Questions on ESP EC-1000 guitars

I've wanted to upgrade from my somewhat cheap-o Gibson Les Paul Special SL to an ESP of some sort, and I was looking into an EC-1000. My main question is that (using musician's friend as a reference) there are two different models of the 1000

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/compare?g=home&base_pid=516629&base_pid=516629X

Both guitar models look exactly the same as far as parts go, so I'm wondering why the "Blem" model is cheaper. I'd go try them out at a store for myself, but there aren't any ESP dealers close to my house. So, I figured I'd ask first before making a trek out and getting horribly lost.

2nd question: Is there any specific advantage to getting a model with EMGs vs. Duncans? I'm mainly interested in playing metal (favorite bands include Arch Enemy, Mastodon, Dragonforce, and Tool). I was also thinking about down-tuning a bit (maybe to C) if that makes a difference. Thanks for any input.

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Wow, just realized that blem is short for blemish. I feel dumb now ^_^.

:) , we've all made that sort of mistake, zomby. To answer your other Q, try to find out what pups are in the guitar and check out the EMG and SD websites. Both are pretty informative. Also, if you go to Harmony Central and click on "user reviews", people have written up on their pup upgrades and what they think. Usually, reviewers mention their favourite genres so you could get a good idea that way.

I don't know if they still do, but SD used to offer you a replacement policy; if you're not happy with the SD you've bought, swap it for a different model to see if you prefer it. Seems like a fair deal.

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