Customer center login
Country and Language

EMG 81 Black


Active Pickup for Electric Guitar

  • Humbucker
  • For the bridge position
  • Strong ceramic magnets and close aperture coils create a sound with detailed intensity, incredible amounts of high end cut, and fluid sustain
  • Ideal for high gain applications due to its very low susceptibility to feedback
  • Output: High
  • String spacing: Universal
  • Connectors: Solderless
  • Magnet: Ceramic
  • Width: 70 mm
  • Height: 38 mm
  • Installation depth: 23 mm
  • Mounting screw spacing: 78 mm
  • Cap colour: Black
  • Made in USA

Includes EMG's solderless installation system:

  • 25k Tone potentiometer
  • 25k Volume pot
  • Battery bus
  • Stereo output jack
  • In/Out bus for two pickups
  • Fixing screws and springs
  • Audio cable
  • 2 Connection cables
  • Output cable
  • Battery cable
Active Yes
Wiring Completely Wired
Output High
Kappe Yes
Colour Black
Position Bridge
Item number 121456
The shipping costs are calculated on the checkout page.
In stock within 2-3 weeks
In stock within 2-3 weeks

This item is expected back in stock soon and can then be shipped immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
18 Sales Rank

526 Customer Reviews

5 460 Customers
4 54 Customers
3 9 Customers
2 1 Customer
1 2 Customers
4.8 / 5



2x emg81 + emh 3 way toggle switch
Niky_shred 10.10.2020
These replaced all the electronics in a Musicman JP150 . The pickups were a snug fit but all in all, easy install - Brought an average sounding guitar to stage/recording threshold . As expected of EMG. Superb customer service from Thomann, also as expected; Thanks!


The Original Metal Pickup!!!
Philip669 16.08.2013
What can be said about the EMG 81 that already has not been said?
Well its the industry standard for that searing metal tone, Bands like slayer, In flames, even judas priest now use EMG's.
I've used EMG's for over 25 years mainly in metal guitars for extreme music, but i bought this 81 to go in my Jackson Bengal which will be only used for old 80's hair metal & hard rock, well without a doubt it can nail that sound easy, its now looking that the old 81 is more of an all rounder than many people initially thought, Most think EMG are a one trick pony only for extreme metal.
I must praise the Guys at EMG for coming up with the solderless design.
It makes changing pickups a pleasure rather than a chore, Most people cannot solder very well so the solderless range is ideal for the beginner or if you just want to save money on getting a repair shop to fit the pickups, I am going to try the 18 Volt mod on my guitar to check out the headroom it gives these pickups.
I for one will always use EMG's i love them & they do exactly what it says on the tin METAL!!!!


Instant transformation of an old guitar
StabbingOctopus 19.03.2021
Put this (combined with an EMG 85 in the neck position) in an old guitar that was never particularly good.
Installation was a breeze due to the solderless setup. Fit perfectly into the pickup rings/cavities of the old humbuckers - no need to modify the wood.
The tone instantly went from meh to perfection (for what I needed). Allows for incredibly clear, tight, nice heavy chugging.
Thanks, EMG!
My only regret is that I didn't get several years ago!


Metal Standard
Richard936 09.09.2013
What can you say about the EMG 81 that hasn't been written before, in truth not much. The EMG 81 is the standard metal pick up that all other metal pick ups are measured against and in all fairness they fail to match up the 81.

While the cleans are not the best, the distorted tone is fantastic for all types of metal. Ive used the EMG 81 in various guitars, Jackson's, PRS SE's and Ibanez and I have never failed to get a killer tone out of them.

My current Amp is a H&K Tubemeister 18 Head and with a EMG 81 equipped guitar I can get a real great crunch tone with no hum, which is the bonus of an internal pre amp in the 81.

There is a reason the 81 is on some of the classic metal albums of all time and the user list for the 81 is so long, this pick up slays end of story.

The quick connect system is a really good system but make sure you have space in your control cavities for the 9v Battery. You may find that abit of drilling may be required to get the thick cable down to the new jack socket, I've only found this on Ibanez guitars so far.

The quick connect system is also usable for SD Blackouts, so if your are someone who likes swapping pups there is another reason to get an 81.

Pairs well with an 85 or the 60 in the neck position.


Need help?