Best Active Pickups For Heavy Metal Music

If you’re a fan of hard, heavy metal music, you know that having the right gear is essential to achieving the perfect tone. One of the most important components of any heavy metal guitar setup is the pickups.

And when it comes to pickups, active pickups are the way to go. Active pickups use a preamp to boost the signal from the guitar, resulting in a higher output and a more aggressive sound that’s perfect for heavy metal.

But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which active pickups are the best for your style of music. That’s where we come in.

In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into the world of active pickups and highlight some of the best  active pickups for heavy metal music. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need to make an informed decision about which pickups are right for you.

So buckle up and get ready to take your heavy metal sound to the next level with the best active pickups on the market.

Understanding Active Pickups

You’re about to learn some cool things about pickups that will make your guitar sound amazing for the type of music you love to play. Active pickups are different from passive pickups in that they require a battery to operate.

They have a higher output level, which means they produce a stronger signal that can drive an amplifier harder. This results in a more aggressive and powerful sound that is perfect for hard heavy metal music.

Active pickups also have a different tone compared to passive pickups. They have a more focused and compressed sound that emphasizes the midrange frequencies. This makes them ideal for cutting through a mix and standing out in a band setting.

They also have less noise and interference, which means you can play at high volumes without worrying about unwanted hum or buzz.

When it comes to choosing the best active pickups for heavy metal music, there are a few things to consider. The first is the type of metal you play.

If you play more modern metal with lots of distortion and high gain, you’ll want pickups with a high output and a tight low end. If you play more classic metal with a cleaner tone, you’ll want pickups with a more vintage sound and a lower output.

Other factors to consider include the type of wood your guitar is made of, the type of strings you use, and the type of amplifier you play through. By taking all of these factors into account, you can find the perfect active pickups for  heavy metal music.

EMG Pickups

If you’re looking for a way to electrify your sound and make every note scream with intensity, the EMG pickups might just be the perfect addition to your setup.

EMG pickups are known for their active design, which means they require a battery to operate. This helps to boost the signal and provide a stronger output, making them ideal for hard and heavy metal music.

Here are five reasons why EMG pickups are a great choice for heavy metal music:

  • EMG pickups have a high output, which means they produce a lot of volume and sustain. This makes them perfect for playing aggressive and fast-paced music.
  • EMG pickups have a tight and focused sound, which helps to cut through the mix and stand out in a band setting.
  • EMG pickups are available in a variety of models, each with their own unique sound and style. This means that you can find the perfect pickup for your specific needs and preferences.
  • EMG pickups are easy to install and use, making them a popular choice among guitar players of all skill levels.
  • EMG pickups are durable and reliable, which means they can withstand the rigors of touring and heavy use.
EMG JH James Hetfield PickupsEMG KHBB Kirk Hammett Bone BreakersEMG 57/66 Pickup SetEMG 85 Active PickupEMG 81 Active Pickup

Seymour Duncan Blackouts

Get ready to experience a new level of power and tone with the Seymour Duncan Blackouts, a popular choice among guitarists for their dynamic and versatile sound. These active pickups are designed specifically for hard heavy metal music, providing a bold and aggressive tone with incredible clarity and sustain.

One of the standout features of the Seymour Duncan Blackouts is their high output, which allows for enhanced distortion and a more defined sound. The pickups also have a unique dual-pin design that provides additional clarity and articulation, making them a great option for fast-paced riffs and solos.

In addition to their impressive sound, the Seymour Duncan Blackouts also offer a sleek and stylish look that complements any guitar. With their powerful and nuanced tone, these active pickups are a top choice for guitarists who demand the best in their playing.

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Fishman Fluence

Experience a whole new level of versatility and exceptional tone with the Fishman Fluence pickups. They’re designed to take your guitar playing to the next level. These pickups are known for their advanced technology and superior sound quality, making them the perfect active pickups for heavy metal music.

