Made in California Since 1976

  • Black
  • H Control Set
  • White
  • Ivory
  • Chrome
  • Gold
  • Black Chrome
  • Brushed Gold
  • Brushed Chrome
  • Brushed Black Chrome

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... >

/ In stock

From: $99.00

Options/

Playing:

More Videos

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.
Related PDFs
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

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

Customer Reviews

Items 1 to 10 of 17 total

per page
Page/
  1. 1
  2. 2

A Very Flexible Sounding Pickup

Michael /Reviewed 1/19/2016

I have a 1988 Gibson SG Showcase Edition, which is a reissue of the 1962 LP/SG. Except it has the EMG 81s rather than a Gibson humbucker. When I bought the guitar (I bought it used), I didn't know anything about EMG pickups and I figured that I could always replace them with a good set of Seymour Duncans. Until I plugged in the guitar and cranked the amp some. I was very impressed with the sound. Okay, I don't play "metal" or even hard rock of any sort. I'm more of a blues player and I like the crunchy sound I get from my modestly overdriven Marshall amp. This SG with these EMGs gives me a fantastic sound, with all the flavor and expression I could hope for. Setting the PU selector to the bridge pickup gives me a fantastic Clapton like sound that he got with his Les Paul played through a Marshall combo on the Blues Breakers "Beano" album. Set it to the neck pickup and I get a super fat, yet articulate sound that is just awesome. On the middle selection, I can get the same sound Clapton got on several cuts when he played his famous SG with Cream -- just a sweet, lyrical quality that I'd often struggled to dupllicate in the past. Bottom line, the EMG 81 is one flexible pickup. I can get most any humbucking sound out of it that I want, which is more than I can say for even my Les Paul (with stock pickups).

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

None more metal, only....

Mac /Reviewed 12/3/2015

There is a reason that the EMG 81/85 set is just as prevalent today as they were in 2004, 1994, and 1984. They work. They always sound great, I have never had one short out on me, they don't have any exposed pole pieces to rust, It doesn't take a team of scientists to calculate the height of adjustable poles to get the perfect string-to-string balance, and they are much more flexible and dynamic than haters will admit. I have guitars with passive pups, some older, some newer designs, hell I even have a favorite aftermarket model passive. It almost sounds as powerful as an 81. That particular setup (81/85) is, IMOP, the perfect pickup set for hard rock, hardcore, metal, and a few hundred other sub--genres I won't bother with. The one thing that most people wouldn't expect is that they CAN be used to get a more vintage, soulful '70s style solo sound too. I was tearing my fingers up while recording, trying to get part of a solo down with a very old-school, raw guitar sound. I was killing my fingers trying to get a smooth 22nd fret full-step bend using an SG for the bluesy, raw solo sound, my drummer asked why i didn't just use one of my usual guitars (my main axes are B.C.R. DLX JVs with EMGs) I tried to explain why it wouldn't sound right, then decided to show him the difference. Half an hour later with some amp adjusting and finding the right volume/output level on both pickups, I recorded a solo that no one would ever believe didn't come from an old PAF loaded Gibson. I have been playing around more and more since then and all of the dynamics haters say EMGs don't have, well I have found them.

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

Best of EMG

Kristian /Reviewed 8/11/2015

This was my first EMG, as I have always been a passive pickup guy. But finally got sick of soldering & decided to try out the 81 in my trusty superstrat. I can honestly say the EMG 81 gave me instant tone, straight out of the box, I could not believe it. Best of all, it took less than 15 minutes to install the puppy into place. Highly recommend this pup.

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

Best pickup for metal ever!

Nick /Reviewed 5/27/2015

I bot this pickup with an EMG 60, this pickup sounds excellent bridge or neck, great heavy sound, and serious distortion so you can shred up a storm. the only problem I had is that because I play a v the cable that went to the jack was way too small, but you can use your existing jack if you already have active pickups. In the end this pickup is trusted by many musicians and by me myself, I recommend this pickup to any; heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal, or black metal players out there. Thank you EMG!

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

Classic for a reason.

Benzo /Reviewed 5/13/2015

The best, most consistent sounding pickup I've ever used. I have may sets of 81's. Some from the 80's some new sets.They all sound excellent and have the distinctive EMG 81 sound and feel. Just hot enough to provide the right amount of overdrive and compression in the front end of a amp. Backed off they have an even bark that has a sweet fusion of clarity and compression. A very expressive sound that provides fluid legato and focused crunch that sits in the sweet spot in a mix. Been playing for over 20 years struggling with passives that are so inconsistent sounding from set tot set. Fads come and go in the pickup industry but the EMG 81 has proven it's here to stay.

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

very good!

Matteo Francesco /Reviewed 11/7/2014

good active pick up, but the 85 and 98 for me is more good!

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

11/6/2014

weizmann /Reviewed 11/5/2014

this pickups is great... EMG forever...

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

Monster!

Steven /Reviewed 11/5/2014

A breeze to install!
This is the original monster pick-up!
Got one in every guitar I own, mostly coupled with a 85.
Perfect silences aswell!

Love it!

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

Awesome Bridge Pickup

Magnavus /Reviewed 10/31/2014

I bought this along with another Pickup for my BC Rich, the 81 is at the bridge and it sounds amazing.

I use it for both Lead and Rhythm and I wouldn't have any other Pickup at the Bridge of my BC Rich now.

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LikeAdam2Flames /Reviewed 10/28/2014

My EMG 81 is amazing! I've been using EMG's since 2011, and I haven't looked back since. Every future guitar I own MUST have an 81 in the bridge! EMG FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quality
Price
Value
Ease of Install

Write a Review

Only registered users can write reviews. Please, log in or register