I'm sure the maple M-II will do metalz just as well. The JB is approx equal to the EMG outputwise anyway - the voicing is just different. IMO EMG 81 with the maple neck would be excessively bright and harsh. My M-II with the neck-through-body construction (rw fretboard) was a treble-galore. I tried in it several Duncan passives and IMO they all worked there. Maybe the Alternative 8 was the favourite, in standard tuning anyway, due to a low-ish resonant peak and huge sound. Distortion works great too, it will deliver the output and compression plus nice clean sound, something the actives often fail to do.