So I've been currently looking to upgrade my current guitar (Lefty Schecter Omen 6) until I have enough money to buy my new guitar (Ibanez RG2550ML Prestige). I won't be purchasing the Ibanez anytime soon, so I've been torn between two Seymour Duncan Pickups.

I mostly play all types of metal, from post-hardcore stuff like Funeral for a Friend and Fightstar to more metalcore stuff like August Burns Red, War of Ages, and As I Lay Dying. I also play prog metal like Between the Buried and Me, Protest the Hero, and The Human Abstract.

The pickups:
Duncan Custom SH-5 and TH-5
JB Model SH-4 and TB-4

Which would you recommend? Do you think a different pickup model would suit me better?

For your style, I would go with the Duncan SH-6's. I have a Les Paul loaded with them and they sound great even for lower gain stuff. I usually play more Guns N' Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, and they work great for that, but you can really get some great gain out of them. The only thing with them is they have a good amount of mid boost, which you can get rid of with the amp or a pedal EQ, but I personally love having a lot of lower mids in my sound.
The JBs are a bit more classic rock than what you're trying to do. I'd go with the Customs out of those two sets.
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Well i just want to put out that seymour duncan black outs are pretty good pickups too, and i honestly think they're more better, you just gotta spend about $90 i believe
Blackouts are good, but for some of the things he wants to do a clean tone will be needed, and actives arent the best for cleans, especially when channel switching. I use JBs in the bridge and Jazzs in the neck, thats my setup, straight forward crunchy slightly muddy bridge pickup and a GREAT warm clean on the neck, if you want more aggression possibly an invader in the bridge. Now dont count out other pickup brands either, maybe try some dizmarios or Bare Knuckle pickups as well
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LTD H300(Duncan Loaded)
LTD H400 (Duncan Loaded) STOCK YESSSS
LTD M202 BB(Duncan Loaded)
80s American Tele(STOCK)
Gibson Faded V
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Mesa Triple Rectifier (EL-34s)
and many more.....
I play mostly distorted, pretty heavy metal distortion most of the time, but not enough to drown out the notes. If I'm going to want to play clean occasionally would it be a bad choice to get only one model, like the SH-6 in both bridge and neck, or would the clean still sound good? From what I've heard it's only the actives like the Blackouts that don't sound too great clean. Would it be a better choice to get an SH-6 or an Invader in the bridge and then a Jazz in the neck?
Last edited by Zelos45 at Apr 25, 2011,
The neck model of the Distortion doesn't have good cleans.

I'd recommend getting either a Pearly Gate or a '59 for the neck.
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I've got the SH-6 in the bridge of my Epi, and a '59 in the neck and it is sooooooo versitile!
I have blackouts on my ATX. They rock. Just crank ur volume down when your playing clean. Sorry, can't comment on the two you talked about up above.
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I've got the SH-6 in the bridge of my Epi, and a '59 in the neck and it is sooooooo versitile!

Out of the 4, 5 and 6 I think 5 has the most balanced tone. It's not as trebly as the other two. But for your taste the most aggressive of those three (the sh-6) might just be the right one.

Nevertheless, any of those is a real upgrade to stocks, so maybe whichever you can get used is a good deal.
Yeah, the Sh-6 neck pickup is REALLY bass-heavy. I wouldn't call it muddy, but definitely not the best clean tones. An SH-6 in the bridge and either a '59 or a Jazz in the neck would work great though. Personally, I'd go with the '59.
I've played a guitar with the JB on it. Actually 2 guitars. Both of them sounded ****ing HUGE. CLEAR, TIGHT and BALLSY. Yeah, they'd do balls out metal for sure, and they'd still retain the clarity.
custom might work, though it's not super duper high output.

I don't really like the jb for high gain, it has more of a rock voicing IMO, and can get muddy and over-compressed sounding.

I haven't tried duncan's actives, but I haven't really much liked their passive high output pickups I've tried... the distortion is alright, I guess (though its rhythm tones are better than its lead tones, and it's not amazing by a long shot), the dimebucker is pretty poor and the invader is even worse unless you have a crazy-bright-sounding guitar...
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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