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ALX Set

The Alexi Laiho signature model features a uniquely designed EMG passive humbucker that includes our ABQ EQ/Boost. The custom designed ABQ has a 3 band EQ which can be adjusted... >

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$119.00
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The Alexi Laiho signature model features a uniquely designed EMG passive humbucker that includes our ABQ EQ/Boost. The custom designed ABQ has a 3 band EQ which can be adjusted for creating different tone settings using a push/pull control (to activate/deactivate). In addition, the preamp output can be adjusted to add or reduce gain to your guitar signal. This pickup and preamp combo meets Alexi’s demands for high gain, versatility, and clarity to enhance his distinctive style. The set is available in a Floyd Rose version (F-ALX) and a standard Tune-o-matic version (ALX).
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In the Box

Package Includes EMG's exclusive Solderless Install System:

1 ABQ EQ/Boost
1 stereo output jack
1 battery buss 1 pair mounting screws and springs
1 pickup cable
1 output cable
1 power cable

ALX Set

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Customer Reviews

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Passive...AGGRESSIVE

cbraun /Reviewed 12/29/2016

Let me start by saying my review is biased like everyone else's is. Alexi Laiho is my favorite guitar player as well. I have an ESP Alexi Blacky that this set has been in for two years, with Alexi's signature DR strings. I figured let's set it up the way Alexi does and see what the result is. I'm playing this through a Randall Satan 120W Head into a Randall Satan 4x12 Cabinet. I play metal, heavy, death, black, hair, power, etc. Also play rock, blues, jazz and so forth. NOW...THE PICKUP SET. It is a pickup geared towards Treble and Mid-Range slightly more than Bass. It has that hot rock and metal sound from the 80's and the gain boost kicks it in even further with natural pre-amp gain without mudding out coming out of the guitar. Sustain is killer as well as clarity and hitting some hard distortion and overdrive. It does clean as well with the gain boost off but in a clean channel with the boost on it crunches sweetly. You don't get the "Active" feel as a result of the active gain boost. Instead it increases the gain cleanly and naturally while boosting the overall output of the pickup. Badass set if you have a Bridge pickup only guitar with one volume. Value is great, bang for the buck for sure, and mean ass set.

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Excellent combo

Alexis /Reviewed 12/16/2015

Got one of these sets for free with a guitar trade, and another set used for 40$.

The first set was installed in an LTD Alexi-600 (obviously in the bridge position), and I only installed the boost of the second set in an LTD EC-400 as a master volume.

The pickup sounds a bit dull to my taste on a clean channel, but honestly I did not acquire it for this. On the other hand, it sounds great on a lead channel (ran through a Blackstar HT-60): crunchy and punchy. It is a little hotter than an EMG H2 (which I liked better and ressembled more to an Are You Dead Yet kind of tone).

With the boost on, you get an aggressive distortion without fallin in the active territory, as well as a good volume boost. It works perfectly for driving your lamps, or simply for an on-demand solo boost. Also good to note that pinch harmonics are damn easy to pop with the boost on, and they sound excellent.

The boost alone work well with the pair of Seymour Duncan pickups I have in the Eclipse, and give the same effect as previously mention: either a good lamp driving unit or a solo boost.

Good to note that the ABQ differs from the Afterburner, mainly in the fact that its operation is reversed (Down = on, Up = off).

Installation was straightforward and very easy with the solderless kit. The instructions cover a few scenarios (1 humbucker, 2 humbuckers, etc.) and are very detailed.

All in all, this is a very good upgrade if you're looking for more aggressivity out of your guitar. Highly recommended for metal players.

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better in the neck

César Ulloa /Reviewed 4/1/2014

I bought this pickup in order to replace the stock pickup on a Steinberger Spirit GT-PRO. I wanted to test the "EMG sound".
The clean sound is very dynamic and clear, it has a very good tone, especially with the EG/Booster.
With distorsion/overdrive it has good tone, but with a little much of hi's.
I play death metal, so i wanted a more heavier sound. I change the EMG pickup yo the neck position (I installed a Seymour duncan Invader on the bridge).
The EMG ALX in the neck position was awesome!!.
Good tone, very versatile. The solos are very dynamic, good sustain.

For me, it works better in the neck position.

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Awesome!!

