So I've been spending more time with my amp (Peavey XXX 212) dialing in some really good sounds for the two guitars I have.

Fender strat Blacktop (twin humbuckers if you didn't know that already)
Schecter C1 Hellraiser

The Fender is great (of course) on the clean channel and on the crunch, is sounds fantastic up to the gain of 7-8ish then the sound starts to break apart and not give a consistent thick and clean distorted sound, almost like the signal is breaking up and there is an echo that shouldn't be there. Switching to the Ultra channel only makes this a little worse and fiddling with the tone nobs doesn't make it better.

Plug in the Schecter, and all the high gain issues go away instantly. I can run the ultra channel as high on gain as I want and the signal never breaks apart. Thick, tight distortion. If I could best describe the sound I hear, it would be very similar to Godsmack's new stuff or Trivium's with the gain about at 8.

I usually keep the Schecter down tuned and rely on the Strat for everything in E standard, so here is the question: Can a passive pickup do what the EMG 81 can do? Tuning them both to E std, there is a noticeable difference heavily distorted. In the Fender, I want to keep the passive neck humbucker on the strat since I don't want to change that sound or the coil splitting ability so I don't want to put active pickups in the Strat.

Options? Opinions?
Last edited by Jeffh40 at Sep 14, 2014,
Check out the Dimarzio D-activator it is a passive pickup that has alot of the characteristics of actives.

Another thing is the pickups in the strat are not very high output and that will have a huge effect
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Lace Alumitone Deathbuckers can get very close to the EMGs, and, as I recall, can be coil split.

Even regular Alumitones (also splittable,mas I recall) can do a decent job with metal.

And I have to say, Alumitones are very clean. (I have a set in a maple-bodied hollowbody.)
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 14, 2014,