So, what do you guys think of Blackouts?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Science_Penguin, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. Science_Penguin

    Science_Penguin SS.org Regular

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    Out of genuine curiosity, just cause I haven't heard many opinions on them other than a friend's... errr... glowing review: "They made me hate active pickups forever," what's the general consensus on SD Blackouts?

    I think I heard Gus G. use them on one Firewind album before he got his signature pickups, and between EMG's new stuff and the hype over the Fluance pickups, they've just kind of faded into near-obscurity since then.

    Did anyone actually like those things enough to keep using them?
     
  2. Krucifixtion

    Krucifixtion Duncan Hills

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    I still have a pair in my Ibanez RG2228, because they were much better at least in my opinion than the original EMG 808's back when that's all there was to offer. At this point I haven't swapped them, because I am indecisive on what I want to do. I also have a Blackout in an EMG Explorer that I want to switch out, but also undecided on wanting to spend the cash on pickup swap for that guitar too. At the time I grew tired on the typical EMG tone and switched them. They aren't bad pickups, but in my Explorer it tends to be a bit too bass heavy. In the 8 string they are more mid focused, but not as dynamic as a good set of passive pickups.

    I'm still not sold on the whole Fishman thing. I really like Lundgren M series for the super heavy stuff. Not as versatile for cleans and lead work, but the ultimate rhythm pickup depending on the guitar.
     
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  3. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    THIS

    they have a Hi-fi sound to them and a tight low end with an emphasis on the higher frequencies. Not really any different to the Lace pickups that everyone bummed and then dropped when the next best thing came out (the Fishman)

    I honestly reckon, I could get an EMG 81 to sound exactly like a Fishman Modern ceramic in active mode, with nothing more than an EQ
     
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  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire hardtail crusader

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    That would be pretty easy considering the modern is a slightly tweaked 81 eq.. i tried some blackouts in a monarlh and hated them. Very high output, kind of wooly on the high end and just muddy. I've heard the mick thompson and livewire versions are improved versions of the blackputs though
     
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  5. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Which completely negates the difference in value between the Fishman modern and an 81.

    I can get an 81 in the UK for £69 incl shipping.

    a single Fishman modern is £129

    so almost double the price?.....
    and the EMG has quick connect which is way more innovative...
     
  6. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    I have the EMTY Blackouts which are Mick Thompson's.. I haven't used the original Blackouts, but from the clips i've heard they're not crazy different. EMTY's seem to have slightly less bass and more treble, just remember I haven't used the originals so I may be wrong...

    Overall I like the EMTY's, but one thing that does really annoy me, is that they have WAY too much output. My solution was to lower the pickups very low, it makes a huge difference in tone because they're just waaay too hot.

    I'm planning to swap them out though, because I want a slightly warmer sound with less output.
     
  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire hardtail crusader

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    Yeah but the fishman is significantly clearer from the tests i've heard. Plus there's all the added versatility of different voicings, etc. Quick connect isn't that innovative( that type of connector had been used in the aeronautical/auto industry for a loong time), but it is convenient. Check out arnold's 8 string shootout of the fishmans, they sound killer.
     
  8. Glades

    Glades Down in the Everglades

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    Archspire recorded most of their work with blackouts and they sounded great. I don't know about all this cork sniffery.
     
  9. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Im tempted to try a comparison myself now.

    Wonder if anyone can provide me DI's of both an 81 and a modern at some point.
    haha 81 + Sonic Maximizer? clarity for days hahah

    I still think adding an active eq knob with an 81 would get you way closer to Fishman territory whilst saving loads of money.
     
  10. Matt08642

    Matt08642 SS.org Regular

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    I have some Blackouts (not EMTY ones, standard blackouts) and I hate them. Way too much output, muddy trash. EMGs sound 100x better.
     
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  11. Strobe

    Strobe SS.org Regular

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    They are very high output and bass heavy. I like them, especially for leads, but I ripped them out of two guitars this year. The reason was how differently I had to EQ them from my other guitars to make them not be a muddy mess. They are a pain to tame, honestly. They sound good when you do, and get surprisingly good cleans when you will down the volume knob, but you have to to get cleans as they overdrive everything.

    I am talking the base ah1b models. I have a love hate with them. I prefer Fishman and emg options these days. You can get good sounds out of then, it just feels like a lot of radical volume and EQ changes are required.
     
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  12. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I liked mine for a long time -- then I put a Black Winter set in my other guitar and suddenly the Blackouts had to go.

    Like others have said, they have way too much output. I found that they sounded much better when run at about the same height as you'd run passive pickups, and also back off the guitar's volume to about 8.5/10. I definitely got some great tones that way.

    I've never heard a pickup that did better tapping and legato licks either -- those were effortless and practically jumped off the fretboard.

    What made me finally remove them though was the EQ spectrum that just wasn't quite right. The lows were too low, and the mids were a little scooped/not in the right range for my tastes. I think with the right amp they'd be fine though.
     
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  13. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I thought they were too hot and bassy, but to be fair, they were in a friend's Les Paul and were raised very close to the strings. I may have liked them better in a superstrat and backed off a bit, but I've never bothered to try them since I have a few sets of passive pickups that I love anyway.

    I haven't tried the Fishman offerings yet, but I'm pretty into the EMG 57/66 set
     
  14. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    The fishman is clearer, sounds less harsh overall, has coil taps for inner and outer, high frequency cut, and 2 voicings (active and passive).

    The fishman also has the start of of quick connect, which allows you to switch round voicing, gain settings etc. Though why they didn't just go full quick connect is beyond me.

    If you you look around you can get a good deal. I got Modern 7's from the US at a discount as they were "blemished" turned up perfect.

    You can by an 81 if you want, but since I've switched I don't think I'll ever go back to another pickup brand for my 7's.

    Wait for NAMM and see if Fishman come out with anything new, they have the universal battery charger to replace 9v and they have a charger for your output jack, all pretty innovative stuff.
     
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  15. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Not a fan. Prefer EMG 81s.
     
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  16. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Good call on Namm. Was completely forgetting that :)
     
  17. Spaced Out Ace

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

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    Clarity? I think it's likely to give you tinnitus.
     
  18. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Literally haha.
    Tbf the VST "maximizers" work better in mix contexts than the old crappy rack versions ever did over a live guitar sound.
     
  19. stratjacket

    stratjacket Lost in a loop

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    I liked blackouts, reminded me of an 81 with more character if that makes sense. The EmTY’s were just too trebly in every guitar I tried them in, but imagine they would be fine in a really dark guitar.
     
  20. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    I still have a AHB1 Blackout set in my dinky. The rest of my guitars have either a Fishman modern or an EMG 81 or JH set.

    They are ok. But I prefer the Fluence first then the EMG JH second. The 81 a bit of a tie with the JH. The Blackouts go last.

    Like as many said here. They are very high output. I have them very low and far from the strings and they are still gainy. They can sound bloated on bass and lacking in mids compared to the 81 or the Fluence modern. But I just tame down the bass on my eq to get them tight. The presence is good but not as cutting than the Fluence. The EMGs and the Fluence just sits in the right frequency.

    The good thing about Blackouts is that they are quieter than the EMG 81/85 and they have more headroom.

    But even at 18v the 81 clips hard and it is very noticeable the more you play. The fluence has a lot of headroom. Plus it hums much much more.

    The only thing the 81 has over the Fluence modern is battery life. EMGs last 1500 hrs while the modern only goes for about 100-200 hrs depending on how you wire them.
     
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