Seven String Pickup Guide

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Digital Black, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. Haliphron

    Haliphron SS.org Regular

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    Seymour Duncan Jazz 7 (neck) & Crunch Lab 7 (bridge)

    in a

    Agile Septor Pro 727
     
  2. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Lundgren M7 bridge and neck
    Ibanez RG7620 (11-68 strings)

    I've been using these pickups for about 6 months now, and I still love them just as much as day one. High output, definitely loud but still controlled. I've got mine mounted to the body of my guitar, so I can't tell you how much the sound would change by adjusting the height.
    The good: lots of clarity on big chords, very dynamic, neck and bridge levels are well-balanced, love the cleans in neck humbucker and combined split-coil mode, doesn't sound muddy unless you dial in a lot of low end on your amp or you tune too low for the gauge of strings you use
    The bad: cleans in bridge humbucking mode are a little harsh, some more midrange wouldn't hurt (just personal preference) high strings/frets on the bridge pickup are kind of thin-sounding, especially when compared to how big the lower strings sound.
    Overall these are fantastic pickups, and I'm sure that all of the negative things I listed could be easily fixed with some quick eq-ing or pickup height adjustment. Hope this helps.
     
  3. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin' Contributor

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    I know, right? For all the hype that the Aftermath pickups get, I'd expect someone here to post about it. Anyone?

    [Edit: after noticing how infrequently this thread gets updated, I felt like a jerk for posting a comment with no review so below are my experiences.]

    My 7 string is an RG 7620 from 98. I have a Pittbull 50/CL that I usually play through straight; no pedals or effects. Doesn't seem like I'm really adding anything new at this point but I should have some more stuff to contribute in the coming months.

    Blaze (Bridge): Great bridge pickup for a rock/rhythm player. Not a trace of mud in the low end but the harmonics and lead tones don't particularly jump out either. Output is modest, not hot. Split coil tones are agressive but rolling off the volume offers a wide range of tones from strat-y to acoustic sounding. Very versatile but ultimately was replaced because after 13 years I wanted something that would have more midrange cut for leads. I plan to use this in a future project guitar.

    Blaze (Neck): It's a perfect balance with the Blaze Bridge. When the two are combined in split-coil mode, you get some very beastly tones (in a good way). In parallel, this thing is amazing for clean chords and tapping. In series, it's got a full and balanced tone and sounds warm when overdriven. Like the Blaze bridge, it doesn't have an overzealous output so if you're looking to get a lot of pick attack and glassy top end on your solos, you'd better have some kind of boost going into your amp. While I love this pickup and plan to use it with its mate in a future axe, it was time for a change and I wanted something to better match the new bridge pickup.

    Blaze Custom (Bridge): The Blaze plus some extra mojo! I felt like this thing was exactly as advertised. It's tonal balance definitely sounds like it's in the same family as the Blaze but there's a lot more presence and clarity. Oddly I think that when split, it sounds more subdued than the original Blaze but I usually found myself rolling off the volume for that position anyway so I like the way this works for me better. It's still not a total screamer, but I'd definitely call it high output. I'm much happier with the lead tones from this one. Some people feel that the mids are a bit much for rhythm and chords, but I find that the extra harmonics and response there helps retain definition either when you're playing notes clustered together or whether the tension is spread out across all 7 strings. I'm very happy that I ordered this.

    Air Norton 7 (Neck): Back in the 90's, I installed a Steve's Special and an Air Norton in my Epi Les Paul because I loved John Petrucci's tone. That guitar is long gone but I really liked the sounds I got from it so I decided to partner it with the Blaze Custom. This was a wise decision. I've been totally happy with it. It's fatter and more chimey than the Blaze neck was but still not over the top with pick noise. When rolling the volume off on the lead channel, you get a nice dark, warm body to the notes that blooms nicely as you roll back up. Sounds great in both series and parallel. I think it's a great pair with the Blaze Custom.

