EMG Metal Works 57 & 66 pickups review

Vintage tones from the metal kings

  • £238
  • €294
  • $398
Despite the name, Metal Works are actually EMG's most vintage sounding pickups

MusicRadar Verdict

EMG has seriously expanded its tonal palette with the 57 and 66 humbuckers. The message now? It's time to take a fresh look at what EMG has to offer.


  • +

    Relatively easy installation. Superb note separation.


  • -


MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

No pickup manufacturer has been typecast like EMG. The brand has become so associated with metalheads that the message has become: you want vintage warmth, you'd best shop elsewhere.

"The 57 bridge unit handles clean tones better than any previous EMG"

EMG has addressed its lack of vintage presence with the new Metal Works 57 bridge 'bucker and its companion, the 66 model. Why Metal Works? Because you get the choice of shiny and brushed chrome, black chrome and gold-finished metal casings.

Fitting these pickups to our Schecter PT took an hour, tops. EMG's Solderless Install System means you only need a pair of pliers, a couple o' screwdrivers and a nine- volt PP3 battery to do it.

The 57 bridge unit, with its combination of Alnico V magnets and steel polepieces, offers trademark metal chugging rhythm tone, but it handles clean tones better than any previous EMG. It sparkles, and works great for classic hard-rock tones, too.

The 66 neck combines Alnico V magnets for vintage warmth and ceramic pole pieces for punch. The result is the brightest-sounding neck 'bucker we've tried, with superb note separation no matter how thick the overdrive gets.