Reviewing pickups is by definition difficult since they are necessarily installed in a guitar which itself has an enormous impact on the sound. However if we consider that the pickups are on electric guitar what an engine is to a car, we can agree that it is a very important factor. To review this "engine" built by Seymour Duncan, we used a "frame" from the Paul Reed Smith race squadron with a Custom 24 model. Here's the testing of the"Jeff Loomis" Blackouts pickups who are active humbuckers.
Seymour Duncan website : www.seymourduncan.com
Jeff Loomis Blackouts pickups from Seymour Duncan
What I enjoyed the most
- A wide variety of sounds
- A neck pickup almost Strat-like
- A huge output level to saturate just about any amp
- The very nice look
- Almost noiseless pickups
What I enjoyed the least
- You have to rethink all your drive settings because of the high output
These pickups are active, meaning they require a 9v battery (hidden in the electronics cavity) to operate, usually these pickups generally have a reputation for being cold and only geared toward very high gain tones. That's why I tried to use them in a clean sound and slight crunch context and I was very pleasantly surprised by the result. They are working very well! The sounds are very good whatever the degree of saturation.
The neck pickup I particularly liked because it has a very attractive highs that avoids the usual pitfalls of a neck humbucker with its sometimes a bit messy low end. I loved it.
Another advantage of active pickups, they are very quiet without losing their soul.
So contrary to what you would think, the Blackouts are not only usable in heavy music, their range of utilisation is actually very wide. If you need a super silent, high output and versatile pair of pickups, give the Blackouts a try.
Until the next gear review, keep on playing the guitar!