volt batteries you can get, the idea of having to deal with the batteries is not the hassle it used to be, in that you don't have to buy batteries and worry about them leaking acid if you don't swap it out soon enough. One my Strat I even set it up so that I can plug in the USB without even having to remove the battery from the guitar at all. As you can tell I'm a big fan.
     
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  9. TeleCarlos

    TeleCarlos Tele-Meister

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    I am a bit torn

    I want an EMG Tele set. Keep getting recommended to also get the SPC control. I also want to be able to use the tone control. I don't want three knobs on my Tele.

    I don't know where to compromise!
     
  10. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    The SPC fattens up the mids, like a humbucker. It's nothing that can't be done with an EQ pedal. If you're in it for the cleans, you don't really need it.

    The nice thing about the EMG standard tone knob is that it's doesn't mud up as fast as a regular passive tone control. A passive pickup has a resonant peak, and the tone control knocks it way down in the first quarter of the turn, where as an EMG tone control is very linear-like from top to bottom. it's a lot easier to get a clean tone that is mellow and also clear.
     
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  11. hamerfan

    hamerfan Tele-Meister

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    I don‘t think they were specially well regarded for heavy or clean. For me in the Eighties they were the only chance to play live with a strat with a big pedal board, nearly full blown Marshall and all the stage lights on.
    BTW do some you old beaters remember how hot that was under full stage light. Wheww…
     
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