EMG 81 Black

Active Humbucker for Electric Guitar

  • Strong ceramic magnets and close aperture coils create a sound with detailed intensity, incredible amounts of high end cut, and fluid sustain
  • Ideal for high gain applications due to its very low susceptibility to feedback
  • Position: Bridge
  • Output: High
  • String spacing: Universal
  • Connectors: Solderless
  • Magnet: Ceramic
  • Width: 70 mm
  • Height: 38 mm
  • Installation depth: 23 mm
  • Mounting screw spacing: 78 mm
  • Cap colour: Black
  • Made in USA

Includes EMG's solderless installation system:

  • 25k Tone pot
  • 25k Volume pot
  • Battery bus
  • Stereo output jack
  • In/Out bus for two pickups
  • Mounting screws and springs
  • Audio cable
  • 2 Connection cables
  • Output cable
  • Battery cable

Further Information

Active Yes
Wiring Completely Wired
Output High
Kappe Yes
Colour Black
Position Bridge
465 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.8 /5
  • sound
  • quality
Total
sound
quality
Metal Standard
Richard936, 09.09.2013
What can you say about the EMG 81 that hasn't been written before, in truth not much. The EMG 81 is the standard metal pick up that all other metal pick ups are measured against and in all fairness they fail to match up the 81.

While the cleans are not the best, the distorted tone is fantastic for all types of metal. Ive used the EMG 81 in various guitars, Jackson's, PRS SE's and Ibanez and I have never failed to get a killer tone out of them.

My current Amp is a H&K Tubemeister 18 Head and with a EMG 81 equipped guitar I can get a real great crunch tone with no hum, which is the bonus of an internal pre amp in the 81.

There is a reason the 81 is on some of the classic metal albums of all time and the user list for the 81 is so long, this pick up slays end of story.

The quick connect system is a really good system but make sure you have space in your control cavities for the 9v Battery. You may find that abit of drilling may be required to get the thick cable down to the new jack socket, I've only found this on Ibanez guitars so far.

The quick connect system is also usable for SD Blackouts, so if your are someone who likes swapping pups there is another reason to get an 81.

Pairs well with an 85 or the 60 in the neck position.
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Total
sound
quality
Classic Metal Tone
23.11.2015
Little more to say than if you are looking for the sound of Metallica, Zakk Wylde, Jim Root (Slipknot), etc., or looking to upgrade your pickups for rock or metal actives then this is most likely where you will start. I bought this for a Hetfield 'Rusty' tribute that I wanted to do with one of my Gibson Explorers.

Plenty of reviews and sound tests online and on YouTube. People will debate the benefits of active and passive, compression with EMG's. For me, they deliver the tone that I want for certain types of guitars while trying to replicate certain bands/artist tones. You really just have to try them to see if you like them.

One thing that no one else seems to have mentioned is while they are traditionally used in the bridge, I have had also had an 81/81 combination in a Epi LP Midnight Custom and found it to be just fine.

Note that I, in my own personal opinion, have found that the 81 responds better to Gibson/Orville/Epiphone Custom models as opposed to Standard models. Tone is generally 'darker' and helps with the 81 being somewhat brighter or having a greater treble response. Again, my own personal preference, and this can always be adjusted with EQ on the amp, or indeed your tone knob.

There is an excellent video demo from EMG for the installation if you are worried about the wiring diagrams. The quick connect system is very straight forward so do not be too nervous if you have never done this before. I do recommend that you experiment with voltage variations - Google 18V modification.

