I am using a set of blackface. Very very nice. Can get very nice bites out of distortion tones. Glassy tone but yet has enough phat when it comes to OD. Does not sound thin and sterile. Not overly noisy with hum when OD is engaged. Go to the ACME guitar website. Listen to their samples - they are accurate. That's how I decided on blackfaces. If I am not mistaken the specials sound a bit thicker - but I wanted mine to be a vintage set with the agressiveness of modern playing. So that's why I chose blackfaces. Hope this helps. Buy a calibrated / matched set from Jason Lollar. Ask him for some advice - he gave some pretty good guidance on choosing my set. Hope this helps.