This is metal!
I installed this pickup in a esp ltd kh-202 and the guitar reborn! To me they are the best pickups for playing metal! It wasnt easy to wire it up but it was my first time wiring active pickups. The tightness of the pickup translates into extremely clear, precise distorted tones where other pickups would get muddy. This also makes it ideal for recording and live use, as it requires less EQ tweaking to get sounding right in a band/mix, but at the same time this can make it sound slightly unappealing played on its own. Unlike most pickups, due to its weak magnetic coils and active preamp, the EMG 81 is almost free of any hum whatsoever! Keep it Metal!!!