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85

The 85 is one of EMGs first pickups and is the slightly more sophisticated and well rounded half of its famous brother, the 81. Featuring close aperture coils loaded with Alnico... >

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The 85 is one of EMGs first pickups and is the slightly more sophisticated and well rounded half of its famous brother, the 81. Featuring close aperture coils loaded with Alnico V magnets, the 85 is a powerful guitar pickup with exceptional tone and versatility. The Alnico magnets of this model provide a muscular growl and smooth lead tones enabling you to play everything from the blues to the most extreme metal. Although often used in the neck position, make no mistake, the EMG 85 sounds great as a bridge humbucker thanks to its exceptional smoothness and soul. This pickup pairs well with just about every other humbucker in our line and using our solderless system, it makes changing your tone 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

85

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Customer Reviews

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A true classic, great in the bridge position

Jason /Reviewed 3/27/2017

My Schecter C-1 Platinum came with the 81/85 set pre-installed, and sounded great right out of the box. In the neck position, the 85 is sweet and warm, and I may replace my 81 with another 85 down the road.

I decided to switch the positions of my 81 and 85, so the 81 is in the neck, and the 85 in the bridge. This fattened up the sound and gave me more of the chug I like in a bridge pickup with high gain.

A lot of people hate these things and claim they sound "too compressed". To that I say "Lower the height!!!" Not a lot of people realize that, because these pickups have more output, that you don't have to have them as close to the strings as you would with a normal passive pickup. I was able to lower my pickups so that they didn't drive the amp as hard, and it gave me a lot more headroom while retaining clarity and note definition, even on high gain settings. I brought my bridge pickup back up a hair only because I like they way it drives that little bit harder.

Overall, this is a true classic and a staple the EMG range. I hope they keep making these for generations.

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Simply the best!

Alex /Reviewed 9/26/2016

First off let me say, I'm not a metal head but play varied style fingerstyle, jazz ,fusion ,funk, classic rock. The idea that Emg are only for one style is completely silly, also the idea they sound the same in every guitar complete bs. I've used them in various guitars solid or semi hollow, each different sounding. The Emgs however do give me a clear, Consistent, full tone in whatever they're in.

Anyway I've come back to the 85 after a long time trying out different boutique passive pickups, and supposedly better active pickups. I'll comment on the other actives; SD blackout pickup claims to be the next step; louder, quieter,more tone etc. They're Loud and that's it, tons of fuzzy midrange, it's just a wall of sound or noise. They lack the versatility and nuance the "old" emg design.

Then there's the newest entry the Fishman fluence designs I've played the Classic and Modern set. I thought at first these where ok, but the overall character of the pickup is "crispy" or very glassy, annoyinngly so. They offer a way to reduce the high frequency, I found it killed the dynamics and darken a little too much.

Eventually I made it back to the old "out dated" 85 in the bridge/neck. My guitar speaks far better, it sings or growls. It has the right frequencies and not excessively loud or bright. It response beautifully to pick, finger dynamics. Sings with overdrive. Really a wonder in any style or setting. For me EMG works.

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One more for the bridge!

Swineheart /Reviewed 8/25/2016

I am one of the few souls who play EMGs mainly clean (Funk, Fusion) and when I took my 85 to the bridge (sic) I got so caught up in the tone I started to drool on my axe. Damn, this PUP sounds good!

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very good!

Matteo Francesco /Reviewed 11/7/2014

best active pick un ever!

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11/6/2014

weizmann /Reviewed 11/5/2014

this pickup... is simply awesome... EMG forever...

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perfect 4 the bridge!!!

tez-kaz /Reviewed 5/31/2014

85 for bridge,
81 for neck rules!!!

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great for bridge positon!!!

tez-kaz /Reviewed 5/30/2014

85 for bridge,81 for neck...rules!!!

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great

dragancexz /Reviewed 5/27/2014

works perfectly on my epi sg custom prophecy EX, emg 81/85 blown away every guitarist and his axe who stands besides me :)

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Perfect for the bridge

bishop5150 /Reviewed 5/13/2014

I'm with many others on here and use the 85 in the bridge. It just sounds great. It has a nice warm and chunky thickness to it in the bridge. 81 is to shrill in the bridge for me but sounds great in the neck and lets the tone cut through. Highly recommend the 85 for the bridge. Have it in all my gigging guitars.

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BIG and OPEN

yugiboy /Reviewed 4/23/2014

this is my goto bridge pickup. I like the range of sound I can get with this one. clean it is never harsh and always warm. dirty it can do it all!

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