I've had this since 2004, nice ebony lp studio...

the bridge pickup suddenly went dull, and i can BARELY get a distorted / gain sound from it, its almost like a clean pickup... yet the neck pickup sounds perfect.

i've had it checked by several people, and the wiring's fine on it, no mistakes, no broken wires or anything... so im thinkin the pickup has just died (No idea how though :/),

Anyway, onto my question. i've been thinking about switching them both to Seymour Duncan Blackouts to get rid of the dead(ish) pickup and give it a more heavier sound.

The reason im going with blackouts is that i've heard they are way more versatile than the EMG 81/85, but im also thinking about the EMG 60/81.
Only get active pickups if you're prepared to dedicate your whole rig to them, otherwise there's no point.

This means you need to stop using any boost/overdrive/fuzz/distortion pedals, you'll need to get used to fully cranking the volume on a naturally high-gain tube amp (e.g. most ENGL and Mesa heads), and you'll have to get used to leaving that gain control at 0.

Obviously this is fine for large club/thatre/small arena gigging but for anything else it's not practical.

If you can't justify dedicating your rig to that set-up every time then you'll be better off with passive pickups. High-output pickups may be suitable, but go too high-output and it becomes the same deal as with active pickups.

If you can tell us what your current rig is, and give better examples of the sort of sound you want and what/how you play, we can give more appropriate advice.
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Right now, i have a rather **** amp. But i'll be getting a Peavey Vypyr 50 very soon.

What would you say were the best passive pickups then?
The pickup hasn't died - it's fine. You have a loose wire somewhere or more likely a dodgy selector switch.
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I had a similiar problemo with my studio where the volume of the bridge pickup was very quiet, thankfully it corrected itself some how
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Depends on what you want to play. Any bands or tone you are after?
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A pickup doesn't just die, it's a passive device and is just pair of bobbins with a magnet slid underneath and some wire wrapped around it.

You either have a bad connection, bad ground, or bad selector switch. None of which would be out of the ordinary and are very common. A dead pickup on the other hand, is practically unheard of unless you purposefully broke it.

That being said, Blackouts are no more versatile than EMGs, they're metal pickups and that's about all they excel at. Having a cleaner "clean tone" does not make a pickup versatile. I was amazed at how people raved about them after trying a set, they're still active pickups, they still sound sterile and flat.
Last edited by al112987 at Feb 4, 2009,