Guitar Upgrades – Can You Hear the Difference in Pickups? [Video]
Today was guitar day for me, and I've been really looking forward to doing this video and guitar upgrade. I've recently gotten some new pickups for one of my favorite guitars, my EC-1000, from ESP/LTD.
It's a great guitar, and I've played the hell out of it for years, but the pickups have been bugging me for a while now. They're fine, but kind of compressed and midrangy-heavy. It's leaded with EMG 81s in both bridge and neck positions.
After a lot of research, I decided to switch to the EMG 57/66 set, as I've heard a lot of great demos of them pickups, and they sound a little more open, and less compressed and middy than the 81s.
I decided to film a shootout of the two sets of pickups today, so I threw together a few things to show the different pickups, so you can hear how they sound with different kinds of playing. There's clean picked stuff, simple held chords, riffing, and then fast thrashy picking at the end. I think this gives you a sample of a lot of the different things you'd do with a guitar, so you can spot the tonal differences in the pickups.
I really like the 57/66 set...they have a little more clarity, less compressed sound to them, and don't have all that aggressive midrange that you get from the 81s. This is probably the closest I'll get in this guitar to passive pickups, since I don't want to do rewiring. I love this guitar too much to screw with it much.
Hope you like it! Enjoy!