Blackout 7's Upgrayedd? (New to actives)

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by 0rimus, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. 0rimus

    0rimus SS.org Regular

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    So I'll try and keep this short and sweet.

    I bought an Agile Intrepid Pro 728 and had the intention of swapping out the active Blackouts it comes with stock from the get go.

    In fact it might be more accurate to say I bought a new guitar just so I had something to put a Liquifire and an SD Custom 7 in lol.

    And at first I was pretty smugly vindicated by the Blackouts having all the negative attributes that I'd heard/read about: compressed, waaaaay too gainy, fizzy high end.

    However, going back over to my 5153, turning down the presence and the gain and waiting for the brand new strings to break in (they were ungodly bright to begin with). I now have the best guitar tone I've ever had...

    So I'm kinda hesitant to change anything.

    That said however, I DO wish that the bridge were a bit tighter on the low end. It seems to have almost like the resonance is too high kinda thing going on, if that makes any sense.

    Anyway TL;DR

    A more percussive active Bridge pickup than a Blackout (for 7 string)?

    Fishman Fluence Moderns?
    EMG 60x in the bridge?
    Would it even be worth it to swap at this point?
    Just keep the Blackouts?

    This is my first guitar with actives and like I said, I was planning on converting to passives ASAP, but idunno, now I really like em.

    Thanks!
     
  2. newamerikangospel

    newamerikangospel Tonight.......you

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    Try swapping the bridge and the neck around. It's a little bit warmer and the low end is rolled off a bit more. And if you want to try a different flavor, I really dig the Jeff lol is in my km7. Don't know what your woods are (maple with mahogany wings?), but the swamp ash Jeff looms pickups are a good match.
     
  3. 0rimus

    0rimus SS.org Regular

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    Yeah it's a 5 piece maple/walnut neck through with allegedly mahogany body...

    *coughprobablyashcough*

    I'm leaning more towards the Fluence's but I forgot about Jeff's set. Pobably because I'm allergic to signature sets, but I'll have to check those out

    Also I really like the Blackout neck pickup as a neck pickup, but it might be worth swapping em around

    Thanks
     
  4. jc986

    jc986 Tone Enthusiast Contributor

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    If you like the overall tone of the Blackout you should take a look at the EMTY or the Retribution. Both are tighter than the AHB-1 and have a slightly different voicing. I prefer the Retribuition as it has more clarity than the EMTY imo.
     
  5. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    One thing I've found with my Blackouts (AHB1; 6-string version) that helps the tone immensely is to roll off the volume knob about 1/8 to even 1/4 turn. I play through a 6505 -- so it's a similar tone to what you have.

    Anyway, that does seem to tighten it up considerably but also makes the overall tone sound "bigger" and meaner; it can breathe a little more. With this guitar I play in C# Standard/Drop B FWIW. I think these pickups just have too much output for an already-high gain amp. By turning down the guitar's volume knob a little, I'm allowed to roll the gain up a little more on the amp and it sounds a lot more like I'm using passive pickups. I was considering switching this guitar to passives but ever since I tried running the volume knob a little lower I'm reluctant to change anything -- it sounds amazing now.
     
  6. 0rimus

    0rimus SS.org Regular

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    Nice! When I first restrung the guitar I played around with turning the tone knob all the way down, which did a good job cutting primarily gain a a bit of presence without warming up the bottom end too much

    But yeah, even playing around with the controls and my amp there seems to be an ever-present boominess to the low notes and chords.

    The EMTY's and the Retribution set might be just the thing I need, but man, why does everything have to be a signature set dammit?
     
  7. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    When I used BOs, I put a .010uf cap on my tone pot, and kept it rolled down. Worked great at cutting some of that grit and harsh highs. You could also just solder a .0066uf across the signal and ground somewhere, and use a .0033uf across the tone pot, alowing more focused variance of the tone pot. I also tried a passive low cut (variable hiigh pass) circuit on the tone pot, with a .0066uf between the ground and output of the volume pot, worked pretty well too.
     
  8. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    The good thing about the EMTY and Retribution set is that it has no obvious marking on the pickups to suggest they're signature pickups. I have the Retribution set on my Jackson SLAT7 and I'm not sure how much I like them yet. I like them a lot more than the EMG81-7 and 707 set and the sure thing is that they have less output than the Blackouts, even though they still have quite a bit. They have a tight low end and are clearer than the EMG's but they don't sound as big as the Blackouts. I know the the Blackouts are all out there and more compressed but I still feel thay sound huge. Truth be told that's the 6 string ones tuned in E or E flat. When I tried the Blackouts at C I wasn't really into the sound. The EMG 57/66 might be a good alternative as they have less output but are really dynamic. They can do hard rock to metal but have a kind of PAF sound so I'm not sure if they'll be up for the task you're thinking off.
     
  9. 0rimus

    0rimus SS.org Regular

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    My guitar is 28.625" scale and I'm tuned to G standard with a .74 for the lowest string so running a bit on the thin side might not be detrimental in my case

    That said however I do prefer a bit more chunky low end than typical djent mantra of cutting the bass entirely, Sybreed is a good example

    Blackouts just have excess low end in the wrong place. Might just have to wait for more info on the Retributions, those seem awesome

    Thanks errybody!
     
  10. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    The Retribution bridge I feel has the best qualities of the EMG81-7 and 707 (not as thin as the 81-7 and not as boomy as the 707) while having a tighter low end than both of them. In terms of output I'd say it's at the 81-7 levels, meaning hot but not over the top. The neck pup is has more high end than most active neck pups and still is really tight. A bit too less warm from what you'd expext from a neck pup but it depends on the application. I like more high output neck pups that aren't too boomy so it suits me fine, especially for the 7th string.
     
  11. pearl_07

    pearl_07 SS.org Regular

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    Have you tried running an overdrive in front of your amp? With a tuning like that I don't think there's any passive or active pickup that would give you the tightness you're looking for. A Maxon OD-808 or any tube screamer variation does wonders in terms of tightening up the low end.
     
  12. 0rimus

    0rimus SS.org Regular

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    Yeah I was using SD 805 and ended up swapping it out for a EHX Crayon of all things

    And yes noise gate as well

    Has anyone tried disconnecting the tone pot with Blackouts? I know with passives removing the tone pot entirely opens up the pickup substantially, moreso and differently than merely switching values (i.e. 500k to 1000k tone pot)
     

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