Made in California Since 1976

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  • H Control Set

81

One of the most popular EMG’s, the 81 is the one that started a revolution. Utilizing powerful ceramic magnets and close aperture coils, the tone was designed with detailed... >

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One of the most popular EMG’s, the 81 is the one that started a revolution. Utilizing powerful ceramic magnets and close aperture coils, the tone was designed with detailed intensity, incredible amounts of high end cut, and fluid sustain. Traditionally used in the bridge position of your guitar, this humbucking pickup will make your leads slice right through even the densest mix. When used in both neck and bridge positions the sound can only be described as blistering. Other recommended pairings include the classic 81/85 setup and the versatile 81/60 combo. EMG's solderless installation makes swapping your guitar pickups easier than ever.
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In the Box

Package Includes EMG's exclusive Solderless Install System:

1 25k volume pot
1 25k tone pot
1 battery bus
1 stereo output jack
1 two pickup in/out bus
1 pair mounting screws and springs
1 pickup cable
2 connect cables
1 output cable
1 battery cable

81

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Customer Reviews

Items 1 to 10 of 29 total

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Consistent

Hetrickaj /Reviewed 6/28/2019

I've been playing with EMG pickups for over 10 years, and the main thing i can say is that they're consistent and pack alot of punch.

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EMG reinvented the wheel with 81!

RR /Reviewed 3/24/2019

I’ve loved the EMG 81 since hearing it 1988 with Zakk Wylde on Ozzy’s “No Rest For The Wicked” album. That to me was the most definitive 80’s Metal tone to this day 2019.
The 81 clean has jangle chime like a Lipstick Tube pickup in a Class-A amp like Vox or Matchless.
I love its sharp compressed attack and tight bottom.
It cuts for lead guitar like nothing out there.
EMG rewrote late 80’s Metal and Rock with the 81. I still maintain Rob Turner and EMG reinvented the wheel in pickups with active nirvana.
The 81 with the H paired is sonic bliss like a Magnum Opus of Shredemption!
Nuff’ said. EMG Rocks!

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Very expressive

Dave# (Beloved Alice) /Reviewed 2/12/2019

I had read that the EMGs were clinical sounding. Those music may types don't help with poor reviews. I'm now in a band and found a very sturdy ESP LTD MH400 (81+85) to gig with alongside my 2001 Ibanez RG450AH. I have only had this ESP for one day and I am now looking to explore EMGs in the RG next. They sound so open and warm. They let the guitar sing and I find the cleans are really smooth without the problem spikyness of the passive pups. I agree with a lot of players that its how the guitarist uses the gear. The gear doesn't have a particular sound but it has a great voice to sing through. I've played all the big brands and I am not going back now. EMG don't just make pickups, they make a who's system to live with and explore. Totally fab! Going to try an 85 and 58 combo in the RG.

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A metal reference and that's not for nothing

Francis Ash /Reviewed 11/2/2018

When I first heard the sound of this pickup on a LTD EC 1000 in a music shop, I just thought I had never heard such a sound on any DiMarzio or Seymour Duncan before. Being a fan of the big 4, I realized I needed this thing at home.
Now, I've got it. Awesome power and never dirty, this pickup is pure energy and agressivity on high gain. Plugged on a heavy guitar, it keeps brightness and loudness with tight basses for great rhythms. You're gonna love palm-muting. On lead parts, with loads of mediums, it's gonna screan and pierce through the mix so easily.
Some would say it's too bright, too agressive. If you play on hi-gain, well, it really depends upon the guitar, the amp and the way you set up your EQ. But for clean sound, for me, it's really too bright, especially when the EMG 81 is on bridge position. In neck position, it will just miss basses for me, but that's my taste.
Anyway I love it in bridge position on every guitar I've tried it. A must have for metal !

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EMG 81/85

Andy /Reviewed 7/2/2018

My wife got me a Schecter C1 Platinum with the EMG 81/85 pickups preinstalled.. The tone and sustain is just amazing!

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My favorite pup

Emg 91 /Reviewed 6/16/2018

I love the EMG 81. It has great sound dynamics. Perfect low end, great mods, and sweet highs. I use it for heavy metal and it is piece to and raw. I mostly play in D tuning and thw sound is unGodly heavy. I have read so many reviews where people say they sound sterile and bland. I am just like WTF pickup are you really listening to. Because these are hands down my most favorite pickup. For me, nothing compares!

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Best of the best

Zach /Reviewed 3/8/2018

Such a classic pickup. Can really be used for any style of music. I've been using it in my bride position of all my guitars for about 5 years now. I've tried a few other EMG pickups/brands and keep coming back to this one. Absolutely my favorite.

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Great Upgrade

Infamous Doug Taylor /Reviewed 9/27/2017

I bought this pickup along 85 with chrome covers and they sound amazing
,look amazing, and installed so easy and made my epiphone lespaul custom pro silverburst sound incredible. The Folks at Emg were helpful in answering all my question. I am now innthe process of upgrading my second epiphone les paul traditional pro 2 with a emg 81 and 60. Adding Emg pickups to a guitar is like adding a supercharger to a car making a great guitar even greater Thanks to Allison for always being helpful and i would recomend any EMG PICKUPS to any player of any genre they have a pickup for you!

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Great sound

Iggy Sarraff /Reviewed 8/2/2017

I been using EMG since mid 90's. My experience with the 81 has been a guitar pickup that finally has some serious "Cojones" love their sound and sustain.

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my favourite pickup

Oddgeir /Reviewed 6/15/2017

just a great (the greatest) pickup, and it wrecks in the bridge

it is raw and searing, but not harsh in any way

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