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Depends if you're using a high-gain tube amp and pedals or not, the 'tone' equation depends on the sum of all the parts. EVH used astonishingly little gain in his overall sound.

Medium output pickups are far more versatile but you do have a volume knob on the guitar so any pickup fitted will have an adjustable output.
 

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I think it depends on which genre of heavy metal. If I'm not mistaken, a lot of classic Priest and Maiden or your classic late 70's and early 80's metal was recorded on medium output pickups.
If you're talking Killswitch, Slipknot, or the like then different story. I usually use high output pickups like the TZ or Evo but lately I've been digging the Air Classics in the Fireman and, especially, the 36th Anniversaries. I can pretty much do anything with these and they're "vintage" output, especially the 36ths. I would say classic rock sounds better on them too rather than the high output Dimarzios.
 

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I play mostly classic rock/metal and indie rock, so I generally prefer low to medium output pickups. They tend to be less compressed and have a richer, less gainy sound, and are easier for me to control. However, if I ever do want to play modern/numetal type stuff, it's not too hard to change my amp settings so that I get the high gain tone I want. Could also be done with the right pedals. I think that's much easier than trying to make an 18k DCR Ceramic mag humbucker clean up and have a classic rock sound. The real pro-tip is to just buy more guitars that can each have a specific purpose. If only money weren't an issue...
 
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