#1
Another "which pickup" thread by me. But I've decided for sure the brand, now just choosing the pickup.

I'm stuck between the SH-14 Custom 5, the SH-10 Full Shred, and the SH-5 custom.

Tonally, for the guitar I'm putting it in (a Firebird [LP's pickups Im not changing, decided not to]), I'm looking for a tone very close to Slash's, but a bit heavier. So out of the three, which would be able to get me to, or close to, that?

In the neck is going an Alnico Pro II btw.
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  • Jet City JCA100HDM w/ Avatar Contemporary 2x12 Cab
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  • MXR Smartgate
Last edited by Snake™ at Aug 27, 2009,
#2
Custom 5
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#3
What's wrong with your tone now, and how do you think you want to change it? Have you considered changing your amp or pedals instead?

With that out the way:
  • Custom 5: It's alright, but it's description on the SD site (like all of their descriptions) is very incorrect. It's a generic overwound Alnico V with slightly expanded treble. You know the infamous SD Alnico II Pro? Get that, swap the magnet for an Alnico V and double the windings, you've got the Custom 5. It is not a scooped tone as SD says, nor is it particularly vintage. It's as generic as a hot Alnico V humbucker can get. That's not to say it's bad, just generic. I tried one in a basswood guitar with a bolt-on neck and a Floyd and it was alright - clearer than the JB model had been - but it was still pretty muddy. It won't get you that 80's tone but it is a good all-rounder, just not with Floyds.
  • Full Shred: Pretty nice, but it can get a bit ice-picky. I tried one in a Les Paul (normal tom/stopbar bridge though) and it certainly gave my ears a shock. Terrible, terrible clean tones and I had to be careful with the distortion and needed to pump the bass up on my amp far higher than normal or it just sounded very thin and screechy. With a Floyd, I imagine that problem will only be worse.
  • Custom: Take the Custom 5, now compress it's tone horribly and suck out any chance it has of sounding at all natural. You've got the Custom. If you use lots of pedals then this would almost be good, except then pedals don't need it's high output. I put one in an LP Junior and it was simply terrible, impossible to get even just an acceptable clean tone out of, let alone a good one. It's distorted tones simply sounded like everything was going through a cheap 'metal' pedal, even though it was going directly to the amp and using only the amp's own gain to boost it a little.


If you're really set on Seymour Duncan as a brand, and if you actually need a high output pickup (i.e. you don't use amp gain and you don't use pedals) then I think the pickup for you will be a Duncan Distortion. It's got the bite of the Full Shred but it has much more midrange that corrects all fo the Full Shred's faults. I put one in the LP Junior that previously had the Custom and the Duncan Distortion did a better job by miles.



All that said, DiMarzio PAF Pro. I don't like DiMarzio much, but the PAF Pro is to me 'the' Floyd/80's shred bridge pickup, when it's paired with a suitable amp.
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#4
I'm wanting to change the tone to try something different than my normal one.

Amp-wise, I'm starting to save for either a Marshall DSL401 or a Crate Blue Voodoo.

And the thing is in the bridge the PAF Pro isn't really what I'm looking for.

However I did look into the Duncan Distortion and it seems good. But how would a JB sound in an LP?
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  • Agile AL-3XXX Custom Tobacco Sunburst w/ EMG 57/66
  • ESP LTD EC-1000T CTM Black w/ Seymour Duncan Blackouts
  • Jet City JCA100HDM w/ Avatar Contemporary 2x12 Cab
  • Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive
  • Dunlop OG Crybaby Wah
  • MXR Smartgate
#5
I dropped a SH-5 into my Epi Les Paul and it sounds great, a vast improvement over the Alnico Classic or whatever Epiphone was putting in their LPs at the time. It sounds good through my Fender Deluxe and I can pull pinch harmonics out at will with a low gain setting on the amp. I also like the clarity that the SH-5 gives me in my LTD Viper-200FM, again a big improvement over the stock pick-ups. I use the LTD with dropped tunings and it does not get muddy at all, but retains a nice full, crisp tone.

I also put the SH-6 Distortion in the neck position of the Viper, and I am a little disappointed. I cannot tell if it is because the 24 fret neck pushes the pick-up closer to the bridge than normal, or if it is just not a good idea to have a high output pick-up in the neck. Either way, I cannot comment on how the SH-6 sounds in the bridge.
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Last edited by Kuskasnorfyn at Aug 16, 2009,
#6
Quote by Snake™
But how would a JB sound in an LP?
Pretty damn terrible. The only time I've heard a JB sounding good is in the bridge of a Strat, and even then a Custom 5 would have sounded better in the same guitar. I don't know why or how the JB got so popular, it's an awful, muddy pickup.
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#7
Many guitarists have gotten a good tone out of it, so I guess thats why.
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  • Jet City JCA100HDM w/ Avatar Contemporary 2x12 Cab
  • Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive
  • Dunlop OG Crybaby Wah
  • MXR Smartgate
#9
Duncan Distortion, it's just as Flibble said. It's very clear and defined but it's got a lot of punch.
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#10
If you have a tremolo system, you will need the pickup with wider pole spacings.

