EMG 85 guys help please

ok i have always preferred the emg 60 for the neck but a guitar im going to be picking up comes with an 85 ive been considering leaving it in there. does anyone have clips of the 85 clean and thick solo stuff ie fade to black. thanks

They have similar tones IMO. The 85 is hotter and will break up a little better if you're looking for a bluesy neck sound. Both are very clean and articulate and really not different enough IMO to warrant changing one out for a 60


I actually debating between the two as well....leaning toasted the 85 but the guitar it's in sounds better so not sure till I pull it out and swap...can't help with clips though my recorded tone usually doesn't translate very well...

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why don't you just listen to it after you pick it up and decide if YOU like it?


Every axe is different. The 85 is really the only emg I care for bridge or neck

deus ex machina

85's definitly a bit bassier and darker than the 60.

Just my two cents: I've never gotten the 85 in the neck to work for me, personally. With an 81 in the bridge and an 85 in the neck, the difference between both pickup positions seems to get way too exaggerated. A bright pickup in a bright-sounding position and a dark pickup in a dark-sounding position kinda makes it hard to dial in a setting that works for those kinda leads where you're switching between pickup positions. Maybe that's just me.

Nitro's clips are indeed great, tho.

Dual 85's may balance out well in a bright-sounding guitar. I do like the 85 in the bridge position of some guitars. I even had it in mine for a while. :)


85's may balance out well in a bright-sounding guitar.

along these lines i have a real bright guitar with a 60 in the neck that ill swap with the 85 if i find it too dark in the new guitar

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deus ex machina

Mehhh... 81TW/60 is where it's at. :p

EMG needs to come up with a 60TW already! D:


The 85 is a high out put alnico magnet. That sound great in the neck IMO.
It's a lot louder then the 60 (that is a ceramic magnet) And has more low-end.
if you have an 81 in the bridge? You'll notice a big increase in vol switching between
positions. W/ an 85/81 as apposed to a 60/81.
But consider the wood your guitar is made of too. A maple cap has a naturally deeper
tone then a solid mahogany. And it's been my experience. That an 85 is "too" much
for a bridge position on maple cap. But can really pump up a solid mahogany.
but either way, it (85) always sounds great in the neck.

I have a simple chart I follow: *bridge/neck*

Solid mahogany: tuned E - D 85/81, tuned C or lower 81/60 or 60/60
maple caped: tuned E - D 81/85 or 81/81, tuned C or lower 81/60

I stick to this, and it works out well for me every time.

Bas D.

When I bought my guitar, it had an 85 in the neck. I also thought I'd replace it probably with a 60.

I didnt.

I really liked what the 85 gave me, so didn't even bother about changing it out for a 60:)

So I would try the 85 first, and then after some playing decide whether change it or leave it in!:)


I wouldn't either. The 85 really is a nice pup.


Well i ended up going a totally different direction with new guitar and its getting a jh set. Ill let everyone know if i like them


Well i ended up going a totally different direction with new guitar and its getting a jh set. Ill let everyone know if i like them

Please do. I hear good things about tone & bad things about the finish.
I'm curious if they worked the bugs out?
I got the chrome ones when they first came out. And the "EMG" logo
wore off in less then a week. Didn't really bother me. But I've heard
similar stuff about the JH set.

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