I guess this is more of a rant to exsorcise some frustration over my efforts to get a good tone on lower tuned guitars and some times expecting the results but not believing my ears. It also might have to do with the gear used rather than the actual materials used plus my expectations and maybe how I set up things. I've bitched about not being able to get a good sound out of my 7 strings and got some good advice here and while I'm not there yet I have made some progress and I have identified some key issues in terms of sound per guitar and what I need to do. My latest gripe is with Dimarzio 6 string D-Activators. In my experience with them so far they sound good in E stanard but I find them quite quite dark. Two guitars I had them in had a similar low mid full sounding sound with quite a bit of compression vs other sets. I actually needed to back off the gain with these pickups vs ohter sets. Anyway while I found them tight in E standrd the whole soundscape left me the impression they would not fair well in lower tunings. But a lot of people used them and reccomended the for lower tunings and have been really into the 7 string set (I know I know 6 string and 7 string Dimarzios don't sound the same). So I have a few 6 strings all in E standard and decided to set one up in C with a 12-60 D'Addario set I had laying around. I know the gauge is maybe overkill for C and I was considering B and still am. The guitar is a Jackson SL2H USA so neckthrough maple with alder wings and s sporting D-Activators. I changed strings, setup intonation, raised the action a bit to accommodate for the thicker strings, put a brass block on the trem for additional bells and whistles and checked neck curvature to see if any trussrod adjustments were needed. I plugged in the guitar on my Laney VH100R and got the most muddy buzzy sound I've ever have played a guitar with. I lowered the pickups and tried to change the EQ setting and it still sounded dull and muddy. That's with a TS808 in front too. I have an EQ pedal which I tried with my 7 strings and will try with this guitar. I tried the guitar on my Marshall Valestate without the Maxon with the same results. I tried it on my Peavey 5150II red channel with the Maxon and sounded a lot clearer. More like that thump in the chest aggressive sound rather than the soil your bowels I was getting with the other amps but still not quite there yet. I should mention that even though I have pushed the saddle all the way back without impeding the Floyds functionality I still am a bit sharp but I'm using a clip on tuner so I'm not sure about the accuracy it has. I just plugged in my Carvin right after that has a 10-46 set in E standard and it was like a blanket was lifted off the Marshal. I want to try a couple more things like putting 4 springs and not the 3 I have on a V pattern and tuning it down in B as the strings might be too stiff in this tuning and that might be why I don't like the sound. I did use a set like this for a Schecter with Blackouts and I remember I had the same results but I just wrote it off as the pickups being too bassy for low tunings. As I said I have similar issues with my 7 strings but I just got a BC Rich stealth that has a 9-54 set and it sounds stellar. A lot clearer and focused than my LTD EC407B that has the same pickups but a 10-59 set for B flat with the 27" scale. I don't know I love low tuned guitars and I remember the BC Rich JrV with EMG's I had in drop C sounded stellar through the Mesa Boogie Triple Rec I used to own without any boosts. I'm not sure if thick strings are my problem, the strings were bad (both sets), I'm not EQing everything correctly or the Laney and Marshal just can't handle those tunings as well as the Peavey without an EQ pedal that seems to compress and saturate a lot easier in the low frequencies than those two amps. I really like the Laney and Marshal for standard tuning. I did notice that when I tried the EQ pedal in the Laney I got more output and compression as well as tone shaping capabilities which of course the last was to be expected. Anyway if I can't make it sounds well, I'll just put a lighter gauge and try again or just set it to E flat or D standard. I always heard that D-Activators are tight and even sounding and can handle low tunings like chmpas but so far I'd say no that's not the case! Sorry for the rant, I love how my guitars sound in E standard and I hear all those great sounds in drop tunings. I just can't get there. Maybe I should try another brand for lower tunings other than D'Addario.