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EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set Black 

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With scorching riffs and remarkable stage presence, Zakk Wylde has earned his reputation as heavy metal's premier lead guitarist. From Ozzy Osbourne,...Read More

  • MSRP:
    $259.99
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    - $60.99
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  • Your Price:
    $19900

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      OVERVIEW

      Professional upgrade pickups.

      With scorching riffs and remarkable stage presence, Zakk Wylde has earned his reputation as heavy metal's premier lead guitarist. From Ozzy Osbourne, Pride and Glory, and now Black Label Society, Zakk has always used EMG active pickups. The Zakk Wylde model features the EMG-85 and EMG-81, as used on his signature bull's-eye Les Paul guitar. Installation is literally a snap—it's solderless, just use the included Quck-connect cables.

      EMG-85

      Although the EMG-85 pickup has more measurable output than the 81, its frequency response and string interface are different. The 85 uses two Alnico magnet-loaded coils with a wide aperture to maintain a beefy low end and a fatter top end. Because of a more natural tone, it works great as a rhythm and blues pickup because it has loads of output but isn't muddy. It's a perfect choice as a rhythm pickup in combination with an 81 in the bridge.

      The midrange has great definition and doesn't get foggy or muddy in the rhythm position. The EMG-85 works best if you like the natural distortion that comes from overdriving the front end of your amp. Under any condition, the humbucker responds accurately to your technique.

      EMG-81

      The EMG-81 pickup is a high-output pickup designed especially for the lead guitarist. The 81 is at its best for high volume overdrive and amps with a master volume. Whether you're playing power rock 'n' roll, or overdriving your amp, there's a razor sharp attack, and incredible sustain for brilliant soloing. If you're looking for exceptional qualities in a rock pickup, the EMG-81 is the one.

      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 humbucker is it's quiet. If you're playing at really high gain the last thing you need is noise.

      FEATURES
      • Package includes:
      • 2 Pickup Quik-connect cables
      • 1 Output Jack Quik-connect cable
      • 1 Output Jack
      • 4 interconnect Quik-connect cables
      • 1 Battery Quik-connect cable
      • 1 B152 Input/Output Buss
      • 2 ea. Long Shaft Volume & Tone controls
      • 1 ea. Shrink tubing (1 red / 1 black)
      • 2 sets of screws and springs

      Give your sound a Wylde boost. Order today!

      SPECIFICATIONS

      -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set

      • EMG-85
      • Resonant Frequency: 2.45
      • Magnet Type: Alnico
      • Output Voltage (String): 2.1
      • Output Voltage (Strum): 4.5
      • Output Noise @ 60Hz: -89 dBV
      • Output Impedance: 10 kOhms
      • EMG-81
      • Resonant Frequency (kHz): 2.00
      • Magnet Type: Ceramic/steel
      • Output Voltage (String): 2.0
      • Output Voltage (Strum): 4.5
      • Output Noise @ 60Hz: -91 dBV
      • Output Impedance: 10 kOhms
      • System
      • Current @ 9V: 160 microamps
      • Battery Life: 1,500 hours
      • Maximum Supply: 27V DC
      Reviews
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      Review Snapshot®

      by PowerReviews
      EMG-ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set
       
      4.9

      (based on 71 reviews)

      Ratings Distribution

      • 5 Stars

         

        (61)

      • 4 Stars

         

        (10)

      • 3 Stars

         

        (0)

      • 2 Stars

         

        (0)

      • 1 Stars

         

        (0)

      100%

      of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

      Pros

      • Good quality (10)
      • Easy to use (9)
      • Functional (9)
      • Improves sound (9)

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Concerts (8)
        • Practicing (8)
        • Back-up (4)
          • Reviewer Profile:
          • Experienced (9)

        Reviewed by 71 customers

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        Displaying reviews 1-10

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        5.0

        Add some punch to any guitar

        By Wicked Digits

        from Moline Illinois

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Functional
        • Good Quality
        • Improves Sound

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Backup
          • Concerts
          • Practicing

          Comments about EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set:

          Fantastic pickups. Add some serious punch to your ax. The 85's deliver a rich full tone and the 81's slice thru with direct contact. I have paired 85's in most of my other guitars but wanted to try the 81's and I'm impressed.Also, a great company to work with. Musician's Friend knows how to do it right.

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          Excellent sound Easy to install!!!

          By Shnake

          from Mountainhome, PA

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Functional
          • Good Quality
          • Improves Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Concerts
            • Practicing

            Comments about EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set:

            These are great PUPs! They are a relatively inexpensive and really bring a big sound. I upgraded a low end Epiphone Les Paul and it sounds FANTASTIC! Even with having to handle some pretty poor wireing done by the previous owner it only took me about 2 hours from unstringing, uninstall, rewire the 3 way switch, install restring and setup the guitar. Very cool!

