#1
Couple months back I got a JB for $50 on Amazon of all places. I had always read how it's a great rock pickup, versatile , a classic etc. So I gave it a chance because it was on sale, even though I was kinda skeptical i'd like it .

So I first installed it on Schecter Omen 6, it sounded horrible. It sounded insanely shrill on the high strings and the lower notes were clear but didn't really have that tight feel when you palm mute.  I was surprised how much I had to turn down the treble on my amp to dial out how shrill it sounded... So I took it out of the Schecter and installed it into a Epiphone Black Beauty, it sounded much better but still pretty shrill. 

Is this normal for a JB? i'm sure I installed it right. For a moment I wondered if I got a fake Seymour Duncan, I tried returning it but I had to pay a restocking fee, so I end up selling it on Craigslist for what I bought it for. It left me with a bad impression of SD pickups. The JB is probably one of the worst pickups i've heard IMO . With some tweaking it could sound pretty decent, but overall it was so damn shrill clean and distorted.
#3
I am by no means an expert but I have a JB in my PRS SE Custom 24 and it was also pretty shrill. What kind of music are you playing, and though what amp(s)?

Here is what I did:

1) Adjust the poll pieces like discussed in this thread.
http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?270417-adjusting-jb-humbucker-polepiece-(TO-THOSE-WHO-USE-JB-HUMBUCKER-I-NEED-YOUR-FEEDBACK

2) Swap the magnets. I replaced the A5 with a ceramic and I like the results in the PRS. Although, I didnt hate the JB before hand either. I think people refer to this as the JB+
http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?141749-JB-(Ceramic)&highlight=JB+ceramic

Hopefully someone with more info can chime in!
#4
The JB is a bit of a weird one. It seems quite picky with the specific guitar it's in. Some complain it's too bright, others complain it's too muddy. Others say it's juuuuuuuuust rrrrright.

I am one of those people to say they sound pretty awesome. At least in the two guitars I own that have them. They do sound different between the two guitars though. Neither sounds better than the other, just different.

Perhaps the pickups you're used to are so muddy sounding that you're surprised when you swap them out for something that isn't?
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#6
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE


Perhaps the pickups you're used to are so muddy sounding that you're surprised when you swap them out for something that isn't?



I get your point, but I don't think the other pickups I had were all that muddy. The JB is insanely bright. I read it was designed to be used with 250k pots. I can see it working well in a really warm guitar with 250k pots, it would probably be a nice balance. It would probably be too bright in anything else for me. 
#7
m3ta99 If you swap out the magnet , it isn't even the same pickup anymore. If I had to go through the trouble of swapping the magnet, i'd just buy something different. 
#8
I have 2 JB's and used 500k pots on both.  In neither case did I think either one was shrill; in fact, I installed C8 magnets for more high end.  However, one of them had the wrong wire colors.  I had to wire that one up like a Gibson pickup, as when using the Duncan colors I get just a single coil.  Maybe check the resistance on yours and see if you have both coils inline (16k ohm) or single (8k ohm).  It's also possible that one half is out of phase, which would make it shrill, so maybe you could reverse one half and see how that sounds.
#9
That's the kind of difference I'd expect between a basswood body with a bolt-on and a mahogany body with set neck. 

I have to agree with T00DEEPBLUE about the comparison with your old pickups. Are you sure you're not used to EQ'ing loads of treble and mids in, so you're now overwhelmed?                 
#10
Quote by -MintSauce-
That's the kind of difference I'd expect between a basswood body with a bolt-on and a mahogany body with set neck. 

*sigh*
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#11
The JB is very picky about the kind of music & the kind of guitar it likes. It is a unique sounding pickup, which can be a good or bad thing. Something like the Custom might have been more to your liking- it is like a PAF, but a lot louder. 
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#12
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
*sigh*

I'm not trying to perpetuate tonewood or guitar construction voodoo, but it does make a difference. The voicing will be distinctly JB with the flavour of whatever guitar (wood and construction) it's in.

