Truth or Myth? A friend of mine has told me that active pickups are just not worth having if you don't have a tube amp. Is this true?

At the moment all I have is a Microcube and a Randall 35 watt ss.

I'm in the process of deciding between the passive duncan JB/'59 combo, and a set of Blackouts. Any opinions on the situation? Thanks!

Oh - I prefer hard rock/ metal. Thanks again!
Active electronics are really for driving the preamp tubes harder, thus making your sound EVEN MORE BROOTAL.

They are super high output, so using them with SS amps is not normally good, as SS amps will just start to sound fizzy when you drive them (which is why people say SS sounds good quiet, tube sounds good loud).

In addition, active pickups tend to sterilize the sound of a guitar somewhat, especially EMGs.

tl;dr please don't get active electronics unless you know exactly what you want
Quote by jgleason82

I'm in the process of deciding between the passive duncan JB/'59 combo, and a set of Blackouts. Any opinions on the situation? Thanks!

Regardless of the myth, go with the JB/59 combo. There is a lot of tonal possibilities in that combination. The 59 cleans up nicely when you roll just a bit of volume off and the JB has nice crunch and clarity. If you want to be clean as well as brutal, stick to quality passive pickups. Another plus - NO BATTERY.
I think the truth is that people say that to stop guys buying active pickups if they have a spider or an MG. My belief is that active pickups (or any pickups) are only worth getting if you already have a GOOD amp, be it solid state or tube. Pickups make a good sound better.

As far as your original question, I'd say neither. The blackouts are poor and the JB/59 is more for blues to harder rock, not metal. You'd be better off with harder but non-active duncans, coil-tappable EMG's (zomg i reccomended emg's!) or dimarzios. Or if your amp is not up to it, then a new amp is your best bet.
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Quote by Chaosinborn
I disagree, the 59 and jb sound great for metal.
Yeah, I don't know what that guys thinking.
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doesn't mark morton use the 59/jb combination in his guitars? so yeah they would be great for metal...
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Yeah, I don't know what that guys thinking.

I concur. Tons and tons of metal players use JB and 59. That is what Michael Amott of Arch Enemy uses and he has a crushing rhythm tone and amazing lead tone.

A JB is a great versatile metal pickup. With your amp setup, I would recommend the JB/59 over the blackouts. When you get a nice tube amp then you can decide if you want a second guitar with actives.

I like the idea of having tonal options, I have a Schecter Hellraiser Avenger with EMG's and in a few weeks a Jackson DK2s with JB/STK-1/Sustainiac. You can do anything with two guitars like that.

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Last edited by Necrophagist777 at Feb 8, 2009,
I'd say changing pickups may not make the difference that you want with the amps you use.

Unless the stock pickups are REALLY bad...

The JB/59 combo seems solid enough.
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