EMG pickups have been around since 1976, offering a diverse line of active pickups used in just about every genre of music and matched with top guitar manufacturers. EMGs have been heard in everything from blunt-force metal to trailer park country – all with absolutely no 60-cycle hum.
EMG has continued to evolve its Retro Active Series with the T-52 set for Telecasters. This is EMG’s take on a ’50s sound with a blend of magnets that offer vintage flavors with edginess, warmth, and musicality. It comes with their custom Retro Active preamp yielding sublime goo-gobs of crisp cluck and bite without the annoying hum. Easily installed in most Telecaster-style guitars and completely solderless, the T-52 requires a 9-volt battery. If your guitar lacks sufficient cavity space, a battery holder is recommended in the back of the guitar.
Plugged into a variety of clean combo amps and high-gain heads, the T-52 Set offers a smooth clarity useful for a plethora of genres that require lustrous punch. Its exposed polepieces and Alnico V magnets will give your bridge Telecaster position smooth warmth with definition, while the neck position uses Alnico II magnets for diaphanous midrange, less treble, and a classic utilitarian identity. Gig-friendly clean funk tones along with volume manipulation yield flexible output levels without the muddiness associated with passive single-coils. The bridge pickup screams with mellifluous proclivities while the neck indulges blues phrases with rich harmonics.
EMG’s T-52 is a great set of pickups with a range of sounds. Best of all, you can install them yourself.
This article originally appeared in VG April 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.