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EMG ZW Set Zakk Wylde Active Humbucker Pickup Set Black Reviews

4.5 stars based on 13 customer reviews
Questions about the EMG ZW Set Zakk Wylde Active Humbucker Pickup Set Black?

Questions about the EMG ZW Set Zakk Wylde Active Humbucker Pickup Set Black?

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  • from Wheeling wv May 5, 2017Music Background:

    Great pickups

    Was wanting some more agressive sounding pickups for my epiphone les Paul searched for a while came across these love them took the guitar to the next level for sure great cleans awesome dirty and the neck pickup is great for blues would recommended them to anyone who likes classic rock heavy rock or blues style music

  • from Ohio May 1, 2016

    Ignore the negative comments....

    Let me give my take on these AWESOME pickups. These are rockets! I mean they scream. I put these in my Les Paul and WOW! Sustain, pinch harmonics... And a great , rich tone. I play several styles of music and these are great for Metal, Blues, Classic Rock. Despite the negative comments I have read about the 81/85 set sounding sterile, lifeless or dull let me give you the truth. Plain and simple these pickups sound great clean. I use a Black Label Chorus for my clean tone and the sound with these 81/85's is crystal clear. Full , rich tone. I bought these because I love the sound. True, I am a huge Zakk Wylde fan but these guys just sound so good it doesn't matter who plays them. They are just that good! I will ONLY put EMG 81/85's in my Les Paul. So go ahead and take your tone to the next level!!!

  • from centralia February 19, 2016Music Background:

    exactly what i needed

    I recently got these and installed them into my les paul and as soon as i flipped my amp on it was exactly what i was looking for and what my guitar needed to bring it to life.and the solder less install is soo easy.Sweetwater got these out to me really fast and i had them in myself and my guitar plugged in and was playing in no time.Sweetwater is the best and if your looking for some nice active pickups these are the ticket.

  • from October 15, 2015


    They were just as I expected. Put these pups in my Epiphone Zakk bullseye, now it feels true.

  • from Springfield, IL June 7, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Great set of pickups

    These pickups really pack a nice punch! I'm not into Zakk Wylde's music very much so I was hesitant to purchase these. I'm glad I did though. If you are into any form of Rock music, and want a killer Rock distortion tone, or a glassy clean tone, these are for you.

  • from new York April 24, 2013

    zakk wylde EMG 81 85

    Put These Puppies In My Les Paul And Just Now Les Paul Custom These Will Blow You Away.And Now Thinking Of Putting These In My Gold Top,Just One Thing Let The Store Put Them In For You Extra Money But Worth It....

  • from Indiana May 1, 2009Music Background:
    Guitar for 15 yrs, amp builder/tweaker.

    Faded SG

    I have a zakk Wylde Epiphone with the passive equivalents. I put these in my SG and wow, huge full sound. I don't know what people r on when they say these R sterile because they r not. the 81 is warm and crunchy in the bridge and the 85 is huge sounding neck pickup. tried it 85 in the bridge and 81 in neck love it that way too. 81 has an amazing distorted tone in the neck almost acoustic sound clean. Not sure how the will stay!

  • from Indiana April 7, 2017Music Background:
    long time hobbyist

    Excellent, depending on your tonal desires

    Let me first say, the subject of tone is very personal. What some consider awesome, others do not. I think the pickup consideration and purchase should lay heavily in the style of music you play. That being said, I think we all know what kind of stuff the namesake of this set of pickups plays (and many others who use this set). If you're a high gain player, there isn't much out there that can compete in the passive pickups, and if it can, it's usually boutique and you'd better be ready to tack on another $1-200 for a set. I've had these in a few different axes, from ESPs, to Les Pauls, SG's, and a Washburn or two. If you like modernish high gain, these will slay, and in my experience, there aren't really any substitute for that style. That being said, I don't find them terribly diverse, and they don't clean up as well as even some of my super hot (22k ceramic) passive humbuckers. I also find the cleans to be extremely sterile and lacking that round warmth that I get with most passives. That being said, if you want to hit hot harmonics, razor edged riffing with snarl, this IS your pickup set.

  • from Mobile Al November 7, 2015Music Background:
    Local musician/hobbyist

    Your dang right

    If your looking for a high gain sound or a bluesy tone
    Just switch amps lol
    But if your lookin for a set of pickups that do all the heavy metal/hard rock tones seamlessly then these will do it along with any other EMG pickup
    Bridge sounds great aggressive and doesn't get muddy in lower tunings
    Neck is nice and clear and very dynamic
    And the solderless Kit makes it great for those of us who hates wiring diagrams
    Very self explanatory

  • from Huntsville Alabama November 16, 2009Music Background:

    You don't have to play for Dethklok to use it

    Really nice set of pickups with completely solderless install unless you choose to put them into something real odd like a double humbucker Epiphone Wilshire reissue. Huge amounts of signal and pleasant usable tone. I think the clean sounds are remarkable and that EMG gets unfairly tagged with the distorion crunch tag. Sure they are what Zak Wylde, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, or Toki Wartooth use if that drives you. They happen to be very articulate and quiet (as in zip noise!) so what you do with that signal is your choice.

  • from Crab Orchard, WV August 19, 2014Music Background:
    Aspiring musician

    My new ZW EMG 81/85s

    Love 'em! They seriously improved the sound of my BC Rich Warlock. Added a ferocity to match the paint job I did.

  • from Madison Heights, MI June 6, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Guitarist, Student

    Great for Metal!

    These pickups are great! For certain genres, but not a very versatile pickup. Good for overdriven and distorted tones. But cleans must be EQ'd a lot and the volume noob must be low or else the sound peaks and sounds very fuzzy. But for metal they're awesome! Great rhythm and lead sounds. Chugs are thick, riffs are fat, and solos sound great. I found harmonics sound sick as well. Great pickups for someone looking for heavier genres.

  • from Las Vegas April 1, 2013Music Background:


    The sound is very oversaturated on a high gain setting, which is what most consumers will be using. If you've never owned active pickups, they are very thin sounding. I need to use the neck pup just for the warmth of a passive bridge pickup. I have tried many amps, and messed with my EQ (Peavey 6505+ Combo) and I just cannot get a warm enough clear sound out of these. They aren't dynamically responsive, and the volume knob does near to nothing for them. They don't lower much in gain with guitar volume even on one. I would look at a good set of passive DiMarzio pickups. You won't regret it.

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