Not to add fuel to the fire, but there is some merit in the 'EMG sameness' theory. I don't believe they sound identical in every guitar, but I do feel that the differences between guitars wood wise and such is less than with passives. I played EMG's for about five years and now I'm a passive guy. The reason I say this is that active pickups use very weak magnets which put out a signal that is then amplified by the preamp before it leaves the guitar. Passive pickups use stronger magnets which need no additional gain stage before reaching the amp. The case being that passive pickups have a stronger magnetic field and that the personality of the wood of the guitar comes through the strings (the particular damping and resonance characteristics of a certain wood) it stands to reason that passive pickups detect more of the personality of the strings, and thus the wood. Actives pick up less of the personality of the guitar but what they do pick up is then amplified before leaving the output jack. It's the difference between close micing a sound source and getting a strong signal OR micing the sound source further away and then running the signal through a mic pre to boost it. My point is that both sounds may be perfectly acceptable but the fact is that they ARE different. I'm not talking about whether or not EMG's are good pickups, that's subjective, but I do believe that they would tend to reduce the differences between guitars' personalities due to their inherent design. Not better or worse, but it IS different.