HB-108B Detonator Review

manufacturer: Duncan Designed date: 03/27/2013 category: Pickups

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Duncan Designed: HB-108B Detonator
This pickup was made for a heavier rock type setting because of the natural distortion it gives off.
 Sound: 7
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.7
HB-108B Detonator Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 27, 2013
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 30

Purchased from: Amazon

Sound: Okay, so I own the real Duncan Invaders that these things are based off of... Let's just say there's a reason they call it the "Detonator". Actually, let's break it down De- = no more, less of; Tone = The clarity of your notes; -ator = a prefix I made up to make a badly compounded word become a title of sorts... Well ok not really, I'm not sure why it's nicknamed "Detonator." So I bought the real Invaders and loved the clarity and the tone in both the neck and the bridge. I had another guitar to upgrade the stock pickups and I decided to get this pickup for the bridge and combine it with another Duncan Designed pickup I got for free, the HB-103. This pickup, despite having the same black oxide caps as the Invaders, do not share a similarity in tonal clarity and screaming, clear mids as the big brother. This thing muddies itself really easily, sounds kind of flat, and tinny at lower volumes. The good news: this pickup was made for a heavier rock type setting because of the natural distortion it gives off. I have it set in a guitar with a LP type set of electronics so I can manage to balance out this pickup and the neck pickup for a cleaner sound if need be. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I'm not 100% sure on the quality of this pickup just due to the fact that I ordered it seemingly new and it's Korean made (I think?). It survived being in a box full of more pickups I switched out for nearly a year and was too lazy to install it into my, then junk project, now practice guitar. Really though, I don't know how I feel about touching black oxide caps in an effort to see what I can do with this thing's sound. Consider the 8 I am giving in this field an ambiguous "sure I guess this thing can stand a few gigs and a bunch of installations?" // 8

Overall Impression: Well at least I get a different sound from this pickup, giving me ideas of how to dial in certain effects for a real set up I have. The sad thing is, this pickup is worth just as much as the guitar I have this set up in. A wonderful, magical, Lyon (by Washburn) LI15 barely-better-than-Costco-brand guitar. I'm considering putting a mod-board in this guitar just to make it a bit more of a novelty and making it a guitar I would be happy to lug around, say a convention, with a small amp run by a battery in a backpack playing covers to songs from games, anime, cartoons, movies and more and not worry about losing too much money over this thing. Still, I think my money would have been better spent on a GFS or Guitar Head brand pickup. // 8

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