Jim Root, a long time user of the EMG 81/60 combo, began the process of developing a signature set well over three years ago. After trying various prototypes Root was inspired by a set of modified Retro Active pickups to tailor his tone. He settled on a set that gave him everything he loved from the 81/60 with the added benefits and versatility of the Retro Active design. Unlike traditional open coil pickups, both the bridge and neck pickup utilize stud poles. The fingerboard pickup uses ceramic studs giving it a clean high-end percussive tone. The bridge pickup has black steel poles and features a ceramic magnet, similar to the EMG 81. Both pickups feature custom Retro Active preamps exclusive to the Root set.