            Comment on this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            the only review worth reading

            By cmort92

            from ontario, canada

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Extremely Versatile
            • Functional
            • Good Quality

            Cons

            • None

            Best Uses

            • Backup
            • Concerts
            • Practicing

            Comments about EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set:

            There is a lot of talk around active pickups being "sterile" and sucking the life out of your instrument for the sake of giving that high gain goodness - that is something I don't believe to be true.

            I installed these pickups in my 2005 Gibson les paul Classic to try it out and I was and continue to be very pleased with the results. A lot of guitar players say you could put emgs into the worst guitar you could find and it would sound good but that simply is an uneducated opinion. Every guitar has its own sound and character. I used to use Dimarzio super distortions in my les paul and when I switched over to active emgs I found that the actual tone and character of my guitar was still very much there, just slightly different.

            Active pickups will push your amp harder obviously so it is sometimes a good idea to dial back the drive a bit to achieve the sound you want if you used to use passive. The one gripe I have with most guitarists is that there is this idea that installing better pickups will improve your sound and that is just not true. If you play through a bad amp, you will have bad tone - EMGS nor anything else will ever fix that.

            The 81 in the bridge is rather brash and I guess a bit "sterile" when played clean but I have seldom heard any low or high output bridge pickup played clean that did not sound this way to some degree. In the middle you get a slightly more mellow sound as you would expect and in the neck the cleans are actually quite pleasing and have more warmth than I expected. You do lose *some* of that passive warmth and dynamic when you use active but it's not as dramatic as some like to think, and you gain a robust and clear tone that sustains and shimmers - again if you have an amp with a less than desirable clean channel you will be disappointed with anything you put through it.

            For distorted sounds the 81 is truly in its zone. The cut through and the punch are excellent and the neck gives a smooth transition between notes during things like legato runs that really blend your playing together flawlessly. Chording with high gain or just a bit of crunch really shows you how actives can bring out all the notes and make everything sound very balanced and harmonious. When you roll your volume these actually clean up very well and you have full use of varying amounts of gain at your finger tips just as you would a passive pickup. I have found all the people who complain that these are either off or "balls to the walls on" are guys playing through a big high gain MESA or ENGL with the gain dimed.. so obviously rolling off your volume a bit isn't going to do much - keep that in mind. I play though a marshall JCM 2000 dsl and I have varying stages of gain (pedals and amp alike) that I use for all purposes.

            One thing you MUST do - lower the 85 away from the strings and raise the 81 towards them. If you have the pickups at heights that are very similar you will get a lot more bottom end out of your neck which will make it sound as though it is a lot louder. lowering the neck pickup in relation to the bridge is absolutely key and I have seen a lot of complaints about this from people - easy fix.

            I have played for 10 years and have only every used passive pickups but I can honestly say these are going to stay. You get these pickups in a good guitar through a good amp and they are going to sound unbelievable, you put them in cheap garbage and plug it into more cheap garbage and you're going to get...

            *Drumroll*

            Garbage. (imagine that)

            I play jazz, blues, hard rock, country etc etc with these pickups and with some slight tweaks to the amp for different styles they can handle it all.

            With all of the active haters who hate them because they are told by purists they should, its hard to really get a good opinion on them until you try them so go for it. I did and I am very happy - all notions I had around EMGS are gone and I am left wondering why I didn't add these to my bag of tricks years ago. If you think adding these to your cheap guitar is going to make you sound like zakk wylde save your money and buy a better guitar first, then buy these.

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            If you like metal get these!

            By Rod2096

            from Raleigh, NC

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Functional
            • Good Quality
            • Improves Sound

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Backup
              • Concerts
              • Practicing

              Comments about EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set:

              I installed these pickups on my Omen Extreme 6 with Floyd Rose tremolo system. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined you can install these yourself, just read the instructions carefully and take your time with each step. These are the first active pick ups I've ever used. What an amazing difference!!! I can't believe the sound and how responsive they are. All I can say is they sound incredible clean or with distortion.

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              Raw power

              By Justadude

              from Under the stairs

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Functional
              • Good Quality
              • Improves Sound

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set:

                  Replaced the stock pickups in my Les Paul Studio with these. Went from a growl to a roar. Very happy.

                  Comment on this review

                  (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Powerful Baby!

