AHB-1 Blackouts review by Seymour Duncan

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.1 (48 votes)
Seymour Duncan: AHB-1 Blackouts

Price paid: £ 50

Purchased from: Can't recall

Sound — 10
I'm using this pickup in the bridge position of my B.C. Rich NT Jr. V and I've run it through multiple amps during band practice sessions, though at home I only have an Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff run through a Marshall MG15DFX. I'm really happy with the output on this pickup, it works really well for melodic metal and it's pretty much impossible for me to get a clean sound out of it (not that I want one). One of the things that makes this pickup so good is that it lets the natural tone of the wood come through better than, for instance, the EMG 81 - which sounds pretty much the same no matter what guitar you shove it in. This pickup seems to accentuate the lower-middle frequency most, though it's still capable of giving you some nice bite in the treble area! The lows sound really nice, very tight and clear, not at all muddy.

Overall Impression — 10
I love the tone you get from this, especially as it lets the sound of the wood come through. That was a really big thing for me. There's nothing what'soever I hate about it. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to play metal. As I mentioned, it's installed in the bridge position of my B.C. Rich NT Jr. V.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's lasted me about a year and a half so far and I've had no problems with it. I can definitely depend on it, only thing I'd do is change the battery before playing live and that's just personal paranoia that it might choose the wrong moment to die on me. I use rechargeable batteries so I can afford to change it simply for my peace of mind.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    curious note: does the blackout have the quick connect feature like emg pickups? i found this helpful. and to SIKKSIKKSIXX, if you dont mind taking the backplate to your volume control off to change the battery, then i would just wire the battery pluginy thing in there and take it off when you have to replace the battery, and tape the battery down or something. i considered doing this with my alexi model, but opted for a passive tone and went with an h4
    If you play nothing but rock, get the blackouts. I have EMG 81's in the neck and bridge of my mexican strat and the advantage of that is a much better clean state
    guitarfreak222 wrote: Addzam wrote: is it possible to replace my passive pickups which have a coil tap feature with these active blackouts? Yes, it is possible. Just check if there's room for a nine volt battery.
    if theres no room, make room
    Hey, I have a Greg Bennett AV-3 les paul model....and I am thinking of changing the pickups...I was of either buying Seymour Duncan's AHB-1 Blackout, AHB-2 Metal Blackout, Alnico II Pro or EMG-81...for bridge....i play mostly metal....considering its a les paul..which one should I go for?...to get the desired tone!.??
    I disagree 'baconbag', I think the cleans that the Blackouts produce are far, far better than that of the EMG 81's. @ 'guitardevesh': Definitely go the Blackouts. Personally I don't think there is anything better if you play metal music. Thing is, they can also handle cleans extremely well.
    So many ppls are SOLD to a pickup company just because an artist uses them or any reason you like ... Take what sounds good to your ears , try them all . I personally have emg's on both my guitars and I like the way they sound , they both have an unique sound to them . Bc Rich Evil Edge Mockingbird : 81 bridge / 85 neck Jackson Demmelition King V : 81 bridge / 60 neck An yeah , it's one heck of a job to fit a 9 volt battery in a guitar that comes with passive pickups . That's what I did to my BC rich
    I own a lp custom with these in it. They whoop some serious ass. I also have another lp custom with EMG 60,81 set up and I really like the sound of the blackouts a lot more. So much that I want to get another set to replace the EMG's. I always loved emg's and got blackouts from my wife for Christmas and have totally loved them(after being quite synical towards a new set up, I wanted EMG's lol). Super quiet when nothing is played and amazing tone and sustain. They put the EMG's to shame. It really does depend on your style and ear though. I loved EMG's until I started playing serious drop tunings(which I have found the blackouts pickup a lot cleaner tone. The EMG's got more muddy the lower I tuned).
    Does any one know if these would fit into a les paul without routing (cutting) a hole for the batteries?. So my question pretty much put simple is, will the batteries fit in where the pots are ?
    most likely not...to be honest with you i really dont think its doable unless u rout a place in the back for batteries...but not sure how enthused u are on that topic....cuz nobody wants a battery taped to the back of their axe....Best Of Luck
    Are both pickups in a set the same, or are they different models? I ask this in context with EMG's, they have the 81 and 85 in a set. Are the Blackouts set similar?