So how passive does the blackouts actually sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by trippled, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. trippled

    trippled SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    964
    Likes Received:
    221
    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Location:
    Israel, Qiriat Ono.
    Hello everyone,
    I've heard from aot of people that blackouts are
    pretty much passive sounding actives.
    How true is that? If I'm hating actives, is there a chance I'll love
    the blackouts?
    Thanks,
    Daniel.
     
  2. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

    Messages:
    17,745
    Likes Received:
    4,268
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    Boston
    They don't sound passive at all, if anything they sound more active. They're just a better design. They have more headroom, less noise, and more dynamics than EMGs but it's still a very active, hi-fi tone. So, they're very much active but just are what actives should sound like to my ears. They're really cool pickups! That said, if you hate EMGs you won't like these either. They're similar just better.

    Also, there are a zillion threads regarding Blackouts so I recommend doing a search if you're looking for reviews, info, etc.
     
  3. Zepp88

    Zepp88 Arktanian Diplomat Contributor

    Messages:
    22,540
    Likes Received:
    833
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    A Technological Deadzone
    Nicks right on the money, they sound like really nice actives. But if you're looking for a nice passive sound, get a nice set of passives dude, the Blackouts won't get you that sound.
     
  4. Scali

    Scali Banned

    Messages:
    2,604
    Likes Received:
    188
    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Hague, NL
    Pardon my slight off-topicness, but what pickups do you consider the 'quintessential' EMG pickups/active tone?

    I have only one guitar with EMGs myself, the Steve Lukather signature set, and it has an EMG 85 humbucker, but to me it's not THAT different from my passive pickups.
     
  5. Thrashmanzac

    Thrashmanzac plays in 69/42

    Messages:
    4,158
    Likes Received:
    460
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC
    i agree with both nick and mike here dude.
    if you wnat passive sounding pickups, get passives.
    bareknuckles :agreed:
     
  6. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

    Messages:
    17,745
    Likes Received:
    4,268
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    Boston
    But of course... ;) :agreed:

    The EMG 85's are a little more organic because they have an alnico magnet, but they still sound active to me. The Blackout neck model is similar to the 85. I still prefer my Bare Knuckles to get active-like attack/clarity but with more organic/dynamic tone, but the Blackouts really do sound great and track well for metal.

    Agreed. Everything that claims to be a passive sounding active or an active sounding passive is full of it. Actives are actives, passives are passives. Example, the D-Activator by DiMarzio are cool pickups but do not even come close to sounding active. They don't have the smoothness and wide frequency response that actives are known for. The only thing D-Activators have that say an EMG 81 has, is supreme sterility.
     
  7. Scali

    Scali Banned

    Messages:
    2,604
    Likes Received:
    188
    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Hague, NL
    So if I read you right, an 'active' sound has a strong attack and clarity, a wide frequency response (probably mostly noted in the upper frequency range), and a sterile/tight sound. And the EMG 81 is pretty much the posterchild active pickup?
     
  8. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

    Messages:
    17,745
    Likes Received:
    4,268
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    Boston
    Well the EMG 81 certainly is the most popular active pickup of all time, so sure. The 81 has a very focused, tight sound with a lot of high-mid bite and nasally snarl. There's not a lot of bass or low-mids to speak of, which is why they track so well in the studio and sit in the mix easily. Alone however, they tend to sound a little thin and overly compressed. They sort of have a boxy quality to them too.

    As always though, it depends on the rig and individual taste. Some amps are far more forgiving for 81s and other actives than others.

    The cool thing about Blackouts, is they have the clarity and tightness of the EMGs, but with a much wider frequency response. More bass, more mids, an overall balanced response. Highs are much less thin than on EMGs. The attack isn't as clicky and singlecoily like on EMG 707s. Less hum/feedback. It's simply an improved design (IMO), but they're not perfect. They still suffer from classic active-pickup drawbacks. They also don't have great clean tones as they have even more output than EMGs, although the neck one is okay and then ew Blackout singles probably are cool.

