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The 85 is one of our first pickups and is the slightly more sophisticated and well rounded half of its famous twin, the 81. Featuring close aperture coils loaded with Alnico V magnets, the 85 is a powerful pickup with exceptional organic tone and versatility. Most often used in the rhythm position, the alnico magnets of this model provide a muscular growl and smooth lead tones to enable you to play the muddiest of blues to the most extreme metal. Try it in the bridge position for exceptional smoothness and soul. This pickup pairs well with just about every other humbucker in the EMG line.
During our search for sourcing the best available “chrome” finish cover cap, we found that the available products could not be ordered with any consistency. Most importantly, since the manufacturing process would not be controlled by us, there was no way of knowing how the sound and tonal performance characteristics of our pickups would be affected. This characteristic was something that also could vary from batch to batch. Finally, we could not find any US manufacturers. We knew at that point, that the “buy” solution would not work for us.
Since putting a nickel or chrome plating on a common base metal is just a low cost way to simulate polished stainless steel, we decided to look at the feasibility of doing the real thing. This was the “build” solution. EMG engineers worked out a way to produce a one piece, high quality, mirror polished, stainless steel cover cap while maintaining comparable pricing to the plated versions. In addition, the sound and tonal properties were virtually identical to our molded cover caps, and controlling the process guarantees the consistency and high quality level of the products. We are pleased to now offer humbuckers in the real deal, mirror polished stainless steel, known as “Chrome EMG’s”.
The “gold” version is the same polished stainless steel cover cap with a gold colored finish that is commonly used to harden machine tools. It is a finish that both hardens the cover cap surface and penetrates the stainless steel substrate, rather than surface coating it as a plating would. This assures a durable, longer lasting surface finish that will stand up to your pounding riffs and all the abuse the road can dish out.
Designed and produced in the USA.