Best passive pickups for metal?

Best passive pickups for metal?

Hello. I have 2 alexi laiho 600 LTDs and I dont like the toneless, sterile sound im getting out of the emg hz's they allready have in them. I was wanting to replace them. Ive had my eyes on some dimarzio x2n pickups I can get on ebay. I have one in my B.C.Rich stealh and I think it sounds really great. was just wondering, before I order them, does anyone know of any other pickups they would recomend for metal other than  the x2n?


I use seymour duncan SH-4 in my lil' squier m80, as I use amp sims, all I can say it's a matter of eq, and amp. I'm still experimenting but I could get a lot of tone out of it.


i have hz 4's in my jackson - they sound a bit sterile - but not as sterile as EMG actives

I have hz 1's in my kh 502 - they are a lot warmer and have a very nice breakup distorted - they sound really heavy even though the response in not as tight as the hz 4's

the jackson is a bolt on neck and the kh is set neck - so that probably accounts for some additional warmth also


my 2 favorite passive metal sets are - 


seymour duncan sh4 neck  (JB)- ( not made for neck I just use a bridge ) and an sh 5 (CUSTOM) in the bridge 

I am currently using this in an ltd eclipse 256  

great for metal,  great for blues,  classic rock tones,  sound good clean also.



bill lawrence ( wilde pickups in california not bill lawrence pickups company )

l500r neck and l500xl bridge 

great for metal, great jazzy clean tone - as articulate as the hz 4's but with a lot more character.

I am using these in a Dean ML 


the most versitile set I have in any guitar is this

a dimarzio air norton in the neck with a seymour duncan sh5 in the bridge 

- the air norton sounds great but is not as tight as the other pickups I suggested. It mixes well with the sh5   

this guitar can do metal, blues, progressive, jazz, classic rock and anything else I have tried.

i am currently using this set in LTD  Horizon  h-200


also I just re read the OP and realized it was from 20 days ago so you probably have already replaced your pickup,

I'm gonna post anyway since I already wrote it.  








Daniel F.

I have never played a better set than the stock pickups My les paul custom came with. They are so punchy and low end heavy, my whole garage shakes

Josue Q.

Iver heard really good things about the Seymour Duncan Black winter pickups 


The SD Black Winter are awesome. I had them for a long time before I switched to the active JH-Set.

Big Daddy B
Daniel F. wrote:

I have never played a better set than the stock pickups My les paul custom came with. They are so punchy and low end heavy, my whole garage shakes


I too have had good luck with the pickups that come in Les Paul Classics. I believe they are similar, but a little hotter since they are uncovered. I have read mixed reviews on the Black Winters. Don't let that deter you though, YMMV.

BulletProof Rex

Dimarzio will work fine....


Seymour Duncan recently released the Nazgul and Pegusus pups as 6 strings and they have the clarity and aggresion for metal. Although the Pegusus has a bit less aggression but more clarity compared to the Nazgul but you can look into them for further info.


get the DiMarzio x2n.

Big Daddy B

My only non EMG electric is my Tom Anderson Pro Am and have really enjoyed the H3 humbucker in the bridge. Supposedly the H3 is the pickup Mesa uses to test their amps. THough to be perfectly transparent, it has a lot of mid range punch so if you are looking for something scooped, might not be the best option. I get really good harmonics from it, better than my EMGs and it is still strong enough to drive my signal chain just about as much as the EMGs.

Devon E.

Dimebuckers are passive, if you're into that.


Tried & true : Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge and a Dimarzio PAF Pro in the neck will give you metal up your ass! 


I replaced the stock active pickups that came in my M330-RFM with a set of EVH Wolfgang passives, and I couldn't be happier.  I also replaced the stock 25k volume pot with an EVH low friction 500k pot, and replaced the stock input jack with a Switchcraft 1/4" jack.

Jake O.

I suggest some SD invaders,just keep your tone knob low with those

Nathan G.

I use the Nazgul and Pegasus in my Mayones.  They are so hot I need to turn the levels down on my Mesa.  Have you tried the pickup configuration tools that most dealers offer?  I have found more often than not the amp choice is the biggest part of your sound.


Seymour Duncan Nazgul or TB-5 Custom dude! 

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