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Rocco_Crocco

Dialing in EMGs for classic rock/metal.

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I want to start by saying I play in a bar band that plays a fairly diverse mix of classic rock and metal, and am generally a fan of the Duncan JB in the bridge of my guitars. My Helix presets are optimized for this pickup.

 

The purpose for me starting this thread is to get practical ideas for altering my presets in a separate setlist, optimized for the pickups that are installed in a guitar I will most likely be acquiring today -- a sweet Iron Label Ibanez RG series. The guitar has EMG pickups -- 81/60 specifically. 

 

 

I know from owning these pickups years ago in another guitar, that they are a unique animal. I am not looking to make the guitar sound like my Les Paul with JBs. I just want the presets to sound good, and usable for my band's tunes.

 

 

Any tips??

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I have a guitar with an 85/89 set. I found I like their sound far better when I drove them at 18V - they seemed to be much more open and present, got rid of some muddiness.

 

That particular pickup combo should be a great metal sound, but I think it would be a bit too in-your-face for a great classic rock sound - no one has ever called a ceramic magnet "warm". To adjust my presets to accommodate, I'd really roll back the high and/or presence on the amp, maybe in conjunction with an EQ block to boost some of the mids. Also play around with mic and amp selection - start with a Greenback and a ribbon mic but have a fairly low high cut, maybe 3K or lower.

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I have a guitar with an 85/89 set. I found I like their sound far better when I drove them at 18V - they seemed to be much more open and present, got rid of some muddiness.

 

That particular pickup combo should be a great metal sound, but I think it would be a bit too in-your-face for a great classic rock sound - no one has ever called a ceramic magnet "warm". To adjust my presets to accommodate, I'd really roll back the high and/or presence on the amp, maybe in conjunction with an EQ block to boost some of the mids. Also play around with mic and amp selection - start with a Greenback and a ribbon mic but have a fairly low high cut, maybe 3K or lower.

After reading this I experimented with high cut... I ended up reducing the high cut by about 3dB. For most of my presets, that put me in the 4.5K zone. If I went even lower, the sound lost some of its pizzazz. I also dropped the gain in my amp and distortion blocks. These 2 changes alone really made a nice difference. I think I have nice, useable classic rock tones.

 

For clean sounds, I had to reduce the output block volume a few clicks. EMGs are loud! Lol.

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i have a charvel with 81/85 in and to be honest its fantastic at metal, but theres no control to them , with the volume theyre eother on or off, you cant back them off to clean an amp up, theyre boom/nowt , theyre a great pick up for what theyre meant for, but i cant use mine for classic rock stuff, i play in a classic rock cover band, the only stuff i can use the emgs for is metallica stuff, maybe a cpl of songs that weve "rocked up"

 

maybe if i had a little more time to make patches specific to that guitar id have better success, for face melt though its great :)

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