    DiMarzio technical support has always been prompt and super helpful so I highly recommend sending them an email if you have any questions. I've always been a DiMarzio guy and custom ordered the BC/AN7 in black/green because I wanted to swirl the guitar some day. With Out Of This Swirled going out of business, I couldn't resist buying a GMC body from him and once it gets clear coated, these pups are going in it. Now I need to fill a single-coil slot in the body but the Blaze single is uninspiring to me. I emailed Bare Knuckle Pickups and they said they can build a single coil 7 string pickup for me based on any of their single coil specs, so I ordered a Slow Hand to put in the middle. Once that project comes together, I'll post a review.

    The existing RG body will be getting a 27" conversion neck and a set of Aftermath pickups installed so that is on the horizon also.
     
  4. BabUShka

    BabUShka SS.org Regular

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    EMG 81-7
    Guitar: Schecter Hellraiser w/mahogany body and neck
    Position: Bridge


    This is a great pickup for dark sounding guitars. It's very bright, tight and agressive pickup. I mostly like it for everything between standard B to drop tunings. Suits mostly for agressive type of metal, such as thrash and power metal. Its got a great attack, it cutts very well in band situations and overall its a good live pickup. The pickup seems to have very low output distortion though. I have the pickup high almost up to the strings to make is sound punchy and thicker.

    As most active EMG's, imo this pickup is a raw metal pickup. It does crystal cleans, but to me it sounds too modern and cold for other stuff tham metal. But for metal, its great.
    It also handle high gain better than crunch.

    EMG 707 TW
    Guitar: Schecter Hellraiser w/mahogany body and neck
    Position: neck


    This pickup is very dark, powerful and punchy. The TW is splittable, which actually sounds very cool. I prefer to have it splitt all the time because it delivers crystal clear cleans and nice n twangy distortion.
    Unsplitted mode with volume down 7/10 it delivers very thick and powerful clean sounds. But when the pot is at 10/10 its just too muddy and too powerful sounding for a mahogany guitar.

    In distorted mode, I dont really care that much for this pickup in a dark sounding mahogany guitar. Its way to fat and flubby sounding. Usually I prefer good cutting neck pickups for lead, thats why this pickup doesnt fit me that good. But I can imagine that it's a monster pickup in bright sounding guitars.
    +1 for the split, i really dig that function.

    My overall opinion of the 707 is that its a very powerful and good pickup, but it sounds best for bright type of guitar wood.
    And it sounds better with cleans than distorted in neck position.
     
  5. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Dread-I Master Contributor

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    SSO Run Seymour Duncan Blackouts

    These are the custom run blackouts some of the folks here contacted SD to make--the ones with the EMG81x/85x preamps in them.

    Guitar: I currently have them in my Franken-7620 which is a baswood body, 3pc maple/wenge neck with a birdseye maple board.

    Style: Melodic Thrash/Prog/80s weedly weedly

    These things absolutely rock. I don't have any experience with regular Blackouts so I can't compare them there, but these things are just amazing. They're incredibly easy to dial in and it's almost impossible to get lost in the mix.

    They sound HUGE. Definitely a lot of mids w/o getting that weid honk you'll get sometimes when you EQ in too many mids. They also take gain very well and don't get that nasty "crunchiness" to them you sometimes get with really hot active pickups. The dynamic response is excellent as well. They respond--to me--the same as passives to changes in pick attack.

    If you can get your hands on a pair I'd highly recommend them.
     
  6. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Dread-I Master Contributor

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    Yea... All those ppl are too busy posting "What pickups do I get for teh djentz?!" rather than looking for a few more seconds before clicking "New Thread" to realize this one already exists...

    The ones that have them already are too busy djenting... Or thalling or whatever the hell it is you kids do these days... :lol:
     
  7. Gram negative

    Gram negative Christopher Horton

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    Dimazio Blaze Neck

    Dimarzio Evolution 7 bridge

    Guitar: Ibanez Premium RG 7 string.
    Basswood body.
    Edge Zero Vibrato system.
    5 way Ibanez pickup switching system.

    Music I like to play: Rock, Prog rock/metal, Instrumental rock/metal, Blues


    Just to get an idea of how I use these pickups, I generally use the bridge pickup for rhythm/chords. I use the neck for leads usually..

