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The EMG-KFK Kerry King (Slayer) signature model includes the EMG-81 and EMG-85 along with the PA2 (20 dB gain booster) to deliver maximum distortion for Kerry and Slayer's bone crushing tones. This is his exact configuration used for live and studio action.
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 is it's quiet. If you're playing at really high gain the last thing you need is noise.
Although this humbucker 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 pickup works best if you like the natural distortion that comes from overdriving the front end of your amp. Under any condition, it responds accurately to your technique.
Straight booster preamplifier mounted on a mini toggle switch. Perfect if you want to just plain overdrive the input of your amp for distortion. It has a trim pot so you can preset the amount of boost up to an additional 20 dB. The PA2 will also work with passive pickups.
EMG EMG-KFK Kerry King 81/85 Humbucker Set Specifications: