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EMG ZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set Black

Item #: 
1273887998271
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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, Pride and Glory, and now Black Label Society, Zakk... Read More

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$19900
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    $25999
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Overview

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
Specifications
  • 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
  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
EMGZW Zakk Wylde 81/85 Humbucker Set
 
4.7

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

What you NEED to know when you buy this set...

Hi. My name is J and I am addicted to EMG active pickups. I put EMG's in every guitar I own. My regular setup is the 81/60 but for a new Flying...Read complete review

Hi. My name is J and I am addicted to EMG active pickups. I put EMG's in every guitar I own. My regular setup is the 81/60 but for a new Flying V I decided to switch it up a bit. All EMG boxes come with the promise that all you need it what is in the box and you will be rocking in minutes. While EMG's are the easiest pickups to install, this statement is just not true. What is NOT included is a pickup selector switch. You get the EMG 81, 85, connecting wires, stereo cable jack, two volume and two tone pots, a circuit-board and battery connection. So, you need a pickup selector switch and you need to be able to solder your connections to it. I recommend a nice Gibson 3-way toggle switch. They are inexpensive and they last forever. OK, so you have your selector switch. One other thing about this set that they do not tell you which you need to know is about the volume and tone pots. They are extra long. They are easily adjusted via two sets of hex-bolts. This is a good thing if you are installing this into a Les Paul on account of the arched top. You will be needing the extra length. HOWEVER, on a guitar like a Flying V this is a bad thing. You have a choice of sinking the pots into the body and end up with them not fitting OR you can have them sticking out so far that they will poke out the eyes of your most adoring fans in the front row. The solution was easy for me. Since I use EMG pickups in everything I happened to have extras of the standard sized pots around. If you do not you will need to pick up some new ones from a parts supplier. They are cheap, but it can be frustrating if you do not know these things. All things considered, this is a monster set. You just need to know the whole truth going into it.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Pros and Cons

I was fooled into thinking EMG thought of everything as far as installing these in any kind of guitar. But I guess that only means they gave more then one wire diagram. My poor...Read complete review

I was fooled into thinking EMG thought of everything as far as installing these in any kind of guitar. But I guess that only means they gave more then one wire diagram. My poor Dean Dime Shadow ML paid the price for lack of length in wire. But if you have a les paul or guitar similar you will be in luck. If all your knobs and switches are close to each other then you will be fine but like in the dean you maybe SOL like I was (assuming you are not a master at splicing wires). I did end up installing them in a Kerry King warlock and they sound great, the best I have ever heard by naked ear. I am almost on the verge of buying another set. But beware of where you want to install these.

Reviewed by 20 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Really nice product

By 

from Detroit

About Me Novice

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Functional
  • Good Quality
  • Improves Sound

Cons

    Best Uses

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

      I spent a couple hours installing these after the shipping process. They were fairly easy, for the most part. The output jack hung me up briefly as I had the posts in the wrong order. Fortunately the guit at tech at my local GC (which I prefer not to shop at) was helpful over the phone and we got it figured out. Once installed, this is an entirely solderless system. KEEP YOUR ORIGINAL HARDWARE. just in case you switch back from actives.

      The sound. They are fantastic. Sustain for days. Clarity, natural gain. Even clean they drive a tad. Volume levels are pretty even between the two pups. I'm considering lowering both just a tad to see if they are a little more articulate. I installed them into an Epiphone LP Studio and they kicked it up a level for sure. I'm considering trying their split coil version in my SG in the future.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great Set Of Pickups

      By 

      from Austin, TX

      Site Member

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

      These pickups sound excellent--well worth picking up. Perfect for Hard Rock and Metal. Only wish I would have tried them sooner. The articulation and harmonics you can get are outstanding. Had to adjust (lower) the neck pickup (85) down a little bit to curtail some of the bottom end but overall I am definitely satisfied.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Best metal sound i've heard.

      By 

      from Riverton, Wyoming

      Site Member

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

      I installed these pickups in my ESP LTD F-50 getting rid of the ESP stock brand pickups and wow! These pickups changed my guitars sound drastically. You can seriously rock any type of style of music with these pups. Super clean sounding sweeps and sustained harmonics. These pups are well worth the buy!

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Solo Metal Guitarist

      By 

      from Cottageville, SC

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

      These pickups are the best I have ever used. And They can be used for anything really especially Heavy Metal because they are active.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Pure Metal Active is the Way !!!