    HOWEVER,

    This pickup combo is very unique, because you can get several solid lead tones from it. The bridge by itself is clear, and treble-y. The neck is smoother, and more full. The pickup selector in the middle of both, presents a very distinct and different lead tone!

    Lots of tone options here!:hbang:
    ----------------------------------------------------

    Blaze Neck: For Cleans, this pickup is awesome. Bright and clear tone. In phase, it sounds very much like a Stratocaster/ telecaster. Doesnt lose much volume in phase.

    If you turn down the tone knob, you can even get some great clean Jazz sounds.

    Distorted, is where this thing shines. You can get a very smooth lead tone. Sounds great with pull offs/legato. The notes all come out very clear and full. I dial in a lot of mids usually on my amps/Line 6 POD. I have to back off a little, it seems. Full without bite!

    Works well when you are recording multiple guitar tracks/parts. Its tone/sound shines through on all of my settings/amps. It has its own sound, and while you can manipulate that, you cant change it, lol.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Evolution Bridge: The tones I get out of this thing are just plain amazing. Its bright, its hot, its full of character. It also goes perfectly with the Blaze ( with the pickup selector on both pickups).

    Coil split, I hate to say this....is useless. Too thin for anything practical in my opinion. But, on to the good!

    This pup works great for rhythm playing. Every single note comes through. Even chords that utilize all 7 strings. Its very tight, and very responsive. Which is a good thing right?

    Not if your technique is sloppy! If you are sloppy at all, that shit will show through. The clarity of the pickup not only makes your achievements shine through, but it highlights any and all of your ....-ups.

    It really cuts through the mix. Both on recording, and when you are playing live.

    I dont care for the clean sounds on the Evolution, but I dont like bridge pup cleans usually.

    Does it " Djent"? Well for people who are wondering that...sure it does. But that snappy tone everyone seems to love comes more from your fingers than any equipment....:shred: Just sayin!
     
  8. warlock7strEMG

    warlock7strEMG SS.org Regular

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    -EMG 707

    -Several different woods and guitars(all bridge position)

    I'm not sure if you would call what I have to post here a good review or even a review at all for that matter. I just wanted to give some input regarding the EMG 707, which for the most part, is my favorite 7 string bridge pickup so far.

    With having said that this pickup is my fave, I also must first and foremost point out that while it sounds great in any guitar I've played on that had a 707, I personally have found that it sounds it's absolute best in basswood.....which I'll elaborate more on in a bit....

    Most of you on here are familiar with the tonal qualities and voicing of the 707. However for those of you who aren't let me give you a run down. Sharp strong treble(like most actives) but not a ton of it unless u go crazy with it on your amp. Can get fizzy if that's what u are going for. Alot of midrange but mostly in the low mids area which makes most people think it's scooped sounding at first listen, that along with the pretty big low end that it has. Bumping up the mids on your amp and/or using an amp with a lot of mids will counteract this. Fairly compressed for sure so any kind of harmonics are super easy to pull off and sound great(pinch harmonics can be super squealy or just really thick and powerful, depending where how close to the bridge you hit them), single string notes swell and sound huge and on the low strings they are super bouncy. But overall also pretty round and full, especially compared to the EMG 81-7. The 707 is very similar to the 85. I also find that the notes in chords don't smear together nearly as much with 707 as with most other actives. Maybe due to not having quite as much output as most of them(but still more than enough) and having an alnico magnet rather than ceramic. And for those of you who think EMG's sound the same in every guitar....well....just keep reading.....

    The reason I believe it sounds best in basswood is that basswood, tho looked at as an inferior tonewood by a lot of the guitar community, is quite ballsy and midrange heavy. Not much on the treble or bass side of the things but with a pickup like the 707 this ends up being a good thing. In my roommates RG7 with a 707 in the bridge, the pickups huge low mids+basswoods very strong all-around midrange=thick and cutting tone in any setting for any type of heavy guitar tone that you may be going for. The rolled off bass and treble of basswood balances out the overwhelming(to some) bass and treble of the 707, giving you a nice tight but ballsy sound. The basswood taming the treble of the 707 makes it come off as less compressed and almost sound less "active" in a way. So in summary, what does all this mean?? Growling aggressive bouncy 7 string tone that will cut thru anything!! Once again, the 707 in a basswood body is, to me a match made in heaven!!

