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EMG Zakk Wylde Set Active Humbucker Electric Guitar Pickups (81 and 85)


(3 reviews)


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MSRP: Old Price $289.99 Discounted Price $199.00 Save : $90.99 (31%)
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MSRP: Old Price $289.99 Discounted Price $199.00 Save : $90.99 (31%)
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With scorching riffs and remarkable stage presence, Zakk Wylde has earned his reputation as heavy metal's premier lead guitarist. From Ozzy Osbourne, Pride and Glory, and now Black Label Society, Zakk has always used EMG Active Pickups. The Zakk Wylde model features the EMG-85 and EMG-81, as used on his signature bullseye Les Paul.

EMG-81 (use at bridge position)
The EMG-81 is a 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 and 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.

EMG-85 (use at neck position)
Although the EMG-85 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 lowend 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. Itís a perfect choice as a rhythm pickup in combination with an 81 in the bridge, which is the same pickup combination used by Zakk Wylde.

Package Includes: EMG's exclusive Quik-Connect™ cables (2), 25k long shaft volume/tone controls (2), 25k split shaft volume/tone (standard) controls (2), screws & springs. Also a removable Zakk Wylde Postcard on the box and 1 EMG / Zakk signature collectable guitar pick.

Things You Will Get:

  • EMG-81 Pickup
  • EMG-85 Pickup
  • 2 Quik-Connect™ cables
  • 2 25k long shaft volume/tone controls
  • 2 25k split shaft volume/tone (standard) controls
  • Screws
  • Springs
  • Postcard on the box
  • guitar pick



Bought a Les Paul Traditional 1960's re-issue. It was the best feeling guitar for me at that time. Problem was I didn't care to much for the stock pickups. They seemed to lack in all areas except clean tone. So the guitar became a decoration on the wall. I debated if I wanted to take this expensive Les Paul active. After some thought I rolled the dice and did it. I'm so glad I did. Ripping distortion for hard rock and metal. With some effects it sound real good playing the blues, in mild crunch and clean tones. I've never installed pickups before and this was a simple. EMG has a video on how to install them on their site. Thats all I used for directions. Plug n Play, Its that easy. I was done in less than an hour stringed up and ready to play. I've been playing all night and just love dynamics these pickups give my once boring Les Paul 60's trad. If there was a negative it would be lack of a integrated battery box in the back plate. Plenty of room for one so why not add it to the kit> Rather then having to unscrew the back plate every time you need to make a battery chance. We all leave our guitar plugged in and sitting from time to time, So that will kill the battery fast. It just would be nice to get quick access to the battery. For those who think these pickups are just for Metal and hard rock, think again. They sound great playing many styles. Even though I did mention a negative, the sound these pickups give off cancels out a small over sight, if you want to call it that. If you can live with unscrewing the back plate to change the battery (I can) This is a 5 star product IMO.




Awesome tone, do-it-yourself setup


If you're a DIY person like me, EMG does a fantastic job of supplying great products that make just that possible. They implement clips in their electronics enabling someone with little guitar maintenance experience to install these by themselves without using solder, or paying an expensive shop to do it. They also make the conversion between passive to active pickups relatively painless. As far as the pickups go, the tone is awesome. I heard everywhere that the EMG 81/85 combination was killer and finally got around to trying it. I'm glad I did, the pickups scream! The Zakk Wylde set also comes with 2 volume pots, 2 tone pots and an input jack that enables grounding for the active pickups. Unfortunately you do have to pay for the pickups, and you have to regularly maintain the 9v batteries as with any active pickups. But for the quality of this product, it seems like a small price to pay.


Moorhead, MN




Installed these in my Les Paul this afternoon. They sound like complete and utter garbage! I can't believe I ruined such a fine instrument by putting this junk in there. If you want to upgrade your sound, go with something else! I've used replacement pickups for years without fail. I didn't even play for 5 minutes with these things, and I want to throw my guitar out the window! Complete and total waste of money. Now I have to change all my pot's back to the solder type, and try and undo the damage I did.


Orlando, FL


Zakk Wylde Set Active Humbucker Electric Guitar Pickups (81 and 85)

3.7 3


Series Humbucker
Model EMG-ZW Set
Warranty Info:

Zakk Wylde Set Active Humbucker Electric Guitar Pickups (81 and 85)

The manufacturer's warranty covers parts for two years and labor for two years from date of purchase. The warranty excludes damage from misuse, abuse, and contains other exclusions.