#1
So, my friend decided that he's going to be a death metal guitarist, and as such wants to make his Explorer a more metal oriented guitar. This means that he is wanting to put active pickups into the guitar. He asked for my help, but I'm absolutely clueless when it comes to all things pickups. So, what are the best active pickups for death metal in a Gibson Explorer?
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#3
That's sort of what I was thinking about telling him, but I've seen a lot of anti-EMG and anti-Blackouts, and I've never played either, so I don't know which are better...
But he's rich, so he could probably afford to get both and try them out, lol
I'm actually not sure why he doesn't just buy a new guitar...
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#4
I would go with EMGs. I find Blackouts perfectly described as such: The metal tone would sound better with EMGs, the clean and crunch would sound better with passives.

Basically you don't get the best of everything.
#5
I agree with you that he should buy a new guitar. But barring that, Blackouts are generally regarded as more organic sounding and less sterile, with better cleans. But the way you've made him sound, he may just be looking for teh br00tz, and people like that always jump at EMGs for some reason.
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#6
Yep, that's pretty much what he's looking for.
So I guess I'll tell him the EMGs then.
Thanks!
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#7
EMG if he has no other interests then Death Metal. If he wants versatile pickups, that will do other styles as well, Blackouts by Seymour Duncan
#8
well you're gonna need EMG's for "teh brutalz"

but no seriously I'd go with the blackouts, I've owned both and the basic review is that after you play Blackouts, the EMG's sound like shit
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#9
He just wants this guitar for death metal. He's got a Les Paul custom and some sort of Gretsch hollow body as well.
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#10
EMGs are the way to go if you're really itching to get that generic metal sound. Personally I would go for some high output passives.
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#11
Quote by megano28
well you're gonna need EMG's for "teh brutalz"

but no seriously I'd go with the blackouts, I've owned both and the basic review is that after you play Blackouts, the EMG's sound like shit


That's what I've heard in a lot of places.
But I've also heard the "blackouts are to sterile" argument.
Maybe a blackout in the neck and EMG in the bridge? Make both parties happy, lol
Main Gear:
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#12
Quote by Fantum1337
That's what I've heard in a lot of places.
But I've also heard the "blackouts are to sterile" argument.
Maybe a blackout in the neck and EMG in the bridge? Make both parties happy, lol

not so sure about that, death metal is going to be played predominantly in the bridge position.
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#13
^tis true...
I lack the wicked chops to play metal, so I play blues and classic rock.
I literally know nothing about playing metal, lol
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#14
Quote by Fantum1337
That's what I've heard in a lot of places.
But I've also heard the "blackouts are to sterile" argument.
Maybe a blackout in the neck and EMG in the bridge? Make both parties happy, lol



I promise you it's the opposite, when I want to switch my guitars while playing, I have to change my eq to make the emg's sound better. The thing is that there are alot of people who have a bias towards emg and others toward seymour duncan because they own one or the other and don't want to admit their pickups are "cheaper", I have both so I was neutral at first, but now that I have played both for over a year, I strongly prefer the blackouts, high output passives being my first choice. If you're still not convinced just look on youtube for vs videos you can make your decision based on that if you want.
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#15
If he's rich as you say and actually wants a great set of pickups rather than just EMGs cause everyone has EMGs, then I suggest Bareknuckle War Pigs or Bareknuckle Nailbombs, or a Rock Monkey SOB or Rock Moneky Beefbucker. Hand-wound pickups, both built for the chuggah chuggah brutality. A set will run about $300 for either companies.

Word of warning, the insanely high output of the Beefbucker has actually caused lower quality solid-state amps to "blow up." There's videos around and I think someone on the forums has done it. Don't tell him to get the Beefbucker if he has a crappy Fender Frontman or something.
#16
I was wondering when someone would post something other than EMGs or Blackouts, lol

But holy &$%*!!!
That's actually one of the most badass things I've ever heard... lol
But no, he plays through some big and expensive Orange amp (no clue on the model) and occasionally his step dad's Marshall. But I'd love to buy some shitty little epiphone amp and just blow it up in front of a group of people.
Just be all yeah, that happened, and yeah, it was badass.
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#17
Oh, and where would you be able to purchase said awesome pickups?

Nevermind, found them.
Now to convince him to buy them and let me explode an amp...
Main Gear:
Epi Les Paul Ultra II
Bastard Telecaster
Pignose Legendary 7-100

Manga I'm reading!!!
Bleach, OP, Naruto, GE, Rosario+Vampire, Soul Eater, Kyou Kara Ore Wa, Kimi No Iru Machi, HSD Kenichi, and many more!!!
Last edited by Fantum1337 at Oct 1, 2010,
#18
Please make sure he isn't using a Solid State amp if he wants active pickups.
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#19
No, I'm 99.9% sure that both amps in his house are top range tube amps.

