Thanks guys, I appreciate it. The blackouts sound quite good to me. I don't have a frame of reference for this guutar since I bought it used with them already in it, but they certainly sound a lot different than my 7's with passives. There's a lot of clarity in the low end, which helps with the 7th and 8th string a lot when playing with high gain. When it's clean, it's a bit brighter than I would have expected but can easily be tamed with the tone knob. That brightness does help keep the low strings from sounding too dull or bassy. I guess overall, they are pretty tight sounding and it seems to definitely work in the 8 string's favor. I hope this helps.