Here are three reasons why you should consider installing Fishman Fluence pickups on your guitar:

  • Active technology: Fishman Fluence pickups use active technology to produce a powerful and clear sound. This feature allows for greater control over the tone of your guitar, making it easier to create the perfect sound for your style of music.
  • Noise reduction: One of the biggest challenges of playing heavy metal is dealing with unwanted noise and interference. Fishman Fluence pickups are designed to eliminate this problem, producing a clean and clear sound without any interference.
  • Multiple voicings: With Fishman Fluence pickups, you have the ability to switch between multiple voicings, giving you even greater control over your sound. This feature allows you to experiment with different tones and styles, making it easier to find the perfect sound for your music.

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DiMarzio D Activator

If you’re looking for high-output pickups that deliver a clear and articulate tone with a dynamic response, the DiMarzio D Activator might be exactly what you need.

These pickups are designed to handle hard and heavy music styles with ease, giving you the power and clarity you need to cut through the mix.

With their advanced technology and craftsmanship, these pickups are a top choice for many professional guitarists who demand the best in tone and performance.

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High Output Active Pickups

You’ll want to check out the high output section if you’re looking for pickups that pack a serious punch and can handle the heaviest of riffs. These pickups are designed to produce a high output signal, which means they’ll deliver a lot of power to your amplifier.

This is especially important for heavy metal music, where you need a lot of gain to get the right tone. One of the benefits of high output pickups is that they can handle distortion really well. So, you can crank up the gain on your amp and still get a clear, articulate tone.

They also tend to have a lot of sustain, which is perfect for holding those screaming notes for as long as possible. If you’re looking for pickups that can handle the most aggressive and heavy music out there, definitely check out the high output options available.

Clear and Articulate Tone

Now that we’ve talked about the importance of high output in active pickups for heavy metal music, let’s move on to another crucial factor: clear and articulate tone.

While high output is essential for producing the heavy, aggressive sound that characterizes metal music, it’s equally important to ensure that each note played can be heard with clarity and precision. This is where clear and articulate tone comes into play.

To achieve this, active pickups typically feature a preamp that boosts the signal from the guitar’s pickups, providing a more powerful and defined sound. Additionally, some pickups are designed with specific EQ curves that enhance certain frequencies while suppressing others, resulting in a more balanced tone.

For example, pickups with a scooped midrange EQ are popular among metal guitarists because they emphasize the bass and treble frequencies, while reducing the midrange frequencies that can muddy the overall sound.

Ultimately, the best active pickups for heavy metal music strike a balance between high output and clear, articulate tone. By delivering a powerful, aggressive sound that still allows for individual notes to be heard with precision, these pickups enable guitarists to create the heavy, intense music that defines the genre.

Dynamic Response

To really make your playing stand out and create a dynamic sound, focus on the responsiveness of your pickups. The best active pickups for heavy metal music should have a quick response time and be able to handle a wide range of playing styles. This means that when you play hard and fast, the pickups should be able to keep up and accurately capture the nuances of your playing.

Dynamic response is important because it allows you to achieve a greater range of tonal variation. This means that you can go from soft and delicate to hard and heavy without losing any clarity or definition. The pickups should also be able to handle different playing techniques, such as palm muting, tapping, and sweep picking, with ease.

By choosing a pickup with a dynamic response, you can create a unique sound that sets you apart from other guitarists and truly captures the essence of heavy metal music.

Conclusion: Active Pickups for Heavy Metal

Congratulations! By reading this article, you’ve gained a deeper understanding of the best active pickups for heavy metal music.

You now know the benefits of using active pickups compared to passive ones, and you’ve been introduced to some of the top brands in the market.

In conclusion, whether you’re a professional musician or just starting out, choosing the right pickups is crucial in achieving the sound you desire.

With EMG pickups, Seymour Duncan Blackouts, Fishman Fluence, and DiMarzio D Activator, the possibilities are endless. Each of these brands offers unique features that cater to different playing styles and preferences.

So, go ahead, experiment, and see which one works best for you.

Rob Z

Got my first guitar in 1987, took lessons and played nonstop. Spent some time in hard rock and metal bands in the 1990s. I eventually switched to acoustic guitars only and rarely played for years. I got back into electric guitars when my daughter began playing in 2018. I now collect way too much gear.
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