Placebo effect fully worn off. Blackouts are not for me.

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Thread: Placebo effect fully worn off. Blackouts are not for me.

  1. #1

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
    ME: Charvel SoCal Custom
    MB: Spector NS2000Q4
    Rig: Dual Rectifier (Reborn)

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    Placebo effect fully worn off. Blackouts are not for me.

    When I first loaded them into the Loomis, it was instant joy. But now, after a few weeks of playing, hearing them through my rigs, recording with them extensively, and analysing/comparing to other recordings, I just plain don't like them.

    Here's my analysis:
    When I first put them in my guitar and fired it up, there was definitely a sense of "holy shit, these sound huge!". Huge always initially = good. Big tone makes you think you're getting more depth and wider frequency response, and it's not always (if ever) the case.

    They are louder than the EMG's for a start. The output is just insanity in a box. They're drawing so much more of your playing nuances as a result that it gives the illusion of 'ZOMG! MOAR DYNAMICS!'... Compared to the 707 even (which already has a huge output) it feels so much more 'alive' and more of a direct extension of the guitar. This is, as I said, a great feeling. Initially.

    Under the microscope, though, it really starts to fall down. On the website it even promotes "more lows, more mids, more tone". More, in this instance, is just more frequencies to get in the way. A direct A/B against a 707 reveals that it does indeed have more mids and more lows, with the highs sitting roughly equal, but the voicing of those mids and lows is pretty awful.

    The 707 comes off relatively scooped by comparison, but at least it's scooped in a very guitar-appropriate region. It has an EQ curve that's very pleasing to a mix, and very pleasing to an amp. I also think the relative scooped sound is just an aural illusion because the blackouts are so much louder (you're hearing the midrange of the blackouts at a higher volume than you're hearing the EMG's midrange, as you go back and forth).

    Just in case this makes no sense, here's an analogy: Imagine you have a hose pipe that is squirting a nice amount of water and everything is cool. You change the hose to a different type, and all of a sudden you're like "holy shit this is awesome! Look at how powerful this water is coming out!". Then when you take time to look at the water you realise that there are dead mice and and bees and bird shit and all sorts coming out with it. Yeah. That's the Blackouts.

    They're not shit, though, at all. They're an alternative to something a lot of people don't like, and that's where they're making their mark. But for me; someone who analyses tone an AWFUL lot, there is something about them slightly displeasing in a mix capacity.

    TL;DR I want my EMG's back.
    Recording. Mixing. Mastering. Editing. Re-Amping.

  2. #2

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
    ME: Ibanez 540PIIM
    Rig: Peavey 6505

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    I use blackouts for my sevens as I am not routing my S or RG, but I will forever be an EMG man. 85 fo life
    "W yn shn y zhī, shn y xng.
    Tiān xi m nng zhī, m nng xng." - Lao Tse - my band.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA
    ME: ESP Sexy Finger
    MB: ESP Horizon 5
    Rig: Randall V2

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    When I had my MH307 and ATX 7 I ran BOb /707N and BOn /707N. The 707 is a way better neck pickup than either but the BOs destroyed the 707 in the bridge imo. I'd like to try the 81-7 at some point but not having a 7 kind of hinders that a bit.

  4. #4

    Join Date: Nov 2008
    Location: St.Louis USA
    ME: Parker MaxxFly DF824
    Rig: Dual Recto

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    You know, I found the exact same thing. In my younger days, bigger and more was always better. Everything was on 10. Now that I'm a little older, I realize that being well rounded is better. Its better to have wiggle room in both directions. Be that with amps, guitars, and just things in life in general.

    When i got blackouts, i was enamored with the "more" aspect of them over the EMGs. But in retrospect, I found that the tone was more usable with the EMGs on recordings and in the room. What good is more if its not usable.
    Confront and Cry

  5. #5

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Manhattan
    ME: Warmoth Warhead
    MA: Blueridge BR-40
    MB: Dingwall ABI, Kubicki
    Rig: Budda SD30

    iTrader: 12 (100%)

    It's the "honeymoon effect." Not the "placebo effect."
    Too much focus leads to tunnel vision
    Too much faith leads to religion
    Too much knowledge leads to confusion
    Too many guitar lessons lead to jazz-fusion

  6. #6

    Join Date: Dec 2009
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    ME: Sherman Poips
    MA: Martin DXK2
    MB: StringlessRusted Leonbass
    Rig: Mark-V 25 1x12

    iTrader: 10 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post

    It's the "honeymoon effect." Not the "placebo effect."

    The placebo effect would be if someone took an EMG, re-labeled it as a Blackout, and gave it back to you and you were like "Holy shit, this is way better than an EMG!"

  7. #7

    Join Date: Jun 2012
    Location: wellington, nz maupuia
    ME: oni
    MA: the spoons
    MB: warwick thumb
    Rig: mi megalith

    iTrader: 0

    I found the exact same things, in the same order.

    twice in fact!

  8. #8

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Sheffield, UK

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    Whenever I've played Blackouts, I've always enjoyed playing. Whenever I've played EMGs, I've enjoyed the guitar despite the sound.

    I've only heard two guitars with EMGs that I liked the sound of (my Stealth, James's SC607). The SLAT3-7 I tried was being ruined by them in my opinion.

    However I've played blackouts in Ant's RGD, my bandmates old 7, and a few others I think, and always loved the sound.

    I don't know if its something about being more of a passive guy, and my sound being based around that. Add an EMG into my sound (which I mean my playing style as much as amp tone) and it just doesn't sound right. With Blackouts, they seem closer to passives in their overall sound, there's just more of it.

    And this is why I'm wanting to trade with you

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