cant decide between EMG 81 and Blackouts = Combine both?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by lewis, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    So I already have and use 81 in another guitar and Im modifying the hell out of my other recent fanned fret guitars.

    Decided to hit up alot of Blackout comparison videos. I like the EMTY but for this guitar, Ive ruled it out. So that leaves AHB-1 which from the Keith merrow demos, sounds really cool. (I didnt like the ABh2)
    Now because I cant decide which to go with I started to search for other things...

    Enter the Blackout solderless preamp?!. Now the description says add some blackout flavour to any pickup?. Seems they should be used with passive pickups BUT has anyone used this preamp with other active options?.

    A part of me is really interested to hear what an 81 with a blackout preamp added would sound like? Does anyone know if that would work?. Or if anyone has done it and can give any feedback?.

    Maybe lowering the EMG slightly to avoid clipping?. But on paper it seems blending an 81 with a blackout could be awesome?
     
  2. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    I don't think that idea would work. Get an 85. The high end is a little warmer, and the low end is a little more present, but boosting it can sound like a better 81. I'd also suggest using 18v.
     
  3. Metalman X

    Metalman X The Resplendent Sub-Human

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    An active EMG into a BMP-1 won't work. I've used the BMP-1 for a bit in the past, and it requires a 4 conductor humbucker to work. Reason being is it has seoerate inputs for each individual wire, and from what I've read, this isn't just to function as a bus or solderless connection, but because for the BMP-1 to do what it does, it does something with each coil individually.... the specifics of which I don't know. But I DO know that you can slightly alter the sound of the BMP-1 by flipping those coil wires, so it does something.

    Also, aside from all of that, the input of the BMP-1 is expecting a signal within a certain impedance range, which actives are not within (why we typically need to swap those 500k pots to 25k pots when going from passive to active). So I imagine that alone is gonna make things sound ugly, and not in a good way.

    Alternatively, you COULD experiment with a passive pickup voiced similar to an 81 into the BMP-1.... like a DiMarzio D-Activator or EMG HZ H4, for example. One combo I liked and used for awhile that I think may also get you into the ballpark is a Duncan Full Shred bridge into the BMP-1. Gives you that clarity and cut the Full Shred is known for, but with a little extra beef in the tone, and increased output (I like high output pickups for high gain tones still.... I know thats not the current 'thing'... but I'm more old school death and thrash metal. Currently I use un-jumpered Blackouts AHB-2's and 3's for active, and Black Winters for passive)
     
  4. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Ah thats a shame.
    So the description of "any pickup" should really have been "any PASSIVE Pickup"
     
  5. HerbalDude420

    HerbalDude420 SS.org Regular

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    Go with blackouts IMHO.
     
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  6. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    im really tempted too just for something abit different.
     
  7. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    guitar its going in is a 27-25 inch fan fret. Maple neck, maple board (made to look like Rosewood) and basswood body with a flamp maple veneer.
     
  8. Metalman X

    Metalman X The Resplendent Sub-Human

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    From what your describing, if your gonna go Blackout, I think your on the money with the AHB-3. I know many might argue this, but IMO it's a perfected 81 in many ways. Has a little more bite, but the highs seem sweeter, less grating somehow. Definitely has a fuller sounding low end than an 81, but certainly not bass heavy. Especially compared to the AHB 1 or 2. It's specifically designed to sound tight at low tunings, and of all the pickups I've tried over the last 15-20 years (which is a fair bit, but far far from everything), to me, it's the best for low tunings if you want a higher output active pickup. It's midrange is a little more scooped compared to the other Blackouts too.... rather, it's pretty neutral there, compared to the bigger mids of the others (I love the huge, thick midrange of the AHB-2, personally... it's like a tighter, active take on an Invader). But thats what I like most about the AHB-3.... the fact that it can be so friggin' tight, but still avoids sounding thin, all while also sounding even more aggressive than an 81 to boot.

    The thing with most Blackouts though is you really gotta rethink your EQ settings and dial accordingly. This can be frustrating if you frequently play other guitars with passives, or even EMG's, and use the same amp. If you have something like an Axe Fx or something, you just need to make seperate patches for them. Also, they are hotter than EMG's, which some will love and some will hate depending on personal tastes. I think these pickups get a lot of undue hate because of these traits. But personally, I think if your fine with dialling in for them specifically, and you like high output actives, they cover most any ground you'll want for heavier tones.
     
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  9. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood SS.org Regular

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    The BMP-1 is for passives only.
     
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