looking at new guitars, goiung to be using for bedroom/recording ..... I have always had cheaper guitars with passive pickups, do actives sound better or just different? hard rock is my desired genre
It's completely subjective. It's kind of hard to just compare actives vs. pickups. You should narrow your focus. What would you like your pickups to sound like?
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Active pickups sound different from passives and each make and model of active sounds very different from the others. Tas38 was right about everything he said.
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What amp are you using? If you're currently shopping for a new one, save your money and put it towards a new one first.
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There are many reasons to use actives and reasons not to. I have active EMG's in one of my gigging guitars and I love them. The reasons I love them has nothing to do with tone (well, not really).
1. They are crazy quiet, even under dodgey stage lighting. Even the single coil is quiet. I'd say easily as quiet as the Gibson humbuckers in my Yammy SG. The EMG humbucker is so close to noiseless that it doesn't matter.
2. They'll drive through really long cables, big pedalboards, less than perfect jacks, wet string, a little drawing of some chickens......... They're just so forgiving. It's an impedance thing mostly.

As for the tone. They have a sharper more cutting, highly articulate tone that just tears through a band mix. They do tend to lack the warmth of nice passives but ever so minor tweaks of the tone control can bridge the gap a lot in a band setting.
I know how to explain it. Listen to David Gilmour on Pink Floyd albums with and without Roger Waters. That's a strat. Passive (I think Fender) pups with Waters, EMG SA actives without him.
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I'm going to using my guitar using a vypyr amp and a pod for recording, but mostly the pod. I have been looking at a schecter blackjack, but i'm also looking at a les paul.The schecter has actives in it.I play hard rock...the sound im after is more like a chug type of sound....kill switch engaged, typonegative, crowbar, clutch