Poll: Which one? Please explain why.⏬⏬⏬
Poll Options
View poll results: Which one? Please explain why.⏬⏬⏬
Distortion
1 9%
JB
10 91%
Voters: 11.
#1
So here' s my situation... Schecter diamond series, basswood body, rosewood fingerboard, and an SH-8 Invader at the bridge getting swapped. I have 2 options and it' s either Distortion or JB. I' m lookimg for versatility since I pretty much play everything from Keith Richards to Keith Merrow and I need a pickup that can do it all. The Invader is great for anything metal-related and drop tuning but it pushes the amp (H&K Tubemeisrer 18 running into a 412 in this case) way too much for classic rock and the older stuff. In comparison videos, the JB seems to be lacking a lot of treble and sounds like the Invader with volume rolled off a bit IMO, whereas Distortion sounds hot as all hell and, in some cases, a bit fuzzy... Is this gonna do me any good, or should I wait untill something else shows up on the used market?
#2
although many do like the JB for rock stuff I might consider something more along the lines of a PAF type pup. let the amp do the heavy lifting when needed.
#3
The JB is my GO TO "versatile" pup. However, I've never used one in a basswood body; Always Alder, Ash, Poplar. Personally, the only thing I don't think it does well is thrash or modern metal. Not enough lows for me, though it can do it if it's all I have. This has been argued many times, there are many that think it does well for this. The Distortion on that other hand can get a bit fuzzy if pushed with the right amp/cab. I think it's a little too dark and has too much lows to be a "versatile" pup. I have used these in basswood. I currently have one in an SL1 and sounds GREAT for later Metallica. I actually switch between my Fusion with EMGs in it for the 80's Metallica to the SL1 with the SH-6 for the songs from the new album.

The JB is ANYTHING but lacking in treble. I use it to play everything from KISS to Green Day to Motley Crue and everything in between. Basically, like stated above, everything besides thrash and modern metal.

I won't suggest any pick ups because I really stick to the SH-4 and SH-6 for the most part. But there are A LOT of great pickups out there. I've heard really good things about the Custom Custom / 5 / etc. for their versatility.
Last edited by Xander_X at Feb 15, 2017,
#4
If you think the JB is lacking in treble, you're getting the wrong idea. Have to be careful with those youtube reviews. Duncan has a comparison tool right on their website that would go a long way towards clearing some of the notions you've picked up.

The JB and the Distortion are very nearly (by some accounts, exactly) the same pickup, except for the magnet. The JB has an A5 and the Distortion has a ceramic, which might be where you're hearing that prominent treble harshness. But they are fairly similar.

Anyway, all three pickups are pretty close in output, so I wouldn't count on the Distortion hitting the front of your amp any less. The JB is a hot pickup too but it is a little friendlier with the volume turned down, so of the three it would be the one I would expect to perform the best backed down a bit for lower output. There's a reason the JB is the default pickup for a versatile bridge, I'd give it a try. PAF isn't a bad idea but I think there's some merit in having more output from the pickup, especially if you're playing higher gain styles.
#5
I have JB's in both my ESPs and they are a sweet jack of all trades pickup for me... nice cleans and also sound great when playing distorted...
#6
I also think the JB would be better than the Distortion for this application.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#7
JB is a great jack of all trades master of none pickup. I use one in my guitar that I take to open mic style jams as it can cover most anything fairly if not really well. Treble can get away from you on bright guitars or amps.
Mesa Boogie Single Rectoverb 50 series 2 combo
Randall RM100
Peavey 5150 4x12
Peavey XXX 2x12 combo
Pedals
#8
I'm getting to the point of thinking Distortion is too bright, but if its extra brightness you need compared to a JB then it's only slightly a good go. General consensus is that it isn't as hot as the Invader, not as thick in the low/low mids. A JB would prevent too much push in the lighter stuff more so than an SH-6, but it's only slight between these 3 pickups (think of it as turning your gain down 0.25 or so). I almost think a Duncan Custom might be applicable here, too.