DelValleKidd /Reviewed 1/1/2014

Sound: Hi everyone! I have 15 years of guitar shredding, and I have this pickup mounted on a Jackson RR custom. Indeed it's a passive pickup, a modified EMG-HZ 2 with ceramic and steel magnets. The highlight is the Booster (ABQ), which basically it's an EMG Afterburner Preamp, with a 3 band EQ. I'd searched many information about this preamp before buy this, and in terms of quality seems to be superior than the Jackson JE-1000 Booster (the one that Alexi used on his stolen Jackson RR) and inferior than the MM-04 (which it's included in the ESP Alexi's signature models). This feature makes this pickup in extreme versatile; you can make it respond like an active one turning the booster on, or make it "passive" just keeping it off (by pushing/pulling the volume knob). Thanks to the regulable gain control you can go even from substracting gain (very useful to improve the clean), to very (seriously) very much gain, enough to burn an small solid state amplifier (and I'm not joking). Also you can improve the versatility by exploring the posibilities with the 3 BAND EQ, which have 3 pins, for "high", "mid", and "low" frecuencies ranges. The default configuration (the Alexi's setting) it's "high and low on, with mid off", it will make blistering high distortion tones, but excessive bright and muddy clean ones, making peaks on the sound wave that make your signal clip even through a compressor. Otherwise if you boost the mids and lows, scooping the high frecuencies the clean tones improve considerably, putting out something around Alnico II - V / PAF / Neck PU / Vintage Humbucker tone, but definitely different to it's ceramic nature. Of course I have mine installed on bridge position, on a single-humbucker Jackson RR custom (alder body, rosewood fingerboard). As I said, if you add gain and boost all the frequencies you can get an impressive blast of massive distortion. To be more specific, it's very sensible to dynamics, and every "little noise" that you make while you're touching the strings, it's really well perceived by the pickup magnetic field, then compressed (not too much), and boosted by the pickup preamp making the sonic sensation of "extra dirt", on the high distortion settings. To my ears it's like EMG85/SD Blackout Mick Thompson but more closely to DiMarzio D Activator X Bridge, conforming a very nice mix between the "organic" of a passive, and the compression and gain of the "active" pickup, an interesting feature which is not achievable by a simple EQ or boost pedal. I'm running through my "all terrain combo": NS-2 -> SD-1 -> DS-2 -> CS-3 -> MT-2 -> CE-3 -> Line6 Floor POD Plus -> mixer console. The boost works pretty well with the overdrive and distortion pedals. I also had tested it "line directly" on a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier, and a Marshall JCM 2000, and the result is, to put it in a simple word: a "nuke" (but in detrimental of the clean tones, obviously). With distortion it makes some base noise (like the most of the passive PUs) which increases in high gain settings. But when I use the NS-2 Noise Supressor I can completly reduce the undesirable noise to zero. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Pretty well made, the bottom plate it's vacuum sealed, and to give you an objetive hint of durability: I've changed the hardware screws on my guitar at the same time that I've installed this pickup, I always have the caution to clean the hardware before put the guitar back to the case, AND the hardware screws have started to rust FIRST than the metal components (magnet screws, plate) on the HZ-ALX. Note: no fancy, just common pickup mounting hardware screws, obsessively cleaned after each use. The counterpoint it's that you depend on the function of 2 devices (pickup and ABQ) to keep it in properly function. Whatever, in plain sight, the ABQ looks reliable too. The wiring it's mainly (not totally) solderless and the owner manual covers the installation instructions comprehensively. // 9

Overall Impression: PROS: - Very versatile, if you are a Hard Rock / Heavy Metal, and you love the sound of passive pickups instead of active ones, the tone for you it's here. You just need time tweak the right preamp configuration. - Organic "passive/PAF" behavior (dynamics, color) with high gain output. - It's passive, so it would not leave you in the middle of the show if you forgot to change the batteries. Also the EQ works even without batteries. - You can reach pretty convincing clean humbucker sounds. CONS: - You really need some time to deal with all the combinations to finally find your tone (to sit down, unscrew/screw the back control cavity and test each setting). - Doesn't seem the best choice for a longstanding "active pickups" guy. I prefer describing the ALX-HZ as a "super passive" pickup rather than some kind of "active" one. - It's a humbucker, so the clean tones will be dark and fat. Not expect a stratocaster super-clean single coil sound. - It's noisy (rectifiable with a noise supressor). I hope I've been helpful. Greetings.
Source: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/pickups/emg/emg_alx_w_abq/index.html

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Awesome!!

DelValleKidd /Reviewed 1/1/2014

Check out the comprehensive review here:

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/pickups/emg/emg_alx_w_abq/index.html

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