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How Do EMG 81s Take To Lower Tunings?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Robert W, May 18, 2013.

  1. Robert W

    Robert W Member

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    Narrowing my new guitar choices down and was wondering how EMG 81s take to lower tunings like B standard or lower.

    Thanks.
     
  2. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    Fine if not exceedingly well.
     
  3. MarcusGHedwig

    MarcusGHedwig Member

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  4. Robert W

    Robert W Member

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    Got my eye on a couple of ESP EC-1000s. Coming down to that or a new Gibby SGJ.
     
  5. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    Rethink the guitars. Low tunings + short scales = intonation and tuning issues galore.

    25.5" minimum for anything below C# IMO, 27" preferred for B and lower.
     
  6. kev

    kev Im guybrush threepwood

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    As far as I know there's nothing better for obscenely low tuning than an 81.
     
  7. StefTD

    StefTD Member

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    The amount of correctness in this post is outstanding.

    EMG81 for low tunings - works really well
     
  8. abaga129

    abaga129 The Apprentice

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    Hmm maybe this has something to do with why the top string on my LTD MH-250 is always out of intonation.
     
  9. Robert W

    Robert W Member

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    Actually, I've used a standard scale Ibanez in G# standard without any intonation issues. Kept its tune very well too, i should add.

    I've also known plenty of people who downtuned their SGs just as low without incident. So no, shorter scales do not necessarily equate to intonation/tuning issues.

    As for 27" scales, I prefer my strings loose, so again, a shorter scale will serve me better, I think.

    My only previous experience with EMGs was with the 707s. Thought they were serviceable, but I wasn't really head over heels about them either. Have any of you found the 81s to be tonally superior to the 81s?
     
  10. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    To each his own - I think you're in for a world of hurt when you start tracking but maybe I'm more anal about tuning than you are.

    The 707 is somewhere between the 85 and 81 but with a lot of low mid junk that just translates into flubby grossness IMO. Not a good pickup. The 81 is far tighter and a bit lower output.
     
  11. Mattayus

    Mattayus Sir Groove-A-Lot

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    81-7 will always beat 707 IMO, unless it's in the Loomis. For some reason that's the only guitar I've ever played that makes 707's sound good. It's like they were just made for that guitar. 81 is a flat-out better pickup than the 81-7 though. It's not entirely factual to just say it's the 7 string version of the 81, because it isn't.

    In any event, yes the 81 kicks all manor of ass at low tunings. In fact, it's almost as if it were designed for it. The high fidelity and compressed nature of it have a lot to do with that I think.
     
  12. abt

    abt BT

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  13. Robert W

    Robert W Member

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    Thanks for sharing your opinions on the 81s. You've definitely helped me narrow my choices down.
     
  14. He's Dead, Jim

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    Everything people said about the scale and intonation is correct, but I'll just add that my 7-string came with 81s, haha.
     
  15. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Probably one of the most appropriate pickups for low tunings. It's inherently thin and very filtered sounding, which tends to help eliminate the flub you get down low.

    I still like using this as a 'best case' example of an 81 doing low tuning:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6Mg75FWOGU&feature=player_embedded[/ame]

    Regarding the 707 and 81-7, my personal experiences have been a tad strange. I'm not the biggest fan of the 707s, but my C7 came with them so I'm quite familiar with the sound. I decided to replace the bridge 707 with an 81-7 in order to eliminate some of the low-mid flub and annoying single coil-esque clicking of the 707. What I got was one of the worst sounds I've ever heard. The 81-7 killed everything I liked about the sound of my all-mahogany guitar (ie, literally removed everything I would consider to be 'good mids' along with the 'bad mids'). I still don't know whether this was a fluke and I got a dud (It was brand new, out of the box) but yeah, I sold that thing off right away. It didn't represent the experiences I had with regular 81s in the past.

    Also, regarding scale everything Jeff said was correct, but make sure that if you end up using a baritone (27" and up) that it actually sounds good. I've yet to hear a guitar with that scale length which I find audibly pleasing in the least. The best experiences I've had between tone and playability in low tunings are some of the Schecter models with 26.5" scale.
     
  16. Robert W

    Robert W Member

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    Celtic Frost's Monotheist and Triptykon's Eparistera Daimones both recorded on a standard scale Ibby Iceman tuned to B standard, and those are my favorite tones. So yes, not only is it doable on standard length scale, but it also sounds amazing.
     
  17. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    Yeah and Tool doesn't record to a click. You're not backing up your point very well although I do admire the bravado.
     
  18. blue_fAng

    blue_fAng Member

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    I've been liking the sound of 6 strings guitars with 25'5 scale, EMG 81 in the bridge and downtuned to B or A more than a 7 strings tuned the same. Phew, I knew these 81-7 didn't sound exactly as the 81, I thought I was crazy.
     
  19. Pxz

    Pxz Member

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    80% of the 7 string guitars are standard scale unless you are refering to the ones that are a bit longer. I think the difference you are hearing with the 81-7 vs 81 is more related to the guitar/wood itself. Also the necks are wider and the body tend to be a little bit bigger on 7stringers and i think thats why they tend to sound different.(same tunning and PU's)
    None of the 7 strings i played (25'5) sounded better than the 6 strings i like (B tunning)
    Back on topic , the 81 rules for low tunings for sure.
     
  20. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    I think part of the reason the eclipses seem particularly bad for down-tuned intonation is the enormous frets (in addition to the scale obviously). Even if everything is set up perfectly any monkey pawed guitarist is going to bend every note sharp.
     

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