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EMG 81 Active Humbucking Pickup - Chrome
EMG 81 Active Humbucking Pickup - Back
EMG 81 Solderless Install System
EMG 81 Active Humbucking Pickup - Chrome
EMG 81 Active Humbucking Pickup - Chrome
EMG 81 Active Humbucking Pickup - Chrome
List Price: $159.99
Sale Price: $119.00
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The EMG-81 is a high output pickup designed especially for the lead guitarist. The EMG-81 has the familiar U-shaped humbucking structure but replaces the pole pieces with steel bars and a smaller ceramic magnet. The EMG-81 is at its best for high volume overdrive. It has become the choice for metal and extreme players alike, Kirk Hammett from Metallica and Kerry King of Slayer to name only two.

Distortion during lead passages is consistent, sustain is long and the breakup fades smoothly. The ceramic magnet in combination with wide aperture steel poles lend a quick attack, but the tone stays nice and fat at the same time. Perfect if you're the only guitarist in the band and need to switch from rhythm to lead and still keep the band moving. Another great thing about the EMG-81 is that it's quiet. If you're playing at really high gain the last thing you need is noise.

If you're looking for exceptional qualities in a high output pickup, the EMG-81 is the one.

Download sound clips of the EMG-81!
Clean (bridge position)
Dirty (bridge position)

Features Included:
  • Logo Color: Silver
  • Resonant Frequency (KHz): 2.25
  • RMS Output Voltage: 1.25
  • Peak Output Voltage: 1.75
  • Output Noise (dBV): -91
  • Output Impedance (Kohm): 10
  • Current@ 9V (Microamps): 80
  • Battery Life (Hours): 3,000
  • Package Includes:
    • EMG's exclusive Solderless Install System
    • Prewired solid shaft volume/tone control set
    • Output jack
    • Battery clip set
    • Adjustment screws & springs

Important Installation Notes:
  • We always recommend taking your guitar to a professional for pickup installation. While most EMG pickups are an exact direct-replacement, some routing of the pickup cavities may be required for proper installation depending on your application.
  • Check your manufacturer's warranty before installing pickups. Installing aftermarket pickups may void your manufacturer's warranty.
  • Only one battery is required for the pickups, and any active accessories such as the SPC, RPC, EXG, AB, PA-2, and Pi-2.
  • Use an Alkaline or Lithium battery for longest life.
  • The controls included with EMG Systems are 25K Ohm, Audio Taper. This value of control is required for the system to work correctly.
  • When installing EMG Active Pickups, DO NOT connect the bridge ground wire. This wire is usually soldered to a volume or tone control casing and goes to the bridge. This wire grounds the strings and uses them and your body as a shield against hum and buzz. It also creates a shock hazard. EMG Pickups are shielded internally and DO NOT require string grounding. This greatly reduces the possibility of reverse polarity shock from microphones and other equipment.
  • EMG Active Pickups have very little magnetism compared to passive pickups. It's recommend you adjust the pickups as close to the strings as possible. Sustain and string movement will not be inhibited by close adjustment.
  • If your installation is different from the diagrams in the included instructions or you need additional diagrams, visit EMG's website,, for a complete listing of available diagrams.
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