okay.. more post op report
I compared this to a similar guitar (one pickup CS jackson RR) that has an EMG-85 wired at 18 volts compared to the alexi CS (the green one in the gallery :D), which has one battery. I used a fairly low gain patch and kept similar settings, well exact settings to compare on my amp (which is a little vox modeling combo..this isnt scientific so it will do).
The gain levels between the two pickups are insane. the RR's output level doesnt even come close. the blackout metal is just on another fucking plain of existence in terms of output gain. its just truly absurd how hard this pickup drives the preamp. its not overly compressed or outright uncontrollable. its still a high gain pickup, but its just..wow. im really truly impressed. I like active pickups the best, and now Im truly satisfied with one , on all levels, for the music I play. its just a great pickup, and for the money, you'd be hard pressed to find a similar alternative IMO