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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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good on neck, great on bridge

François /Reviewed 11/28/2018

This pickup is quite surprising. I first heard it on neck position and it sounded good to me, a bit less bright than the EMG 60 but it has depth and power. Than I decided to try it on the bridge and waow ! As powerful as the EMG81 but with a darker tone, and still the impressive sharpness that makes EMG's reputation. It's full and rich, agressive with hi-gain distorsion and I can spend hours playing with it and still want more.
A really good alternative to the EMG 81, and both together in a mix are nicely complementing one another to bring power and filling the sound range. Really great and, to me, still underrated.

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Killer in the bridge.

BKL /Reviewed 9/30/2018

Best dual coil pickup ever.

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What the Hell

Andromeda /Reviewed 5/11/2018

Steve Lukather and Shibasaki Hiroshi used SL20 on their axe and because I like both of their tone, I tried to install EMG95 to bridge along with SLV

Oh my god. What the hell. So sweet, on right height this pick up too sweet. Powerfull but very sweet with warm tone along with clarity. Ok, Im sold. Never change PU again after this.

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My Favorite Pickup

Michael /Reviewed 1/20/2018

This is my second EMG 85 pickup I've had in tandem with the 81 (the first in a Dean Deceiver the second in a Jackson Soloist) and it is by far my favorite pickup combination. I have another brand of passive pickups in another Dean I love but nothing can compare to these. I by far love the 85. I just wish I could have the opportunity to try the 85 in the bridge position as well. Don't get me wrong I love the 81 in the bridge, but the 85 has such a warmth to it, I think it could totally change my lead playing. Much preferred over the EMG 60, which I had an 81/60 combo in an Ibanez Artist Series some time back.

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Best bridge pickup barre none

John Rainey /Reviewed 8/14/2017

I have been using EMG pickups for over 35 years and have never had a failure. I like many used the traditional 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck. And of coarse as I got older and wiser my tastes changed. I wanted a little more bottom and chunk in the bridge. I had an extra 85 lying around so I put it in and all of a sudden...there it was...the sound..the tone I have been seeking.....I have never looked back....I added 2 more EC-1000's to my arsenal and they come factory with 81/60.....compared to my other guitars....not even close all thou the 60 in the neck was fantastic.
Well I changed the 81's to the 85's
And I have 2 of the best recording and live guitars anyone could ever ask for. Clean or dirty on either pickup these pickups can do it all.
EMG user for life!

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Great sound for neck pickup

Iggy Sarraff /Reviewed 8/2/2017

Love its sweet and mellow sound. Highly recommended.

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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 9/27/2016

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 8/26/2016

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 11/8/2014

best active pick un ever!

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