I was looking for a crispy djent tone (Meshuggah-like) for my Hellraiser Special C8, which comes originally equipped with a standard 808. I had tried all 3 possible voltages (9v/18v/24v) as by specs EMG confirms they can take up to 27v.
(N.B. If you are using wireless EMG components, DO NOT go above 18v with power. I have reached out to EMG and they have confirmed that pots and any other parts from EMG won't go above 18v, so you will break them if you go past that).
Sadly the 808 performed 3% better (just to give you an idea) with the 18v mod, and 5% better with the 24v mod, so I decided to try the 808x.
Installation is super-easy, which is what I love from EMGs, and the 808x did sound more "open" and aggressive than the standard 808, but not that much more honestly. If you are expecting it to make you go "Woah this is totally different and better", I am sorry to disappoint you, it won't do that. It's more in the lines of "Meh...okay it does sound better but not THAT much better".
Then of course I have proceeded to test with higher voltages (always within specs, which won't damage the pickup), from 9 to 18, from 18 to 24.
Unlike other models (707 for example), the 808x seems to perform better with just the standard 9v power.
As with other models, on the standard 6 strings, it will get tighter and punchier, and incredibly pleasant, but on the very low end (A# and F) it still pretty muddy/chunky, and the higher you go with voltage, the worst your low F seems to get, at least with this combination of pickup/woods (my C8 has a mahogany body).
On a positive note, if what you are looking for is this Metallica/Megadeth late 80's trashy tone, these type of pickups are great, that is EXACTLY what they do best. If on the other hand you are looking for a more organic and articulated feel, I am afraid the 808/808x are not what you wanna go with.
I think the biggest problem is that these pups have Alnico magnets rather than ceramico, and that it possibly why they sound the way they do.
So, within 24 hours, having thoroughly tested the pickup, I have arranged the return and I have already purchased the Fishman Fluence Tosin Abasi 8 set.
The Abasi had a ceramic at the bridge and an alnico at the neck, so hopefully this will solve my problem.