The 85 uses two Alnico magnet loaded coils with a wide aperture to maintain a beefy low-end and a fatter top end. It’s a perfect choice as a rhythm pickup in combination with an 81 in the bridge, which is the same pickup combination used by Zakk Wylde. The midrange has better definition and doesn’t get foggy or muddy in the rhythm position either. Steve Lukather uses the 85 as his lead pickup in the bridge position of his Ernie Ball Signature "Luke" model. It has loads of output and isn’t muddy. The 85 has a natural tone that works great as a rhythm and blues pickup. It appeared on the later Guild® Bluesbird™ (designed by George Gruhn) model which was a favorite of blues player Buddy Guy for years. The EMG-85 works best if you like the natural distortion that comes from overdriving the front end of your amp. Under any conditions it responds accurately to your technique.