Purchased from: The Guitar World
Sound — 10
Firstly, the output level is excellent. The sound is very clear, the 81 in the Bridge has great tone and definition and when Palm Muted it has a really nice crunch. When I play odd Chord shapes, all of the strings come through clear as a bell. Nothing gets lost in the mix. I play in C# and I am currently using a Peavey 6505+ Head with a Peavey XXX 4X12 Cabinet. The 85 in the neck position is only ever used for clean channel and it really helps add more depth and tone to what is a decent but not quite Stellar clean channel on the 6505. I am very happy with the sound.
Overall Impression — 9
I love the fact that the pickups have a very balanced sound overall. There is plenty of low end crunch, but there is also a wealth of Mid and High range tone and the sustain is quite good. For the 85 when in clean channel, it sounds very clear but there is also a softness to the tone, especially when strumming as opposed to picking. I never use the 81 in clean because I absolutely despise the twang. My only gripe about the pickups is the noise level when I'm muting the strings. The fact that the 6505+ is a high gain amp doesn't help either, nor does my lack of a noise suppressor. Small price to pay for Active pickups but one that is easily remedied without too much expense.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The pickups came installed from the factory. I bought a used ESP LTD MH-400NT about 6 months ago and I haven't had an issue yet. The pickups seem to be pretty easy on the 9V battery. They don't seem to suck a lot of juice and the fit and finish impresses me as top notch. There is no unusual noise from the pickups when no notes are being played and they seem like they will last a long time. I have absolutely no apprehension about the reliability and I never feel nervous about having any kind of technical issue on stage.