HB-103 review by Duncan Designed

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 9 (2 votes)
Duncan Designed: HB-103

Purchased from: Secondhand from a friend

Sound — 6
Korean-made version of the Duncan Distortion pickup. I don't know how the original Duncan Distortions sound so I can't compare these to the original. I have this pickup as a neck pickup so the windings are going to be more mellow as is the sound. Funny enough, for what these pickups are supposed to be, they are actually pretty clean, of course, this IS a neck model I have so it will be a tad cleaner. I adjusted the screw poles to stagger along with the strings for a little bit more tone and attack out of my playing... Didn't do a whole lot for the sound at all. The full sound of this pickup clean is pretty round for the price, nice and bassy, warm, and I can at least hear this pickup when I have it activated at the same time as my bridge pickup, the HB-108B Detonator.

Overall Impression — 7
I have this installed in a junky guitar I picked up for dirt cheap. I'm happy with this thing for just being able to pick up string vibrations at all. Currently I'm looking for a nice economical replacement for this pickup, possibly a Gear Head Fat pole pickup to pick up the slack that this guitar gets from having this pickup installed... But it's not like you can really go out and find this pickup for sale anyway, Seymour Duncan only puts these "Duncan Designed" pickups as stock for some mid range priced guitars from Jackson, ESP and the like.

Reliability & Durability — 7
The magnets are awfully weak... But I did get it secondhand and it wasn't stored away in a proper fashion either (magnet on magnet). It still performs to what I need it to and I can complain that I got this better-than-regular-stock pickup for free. This thing was well potted in wax because nothing started "shedding" when I adjusted the screw poles. Again, secondhand pickup means I don't know the full length of the wires, but there are only two wires conductors making it more difficult to split.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date