EMG SA  Set - Black
EMG SA Set - Black

SA Set - Black, Pickup chitarra from EMG belonging to the SA Set model.

content in English
King Loudness 31/08/2011

EMG SA Set - Black : Recensione di King Loudness (content in English)

"Cool take on Strat tones"

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The EMG SA Strat set is basically EMG's standard set of pickups to replace the typical passive S-S-S pickups found in a Stratocaster type guitar. I purchased a Japanese made Phoenix/Tokai Strat that had originally been loaded with a set of DiMarzio pickups and later had been replaced with these EMG SA pickups in a set. This particular set was also wired with the 18 volt mod (using 2 9V batteries) which provides a thicker and clearer tone overall. It's very common for metal players to do this with their humbuckers, but I definitely think it's a decent thing for the single coils as well. The guitar in question had an ash body and a maple neck/fretboard, so it was a fairly bright guitar. The EMGs had a surpringly good sound to them that I was not expecting in the slightest. I'm not normally one to stray from my favoured vintage style single coils when I'm playing a Strat, but these pickups had a wicked tone that was awesome.

They have a very cool chime/top end sparkle that is really hi-fi sounding. It's not nearly as forgiving as a set of vintage passives, but they have a perfect polished eighties sort of LA Studio sound. Applying some compression and various spatial effects brought forth the ultimate in pristine cleans. Sure it didn't sound vintage, but it did sound good. The drive tones were very controlled and smooth. They handle gain like a champ and never feel like they're being overloaded. The split coil modes sounded awesome too, very Dire Straits esque or like a modern take on the classic Little Wing tone.

All in all I think the EMG SA pickup set is a great alternative for those players who want something that's more polished and pristine than a typical set of passive Strat pickups. Sure they buck tradition, but for that crystal clear sound I haven't heard better. I do prefer them wired 18V, but standard 9V wiring sounds fine too.