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Unread 09-01-2009, 05:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

Can anyone who has tried this explain the tonal differences between running the EMG's at 9 volt and 18 volt?

Specifically the EMG 81 bridge and the EMG 85 or 60 neck?

Thanks,
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Unread 09-01-2009, 07:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

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Originally Posted by Fixxxer View Post
Can anyone who has tried this explain the tonal differences between running the EMG's at 9 volt and 18 volt?

Specifically the EMG 81 bridge and the EMG 85 or 60 neck?

Thanks,
I only found a difference in clean tones. The increased headroom left more room before breakup. Really preserved clean tones for me.

I wouldn't even really describe the difference as tonal although somebody may disagree. Different guitars may react differently to it than my Schecter did.

With an overdriven dirty sound, I found no difference. Clean it was fairly obviously better for me.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 12:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

I tried 18 volt not with EMG's...but with Seymour Duncan Blackouts. I didn't like it...there was more headroom, but the pickups were a lot harsher sounding...not as smooth. I'll stick with 9 volts.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 01:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

I got the same results as 180 on clean tones, but I also noticed greater detail from the 18v mod, and that applied to overdriven sounds as well. No extra harshness like Sentry experienced, just more clarity when the amp was set to clean, and more detail regardless of how the amp was set.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 07:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

Well, the 18 volt mod has never been a recommendation for the SD Blackouts so...in relation to the TS's question - as mudfinger said.

In my words:

We had the 3 clip system together so we could go back and forth between 9v and 18v in about 10 seconds and the difference was easily noticeable. The 18v system brought lows which were tighter (less mud) and the highs were less harsh with clarity yet all of the crunch and heaviness was still there. There is a slight perception of more output but I believe a measurement of the output shows no significant increase - I believe it is a perception based upon the clarity (or lack of mud).

I also found that the cleans (particularly on the 60) were beautiful on 18v. The volume knob was quite useful in tailoring the sound.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

When I had EMGs I did the 18v mod. I don't remember exactly why but they did sounded better.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 01:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

I'm a fan of the 18V mod for the reasons already stated.
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Unread 03-03-2011, 05:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

I'm always at 9V. Never heard differences between the 9 or 18 V versions. Must be me.
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Unread 03-06-2011, 10:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

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Originally Posted by Nigel T. View Post
I'm always at 9V. Never heard differences between the 9 or 18 V versions. Must be me.
I heard the difference. I guess for me it was the opposite way from which I wanted to go. I like the actives for the fact that you can roll the volume back, they clean up well, not all the treble is lost and they still sound awesome. Unless I'm going with a full on lead the volume rarely gets past 7-8. (Usually around 5-6...and I like the sound of 'em with 9volts.)
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Unread 03-07-2011, 06:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

Never been a fan of the 9v mod on the EMG 81 in the bridge but love it with my EMG 60 in the neck. Solution? I got an EMG60x for the neck (I use that for cleans and light rhythm work) and now I can go 9v and have the extra headroom with the 60x in the neck.

Last edited by Saiko; 03-07-2011 at 07:23 PM.
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Unread 03-07-2011, 10:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: EMG 18 volt mod vs 9 volt Tonal Differences

I've got basically the Gilmour EMG setup in my Strat. I'm wondering if anyone has done the 18 volt mod with that structure?
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