EDIT: I just want to say this is hypothetical, I don't know if I will change the Pups, I'm just posting a hypothetical question, to gain some advice from others.

So, I'm definitely buying a Schecter Damien-7.

But on a past thread I posted, I've gotten a lot of mixed views on the passive EMG HZ's that come stock on it.

In my opinion, I don't mind them. I liked their tone, and they sounded better to me than active EMG's (81 and 85, haven't played a 60 or 89)

I play mainly metal, such as Lamb of God, Trivium, All That Remains, Disturbed, Metallica, Children of Bodom, Five Finger Death Punch, stuff like that.
I'm getting the 7-string so I can get into deeper stuff like Nevermore, Suicide Silence, etc..

Many people have told me that maybe I should change the Pups on the Schecter to SD's or Bareknuckles because of what I play.
I'm getting the guitar for christmas, so I will be keeping the stock EMG's for awhile, at least until probably halfway through 2010.

BUT, when it comes time that I might actually change the pups, what would be some good options?
Please don't suggest active EMG's, I do not like their tone.

Just looking for advice well ahead of time.

Please tell me the price of each individual pickup or the price of the set as well. (US dollars)

Keep in mind I play metal, the guitar will be a 7-string, and I do not want active EMG's :P
Last edited by TheAbsentOne at Dec 12, 2009,
I don't get it, you like the sound of the pickups you have, then why don't you just keep them?

From what it sounds like, the only thing that is making you even think about changing pickups is that other people have told you that you should change them. What makes you think that you would like something from Seymour Duncan or Bareknuckle better?

I had several sets of Seymour Duncans that I absolutely detested and changed out before going back to the guitars stock pickups (which I eventually changed out for something else).
You're exactly right, it's just what people have told me.

This is just completely hypothetical.

But I want advice on whether or not I should even think about it.

What makes me think i would like SD's better is that I've played much more expensive guitars with them as stock pickups (SD Blackouts and such) and they just sound completely amazing. But the price of any guitar with SD's is way to far out of my budget.

So.. That's why I've posted this.

Do you have any advice?
Quote by kiaba94
if you really wanted new ones sd blackouts-7 are good ones

That's what I've heard from people, and I've played with them before, really amazing tone from those things.

How much do they cost? either each or set.. us dollars.
the 8 string blackouts are only 105 each so the 7 string ones shouldnt be to far from that
was just looking on Musician's Friend, and it's $180 for set.

that's not bad I guess, i might look into those more and if i really decide i like 'em, i'll get em and put them into the Schecter.
There's really no need to change pickups if your existing ones give you a tone you're happy with. Bear in mind too that most of your tone comes from your amp, then your guitar overall - your pickups don't contribute that much to your tone. Sometimes you can swap out cheap pickups for very expensive ones and barely notice a difference. Sure, if you did a big change like going from passive pickusp to actives or some singlecoils to humbuckers you're going to hear a difference, but for example swithcing one set of ceramic passive pickups to another set of ceramic passive pickups, no matter what the manufacturer claims, you'll probably hear no difference.

A lot of people waste a lot of money changing to pickups that offer to benefits over their existing pickups, or even worse (and sadly on an even more regular basis), waste money changing to pickups that are significantly less suitable than their existing ones. If you were really unhappy with your tone, you need to change your amp; if you're really unhappy with your response, that's probably more to do with either the quality of your guitar or simply how poorly your guitar is set up, rather than the pickups. Pickups are really just about the last thing that you should worry about changing.

Also, please please please, do not get active pickups. They're a really specialised tool that you need a very specific rig and playing style to get any use out of. When they're used correctly they can be amazing, but ninty-nine times out of one hundred, they're nothing but horrendously inappropriate and pointless. Lots of people seem to think if you play metal you need to have active pickups, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, most good jazz guitarists have more use for active pickups than most metal players. Very, very few people actually have the amps and playing style to get any use out of active pickups. They're the sort of thing that if you have to ask about, you don't need.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Dec 13, 2009,
Oh trust me, I know, I haven't been won over by active pickups...
In my opinion, I really think active EMG's are just terrible..

That's why I got the Schecter Damien, with passives.

Much better, for tone.

Now, I'm buying a Roland Cube 30x for christmas along with the Schecter, i heard it was a great amp for the price (all I could afford) and I went and played it (I got lucky and was able to play the damien they had there through it) so i really got to experience what I was going to get, 100%. that's why I know i'm gonna like the schecter and the new amp, along with the passive pups.

Like I said, this is just hypothetical.
Upgrading pickups is not a trivial difference. It makes a huge impact on your tone. Subtleties matter, just because the changes aren't mindblowing does not mean that they're not present and that they're insignificant. Subtleties are what differentiate good from great. In that sense, it matters, and I have had several sets of similar styled pickups (different PAF style pickups from Duncan, Dimarzio, WCR and Wolfetone) and they all have their own characteristics and I liked them all for different aspects.

That being said, active and passive pickups make up a huge range of pickups, which is why I hate when people make broad generalizations about active and passive. The difference between a high output pickup like a Duncan distortion and a PAF, both passive, is much larger than the difference between a distortion and EMG. In that sense one does not really need to treat active pickups as some sort of special tool that is only applicable in some scenarios moreso than others. As far as I'm concerned, a low output PAF works in far fewer setups than an EMG does. Stick a real PAF into most guitars that isn't a les paul and it will sound thin and shrieking. An EMG, if one so desires the EMG sound (which is completely objective), fits in many different guitars and gives a consistent sound (I personally think they sound like shit, but others may not agree). The active preamp boost in the EMG (and active pickups in general) just tend to add their own flat EQ response and they will sound fairly balanced in just about any guitar.

I don't see how they're widely inappropriate in any case, except for the one where a player doesn't like the voice they provide (which is the case for any pickup). In any rig, they will be balanced, with a wide frequency response, and most importantly high output with low noise and without the mud that can plague high output passive pickups. That is why people buy active pickups and the rig is not going to affect these characteristics. Nor will rig affect how sterile and compressed they sound. They're going to be that way whether you put them through a solid state practice amp or an all tube Marshall stack. Thus there is no situation where a passive pickup is more advisable than an active pickup, unless you just don't like the sterile, compressed tone of an active pickup.