So, what do you guys think of Blackouts?

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

  1. Krucifixtion

    Krucifixtion Duncan Hills

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    The Blackouts do have a bit much output where they can get messy. I fully agree. Somehow they are better in my 8 string than the one in my 6 string Gibson Explorer. I think the combo of the all Mahogany guitar and the high output blackout with increased bass is just too much. However, I bet if I ran it with my Fortin Grind pedal it would be totally fine haha, but regardless I want to ditch it in the Explorer and probably go with Black Winters or something else. In my RG2228 I would either do Fishman if I wanted to stay active or I would just do Lundgren pickups, but I am not playing my 8 as much these days, so holding off on that.
     
  2. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Thing is im talking about tone not feel. To me you could easily get them very very close, especially in a mix. I dont see how one clipping harder than the other and therefore feeling different to play, is enough to warrant the huge price difference? Afterall we buy pickups for their sound first and foremost right? not how much they clip or not etc. At least i do. Feel is an after thought to me. Tone always comes first.
     
  3. pastanator

    pastanator SS.org Regular

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    I've got a set in my JS22-7 and I like them alot as far as actives go, but i think at the end of the day i prefer passives. that being said theyre certainly good enough to not worry about replacing them right away.
     
  4. BubbleWrap

    BubbleWrap SS.org Regular

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    I put a set of the ahb1 blackouts in my esp stef t7b. They were really great for melodic death metal. Palm mutes are absolutely brutal and single note runs are very punchy and strong. But if you’re running an analog rig, you can pretty much kiss the clean channel goodbye. It’s an absolutely hopeless endeavor. The output is immense. I have never encountered palm mutes that truly hit you in the chest like those. Jamming by yourself, they’re really fun. But forget trying to fit neatly within a mix. If I had a project where I was using balls to the wall gain constantly, I’d grab another set and do some heavy EQ cuts, but they lack any sort of versatility. There’s no crunch or edge of breakup. For my main two guitars I’m running a distortion/jazz set and custom KXK Pickups that are his interpretation of a more ballsy bkp aftermath setand can’t imagine going back to actives.
     
  5. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I had both the 6 and 7 string sets. The six string set was in a Schecter SLS which sounded great. Meaty and huge sounding and while still compressed not as bad as EMG's. I did have them quite low otherwise the output was too much. That set was not good for downtuning as I tried C and drop C and wasn't really fond of the outcome. Then it did sound too bassy and mushy. But for E standard and E flat it was really good. I got a good deal for an EMG 57/66 set and changed them out of curiosity only. The only thing I preferred on the EMG's was the increased dynamics. Of course the EMG's were set in a different height closer to the strings and still didn't have that much output. I put the set in another guitar and they still sounded great.

    The 7 string set I bought to replace the Dino Cazares Retributions as I wasn't that happy with that set. I felt the particular guitar sounded dull with EMG's before it as well as the Retributions and the regular Blackouts did help with the sound a lot. But again they had to be placed quite a bit down due to the ridiculous output. The guitar was tuned to B flat but I'm not sure they'd do a great job for lower tunings with no additional EQing.

    So they do give a different flavor than the regular EMG's and I did like them more for both cleans and dirty sounds. But I can understand why people don't like them. They do seem to not have much of a character. If you also won't to tune low look for another pickups.
     
  6. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    But that hard clipping is part of the tone. That's why it doesn't sound as good in mid gain and clean tones.
     
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  7. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    Kinda regretting ordering an EMG 57/66 7 string set now. So much praise over these Fishman Fluence pickups... I could've got a set of "blemished" ones that really aren't blemished at all for 130.... Fuck
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  8. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Thing is im talking about tone not feel. To me you could easily get them very very close, especially in a mix. I dont see how one clipping harder than the other and therefore feeling different to play, is enough to warrant the huge price difference? Afterall we buy pickups for their sound first and foremost right? not how much they clip or not etc. At least i do. Feel is an after thought to me. Tone always comes first.
    Clean tone is at least remedied by getting TW model for the neck or something like the 89 which is an 81 and a single coil pickup in one with a push/pull.
    I dont know man. The fishmans are obviously great great pickups but i just dont like how when people jump on a bandwagon, suddenly other products are garbage. Pickups are pickups to me. Emg use quick connect, have a shit tonne of options and pot accesories and are the cheapest well know brand on the market. There get such a bad rep for no reason. Tone is subjective and in a mox context guitars tracked with 81s and then fishman moderns probably end up in a very similar sounding place post processing etc.

    Anyway lets just agree to disagree (allthough i dont think we were even doing that? Haha)
     
  9. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Fishman > EMG >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> AHB1/2

    Coming from someone who swore on EMGs since forever.
     
  10. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    I went from the standard blackouts to fluence modern and I'm pretty happy with it.