    I've also played a 707 in 2 ESP SC607's, one of which was maple and the other mahogany(both with maple neck thru body construction) and it also sounded good in both of them!! In the maple guitar, the 707 added some much needed low end and low mids that complimented the natural maple brightness and high mids nicely. I would have thought that the brightness of maple along with the 707 compressed treble(or the sharp compressed treble of any active pickup really) would have been too much. But that wasn't the case. Instead it actually made for a nice articulate tone with very strong and mean but not harsh attack(at least not harsh thru my friends 6505+). The low mids of the 707 along with the overall warmth of the maple I believe also factor into keeping the 707's treble in check. Also further confirms what I stated earlier about the 707's treble while still being very sharp and strong is no where near as over the top as most other actives.

    In the 607B(mahogany), the 707 takes on a tone more similar to that of the 707 in basswood. Subdued treble that sits in the lower treble frequencies than that of basswood, but the amount of treble may be just a bit more than basswood. The difference? The lower register treble of mahogany "shines" whereas the higher frequency treble of basswood "sizzles" more. Therefor the 707 in mahogany is a tad rounder than that of the 707 in basswood. The mids of mahogany, while plenty, sit in the lower registers so the 707 doesn't quite growl like in basswood. But with mahogany the mids are more open sounding than in basswood so not only does this help keep the low mids from being overbearing between the pickup and the guitar, but it also makes them somehow more open and articulate than with basswood. May not have the quite the cut of basswood but still more than enough mids to sit nicely in the mix and cut where needed. The low end, while still tight, is pretty powerful with the 707 in mahogany. Maybe a little too much for some amps(recto users, I'm referring to you!! Proceed with caution!) but I find that with the lows on the amp turned down enough to compensate, that this isn't an issue at all.

    I hope this can help some of you!! On a side note I know that my user name implies that I use a Bc Rich Warlock 7 string with an EMG 707....which is true!! It's my main guitar. But I have recently come to the realization that my 707 is not at all wired up properly so is not performing to its full potential. Once I get that straightened out, I will add a section for it in this review I have posted. I believe my Warlock is alder, so that will give you guys a rundown of how the 707 sounds in alder in addition to the aforementioned woods.
     
  9. HanShock

    HanShock SS.org Regular

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    Lundgren M7

    I have put these monster on several guitars,like Schecter,Ibanez,Agile,Strictly 7 Guitar,ESP...and more.

    Bad:

    1.It's "not" a insane high output pickup.Some people may think they need more output if you do like high output like Active EMG or Blackout.

    2.They only have one ring spec.
    So,if you have JP or Dimarzio small ring,you can't use it without caving.

    3.It has some phase problem if you combine it with BKP or other brand pickups.You get a weird sound when it sounds with other in split mode.(But it's easy to fix,just change the hot to other color.)

    4.It responses appropriately what you guitar likes...so I don't recommend this pickup to install in cheap guitar , or the guitar sounds not really good.

    5.It's expensive.(most of important or all??haha...but..come on! it's Swedish XD)


    GOOD:

    1.It's almost the first pickups brand which makes passive pickups with phase II in 7 Strings. (But it's normal now,so...)

    2.You will got a lot of clarity ,great dynamic, more headroom...that you can't find in other pickups!

    3.Don't worry to tune down your guitar , it's almost the best pickups for drop!!

    4.It responses appropriately what you guitar likes(Hmm...that may be great,but sometime just show your guitar's bad...)

    5.Some people,once you use it , you won't have interest with other pickups anymore...(Like me..)
     
  10. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    ^I have a similar love for the M7's, but ended up taking them out of my guitar to experiment with something darker and less of the razor-sharpness, which led me to the BKP Warpig.

    Good:
    -It's by far the most thick sounding pickup I've used, but doesn't get muddy or lose clarity

    -It's very focused on lows and low-mids. I generally like darker sounds (more of a djunt :lol:)

    -Second only to the M7, it's the most aggressive sounding pickup I've tried. Again, this doesn't have the sharp, awesome high end of the M7 bridge.

