HB-105 review by Duncan Designed

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (14 votes)
Duncan Designed: HB-105

Purchased from: www.Thomann.de

Sound — 9
What's the output level like? This thing is based on the Seymour Duncan Blackouts, so Loud and tight, it's a really high output pickup. What amps and effects are you using it with? I'm using it with a Blackstar HT-40 Valve amp and crybaby wah. This thing drives my amp hard as hell. It gives me a really punchy sound and when I'm playing with a band, it cuts straight through the mix. Tone - Bassy, middy, muddy, trebly, balanced? It's a very balanced pickup, not muddy at all. For which positions is this pickup (un)suitable? Its a great in the neck and bridge, I prefer the bridge though. Chugs like a friggin train.

Overall Impression — 10
What do you love about it? What do you hate? I love the sounds I get out of this, it's a serious metal pickup and is perfect for the genre if you ask me. Far better than the EMGs. What I hate about it, is the fact I can pick up radio signals with it when I use my Fuzz Factory. What model guitar or bass did you install this in? It came installed in my Schecter Demon 7 string. It's a nice as hell guitar and this is the icing on the cake, sounds excellent. What position is it in? I have it in the bridge and neck. Final words on these pups, I have the Seymour Duncan version of the Blackouts that these are based on and they are the exact same. Seriously, I don't notice a difference in the tones, harmonics and the tight as hell notes. The only difference I get is the Mahogany shines through a lot more in my Seymour Duncan equipped guitar than the basswood Duncan Designed equipped pickups.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Does the pickup seem like it will last? Yup, massive pickup casing except for on top, for obvious reasons. Has bulky shielded wires connecting them to the pots and pickup selector that won't come loose anytime soon. Can you depend on it? I've used this live a lot and hasn't let me down yet. So aces all round here.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Duncan Designed is just a lower class Black out pretty much. Duncan Designed pickups are like Epiphone to Gibson to Seymour Duncan. If that makes sense. haha
    I pick up radio stations with my fuzz factory all the time, it's the pedal, not the pickups.
    I believe they are practically same as Blackouts. Only difference is they are made in China with chinese components.
    Sir Stoney
    If these are very similar to the Blackouts then Blackouts are not for me. Very fizzy, too much gain in one pickup. Your gain is supposed to come from your amp, if you have a very high gain amp and you plan on boosting your amp then prepare for Feedback, horrid cleans, and muddy distorted tones.
    The blackouts are made by symour duncan not any other company are you sure the 'duncan desgined' and symour duncan' isnt just another name of the same company?
    Seymour Duncan's are made in USA, Duncan designed are made in Korea. Seymour has the DD's made by his spec's and modeled after genuine dunc's. I have DD's in 3 of my guitars and they're wonderful. I have 2 detonator's & an hb-103. No complaints.
    These came stock in my Schecter C-1 FR. In my opinion they sound great, however I highly doubt they sound exactly the same as Blackouts.
    ive got the 7 string versions in my Schecter Demon 7, there not too bad but they are quite noisy, i find i have to turn the gain on my pod down a bit to counter the amount of noise/fuzz
    had duncan designed pickups before, wouldn't touch em' with a ten foot pole. i didn't like em' but this guy does ten across the boards.