I typically won't review a product until I've played with it for at least 2-3 months, but, because this is a pretty hot product, I wanted to post my initial thoughts early. My seven string Agile Sceptor 727 19-tone guitar came with SD Blackouts. While they are great pickups, I really didn't click with them. They sounded plenty beefy in high gain situations, but clean tones seemed to just be missing something and I couldn't get quite enough of the good treble frequencies I like out of them, so I decided to swap them out. My initial plan was to go with my go-to Dimarzio, but these were active routes and I really didn't want to mess with pickup rings and whatnot, plus I really wanted to try the Elysian TAP's, which I really liked the idea behind. So I contacted Elysian Guitars through ss.o and told Adam what I liked and asked if he could do something in an active housing. The answer to every question was yes, so he shipped me a beautiful pair of pickups with TAP technology and modern hot winding. I'll disclaimer here and say flat out that a lot of guitarists these days have been shying away from hot modern pickups and going for a PAF or something with a lower output. Not me. Most all of my guitars either have X2N's, EVO's, Super Distortions, or pickups voiced to sound like those pickups. When the package arrived at my house, I had actually just returned home from an emergency trip, so I was quite pleased to see how quickly Adam took care of me, and the timing provided a welcome distraction to the stress of travelling under bad circumstances... The pups came in a custom plastic case with the Elysian logo and lots of foam padding. A wiring diagram was included. The leads were already stripped down at the ends and twisted conveniently with the ground and the - output gently twisted together. The color code was intuitive to me: black is +, green is -, with red and white for access to different wiring configurations (red + of the "start coil" and white - of the "finish coil"). Before getting started, I decided to record a song right quick, so I could show off the difference between the two sets. I sort of randomly chose a Korn song, since it'd be easy to throw together, and I was struggling to contain my curiosity for how these would sound. I went with "Falling Away from Me," to get a sense of cleans and high gain tones, and I threw my attempt at something djenty in the middle (I'm not a djent guy), since some folks might want to hear them in that sort of context. Then I ripped out the SD's and dropped these bad boys in without any problems with the wiring. And then redid the guitar parts. There was a small drop in output level versus the blackouts, but, to be fair, those are really hot active pickups and these TAP's are passives. The difference is actually barely worth noting, though, so for passives, these are wound really damn hot. Right away, I was happy. There is a novelty effect any time you try new pickups, but I just gelled with these. I've tried dozens of pickups in the past, and I generally have the novelty wear off after 15-20 minutes. And I've bought plenty of pickups that I just didn't particularly like before. The Elysians, in this configuration, are just right up my alley. I am quite happy with my purchase so far. Also, I have to say that Adam was super helpful throughout the process. The clips were recorded with exactly the same settings for comparison purposes. I'd take a more layered approach to cleans with the Elysians, because they have a more piezo-y tone clean. Also, the chorus effect was set the same, but seemed to sound much deeper with the SD's, being active pickups. It might also be a bit unfair to the TAP's, since the tone settings were all optimized for the Blackouts and then I didn't screw with anything to make it more optimized-sounding for the Elysians. Let's see if I can manage to post the clips now without screwing up the forum Take 1: Seymour Duncan Blackouts: https://soundcloud.com/user-732175460/falling-away-from-me-seymour-duncan-blackout-pickups Take 2: Elysian Tuned Aperture Modern Hots: https://soundcloud.com/user-732175460/falling-away-from-me-elysian-tuned-aperture-pickups My take on it: two great tones. Both can easily handle the aggressive high gain stuff handily, and both sound totally different clean, but in both cases the cleans sound great, too. The Elysians just have a little extra bite to them that makes the high gain stuff cut better, in my ears.