I've owned over 30 guitars, and have tried just about every 'metal' branded pickup from DiMarzio to Seymour Duncan to EMG and even Lace Sensor.
These pickups really shocked me because 99 out 100 times I end up switching stock pickups on a guitar. However, when I recently got a Gibson Flying V with this 500T and 496R in the bridge, I decided to check them out....
The biggest thing that stands out to me on the 500T and 496R is that every bit of the volume control can be used on these pickups. On EMG pickups, and to a lesser degree other passive pickups from DiMarzio (Super D) and Seymour Duncan (Blackouts, Black Winters, Nazgul) you really have either 0 or 10 and nothing in between.
The other thing that surprised me about the 500T and 496R is how well they BOTH clean up. Yes, it is possible to get a beautiful clean tone out of both these pickups...even the bridge, which really shocked me.
I'd recommend these pickups (500T & 496R) to anyone who loves playing Rock through 90's Death Metal, and they cover Metallica tones up through the early 90's as well.