                  By 1313 Arterial Ave.

                  from Waco, Tx

                  About Me Experienced

                  Ask me a question

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Functional
                  • Good Quality
                  • Improves Sound

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Concerts
                    • Practicing

                    Comments about EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set:

                    Finally - after all the talk about how good actives are - I made the switch...couple years late to the party, but I'm here to have a good time with the 81/85 set - picked these pups up brand-spanking new at GC (Is that namedrop allowed here?!) for little to nothing on clearance....was a decision between these or the Hetfield set - I went with these simply because the Hetfield set was chrome - so - I get home, decide to replace the passive EMG-HZ set (which is a great alternative to these, btw...) in my coveted LP Nightfall, my love, my baby. I am not good with installation of wiring, but the solderless quick connects truly sold me on this - and believe me, the set up is COMPLETELY solderless....the only soldering involved is desoldering existing wires (optional - a little wire snipper will do the trick) - I decided to take my time and really study the installation, which was very informative and gave you a few different options on a setup - after about 2 hours (yea, I'm slow) - the guitar that was stripped of any wires finally had some *ammo* in it - hurried to my amp, plugged her up - and it was POWERFUL, BABY! The tones rang out like a bell, I grabbed my 9 all I heard was....bliss - very noticeable different between passive and active - the sustain was more - more mids and less whiney highs - the low end had some chugga-chugga - and the pickups just compliment ANY guitar so well - they carry a mysterious look to them - are they gonna be nice and clean or naughty and dirty? That's completely up to you and your application! Although I am probably the last cat (meow) to switch to EMG, I will highly recommend this set, and would gladly pay MSRP for them again, as it was so easy to set up and I am 110% satisfied with the end result!

                    Comment on this review

                    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    THE BEST PICKUPS EVER!!!

                    By Ray St John

                    from Miami, Fl

                    About Me Professional Musician

                    Ask me a question

                    Pros

                    • Amazing Guitar Tone
                    • Best Pickups Replacement
                    • Easy To Use
                    • Good Quality
                    • Great Bottom
                    • Improves Sound
                    • Plug In Pickups

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Heavy Metal
                      • Rock Music

                      Comments about EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set:

                      I'm not a ZAKK WYLDE fan of any sorts but I'm glad that EMG put these iconic pickups in one package.

                      As an example, if you buy an Ibanez guitar, you have no choice but to change pickups. Unless you buy an ESP or a CHARVEL that I just got that comes with these pickups.

                      These pickups developed in the 80s are still hard to beat after 30 years. They have stood the test of time for being the very best Active Guitar Pickups on the market and possibly be for many years.

                      The have a nice crunchy tone that I haven't come across any passive pickups and I tried the Seymour Duncan JB and it was the worst decision I made as a teenager at the time.

                      If you like 80s Rock and Heavy Metal and you are gearing to get that type of tone, this is IT. Don't look any further!!

                      If your guitar has a control knob, replace it with the knob circuit EMG SPC - STRAT PRESCENCE CONTROL that will boost the distortion an additional 2dbs.
                      But the pickups alone will do is justice unless you wish to push the envelope.

                      Comment on this review

                       
                      5.0

                      Gotta love EMG's

                      By PROVO2

                      from AK

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Functional
                      • Good Quality
                      • Great Value
                      • Improves Sound

                      Cons

                      • Some Soldering Required

                      Best Uses

                      • Backup
                      • Concerts
                      • Practicing

                      Comments about EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set:

                      Love EMG's. the combo of the 81/85 is always good. The quick connect-ability of the EMG's makes them even better, but if they eliminated the soldering all together I'd never have anything negitive to say about EMG.

                      Comment on this review

                      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      KILLER PICKUP FROM CLEAN TO CRUNCH

                      By THE UNDERDOG

                      from CASSELBERRY FL

                      About Me Experienced

                      Ask me a question

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Functional
                      • Good Quality
                      • Improves Sound

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Concerts
                        • Practicing

                        Comments about EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set:

                        Powerful pickup without sounding like a fuzzed out distortion pedal they clean up nicely either turning the guitar volume down or clean channel mode.the highs and lows are more even sounding compared to stock pickups that i can tone knob all the way up and the distortion stills sounds fat and rich with clarity on top amazing if you ask me.Also the pickups pack quite a lot of resonance that i don't push the gain no where past 12 o clock position it sounds more tight and punchy that way with a little help of both amp and pedal eq and using less gain sounds like full and dynamic as well.

                        Comment on this review

                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Emg Zack Wylde Pickups

                        By Maveric Matt

                        from New York

                        About Me Experienced

                        Ask me a question

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Functional
                        • Good Quality
                        • Improves Sound

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Concerts
                          • Practicing

                          Comments about EMG -ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set:

                          I had reciently purchased the Hetfield Pickups for my Prs Paul Allender guitar and loved them but decided i wanna try and 81/85 set and Zacks Pickups were the right choice for me the sound blew me away when you play on clean the clarity is awesome and then when you switch to overdrive man its aggresive and sounds incredible

                          Comment on this review

                          Displaying reviews 1-10

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