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  • Rob Parry

EMG 85/60 Pickups Demo

My trusty Ibanez has had many pickups in it, acting as a test bed for sets that have gone on to be used elsewhere, including Bare Knuckles, DiMarzios, and Seymour Duncans. However, I keep coming back to this EMG set, 85 in the bridge, and the 60 in the neck.

The 85 was one of the first active pickups EMG made, designed as a supercharged Gibson PAF that made zero noise/feedback. It has alnico V magnets that provide a mid range hump and a massive bass response. It was made as a bridge pickup, but is now being marketed as a neck pickup (mainly due to Zakk Wylde), however I believe it to be much better in the bridge as it has more character than something like the 81 plus the previously mentioned thunderous bass.

The 60 is clear and open, somewhere in between a single coil and a humbucker in tone, but not in power, it's still got plenty of that from its ceramic magnets. It has wonderful cleans and a great singing lead tone.

I run the 18V mod (two batteries in series), this removes much of the natural compression prevalent with EMG pickups and really opens them up. I'd recommend this to anyone with active pickups.

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