It seems even metalheads mellow with age. Kirk Hammett, a longtime user of EMG 81s, has worked with the pickup manufacturer to launch new signature humbuckers that appeal to his new sonic preferences. “My taste in tone has definitely changed over the years,” the Metallica guitarist said. “I don’t like to use as much distortion these days—I prefer my tone to be nice and crisp.”
For the Kirk Hammett Bone Breaker set, EMG made slight preamp adjustments to the 81s, and combined Alnico 5 (on the neck) and ceramic (on the bridge) magnets to create a pickup system that doesn’t sacrifice gain for clean, or vice versa. According to EMG, the Bone Breaker is the “perfect tone beast.”
The Kirk Hammett Bone Breaker pickup set lists for $199. For more information, check out emgpickups.com.