It looks like Seymour Duncan is looking to move in to steal some of EMG’s active pickup market with their new Blackout pickups. I only say that because they are active pickups and they look exactly like EMGs, complete with the metallic logo in the bottom right hand corner.
Blackouts are a new set of 9-volt active pickups from Seymour Duncan. Before starting their design the company did some research and claims to have found a a fundamental flaw in the design of the circuitry that causes signal compression and a loss of frequency response. They concluded the problem was the use of an unbalanced differential preamp. Therefore, in Duncan’s design they use balanced inputs which made Blackouts 14dB quieter than
EMGs the competitors. As a result they claim you get more lows, more highs, more output, and less hum.
They do their regular round of name dropping to promote the product, citing players who have switched to Blackouts like Mick Thompson of Slipknot, Corey Beaulieu of Trivium, and Mike Schleibaum of Darkest Hour. To be fair, I’m pretty sure these guys were all already Seymour Duncan artists… so it’s not like they jumped over from “the other guys”.
Blackouts are already available for purchase. The neck and bridge pickups will be sold individually and in a two-pickup matched set. Battery life is 1420 hours for one pickup, or divide that by two for a set of pickups.
I Love my EMG 81/85 active pickups, but I have always wanted to try some Seymour Duncans. I think this is probably where I would start.