I'm just in a pickup trying mood recently. My preferred tone is soaring 80's leads and palm mute thump. Low-mid punch, easy pinch and A/N harmonics. Swirly growl, great color. Things I don't like, complete lack of lows or low-mids, too much bees/razors on the top end. Can't get a good clean tone. "lifeless" or "sterile" (often attributed to active pickups). I've been enjoying most dimarzio pickups. Tone zone, paf pro, x2n. And there's lots of DM/SD pickups designed for this kind of metal. BKP also has several. I've got a new guitar coming with holy divers, and thinking of an alnico nailbomb + coldsweat on another. But in my quest to just find new good tones, I'm wondering if I should try out something from one of the other brands, Lundgren, Fishman, EMG, suhr, guitarforce, bill lawrence, lace. (must make 7/8string versions too). Something that's like "wow", not just the same as what I could get from a DM/SD.