When I was a kid, I would see the guys in Metallica and other bands that I worshiped using these very different looking pickups that I later found out were EMG. When I found out what they were, my lust for them began. If I knew someday I’d get to be involved with EMG on even a small level, it would have blown my mind.
My first set came at 17 when a friend of mine needed a place to crash for a few months and offered me an 81 / 85 set. He ended up on my couch for a year where we basically stayed up until 6am every night recording bullshit on a Fostex 4-track. They were in a Yamaha Pacifica super-strat type guitar in a pickguard made out of cardboard and duct tape.
Since then, I have seen the market shift twice with active pickups. Once when the Blackouts came out and again when Fishman started doing actives. Being a pickup enthusiast, I didn’t jump ship from EMG as much as I just wanted to see what other companies were doing with active pickups. Like many others, I ended up going back to EMG when the other active flavors just weren’t for me. Some guys never looked back but I never really left.
A quote from a friend of mine has always resonated with me when it came to EMG pickups. I once asked him what he saw in EMG pickups since he had them in 7-8 guitars. His response was “because you can put an EMG in anything and it’ll sound good. Put one in a canoe, a toaster, a fuckin’ log or a plywood guitar with some strings and poof, you are thrashin’ “.
As mentioned, we will be doing pickup demos and providing a brief but detailed and informative “lay of the land” look at the pickup markets. The main two markets being active and passive. When it comes to passive pickups, I just love so many different companies and their offerings to pick just one but for active pickups, EMG has always and likely will always be tops for me and I am proud to announce that EMG is now the official active pickup of Honest Amp Sim Reviews.
It might seem like we can no longer be unbiased but I never claimed we would be unbiased towards pickups. We will never have even a hint of bias when it comes to guitar and bass software but when it comes to pickups for me, while I appreciate many different products from many companies, I am not shy about Seymour Duncan ruling my passive world and EMG ruling the active area of my pickup enthusiasm. Many passive companies catch my ear and eye almost daily but if I am putting a battery in a guitar, it’ll be attached to an EMG.
We will be installing three sets of EMGs into our main testing guitars so that we can also test everything with both high quality active and passive pickups. This helps us to see things from both an active and passive perspective considering both types of pickups are very popular. The 57 / 66, Het Set and a T set will be well used here with other models coming and going for demos, mixes and more. Stay tuned.
EMG will also being involved in our new feature “The MODest Guitarist” where I will teach you how to find hidden gems, see them for their potential and save money by modding things yourself on a DIY budget. Many mods and repairs can be done with only intermediate knowledge and modest tools. Part of this will feature DIY mod projects where we will find a low-cost hidden gem and mod it into a guitar that plays and sounds comparable to much more expensive guitars.
We are very happy to be representing EMG because they really can be a great part of getting solid tone on a tight budget. Whether you are buying them from the insanely affordable used market, on sale at a music store or site you prefer or brand spanking new for more than reasonable prices direct from EMG, you are guaranteed to get great tone and a clean signal.
A clean and strong signal is essential to get the best out of your gear and that includes plugins, amp sims, impulses etc. Active pickups are a consistent way to get a good signal for tracking/recording that will in turn make mixing easier later on in the process. One can argue all day which is better, passive or active but I don’t look at it like that. I look at them all as pickups and if something I like happens to be active, so be it. Why not have both? EMG also has an impressive passive line that we will cover sometime in 2020.
Everyone has their preference and when it comes to active pickups, EMG has always hit the mark for me. Here’s a few guys that might agree with me HERE. It’s a pretty intense list but it doesn’t scratch the surface of artists to have used them in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and the past in general. Thrash, death metal, jazz, blues, punk, country and every other style on earth has been handled well by EMG since they started in 1976. The future is also bright with new models coming out all the time for guitar and bass.
We hope you enjoy all of our coming pickup content here at Honest Amp Sim Reviews. This will only make us an even stronger and more complete resource in the future.