Oh, and talking about blowing up amps was terrible horrible karma. My Marshall has exploded apparently...
Main Gear:
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#20
the 500t in that guitar sounds sexy as hell. i would never take it out for active pickups. if he gets rid of the 500t in the bridge and wants too sell it, shoot me a PM.
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#21
All I know about this guitar is that it's an 80's model that he got from his stepdad as his first guitar, and I think it had some sort of Seymour Duncans in it. The reason he's upgrading this particular one is because one of the pickups just randomly stopped working while we were playing together one day, lol
Main Gear:
Epi Les Paul Ultra II
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Manga I'm reading!!!
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#22
Quote by Fantum1337
All I know about this guitar is that it's an 80's model that he got from his stepdad as his first guitar, and I think it had some sort of Seymour Duncans in it. The reason he's upgrading this particular one is because one of the pickups just randomly stopped working while we were playing together one day, lol


okay, nevermind then... lol. i would then recommend finding a Gibson 500t. i have been looking for one to come up for my main les paul for a while.

if he is only replacing one pickup, i would not reccomend mixing active and passive.

active pickups aren't as great as everybody things they are, the lack dynamics and natural feel. i do have them in a Gibson SG, but that guitar is used for types of metal, where they are common, but to me it is useless at everything else (and may get replaced with warpigs). if he wants any verstility and naturality to his tone, i would stay away from actives.

also, you will find this yourself if you look enough over time. the more developed guitarist with the more developed ear, is less likely to use active pickups. its just an ovservation. it is kind of like the same thing with newer guitists thinking scooped mids sound good, and in most cases that changes as the ear develops.
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#23
Yeah, he has a few other guitars, and his stepdad's been playing for quite a while and has like 50 of them (he's a high class hoity toity surgeon) so he doesn't really care about really getting it to play anything else, lol
But yeah, he's wanting to just replace both of them, because apparently he didn't like the Duncan in the neck position anyways, lol

But yeah, I've never liked actives which is why I don't use them. I just don't play metal or anything like that, so I've never wanted them.
Main Gear:
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#25
He said he's going to go to a guitar shop near where he is and try out some guitars with different pickups to see which ones he likes the best. Why he didn't do this in the first place I don't know... *sigh*
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#26
Quote by Fantum1337
He said he's going to go to a guitar shop near where he is and try out some guitars with different pickups to see which ones he likes the best. Why he didn't do this in the first place I don't know... *sigh*


he will never find the right pickups he wants in a guitar at a typical guitar store, unless he likes EMG 81/85/60, Duncan JB, Custom Custom, 59, Jazz, etc. even if he does, the guitars sound so different.

some people just dont get it... lol. at least you have good common sense... lol.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
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2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#27
Yeah... I know... But he's dead set on it. He's one of those people that're excellent players but don't know jack crap when it comes to the actual guitar

I've actually only traded out pickups in my piece of shit strat copy.
Bought the thing for $25 and put some Fender Tex Mex's in it. It sounds amazing now, lol
All the humbucker guitars I've ever had (3) have the stock pickups in them. Although I've been thinking about putting a Pearly Gates in the bridge of my Epi LP.
Main Gear:
Epi Les Paul Ultra II
Bastard Telecaster
Pignose Legendary 7-100

Manga I'm reading!!!
Bleach, OP, Naruto, GE, Rosario+Vampire, Soul Eater, Kyou Kara Ore Wa, Kimi No Iru Machi, HSD Kenichi, and many more!!!
#28
Quote by Fantum1337
Yeah... I know... But he's dead set on it. He's one of those people that're excellent players but don't know jack crap when it comes to the actual guitar

I've actually only traded out pickups in my piece of shit strat copy.
Bought the thing for $25 and put some Fender Tex Mex's in it. It sounds amazing now, lol
All the humbucker guitars I've ever had (3) have the stock pickups in them. Although I've been thinking about putting a Pearly Gates in the bridge of my Epi LP.


you will get a lot more out of the swap than you think. i switch pickups around a bit, and whenever i stick a nice pickup in a cheaper (in reference here, $350-500 range) guitar, it just amazes me how much it wakes it up, it wakes it up so much i forget about it every time.

my Gibsons are all stock save the SG with EMG's. i am in love with gibson's 490r and 498t, even more than the 57's in the other LP, i don't know why, they are just right for me. i also like the Gibson 490t that i pulled out of the SG, i threw it in a Showmaster, and its becoming one of my favorite guitars again.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#29
Quote by Fantum1337
Oh, and where would you be able to purchase said awesome pickups?

Nevermind, found them.
Now to convince him to buy them and let me explode an amp...


Well, it doesn't "explode" really, it blows the transformer, fries some components, and could catch fire if you're lucky.

Someone just recently made a video blowing up a solid state amp buying routing the output from his big tube head into a small ss amp. Did a similar thing. Caught fire and all that.
#30
Quote by trashedlostfdup
you will get a lot more out of the swap than you think. i switch pickups around a bit, and whenever i stick a nice pickup in a cheaper (in reference here, $350-500 range) guitar, it just amazes me how much it wakes it up, it wakes it up so much i forget about it every time.

my Gibsons are all stock save the SG with EMG's. i am in love with gibson's 490r and 498t, even more than the 57's in the other LP, i don't know why, they are just right for me. i also like the Gibson 490t that i pulled out of the SG, i threw it in a Showmaster, and its becoming one of my favorite guitars again.


I agree, I really like Gibson's stock pickups, even on Epiphones. While they don't handle ungodly amounts of distortion, they overdrive nicely and give it what I believe is a really good tone. But I played a used Les Paul that had the Pearly Gates in the bridge, and I fell in love with the thing. I'm hoping that it'll give me the same tone in my Epi too. (it's Epiphone's most expensive non artist model, I hope it will >_<
Main Gear:
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