Personally, I find the SH-6 best suited to rhythm and power chord type stuff, but almost too bright for soloing without a warm overdrive in front of the amp. It's pretty tight, chunky, and percussive, especially with a boost. Not too much low mid emphasis.

I'm using it in my Floyd-equipped So-Cal (Emphasis on the floyd rose, not wood type). Might sound a bit fatter and less grainy in a tune-o-matic or hard tail. Though I think SH-6 might be overkill for brightness/output, I haven't used the JB enough so I didn't vote lol.
Charvel So-Cal (SH6TB/N, killswitch), Jackson RR5FR (TB6/Jazz, Drop C). Joyo pxl pro.
Loop1=Crybaby from hell, Boss PS-5, Seymour Duncan 805 or Green Rhino, EQD Hoof or Earthbound Audio Super Collider. Loop 1 into ISP Decimator II.
Loop 2 (FX loop)-Line6 M9, TC Spark Mini. Loop 2 into mxr 10band. All into a Peavey Triple XXX 212, Ibanez IL15.
Last edited by Maidenheadsteve at Feb 16, 2017,
#9
IMHO, I going to still have to disagree with the last post. I primary use the SH4 and SH6. And I find the highs to be quite warm with the SH6, where the SH4 is VERY bright.

I like that's its bright. Its perfect for 80s hair metal. I get a nice mellow high out of the SH6 things like a Metallica / Kirk Hammett style soloing.
#10
I think it depends too much on the guitar whether or not the JB works.

I find the JB to not be too bright at all. I own 2 guitars with JB's. A Jackson DK2M and an FGN LPC. The LPC is noticeable darker sounding than the Jackson but the Jackson isn't a particularly bright sounding guitar either. Especially not since I put a brass big block on the end of the Floyd.

I'm not convinced wood is making a meaningful difference, but I think the different bridge styles most definitely is.

And nor have I had any problem getting a tight af modern metal tone from a JB. It's all in the amp.
Quote by TheSennaj
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#11
T00DEEPBLUE I agree. It is a culmination of the gear. I like bright amps, run the treble on 9 or 10 and also run bright speakers, usually v30s or speakers similar to.

My DK2 isn't super bright with a JB, though brighter the. My SL1 with a Distortion. My Destiny however with a JB and a 1M pot is VERY bright sounding.
Last edited by Xander_X at Feb 16, 2017,
#12
If you need versatility, I would suggest the Custom over the JB or Distortion. Both of those are great for anything with Marshall-or-more-levels of gain. Not as good for classic rock. The Custom is PAF-voiced, just much louder, so it can do more things well.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#13
Look at Dimarzio PAF Joe or just their PAF. That's what I'd use...or a Tonezone.

The JB is a bit dull. I personally don't like its tonality, esp. on non-bright guitars. The Distortion is too much "distortion" for this kind of application.
#14
Quote by Roc8995
If you think the JB is lacking in treble, you're getting the wrong idea. Have to be careful with those youtube reviews. Duncan has a comparison tool right on their website that would go a long way towards clearing some of the notions you've picked up.

The JB and the Distortion are very nearly (by some accounts, exactly) the same pickup, except for the magnet. The JB has an A5 and the Distortion has a ceramic, which might be where you're hearing that prominent treble harshness. But they are fairly similar.

Anyway, all three pickups are pretty close in output, so I wouldn't count on the Distortion hitting the front of your amp any less. The JB is a hot pickup too but it is a little friendlier with the volume turned down, so of the three it would be the one I would expect to perform the best backed down a bit for lower output. There's a reason the JB is the default pickup for a versatile bridge, I'd give it a try. PAF isn't a bad idea but I think there's some merit in having more output from the pickup, especially if you're playing higher gain styles.


Yeah.

