• ESPEngelke

    Upgrading to EMGs, quick question:

    So, I'm upgrading to EMGs from the stock ESP pickups.

    Are the EMG H4/H4A really that bad? Every demo of them I've heard they sound great, granted not EMG-81 great, but just about damn near the same, although there's that 50/50 split of people who love the H4's and say "yeah get em!" and the other half who are like "blah blah blah get active pickups."
    Although the batteries last for ever in pickups, I really just don't wanna deal with 'em, stupid I know but yeah.

    My tuning's are simply Standard E, Drop D, and Drop C. So to keep my rig set up simple I figured on just getting 3 sets of the same pickups to just yeah.. keep it simple and not have to have a different set up to get the same tone out of 3 different guitars.

    I'm sorry if this seems like "f-ing n00b!" ish but yeah I just wanted an opinion.
    I'm a broke bitch so basically 120$-ish for a set of pickups sounds better to me then $200 for a set.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Hateful comments? lol!

    • sirsloop

      I dont like EMG's...lol... Duncan JB/59 FTW! I've tried 81, 85, 60's... 9V, 18V... NBF!

      LOL, yeah im no help.

      Reply
      • Lucien

        I dont like EMG's...lol... Duncan JB/59 FTW! I've tried 81, 85, 60's... 9V, 18V... NBF!

        LOL, yeah im no help.

        Agreed. I find every guitar I used to switch to EMG's would get switched to something else a year after again.

        The HZ's are interesting. I don't think they're the worst, but as others have said, if you're not going active I'd probably go with SD's or DiMarzio's or something. If you're not sure what to do for passives, DiMarzio's Pickup Picker on their website is pretty cool. Then, if you don't want to go DiMarzio you could always find a similar pickup offered by another company or something.

    • Guitar God

      So, I'm upgrading to EMGs from the stock ESP pickups.

      Are the EMG H4/H4A really that bad? Every demo of them I've heard they sound great, granted not EMG-81 great, but just about damn near the same, although there's that 50/50 split of people who love the H4's and say "yeah get em!" and the other half who are like "blah blah blah get active pickups."
      Although the batteries last for ever in pickups, I really just don't wanna deal with 'em, stupid I know but yeah.

      My tuning's are simply Standard E, Drop D, and Drop C. So to keep my rig set up simple I figured on just getting 3 sets of the same pickups to just yeah.. keep it simple and not have to have a different set up to get the same tone out of 3 different guitars.

      I'm sorry if this seems like "f-ing n00b!" ish but yeah I just wanted an opinion.
      I'm a broke bitch so basically 120$-ish for a set of pickups sounds better to me then $200 for a set.

      Thoughts? Opinions? Hateful comments? lol!
      I love EMG's. And personally, I think the HZ's are alright. I used to have a Schecter Damien FR that had the H4/H4A combo, and they were good. I don't have that guitar anymore. Traded it to help my brother get a guitar he really wanted. All in all, the HZ's are alright pickups. Of course the actives are better, but they're still good pickups. But if you're gonna go passive, go with DiMarzio. Hope this helps.

      Reply
    • ESPEngelke

      Do you know if they keep the tone in different tuning's? (DropD-DropC?)
      But yeah thanks for the answer that did help a lot I think I'm gunna go ahead and save up for those.

      Reply
      • Guitar God

        Do you know if they keep the tone in different tuning's? (DropD-DropC?)
        But yeah thanks for the answer that did help a lot I think I'm gunna go ahead and save up for those.
        Yeah. Look at Alexi Laiho. He uses the HZ's - and has his signature HZ pickup - and he plays in D standard and drop C.

    • deus ex machina

      ^Schecters have 89R's as neck pickups. The R just means the single coil is in the opposite side compared to regular 89's.

      Anyway, on the debate about wether passive EMG's suck or not... I think everyone who says they suck is because they're wanting the passive EMG's to sound like the active ones. Passive EMG's don't sound like active EMG's. I have only tried the H1 and H4 from the passives.

      The H4 which is supposedly the "passive 81" only sounds like the 81 in the sense that it's got a tame, kinda rolled-off low end. The H4 is MUCH lower output than the 81, and hence, it's not nearly as saturated, agressive, and cutting-sounding. It hasn't got a particularly good clean tone either since it's kinda dry-sounding.

      The H1 I remember actually liking as a neck pickup, but it's been a while since I've tried one, TBH.

      In other words, EMG HZ's aren't TERRIBLE pickups in the sense that they're not particularly noisy or too muddy-sounding, but if you're wanting the tone from actives, they're not going to sound like that. If you want passives, I can say you'd probably be more pleased with pickups from Duncan or DiMarzio.

