Just wish me good luck with the EMGs, I haven't soldered anything in years! The guitar now has Seymour Duncan livewires. Metal bridge/normal neck. The bridge I don't like, hence the change. I got the set used for some 95 USD total, but I had to do some shopping around for the 3-pin connector, going the cheap way (dupont connector) and some 25K pots/cap I got for a pretty decent price. All about 105 USD for the set + pots/cap + wiring.
I wish it turns out to be much better for clean tones, like EMGs usually are.
Hi, I just finished replacing my old SD livewire/livewire metal set in my old Kramer 210 (which run at 18v and 100KOhm pots), with the EMG 85b/81n set. Originally I intended this to be the classic 81b/85n setup but as many ppl have experienced this does not balance well. I tested both with the stock 18v wiring as well as with bridging one of the clips (9V). here are my impressions, also with regards to another 81b/60n set that I have in my mahogany single-cut ARZ800 : - I find the cleans of 85 in the bridge good. Better than livewire metal, for sure, but still nothing extraordinary. The 81 in the neck is somewhat darker than the livewire neck - I kept the 9V mod, with 18V I didn't get the squealies I get with the 9V mod. Now it squeals easier almost all over the board, even in high E - I concluded once again that wood/construction/scale is VERY important. The guitar surely sounds different than with the livewires but the basic character is unchanged. The natural harmonics that used to ring very loud with the livewires are still the same harmonics that want to ring loud with the EMGs. Next strings change I will try with swapping to 81b/85n or by replacing the 81/60 I have an the ARZ800. In short I feel that what I hear in the ARZ800 is not EMG sound but mahogany 25", 24 frets, fixed bridge sound, and in the Kramer not EMG sound but 80s super strat, 22 frets, floyd-rose sound. - So when I dreamed of getting the cleans of 81/60 in the ARZ800 with the Kramer I was wrong. The cleans in neck are nice (livewire neck was nice as well but with more treble), bridge are good, mid works nice, but not mind blowing. - 85 output-wise, destroys the 81. 85b/81n balances very good at the same height. - 85 is very quiet. 81 not so much. - Distorted sounds great in bridge and neck. Plenty of shredding tones. Nice riffs. - The 85 in the bridge is by far tighter than the livewire metal. At last I can do some riffs in heavy distortion settings without it sounding like it has reverb.