In early 2009, James Hetfield contacted EMG Pickups president Rob Turner and presented him with a challenge: to create a “stealth” looking set that captures the clarity and punch of a passive pickup and still retains the legendary active tone that molded a generation.

Now available in EMG Metal Works Finishes and EMG’s Solderless Installation System components, the JH Set consists of the JH-N (neck) and the JH-B (bridge). Both pickups were patterned after the pickups James has used for 30 years but the end result was a completely different animal. The JH-N has individual ceramic poles and bobbins that feature a larger core and are taller than the 60. This produces more attack, higher output, and fuller low end in the neck position. The JH-B uses the same type of core but has steel pole pieces, unlike the 81 that uses bar magnets. This produces the familiar tight attack with less inductance for a cleaner low end.

Metal Works consists of six stainless steel cap options for any of their active or passive humbucker pickups. These U.S.A made caps are available in Gold, Chrome, Brushed Gold, Brushed Chrome, and Brushed Black Chrome. Pioneers of the “Black Pickup”, EMG has become recognizable worldwide and used by millions of guitar and bass players. The team at EMG is set to make history again with the introduction of the new Metal Works series. These striking new designs offer players and instrument builders a broader range of premium cap options. All the power and clarity of EMG electronics, now with a modern classic look


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Icon of the metal world, James Hetfield sits down with EMGtv to discuss his inspiration for the EMG Het Set and his three signature ESP guitars – Truckster, Snakebite, and Iron Cross. Like making music for his legendary band Metallica, James takes developing his signature sound very seriously. Watch as he talks about the past and the future of Metallica on EMGtv.