Price, customer service and shipping from Thomann was excellent as always.
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EMG 81 pickup review
rammstein, 11.02.2014
EMG pickups are the best pickups I have ever used, the EMG 85 always picks up the best tone out of your guitar, also it is the clearest pickup I have ever used I have put this pickup through the dirtiest channel possible and it still retains all of the clarity of when you put it through a clean channel, I don't think i will ever use any other brand of pickup in my life the EMG 81 and EMG 85 are the best pickups for putting through a dirty channel in my opinion, to anyone who is thinking about buying this pickup GET IT!!! i would buy a hundred more if i had the money.
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The Original Metal Pickup!!!
Philip669, 16.08.2013
What can be said about the EMG 81 that already has not been said?
Well its the industry standard for that searing metal tone, Bands like slayer, In flames, even judas priest now use EMG's.
I've used EMG's for over 25 years mainly in metal guitars for extreme music, but i bought this 81 to go in my Jackson Bengal which will be only used for old 80's hair metal & hard rock, well without a doubt it can nail that sound easy, its now looking that the old 81 is more of an all rounder than many people initially thought, Most think EMG are a one trick pony only for extreme metal.
I must praise the Guys at EMG for coming up with the solderless design.
It makes changing pickups a pleasure rather than a chore, Most people cannot solder very well so the solderless range is ideal for the beginner or if you just want to save money on getting a repair shop to fit the pickups, I am going to try the 18 Volt mod on my guitar to check out the headroom it gives these pickups.
I for one will always use EMG's i love them & they do exactly what it says on the tin METAL!!!!
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Show variations of this product
EMG 81 Black
(465)
EMG 81 Black

Active Humbucker for Electric Guitar Strong ceramic magnets and close aperture coils create a sound with detailed intensity, incredible amounts of high end cut, and fluid sustain, Ideal for high...

  • Active: Yes
  • Wiring: Completely Wired
  • Output: High
  • Kappe: Yes
  • Colour: Black
  • Position: Bridge
EMG 81X Black
(56)
EMG 81X Black

Active Pickup for Electric Guitar Can be used in neck and bridge, High output humbucker with long sustain, Ceramic magnets, Newly developed preamp with open and dynamic sound concept, Colour:...

  • Active: Yes
  • Wiring: 2 Conductor
  • Output: High
  • Kappe: No
  • Colour: Black
  • Position: Bridge, Neck
EMG 81 Chrome
(23)
EMG 81 Chrome

Active Pickup The EMG-81 is a pickup with a strong output. It is best suited for high volumes and amps with a master volume control. If the amp is overdriven properly, the pickup produces attacks...

  • Active: Yes
  • Wiring: 2 Conductor
  • Output: High
  • Kappe: Yes
  • Colour: Chrome
  • Position: Bridge, Neck
EMG 81TW Black
(26)
EMG 81TW Black

Pickup for Electric Guitar Active hybrid of a humbucker and a single coil, Ceramic and steel magnets, Position: bridge, Humbucker-esque crunch and attack, similar to the EMG 81 but with additional...

  • Active: Yes
  • Output: Medium
  • Kappe: Yes
  • Colour: Black
  • Position: Bridge
EMG 81 White
(41)
EMG 81 White

Active Pickup for Electric Guitar Humbucker, For the bridge position, The sound of Metallica, Strong trebles with a lot of sustain allow the guitar to cut through even the densest mix, Colour:...

  • Active: Yes
  • Wiring: 3-Conductor
  • Output: High
  • Kappe: Yes
  • Colour: White
  • Position: Bridge
EMG 81TW-X Black
(13)
EMG 81TW-X Black
to the product
121 €

Active Pickup for Electric Guitars Dual mode humbucker - EMG81X & single coil in one housing, For neck and bridge, Newly developed preamp with open and dynamic sound concept, Colour: Black, Incl....

  • Active: Yes
  • Wiring: Completely Wired
  • Output: High
  • Kappe: No
  • Colour: Black
  • Position: Bridge, Neck
EMG 58 Black
EMG 58 Black

Pickup for Electric Guitar Active humbucker, Suitable for all positions, High-output, Classic fat, round sound with a lot of output, similar to a P-90, Connections: Solderless, Magnet material:...

  • Active: Yes
  • Wiring: Completely Wired
  • Output: High
  • Kappe: Yes
  • Colour: Black
  • Position: Bridge
85 €
Including VAT; Excluding 20 € shipping
In stock within about one week
In stock within about one week

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