    Bad:
    -Again, it's a tight pickup, but feels slightly "slower" or less immediate on really low tuned stuff. Sort of like having your OD level at like 7 instead of 10

    -I got a good deal on mine used, but I guess I can still mention the BKP price. Not even the worst thing in the world haha

    I've had the C-Pig installed in my other 7620 running through a normal OD/gate setup into a Triple Rectifier/Orange 4x12 and now have a Mark V/Mesa 2x12 and it sounds great through both setups. It definitely has a unique voice and I hope to get one for at least one of my 6 strings soon
     
  11. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    DiMarzio D Activator 7 (Bridge)

    Guitar: ESP LTD AW-7 (Mahogany wings, Maple neck-through, flamed maple top)

    To date, this is my favorite 7 string pickup. It's a very tight and clear pickup with what I believe to be more of a medium-high output. The low end refuses to get muddy and the the top end is very smooth, never brittle. I would say there's a slight bump in the mid range that gives the tone a nice presence. The pickup is very very sensitive to height adjustments. Depending on how close or far from the strings the pickup is really effects the output feel if that makes sense. I prefer mine relatively close as it seems to have a quicker/sharper attack and much better sustain that way.
     
  12. Mikeitloud

    Mikeitloud SS.org Regular

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    I just picked one of these for my Kramer striker 7 for $50.00, I can not believe the difference, the muddiness of the stock pickups in the low end is no longer, the tone is so much clearer, brighter highs....I will eventually have these pickups in all my guitars
     
  13. ducer

    ducer ducer

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    Recently changed AHB-1 7 in Schecter Blackjack C-7 ATX Diamond and what I can say - it's like heaven and hell. EMG 81-7 vouch!
     
  14. aclstrat

    aclstrat SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys, just received my new Ibanez a couple of weeks ago. It's actually my first 7-string, and thus far been quite a fun guitar to play! Any recommendations on pickups? Was considering SD Blackouts, but more of a Petrucci fan than Death Metal style guy...love sustain, but not overly distorted...comments welcome! First playthrough in video below:

    :hbang:


    Rock,
    Adam
     
  15. Bownze

    Bownze Keeping it weird

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    And the truth comes out...

    Who can afford 'em?
     
  16. Chansen

    Chansen SS.org Regular

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    Dimarzio Dactivators

    -I've heard a lot of people love these pickups, so I was surprised that I didn't care for them. I have them in a Jackson DKA7 with an Alder body and bolt on Maple neck. I personally prefer to get a sound out of my guitar that has a decent amount of bass to it, and playing through an Orange Jim Root Tiny Terror (Based on Rockerverb's dirty channel) and Orange 2x12 I could just not get nearly the amount of bass and chunk that I wanted, but I think the guitar is also naturally quite bright.
    -I also do not care for the neck pickup because it seems to almost have a buzz to the tone. If you want an example of the kind of sound I'm talking about it is similar to the neck pickup sound in this video of Jake Bowen's Titans:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2KCFBKlho4

    As for clarity; especially for larger distorted chords, I have to say they are somewhat subpar sounding to me. Then again I'm used to using Bare Knuckles which have excellent clarity on all strings generally, so I might not be giving them the full credit they are due, because they were somewhat clear.

    -I did however, quite like the cleans from these pickups, probably because I do generally prefer my cleans to have a brighter character, which these definitely had, and were quite clear. As for breakup on the cleans go, I don't really try to get any, but I also played them very quietly with a clean tone, so I doubt these would be able to get the same clean tone if you needed to play with any decent amount of volume.

    All in all I think they just don't suit what I look for, but are nonetheless quality pickups that some people will absolutely LOVE if they are put in the right guitar. Just brighter than what I look for.
     
  17. sevenstringedfox

    sevenstringedfox SS.org Regular

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    Dimarzio PAF-7
    Installed on Ibanez j.custom 7
    These pickups are extremely versatile pickups, I have them installed in both bridge and neck positions. The bridge pickups lacks a bit of gain but is very clear and pronounced. The neck pickup though is a little too warm for my taste. I've been using these pickups for over a year and if you're looking for something really versatile, these are probably the pickups for you.
    These pickups lack gain for my taste, so I'll be swapping them out for bare knuckle aftermaths.
     
