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EMG Guitar Pickups

EMG guitar pickups deliver what players are looking for: tone, responsiveness, and dependability. Whether you need acoustic or electric pickups, bass or guitar, EMG has the right gear for you. Since 1976, they have produced tried and true pickups that can help you bring out the right sound in your guitar regardless of the type or manufacturer.

What exactly are guitar pickups?

Pickups are the small devices seen on electric guitars beneath the area where the player strums or picks the strings. They are responsible for creating the actual sound. All of them work on the basic idea that the strings of a guitar become magnetic when plugged in. Their magnetic field interferes with the magnetic field of the coils when they are picked, producing an electric current that is translated into sound. In short, it is a necessary accessory if you are going to play through an amplifier.

What are passive pickups?

This style of EMG pickup is the classic design, incorporating numerous wire coils around a central magnet. These do not require an external power source the way their active counterparts do. These typically pick up more background noise, but they also have a larger dynamic range. EMG humbuckers are passive, yet they are famously quiet as well. Their responsive output means they are used by many players in a variety of genres. The alnico and ceramic magnets combined with overwound coils produce extremely warm and powerful tones.

What are active pickups?

The active type use fewer coils than the classic type and require an additional 9-volt power supply to operate. With fewer coils, these are a quieter design, but they also have a smaller dynamic range. The EMG 81 is a trailblazing active humbucker whose sound has become synonymous with the EMG brand. The output is warm and clear, and this one responds to the smallest variations in playing style from the guitarist. The high-quality ceramic magnets that are used, combined with close aperture coils, make for an extremely versatile component. These respond very well to additional EQing of the signal as well.

Which pickup is right for specific genres?

When shopping for a guitar pickup, there are several things to consider.

  • First, do you require a broad dynamic range? More easily said, does your playing go from very quiet to very loud? If so, passive pickups are the appropriate choice for you.
  • On the other hand, if you tend to stay within a particular dynamic range or you need to significantly EQ your tone, then another type will probably better suit you.

EMG pickups are designed with the player in mind. With a wide variety of styles, you are assured of finding exactly what you need, and with the brand's 40 years of experience, you’ll get a product that has been tested and approved by many of the industry's discerning musicians.

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