I've been toying with how much gain I'm using, and the height of my pickups to try to achieve a happy balance, but it seems like I'm fighting a losing battle here. I thought that passives sounded best when they were farther from the strings, and EMG's basically needed to touching the strings...But alas, I am not sure.
How do you guys do it?
Trick Dave taught me. Go to a clean channel and adjust your pups height to where the strings start to sound distorted. Then back them off just a smidge. To equalize the volume/attack on some strings raise the pole pieces up a bit. Rinse and repeat. Works great for me.