  18. lelandbowman3

    lelandbowman3 SS.org Regular

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    I'm debating on dropping a sentient/nazgul set in my ibby rg927 hardtail.
    Thoughts? I'm not a toneisseur. I wish I had the cash to drop on an Axe FX and a badass cab, but I'm using a spider 4 212. Not the best rig, but it works.
    I guess my next question is will that set beef the tone up so I don't have to scoop the mids to "cut" through a mix?
     
  19. GiveUpGuitar

    GiveUpGuitar Give Up the Goods!

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    Dimarzio Air Norton 7 (Neck position) - RG1527M

    I was originally put on to the Air Norton pickup from having the single coil in my RG3xxv. I really enjoyed the smoothness, even from the single coil, so I figured I'd give the 7 string version a try.

    The Good:
    Extremely clear. I was able to utilize the single coil and switch to the full humbucker and retain clarity, all while warming up the tone. In the single coil position, you'll find it easy to develop a twang sound if you pick a little harder than usual. When in the humbucking position, I was able to retain an extremely smooth, warm lead tone, even with my noise gate still on. Sweeping feels effortless because of how well the sound is developed. By far my favorite neck pickup.

    The bad:
    This pickup made me dislike so many neck pickups. I have D'Activator necks, Liquidfire necks, and a boat load of other pickups, and I end up switching them out for the Air Norton. It suits my needs, so the only bad is it made me a biased hater.

    Overall I'm sticking with it until I find a pickup that can suit my needs more. And I really could care less if this was my end all be all neck pickup, because I really, really enjoy it.
     
  20. 9Lives

    9Lives GuitarHaggler

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    EMG 57/66 (soapbar) 7 string

    I've always been hardcore seymour duncan fan. Always loved the process of researching endless combos with whatever guitar I had my hands on. Favorites being blackouts, 59/custom hybrid, jb, custom blah blah I could go on.
    I got my hands on a schecter omen 7 active, and my first thought was the pickup adventure I was about to go on. When I heard about this combo I was intrigued. Not wanting to betray duncan I went ahead and forked out the 275$ for a fresh pair of emgs having never tried a single emg in my life.
    57-7: mainly playing metal, modern style rhythm thumping chuggas. This pup is amazing. Has amazing flavor. Can't think of a better way to describe. Was able to tune out the clipping while keeping the pup fairly high. This is a problem I hate with blackouts. Had a nice crisp tone with just enough mid range w/o honking me to death. When in the bridge position it cuts just enough lows to really tighten up In drop Bb. Incredible string to string clarity when chording even with loads of gain. All the things I've read about emg being over compressed just isn't true.. With these alteast. It's really perfect for my style. I can blend from metal to clean sounds a lot easier than with my be loved blackouts. I always loved the alnico v mag in the bridge position. That's one reason I was drawn to these. The pole pieces are very interesting touch for an active pickup. In my mind I feel like that adds some of the flavor. Like I said. In my mind atleast.
    66-7: I've always had trouble fitting neck pickups into my sound. I've just had trouble making good use out of this sound. But I've caught myself flipping that switch a lot more with these. Specially since I wired to to have 2 vol no tone control. Being able to flip to center pos and roll the vol back a tad on the neck really gets some nice grooves when I'm looking to add a little low end to whatever I'm playing. When distortion goes off this pup really sounds great. Lots of low end w/o getting muddy. One comparison I can give is that it's not as "jazzy/blues " sounding as almost every neck pup I've ever encountered. With distortion back on it still gives a really meaty tone that I'm sure I will use a lot. The two together at full blast are incredible. There's just so much diversity between all positions. I really can't comment if they hit the nail on the head for the paf but I'm really enjoying these. Probably one day move them to a better guitar.
    I must admit that every time I install a set of blackouts I always secretly hoped for this tone. (Sorry duncan!!, u still have the passive game on lock down by far. ) anyone looking try something different I recommend these. You won't be disappointed. I hope this was as informative as I meant it to be.
     

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