      JMO.

      Ohh, and Alexi Laiho hasn't got a "signature pickup", just a signature set which includes just a plain old H2 and a custom boost knob, AFAIK.

      Reply
      • Guitar God

        ^Schecters have 89R's as neck pickups. The R just means the single coil is in the opposite side compared to regular 89's.



        Anyway, on the debate about wether passive EMG's suck or not... I think everyone who says they suck is because they're wanting the passive EMG's to sound like the active ones. Passive EMG's don't sound like active EMG's. I have only tried the H1 and H4 from the passives.

        The H4 which is supposedly the "passive 81" only sounds like the 81 in the sense that it's got a tame, kinda rolled-off low end. The H4 is MUCH lower output than the 81, and hence, it's not nearly as saturated, agressive, and cutting-sounding. It hasn't got a particularly good clean tone either since it's kinda dry-sounding.

        The H1 I remember actually liking as a neck pickup, but it's been a while since I've tried one, TBH.

        In other words, EMG HZ's aren't TERRIBLE pickups in the sense that they're not particularly noisy or too muddy-sounding, but if you're wanting the tone from actives, they're not going to sound like that. If you want passives, I can say you'd probably be more pleased with pickups from Duncan or DiMarzio.

        JMO.





        Ohh, and Alexi Laiho hasn't got a "signature pickup", just a signature set which includes just a plain old H2 and a custom boost knob, AFAIK.
        OK. But, dude, you're wrong about the Hellraiser having an 89R. It just says "81TW/89" on their site and MF. I'm sure if it had the 89R it would say "89R", instead of "89". Not trying to start anything. And I may be wrong, but are you sure it's just a regular H2 with a gain boost? Because EMG's site says it's a newly designed EMG HZ pickup. And, also, I'm a huge EMG fan, but I agree with you that DiMarzio's are sick as hell. I like the HZ's, too, don't get me wrong, but I have to say if you're gonna go passive, go DiMarzio. Not a big fan of Duncan's, though.

    • ESPEngelke

      word, its all good.
      does anyone know then how and EMG HZ vs. EMG JH?

      Reply
    • deus ex machina

      The JH set's like twice as much as the HZ set, no? :lol

      The JH's probably MUCH higher-output.

      Also, gotta say: After trying the 81, 85, 60, and 81TW in both positions of my guitar, my favorite combo was 81TW in the bridge, 60 in the neck.

      Even if I don't use the single coil mode from the 81TW much, I like it's humbucker mode a bit better than the regular 81. :)

      The 85 in the bridge is also nice, but I never found a pickup that matched it well in the neck. Maybe a 60A would've been nice there.

      Reply
    • ESPEngelke

      Dimarzio, they sound the heaviest?

      Reply
    • Guitar God

      I have a Tone Zone in the bridge of my RG 350EX and it is a great pickup. I highly recommend it. It's one of my favorrite pickups. Depends on what you're looking for. DiMarzio makes the best passive pickups, in my opinion. Since you mentioned the EMG HZ's, if you decide against 'em, look at the DiMarzio D-Activators.

      Reply
    • ESPEngelke

      lol word! im just looking for that "EMG" sound aka rammstein, metallica, etc.. just idk why im such a lil bitch about batteries but yeah! hahaha

      Reply
    • andrei

      if you don't want to go active (stupid reason anyway), go passive, but stick to the major brands (Duncans, etc.).

      a good pickup can make a big difference if you have a poor rig (amp/effects).
      just as a good rig can get you a decent sound even from mediocre pickups.
      so what's it gonna be?

      i don't consider the HZ's to be worth upgrading to.
      (if you're stuck with a pair, it's another story, but not to go out and buy them)
      but now we get into all that personal prefference thing...

      my advice is to stick with top brands.
      if you don't have the cache, change them only on one guitar...
      or replace the bridge pickup...
      (use this to try out more models (f.e. Invader, JB, Dime... ))

      that is what i did with a cheap guitar that i took for firewood: replaced the bridge pickup and after a year (i was pleased with the result) i found it worthy to also replace the neck.
      i still use it for rehearsal/backup. (i went Invader/59)

      Reply
    • Velt017

      Just by the KK or the ZW set and get it over with. With quick connects you can put those bitches in yourself.

      However, I would reccommend just buying a new guitar. Any ESP that comes with those ESP pickups probably isn't worth upgrading anyway. Trade it towards something decent.

      Reply


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