Seymour Duncan calls them the Trembuckers, and they have TB in place of the SB in their designation (TB-5, TB-10, TB- 14).
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#11
SH-11's are my weapon of choice.
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#12
Quote by ragingkitty
If you have a tremolo system, you will need the pickup with wider pole spacings.

Seymour Duncan calls them the Trembuckers, and they have TB in place of the SB in their designation (TB-5, TB-10, TB- 14).


I know, I just wanted to ask the basic "which pickup?".
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  • Agile AL-3XXX Custom Tobacco Sunburst w/ EMG 57/66
  • ESP LTD EC-1000T CTM Black w/ Seymour Duncan Blackouts
  • Jet City JCA100HDM w/ Avatar Contemporary 2x12 Cab
  • Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive
  • Dunlop OG Crybaby Wah
  • MXR Smartgate
#13
Bumping this, I'm needing some help still.
I NEED TO CHANGE MY USERNAME


  • Agile AL-3XXX Custom Tobacco Sunburst w/ EMG 57/66
  • ESP LTD EC-1000T CTM Black w/ Seymour Duncan Blackouts
  • Jet City JCA100HDM w/ Avatar Contemporary 2x12 Cab
  • Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive
  • Dunlop OG Crybaby Wah
  • MXR Smartgate
Last edited by Snake™ at Aug 27, 2009,
#14
Quote by Snake™
Bumping this, I'm needing some help still.


Erm, what kinda help do you still require?
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#15
Go with the tone you like. Other people will tell you what's good and what's not based on their own personal opinions of it. If you can, try them all out, and go with what suits you best.

And for those below me, he wants a tone close to Slash's
#16
I agree with you on the JB however, IMO the sh-5 is a killer pup. It is the pickup that stayed in my swamp ash Warmoth after trying a half dozen "recommended" pups. It even cleans up very nicely and the distortion is very saturated yet clear. I doesn't seem scooped at all in fact, its a bit mid-rangy but it doesn't have that terrible screeching high end the JB has. Bottom is true and tight. Every ear is looking for something a bit different I guess.
Quote by MrFlibble
Pretty damn terrible. The only time I've heard a JB sounding good is in the bridge of a Strat, and even then a Custom 5 would have sounded better in the same guitar. I don't know why or how the JB got so popular, it's an awful, muddy pickup.
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#17
Quote by 1nSingularity
And for those below me, he wants a tone close to Slash's


If you are looking for a Slash tone, the solution is simple. Get the Alnico Pro II.

Its the exact same pickup that Slash uses.

However the Alnico Pro II are known to be very sensitive to the rig setup. Hence when you use them, you need to have a very good rig to be able to get your tone to sound like Slash.

What I would suggest is that you get a pickup mix from Seymour Duncan's line of vintage pickups. Otherwise, with the Alnico Pro IIs, if your rig doesn't sound like a million dollars, your tone definitely won't sound anything like Slash's tone.

My suggestion-
Bridge: '59 model SH-1 and TB59 http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/vintage/59_model_sh1_an
Neck: Seth Lover Model™ SH-55 http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/vintage/sh55_seth_lover

Both of them use Alnico magnets, so you should be able to get that warm tone that gets gritty and dirty as you you increase the gain. The only major departure is the SH-1 which uses an Alnico magnet, which is brighter than the Seth Lover.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Aug 27, 2009,
#18
Ah, the APII sounds good. Only thing is I'm worried its not gonna sound good through my Vox. :/
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  • Agile AL-3XXX Custom Tobacco Sunburst w/ EMG 57/66
  • ESP LTD EC-1000T CTM Black w/ Seymour Duncan Blackouts
  • Jet City JCA100HDM w/ Avatar Contemporary 2x12 Cab
  • Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive
  • Dunlop OG Crybaby Wah
  • MXR Smartgate
#19
The Alnico II Pro only gets you Slahs's tone if you also have his exact amp, his guitar, and you know how to set up and use your whole rig exactly like he does. It is a very, very 'transparent' pickup, so if there are any flaws in your rig or if it's different in any way, the Alnico II Pro will only make those flaws and those differences more obvious. It's a really specialised pickup, and not something that many people should even bother considering.
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#20
Ah. So would a '59 be a better choice?
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  • Agile AL-3XXX Custom Tobacco Sunburst w/ EMG 57/66
  • ESP LTD EC-1000T CTM Black w/ Seymour Duncan Blackouts
  • Jet City JCA100HDM w/ Avatar Contemporary 2x12 Cab
  • Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive
  • Dunlop OG Crybaby Wah
  • MXR Smartgate
#21
I'd say a Pearly Gates - still has that spongy alnico 2 response and soft attack but there's a lot more going on harmonically.
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#22
Hmm the PG looks good. How would a Screamin' Demon do?
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  • Agile AL-3XXX Custom Tobacco Sunburst w/ EMG 57/66
  • ESP LTD EC-1000T CTM Black w/ Seymour Duncan Blackouts
  • Jet City JCA100HDM w/ Avatar Contemporary 2x12 Cab
  • Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive
  • Dunlop OG Crybaby Wah
  • MXR Smartgate