Reference: My old basswood Ibanez and mahogany Schecter Tempest Custom performed similarly to OP's guitars with the same pickups swapped between them.
#13
Quote by -MintSauce-
I'm not trying to perpetuate tonewood or guitar construction voodoo, but it does make a difference.

I'm not trying to tell you that what you just said was a contradiction, but it is a contradiction.
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#14
I love the JB, great sounding pickup. Bright and tight for sure, but I wouldn't ever call it "Shrill". It depends what guitar it's in, the value of the volume/tone pots and the amp you run it through, settings used, speaker and room sound. A lot of different aspects that make it impossible for anyone to be on the same page when you then also factor in tastes.
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#15
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
The JB is a bit of a weird one. It seems quite picky with the specific guitar it's in. Some complain it's too bright, others complain it's too muddy. Others say it's juuuuuuuuust rrrrright.

I am one of those people to say they sound pretty awesome. At least in the two guitars I own that have them. They do sound different between the two guitars though. Neither sounds better than the other, just different.

Perhaps the pickups you're used to are so muddy sounding that you're surprised when you swap them out for something that isn't?


yeah. i remember i used to hate them, before i owned them. now i have a few guitars, and it sounds really great in one (charvel), pretty good in another (edwards) and more mediocre in my framus. it does seem very picky.
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#16
I have them in 2 of my guitars and I love em... I've used them clean, clean with coil split and through overdriven marshalls with OD808... they have always sounded great...
#17
You say you had better results on an Epiphone Les Paul than with a Schecter Omen 6... that's because a Schecter Omen 6 would require a "Trembucker" or "F-Spaced" pickup due to it's different string spacing. If you're searching for "a great rock pickup" you really should consider the Bill Lawrence L500XL, the Seymour Duncan SH-13 Dimebucker, Seymour Duncan SH-8 Invader, or the Dragonfire Crusaders (which are inexpensive clones of the Seymour Duncan Invaders) and something those pickups all share is that they're able to accommodate all string spacing...the JB was designed for Jeff Beck & JB is actually acronymous for Jazz Blues...that being said, all I've seen Jeff Beck play any time recently is Stratocasters outfitted with Fender Noisless or Hot Noiseless single coil pickups...
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#18
Mazz- I doubt that the f- spaced and non f-spaced versions would sound that much different. if anything at all

and I think you may be wrong on that, the Schecter actually has standard spaced pickups , at least in my 2003 version. and the Epiphone needs F-spaced. 

Currently I have Dimarzio Illuminators in my Epiphone and I think it sounds great.  But i'm not all that happy about the Schecter omen 6 pickups they're more for dark metal styles ( black winters ). I was thinking about replacing them with other Seymour Duncan's but was remembering my experience with the JB which is why I posted on here..  The Seymour Duncan site suggests JB in their pickup selector a lot, and my experience with it wasn't good. Thinking of giving it another chance now that I have a better amp.
Last edited by jedigovnaUG at Apr 18, 2017,
#19
if you didnt like it then why buy it again? there are way too many pickup options out there to do that.
#20
If you have a JB, changing the pots to 250k will help tame the high end a lot. Replacing the magnet with an Alnico II will also help. 
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#21
JB's come stock in the neck of most US Jackson's.  It sounds AWESOME in my SL1.  Never even thought about changing it and I've had that guitar for over 10 years.  Awesome rock and metal tones, and even the clean's not bad. 
#23
jedigovnaUG I have a Jackson Pro Dinky that came loaded with the JB in the Bridge and it sounds awesome in that guitar. Of course like all pickups, the type of guitar and amp are going to have an impact on what you ultimately end up hearing. The JB is a very popular pickup and has been used on countless recordings but hey, if it doesn't jive for you then by all means, get rid of it. Sometimes gear doesn't work well with other pieces of gear and pickups are no different. 
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