That being said, something a little lower in output (while not being quite as low as a PAF) might be worth considering too. Is a custom 5 lower in output than a JB? I can never decide. Its voicing is a bit closer to a PAF I think, though, it doesn't have the big compressed mid hump of the JB, which arguably makes it a bit more versatile. Though a lot of people (including me) might think it's too far the other way (i.e. too scooped).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
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#15
I have PAF Joe in my Dean and I can't say it is low output, I'd say it is mid-output. It is really good for metal as well as blues and rock styles. Same thing with the PAF Pickups in general. You can always boost or if you have higher gain amp like I do it is not an issue. Another one I forgot to mention that is really good is the SD Pearly Gates
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/seymour-duncan-sh-pg1-pearly-gates-pickup

Tuneful higher gain that might be worth investigating is the Leslie West pickup:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/dean-leslie-west-mountain-of-tone-humbucker-pickup-with-cover
#16
I have all kinds of pickups in my gear, but no JBs. No Distortions. And definitely no Invaders. I have a couple of favorite bridge pickups -- I have somewhat hot '57's (9.2 Kohms) and Suhr Aldrich. The latter may be my favorite bridge pickup for anything with a mahogany body, and honestly, I just can't speak for anything else.
#17
Personally, I' d save up for an SD Omega because it' s not as hot, but it does pack a punch if needed, however, I can only find those in a set... Does anyone onow if they are even available in Europe?
#18
Quote by fila.com3
Personally, I' d save up for an SD Omega because it' s not as hot, but it does pack a punch if needed, however, I can only find those in a set... Does anyone onow if they are even available in Europe?


These are now available separately from any Seymour Duncan dealer, so check your local one (they can order it directly from SD).
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#19
Quote by diabolical
Look at Dimarzio PAF Joe or just their PAF. That's what I'd use...or a Tonezone.

The JB is a bit dull. I personally don't like its tonality, esp. on non-bright guitars. The Distortion is too much "distortion" for this kind of application.


Im with ya bud, i own a tonezone is a warmoth basswood strat with 500k pot, rosewood neck and a few other goodies, i had the jb in it for maybe 2 weeks, i wasnt happy but its a great pickup by all means. Ive played maybe 5 duncan pickups and to be honest wasnt really happy but thats me and wasnt suiting my needs, i have tonezone and thats it and i couldnt be anymore happier to be honest
'15 Fender Stratocaster w/ Dimarzio p/u
'15 Squire Bullet Stratocaster w/ Dimarzio p/u
Marshall DSL40c
#20
So recently i came across an SH2-SH4 set for just above 100$... I think I don' t have to look any further. Just to get an idea...what' s the deal with Jazz neck? I hear a lot of people buzing about this combo.
#21
Yea they say the jazz for the neck is quite a great setup 👍
'15 Fender Stratocaster w/ Dimarzio p/u
'15 Squire Bullet Stratocaster w/ Dimarzio p/u
Marshall DSL40c
#22
Quote by fila.com3
So recently i came across an SH2-SH4 set for just above 100$... I think I don' t have to look any further. Just to get an idea...what' s the deal with Jazz neck? I hear a lot of people buzing about this combo.


The Jazz/JB combo has been one of the most popular pickup combos for decades. It just works well for many kinds of music. The Jazz is clean, clear, scooped, while the lows remain tight under gain.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#23
^ is the jazz scooped? I'd have said it was middier than the '59 (but then the '59 is very scooped )

but yeah the jazz is a nice neck pickup (so's the '59, I dunno which I prefer, i like them both)
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#24
So a quick update... I' ve sold some of my gear and I' m looking for a pickup that can go great with an Omega at the bridge since I' m kinda sold on the Omega tbh. I' m thinking something like full shred or Sentient... The Alpha-Omega set is waay outta budget and these 2 seem to come really close when it comes to articulation and separation which are the main things i love about the Holcombs set.
#25
The Full Shred has more high end than the Sentient. A pickup that splits the difference between the Full Shred and the Sentient is the Jazz.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#26
How do you think FS compares to the  Dimarzio Liquifire? And would an LF sound good with an FS at the bridge? I' m exploring lots of weird combos since I' got some advice that seem kinda funny.