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Item # 108749920 | Customer Ratings: Ratings ( 4 Based on 5 reviews)

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EMG 81-X Active Humbucker Pickup
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      EMG 81-X Active Humbucker Pickup (108749920)
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Offers increased headroom with an organic and open tone while maintaining the clarity and response that EMG's are renowned for.

The EMG 81-X Active Humbucking Pickup provides increased headroom giving the voicing an organic and open tone while still maintaining the clarity and response that EMG's are renowned for. Using powerful ceramic magnets and close aperture coils and powered by a newly designed preamp, the 81-X shines with detailed intensity, incredible amounts of high-end cut and fluid sustain.

Traditionally used in the bridge position, this active guitar pickup will make your leads slice right through even the densest mix like a hot knife. When used in both positions the sound can only be described as blistering. Other recommended pairings include the EMG 85-X and the versatile EMG 81-X/60-X combo. Give it a try and experience why the "X" factor is exciting players all around the world.

The replacement pickup package Includes: EMG's exclusive solderless Quik-Connect system; split shaft volume/active tone control set, output jack, battery clip set, screws & springs.

EMG 81-X Active Humbucker Pickup Features:

  • EMG's exclusive Solderless Quik-Connect system Includes:
    Split shaft volume/active tone control set
    Output jack
    Battery clip set
    Screws & springs


EMG 81-X Active Humbucker Pickup Specifications:

  • Logo Color: Silver
    Magnet Type: Ceramic/Steel
    Resonant Frequency (kHz): 1.72
    Output Voltage (String): 4.00
    Output Voltage (Strum): 8.50
    Output Noise (60Hz): -105
    Output Impedance (Kohm): 2.00
    Current @9V (Microamps): 80
    Battery Life (Hours): 3000
    Maximum Supply (Volts DC): 27


Product Reviews
(Based on 5 reviews)
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  • OMG Dude!

    As reviewed by Mikey M on 9/29/2009

    I just got the 81x and 85x In the mail straight from the Emg factory. Just opening the package made my heart skip a beat. I have been playing the Standard 81 85 for up to 3 year's now and know it's strength's and weaknesses. The Original 81 in bridge position is legendary for it's clearly defined cordage and bold chug all metal head's are looking for along with it's piercing lead's. The Original 85 in neck position is know for a super beefy low end that are excellent for cleans, and are intense for solo's/Arpeggios on the higher frets. It will get slightly muddy however on the lower fret's due to it's higher gain structure/ Output. The main problems i would have are when you want to play softer and soulful lead the notes are too hot due to the preamp. I've tryed lowering the volume on my guitar but that just decreased sustain and tone. All in all great metal pickup's okay blues pickups. I thought there would be no solution for this. They where my favorite pickup combo, I wish they can become more like passive pickups with it's same edge. Then the x serious came out. Let me tell all of you emg's fan's out there. If you where like me with your original Emg's then i highly recommend getting your setup in the x factor.. You still have all the amazing chug, clarity and tone from an emg only with slightly less gain and a more organic sound. Which will really diminish the limitations of the preamp in original model's. It's basically got the benefits of a passive and active in one pickup. Go check it. You wont be disappointed. Emg has really stepped it up with these pickups

    49 of 49 people found this review helpful.
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  • Unbelievable for heavy metal and death metal

    As reviewed by James Rooks on 11/23/2010

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Finally the pickup I have been waiting for all my life. First of all, there are metal players all over really downing these pickups. I watched all of the youtube videos for these things. Use a real amplifier. Stop rating these pickups when you use crappy solid state heads. I have a real rig. A peavey 6505 and a Mesa Boogie Cab. These pickups are awesome. They still have the same tone as an EMG with much less compression. They are not as shrill as a regualer EMG 81. They have slightly less output than a regualr EMG and the preamp colors your tone alot less. You will get more tone from your amp and guitar this way. They do sound a little brighter though. This is simply because there is less gain coming from the pickup itself. By using this pickup, you can really crank your guitar up and push the gain on your amp if you want to. There is also less noise in the PUPS and they don't seem to be irritated by lights or other things on stage. The PUPS still have the same clarity as the EMG but you have more room to work with on your amp. I always had to turn the presence down on my amp because the EMG would clip so hard on the upper frequencies causing unwanted noise and feedback. These are just a little smoother with the same brightness and do not clip nearly as hard. They have the perfect balance of a passive and active pickup. Honestly. If you are a metal player, using real gear, these are right up your alley. I am a tone nut and have been searching my whole life. I have to say these pickups are it. You simply cannot go wrong here. Seriously.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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  • ery versatile pick up

    As reviewed by Nick on 11/27/2010

    I have been using active pick ups for the past 10 years, started with the EMG 81 and then switched to the EMG 60 after hearing the tones on "Death Magnetic". My curiosity got the best of me when I heard people claiming the Blackouts sounded better so I got a used AHB-2 and I was hooked at first. That is until I got a Peavey 3120, a high gain head does not mix well with such a hot pickup as the AHB-2 and I missed having a useable clean sound as my frankenstrat only has one pickup. I was ready to go back to the 60 until i saw the 81-X. It is such a nice change of pace from the AHB-2, the 81-X still has plenty of output for metal and chugging but it has much more clarity and the low E string pinch harmonics are back!!! I thought my technique was bad as i could NOT get good pinch harmonics with the AHB-2. The 81-X also has a very good clean tone considering it is a high gain pickup, the only complaint I have with the 81-X is the noise due to interference from other electrical devices but other than that I am very pleased with the new design from EMG, it is very versatile. Of course I am curious to hear how the AHB-1 but for now the 81-X will be in my guitar for quite a while.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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Questions about the 81-X Active Humbucker Pickup (108749920)


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