I finally got frustrated with the Fralin/Sadowsky pickup/preamp combination in my main Fender, and tossed in a set of EMGs with a John East BTB-01 preamp. I'm lukewarm on the preamp but the EMGs sound awesome! At home they're a little dull and lifeless, but on stage they translate every little nuance of my playing to the audience - stuff that used to just get buried in the mix can now be clearly heard. And they punch like crazy! I'm really prominent in the mix here, but not really overpowering the sonic spectrum. Exactly what I was hoping for.
These are the new PAX model - Alnico magnets instead of the Ceramic that they normally use, for a more vintage sound, plus X series - no idea what that means, it's "extended headroom" or something. http://www.emgpickups.com/products/index/320/243/2
New Tone: http://archive.org/details/DLG2012-11-16.Beatniks same audio that I used for the videos above, my Zoom H4n.
Old tone - same venue, same recording setup and placement, different PA speakers unfortunately. I think my stage volume largely carries the room anyway. http://archive.org/details/DLG2012-06-29.Beatniks