    Put it this way. If you like EMGs but just wish they were better, get Blackouts. If EMGs really don't do it for you and you want something better, go with high-end passives.
     
  9. TheSixthWheel

    TheSixthWheel bangetzit

    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    335
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    That sums it up nicely. BKP's anyone?
     
  10. soldierkahn

    soldierkahn BAD MAMMA-JAMMA Contributor

    Messages:
    1,851
    Likes Received:
    500
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Location:
    Shelton, WA
    well after much thought, i finally took the 18v modded EMG 81 out of my RG3120 (mahogany body, maple top), and decided to trust my best friend and try a SD JB in the bridge, and to my surprise, i really didnt lose that much clarity or bite. The only thing i dont like about passives as compared to actives is the effort that has to be put forth to perform pinch harmonics. to me, they just always seemed easier to perform with actives.

    so if you want a decent passive substitute for an 81, give a JB a try.
     
  11. DarkKnight369

    DarkKnight369 Schecter Whore

    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    247
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Peoria, IL
    I think the blackouts are actives that have more passive like qualities while maintaining the powerful awesomeness of actives.
     
  12. _Guitarzan_

    _Guitarzan_ Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    ABQ, NM
    Well put Sir!!!!! I couldn't have said it better myself. Zimbloth, you have a good ear. I put two neck blackouts into my Loomis and it does wonders. I'm not a ceramic fan so I avoid at all costs. The Neck blackout in the bridge is very versatile and sounds amazing. It opens up more than a bridge blackout. I a/b'd my set with a 7 string Schecter Blackjack. The Bridge blackout sounds much better than an EMG 81, but still doensn't have that fullness I was after. The neck blackout opens the box, so to speak, on the Hi Fi broadness.
     
  13. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

    Messages:
    17,745
    Likes Received:
    4,268
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    Boston
    Why thank you ;)
     
  14. JoshuaLogan

    JoshuaLogan Banned

    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    92
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    lol this thread isn't biased at all...

    I have no interest in blackouts until they have 7 string coiltappable humbuckers or 7 string single coils.
     
  15. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

    Messages:
    17,745
    Likes Received:
    4,268
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    Boston
    In what regard Joshua? :scratch:
     
  16. _Guitarzan_

    _Guitarzan_ Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    ABQ, NM

    No bias...just honesty. I played 81's for years and there was just a constant love/hate with those pickups. The Blackouts give me most of what I wanted to hear from EMG. As I tuned in my ears over the years, I came to hear the fizzy grind under the notes from the 81. I wanted to dial that noise out and couldn't. The Blackouts have done an excellent job at that. I just want clean notes before hitting my amp.
     
  17. JoshuaLogan

    JoshuaLogan Banned

    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    92
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    There are more EMG's than the 81... I don't even like the 81, but I love the 85, 89, 707, 707TW, and 808.

    I just think it's funny they get so much praise for "being more organic" and all of that, when they actually have more highs and lows, making them even more hi-fi and bright sounding, when so many people already think EMG's are too bright.

    I like them, but I don't like them any better than the 707's or 707TW's, and without the versatility of a single coil sound for cleans, I'm not really too interested in them. If they ever come out with something like a 707TW or a single coil 7 stirng pickup for an HSH setup, then I'd be a lot more interested...
     
  18. 7STRINGWARRIOR

    7STRINGWARRIOR jacksons4thewin

    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    75
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    lansing,MI / sarasota, FL
    i think the blackouts sound more like a passive than the 707s
    when i played fast with 707 it sounded like nintendo
    i have found the blackout to be a very clean sounding pickup with good output
    natural vibrations really show
    for a ibanez i would recomend the 707 over the blackout
    i think an ibanez could use a little more noise there naturally very warm sounding
     
  19. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

    Messages:
    21,242
    Likes Received:
    2,493
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canadia
    If theres one guy on this forum whos advice i would have to take it would probably be nick's, he has like 99999 pickup experience points. :agreed:
     
  20. JoshuaLogan

    JoshuaLogan Banned

    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    92
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    It all depends on the woods used. I think EMG's sound awesome in darker guitars... really good in mahogany...
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.