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EMG 81-X Active Humbucker Pickup

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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 powerf... Click To Read More About This Product

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Gear returned in mint condition. If you're looking for a virtually new instrument in possibly less-than-perfect packaging, this is a great value.
  • Includes 45-Day, No-Hassle Returns
  • Includes full manufacturer's warranty
Gear returned in great condition, with only minor signs of use, such as slight scuffs or pick marks. It looks and plays like new and may be considered an equivalent to display units found in retail stores.
  • Includes 45-Day, No-Hassle Returns
  • Includes full manufacturer's warranty
$1090 - $1300
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Ship to Store Available in: 3-7 Days (estimated) Fairfax, VA View More Stores For Availability Store Information


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

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
EMG81-X Active Humbucker Pickup

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 3 customers

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(52 of 52 customers found this review helpful)


OMG Dude!

By Mikey M

from charlotte,Nc

Comments about EMG 81-X Active Humbucker Pickup:

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

(8 of 10 customers found this review helpful)


ery versatile pick up

By Nick

from chicago, il

Comments about EMG 81-X Active Humbucker Pickup:

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.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)



By C Tripodi

from Annapolis, Md.

Comments about EMG 81-X Active Humbucker Pickup:

This pick does what it is supposed to do. If you want heavy, it delivers it. If you want light, it does it like it is suppose to do. The X series acts like a passive pick up, but can be as loud and proud as you want it to be. Worth the money. I have it in my PRS Custom 24 SE, and it sounds really good. Just be careful and read the instructions on how to install them.

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