Poll: Should i go with the 81/60 or the JH set?
Poll Options
View poll results: Should i go with the 81/60 or the JH set?
JH Set
3 75%
1 25%
Voters: 4.
I'm looking to put actives in my epi les paul and until recently I was 100% sure I wanted to put the JH set in there. It's now between an emg 81/60 pair or the JH set.

I like the sound of most old thrash metal and stuff as well as more modern stuff like Machine Head and Slipknot, but I also kinda like the slightly more passive sound of the JH set and I can't decide.
depends on the sound you want. I mean if you like the black album and anything prior to death magnetic go with the 81/60. If you go with them 18v mod them it's a common mod to make them sound better.

however, the james hetfield set (or any of the X series for that matter) are going to have that passive bite and active clarity as James said.

If I wanted a super heavy and high gain sound my suggestion is
the seymour duncan blackout - neck
seymour duncan blackout metal - bridge
why the metal and not just the set? it has a knob to intensify the output of the blackout.

What I like about blackouts is they don't sound like a flat bottle of coca cola. They don't need an 18v mod and there is more articulation so if you put the bass to 10 it sounds way different then the treble at 10. I've taken EMG pickups out of enough guitars to build coffee tables. Just all the good metal guitars tend to have them.

The good news is you can get black metal, gold or chrome no hole covers on them. All actives above mentioned can plug in to the same active wiring harness as they are 3 teeth male breakaway headers.

so yeah my first vote
the seymour duncan set I mentioned - more versatile , more heavy sounding , plus that awesome boost.
the emg 81/60 X series - more clarity then regular emg pickups and less compression
the emg 81/60 18v modded - if you got a les paul this will save you a bit of money
the james hetfield set , I avoid signature series pickups