      By 

      from greenville, sc

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

      i bought these pickups to replace the passive pickups rockfeild. in my b.c. rich mockingbird n.j. series. ILL make this short and sweet get these you wont regret it.Made my guitar a brand new animal.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      awsome pickups

      By 

      from FT Leonardwood,MO

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

      I bought these pickups and had them installed at guitar center in springfield,mo. ive never heard a better set of emg's, but i highly recommend putting the 85 in the bridge position. Alex at the springfield store spent 3 hours on the wiring for my guitar alone. not to mention all the other work he did to it. if your in the area and you need work on your guitar i highly recommend alex. by the way i play a washburn x30.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      There Is No Bad Thing About These, If you got the money, Just buy them do yourself a favor

      By 

      from Monroe Mi

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

      really? your still thinking of buying these pickups? why i promise you they will fill your needs no matter what you play, blues or jazz, shredding and riffs. they are easy to install its solderless the only issue is you need a selector switch if you don't already have one, and if you don't have much room in your body cavity you might have to mod you guitar, but don't fret haha, im sure you guitar has room it will just be a tight fit. these mfer's will handle anything you throw at them and spit it back out and punch you in the face. think of it this way if Chuck Noris played guitar. these are the only pickups that are good enough for him EMG all the way.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (24 of 25 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      What you NEED to know when you buy this set...

      By 

      from Chicago, IL

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

      Hi. My name is J and I am addicted to EMG active pickups. I put EMG's in every guitar I own. My regular setup is the 81/60 but for a new Flying V I decided to switch it up a bit. All EMG boxes come with the promise that all you need it what is in the box and you will be rocking in minutes. While EMG's are the easiest pickups to install, this statement is just not true. What is NOT included is a pickup selector switch. You get the EMG 81, 85, connecting wires, stereo cable jack, two volume and two tone pots, a circuit-board and battery connection. So, you need a pickup selector switch and you need to be able to solder your connections to it. I recommend a nice Gibson 3-way toggle switch. They are inexpensive and they last forever. OK, so you have your selector switch. One other thing about this set that they do not tell you which you need to know is about the volume and tone pots. They are extra long. They are easily adjusted via two sets of hex-bolts. This is a good thing if you are installing this into a Les Paul on account of the arched top. You will be needing the extra length. HOWEVER, on a guitar like a Flying V this is a bad thing. You have a choice of sinking the pots into the body and end up with them not fitting OR you can have them sticking out so far that they will poke out the eyes of your most adoring fans in the front row. The solution was easy for me. Since I use EMG pickups in everything I happened to have extras of the standard sized pots around. If you do not you will need to pick up some new ones from a parts supplier. They are cheap, but it can be frustrating if you do not know these things. All things considered, this is a monster set. You just need to know the whole truth going into it.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Pros and Cons

      By 

      from Detroit

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

      I was fooled into thinking EMG thought of everything as far as installing these in any kind of guitar. But I guess that only means they gave more then one wire diagram. My poor Dean Dime Shadow ML paid the price for lack of length in wire. But if you have a les paul or guitar similar you will be in luck. If all your knobs and switches are close to each other then you will be fine but like in the dean you maybe SOL like I was (assuming you are not a master at splicing wires). I did end up installing them in a Kerry King warlock and they sound great, the best I have ever heard by naked ear. I am almost on the verge of buying another set. But beware of where you want to install these.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Awesome

      By 

      from cochrane, wi

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

      These pickups are definitely well worth it. They are easy to install with the included solderless connections. I replaced my duncan designed HB103 in my Jackson DR6. I did loose some bottom end when using 81 bridge with distortion. But that was just a simple adjustment in my amp and pedal settings. The 85 neck pickup has plenty of output in clean and sounds full. I had to use my old springs for the pickup height adjustment on the bridge 81 pickup. The included springs were too long and bottomed out early. The neck springs were fine but due to Gibson style hard tail bridge the strings sit quite a bit higher. Not a big deal just used my original spring for the duncan and it was shorter allowing the extra adjustment. Man, I love these pickups. EMG now has the X series of these pickups. They provide more headroom for those that are looking for the EMG clarity but a vintage passive feel in an active pickup then the X would fit you. If you are looking for a high reliable output like for metal get the standard 81 85's. EMG all the way!

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

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