I wonder what are the most noticeable differences between SD Blackouts and the new EMG X series;EMG 81x-85x. Anyone tested both these pickups?
Honestly, to me the x series and the blackouts are almost the same
if anything, the SDs have a more warmer tone but I've always been a fan of EMGs so I'd pick those over the SDs.
From the clips I've heard I am not sold on the blackouts yet. EMGs are great because they don't try to sound like passive pickups, they do something completely different, they stay clean and crunchy under loads of gain and effects. I do like the 18v mod with EMGs, I'm sure the EMGX sound similar to that. Also, from what I've heard emgs sound much better clean that blackouts.

I'm not 100% but I think these are some valid comparisons:
devildriver, pray for villians
fear factory, mechanize
children of bodom, blooddrunk (yeah I know he has his own emg sigs, but am pretty sure he used blackouts to record this album)

Every fear factory album except mechanize
metallica, everything except the first two albums?
killswitch engage
...too many to name
Peavey XXX 40efx
Schecter C1+ (sd 59bA4 neck/sd Custom8 Bridge)
Washburn Idol WI45(AirNorton/CrunchLab)

ESP/LTD Viper 300(EMG81b,89n)
Boss SD-1, Crybaby, MXR 6-band EQ,
Digitech DL-8 Delay Looper, SupaCharga
Last edited by fnichols1 at Jun 21, 2010,
Alexi Laiho uses passive EMGs.

I currently own guitars with both pups. Even though the LTD is lower quality (rig in sig), it beats the schecter, sad to say. Thats just me. Dont feel comfortable playing the schecter nearly at all so its going. Probably within the next 2 weeks.

Love the EMG X's. Great cleans, great distortion. Just a dot heavier sound with the SDs than the EMGs but still, very heavy. EMGs also very versatile. Love em. SDs wont give cleans that well, they break up a lil with the bridge pup on chords. I also like the tone a dot more on the Xs than the Blackouts.

thanks guys I really appreciate your help. I started to consider replacing the emg 81/85 on my DBZ Barchetta with the 81x/85x,due to your comments. 'Cos the 81/85's clean tone is a bit weak,IMO. i'm gonna use that guitar in a band which sounds like Epica,so would it be a good choice to put the x's on that guitar?
Alexi used blackouts during the blooddrunk album
LTD Alexi-600 White & Black
LTD Alexi-200 Black(Death Adder pickup & Gold OFR)
Agile Interceptor Pro 727 7-string
Jackson JS30RR rhoads
Jackson DKMGT
Squire telecaster

Bugera 6262 212 loaded with WGS veteran 30's
DBZ Barchetta huh. That's alder, maple neck, ebony fretboard? Sounds pretty bright to me, maybe you just need to put the 85 in the bridge? I love the 81 bridge in my viper but it is a gigantic piece of mahogany. I guess there are some who think the wood doesn't matter with emgs but I've heard it myself. If I had your guitar I'd probably just replace the 81 with 85, do an 18v mod and save a ton of money. 85 sounds good clean, need to turn down the volume a tad but you would have to do that with Xs too so why spend all that dough.
Peavey XXX 40efx
Schecter C1+ (sd 59bA4 neck/sd Custom8 Bridge)
Washburn Idol WI45(AirNorton/CrunchLab)

ESP/LTD Viper 300(EMG81b,89n)
Boss SD-1, Crybaby, MXR 6-band EQ,
Digitech DL-8 Delay Looper, SupaCharga
Last edited by fnichols1 at Jun 21, 2010,
What many people don't take into consideration is the guitar comparison. You can't straight up compare SD black out's to EMG's. they all have different out puts and resonance.
1st you need to consider your wood. I have owned an 81/85, Duncan Black outs, and EMTY duncan black outs. And i love them all!!!
I'm sorry to say but in my opinion, the EMG 81/85's sound too dry and lack tone for clean. the black outs are more rich and airy sounding. but they are both great pick up's all around.

I have a custom guitar w/ mahogany body, maple neck (neck through body), rosewood fingerboard. I chose to put in the duncan black outs on this guitar teamed up with nickel D'Addario strings.
mahogany has big open pores in its wood which traps bass giving a thick low end. Duncan's have a bit more of a mid range/mid high range than the EMG's w/ a little bit of lower output. I wanted this guitar to sound real thick and fat with heavy sustain and sound great clean. so far my favorite guitar!!!!

I also have a ibanez RG1550M with an 81/85 combo using Stainless steal strings. Basswood body, maple neck (bolt on), rosewood finger board. I wanted this guitar to be razor sharp and cut through the mix yet have dynamic's and stop on a dime capabilities.
Basswood is known to give mostly mid range frequencies. so adding the EMG's which are great for treble/high mid response + stainless steel which is more magnetic than Nickel....This guitar stops on a dime, and cuts through the mix like nothing w/ plenty head room, but doesn't drown anyone out.

Anyways....before you consider what is best, there is no right answer, just opinions and what is best suited for your style, tone your looking fo,r and which pick ups will complement your wood the best =)
ditch the actives and get sum bareknuckles. shooooop.

Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head
Mills Acoustics Mach 212B
Peavey Vypyr 15w
ESP LTD EC-1000 guitar (BKP Nailbombs)
Fender American Standard Strat
PRS Custom 24
Dunlop KH Signature Wah
Menatone Red Snapper
Boss DD-7 Delay
Zvex Fuzz Factory
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