SH-1 '59 review by Seymour Duncan

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (35 votes)
Seymour Duncan: SH-1 '59

Price paid: $ 73

Purchased from:

Sound — 7
The Seymour Duncan SH-1 '59 is a lower output PAF copy. It's similar to a PAF in most respects but it is a little bit harder edged. The tone is for the most part quite defined, however in a Les Paul it gets VERY boomy in the neck position. The boominess can't really be controlled. I use it mainly with a Vypyr 75, though as of late it hasn't seen much use. It comes in both neck and bridge versions; they're fairly interchangeable since they're similar in output level.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this pickup is a good pickup for just about anything. It can get finicky with the guitar it's in, seeing as the bass is nearly uncontrollable in the neck position of a Les Paul. I loved it in an alder bodied 25.5" scale guitar though; the brighter tonewood and scale length tame the bass enough so it's balanced with the rest of the pickup better. I like the overall tone of the '59 and its versatility (I can play nearly anything on it and the tone will be decent), but the overall boominess of it means a a few points are docked. Recommended for hard rock and blues, not bad for metal soloing but there are better pickups for that purpose.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have not once had a pickup break from normal use, and pickups are unlikely to break unless they get wet or a coil wire breaks. It's genuinely rare to have a pickup dead on arrival, since they're fairly simple as far as manufacturing them goes. A 13 year old could do it, with a few months experience.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i wanted to ask, i have an ibanez grg170dx , and im planning to change my bridge and neck pickups, im trynna find a sound which is crunchy biting thick and has agood sustain, for me who plays tons of RHCP, will this be a good consideration? thankss
    how would the sd 59 sound in the neck position with a paulownia body and rosewood fretboard. does it compliment a bill lawrence l500xl pretty well also?