    The blackouts were very high output and bass heavy. Bridge pickup palm mutes were a bit overbearing even with the gain lowered. Neck pickup was decent. Tried tuning it to E standard and drop C and wasn't getting the results I wanted. Lowering the pickup or the amp gain didn't help much.

    Then swapped the blackouts for a modern ceramic bridge and alnico neck. The ceramic sounds a bit 81-ish, that's why I bought it :) It does sound modern (hifi), which I like. It's tuned to drop C atm and slaying with my rig. Neck wasn't as fluid as I expected though, thankfully I don't spend much time in neck position but perhaps my next set will have a different neck pickup.

    Honestly I don't think you can compare the modern to a vanilla 81 based on price alone.. you're basically getting 2 humbuckers AND a gain boost AND single coil tones out of it. If you want to compare price, compare it with an 81TW+89 with one of those EMG active tone controls. If you look for deals on the Fishman set you can have it at 200-300 euro and the EMG rig will cost about 130 for the 81tw plus 110 for the 89 and 60 for the RPC so that's also 300 bucks. Not exactly cheap.

    The quick connect thing is handy and I see why Fishman didn't put quick connectors on the pots itself since it'll cost a lot to design and manufacture those and forces you into a very specific wiring setup. Plus you get the age old debate solder vs quick connect (I remember the endless discussions on Gibson PCB lol).
     
  11. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    If you have a problem with the Fishmans sounding too "hifi", there's a little jumper you can install to get rid of that extreme high end.
     
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  12. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    also, do you know if the active EQ knob options from EMG, work with Fishman?.

    That could be awesome. A stacked EMG pot controlling a Fishman moderns EQ.
     
  13. n4t

    n4t SS.org Regular

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    Blackouts are great if you get the pup height set right. Most complaints I'm reading thus far is due to pup height.

    It's taken me a few tries to dial them in. I use a pair of nickels for a starting point.

    I get some really great cleans from my neck and neck + bridge. Bridge only is a bit quacky, but usable.
     
  14. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    Ah. No disagreement here. I still have the 81 and 81x and I'm not looking to uninstall them yet. The 81 is a classic sound no doubt. In a mix, I agree, most pickups will sound close to one another. Hell, even the blackout will sound like an emg if you are going for that kind of tight sound.

    Although, I dont think the hype is unfounded for the Fluence. The technology is really unique and innovative. And I'm excited for what the people at Fishman have for the Fluence in the future. The tech is patented so EMG and Duncan need to step up their game. I'm just saying that the 81 is old tech. Duncan had a chance of dethroning the king. But it was Fishman who finally made a better 81.
     
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  15. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    This might seem kind of weird.. but out of curiosity I tried the Blackout EMTY neck in the bridge and it's actually not bad at all. There's certain qualities to it that make it kind of nice. It has a slightly warmer/thicker tone in comparison to the bridge but it's still very clear and trebly. The output is kind of low, but raising the pickup height and boosting it slightly with an overdrive makes it sound pretty close to perfect imo. Crunchy, clear, very percussive and not crazy over saturated like the bridge...I actually really really like it.

    Maybe it would be worth trying the blackout neck in the bridge for some of you guys, that's if you don't like the bridge version..
     
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  16. Science_Penguin

    Science_Penguin SS.org Regular

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    I feel like I'm late to the party on Fluence, cause they're getting a crap ton of love right now, while I'm just within recent years discovering the true appeal of EMGs.
     
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  17. Matt08642

    Matt08642 SS.org Regular

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    In MM or inches, what is the height of your Blackout neck and bridge pickups with the last fret fretted?
     
  18. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    I also lower my blackouts extremely low.... I have them probably 3mm away from the pickups.. I haven't actually measured it though, but the strings look to be pretty far from them. I find the pickups sound the best like this.

    here's a clip I did with a Bugera... I always found the guitar really bright and trebly, so i'm not a big fan of the guitar. I wish it sounded just slightly thicker, but raising the pickups too close makes the tone sound too saturated and sloppy. Lowered sounds much better imo

     
  19. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    The downtuning thing is why I think Blackouts tend to get a bad rap, around here anyway. They are pretty bass heavy which turns into mud real quick with the tunings that a lot of people are going for these days. I had mine in D Standard (6-string) and they weren't that muddy; the extra bass actually made for a nice tone at that tuning. I also had the guitar in C# Standard and it worked, but that's where the bass started to be a little too much, and then got worse from there. Hell, when people talk about downtuning these days they mean Drop F and below...:lol: It takes a very modern pickup to pull that off. And then those pickups sound like shit at higher tunings, lol.

    I got great cleans out of my Blackouts as well. Just had to lower the guitar volume to around 6/10, and then no worries.
     
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  20. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I am really surprised by this thread. I think SD blackouts are awesome and kill the shit out of EMGs, for both a 6 string and standard and for the 28" 7 string I used to have
     
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