SH-1 '59 Review

manufacturer: Seymour Duncan date: 05/27/2011 category: Pickups
Seymour Duncan: SH-1 '59
Late-'50s, vintage-correct, humbucker sound. Warm and crystalline clean tones. Full and bright distorted tones. Smooth sustain. Classic appointments include plain enamel wire, long legged bottom plate, vintage single conductor cable and no logo. Compared to the SH-55 Seth Lover, the '59 has slightly more scooped mids and is vacuum wax potted for squeal-free performance.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 18 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
SH-1 '59 Reviewed by: Blasphemylol, on october 13, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 170

Purchased from: Marshall Music

Sound: I recently upgraded my Jackson Performer PS-3 with a '59 SH-1 neck and a SH-4 JB bridge pickups. These transformed my guitar into a much more versatile instrument. I was surprised with the output of the '59. It is very powerfull and "full" sounding. Nicely balanced. It's awesome for blues or just plain strumming. My friend did some sweep picking on my guitar and the sound is very bubbly and well defined. I play through a DigiTech RP350 multi-effect pedal and a 65 Watt solid state Laney. I have the neck version of this pickup, it is also available in a bridge version. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The pickups came packed in foam in little plastic boxes with screws, springs and wiring diagram included. All very easy to understand, I installed both within an hour. These pickups are hand-made and the overall quality is excellent, even the cable attached to it is of very good quality. I'm sure they will outlast my guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: I love the way this pickup works with my SH-4 JB bridge pickup (I also did a review on the SH-4). Before I replaced my stock Jackson pickups I usually turned my clean sounds down in the band because they sounded terrible, and my blues tone was muddy and bassy. Now I love my guitar's clean and blues tones with the neck pickup selected. Overall a very versatile and powerfull pickup. // 9

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overall: 9.7
SH-1 '59 Reviewed by: The Interlude, on may 27, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: I have this pickup placed in the neck position of my LTD F-100FM (basswood body w/ maple top). Most of the time I use it through a Randall RG amplifier, but I have also played it with an Orange Rockerverb 30, and Peavey 6505+. No matter what level of gain or distortion, I could not find a horrible tone out of this pickup. On cleans, it is pure bliss. The high end remains glassy on the attack, yet it still maintains a warm butteriness on the midrange and bass. It is perfect for jazzy clean interludes. On low distortion, it is fat and punchy. They weren't kidding when they say vintage. Blues and rock really Shine with this. Sustain and tone are tons better than with the stock PUs. Now for the high gain: ... My... God. If shredding can kill you, then I have died a happy man as soon as I struck a note. It amazes me how well it can handle brootal distortion when this is such an angel with lighter styles of music. Harmonics scream, and it still maintains that fat midrange that I have come to love. It is extremely versatile, which is a godsend for my eclectic tastes. I sincerely recommnd this. I only have the neck version though, so please keep that in mind if you plan on buying for the bridge position. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Now there are some scratches on the cover from my picking. But it is of no concern, since it is barely noticable, and it doesn't affect the tone. The wire came shield with insulation and braiding wrapped around it. No worries when it comes to durability, unless you are nitwit. // 10

Overall Impression: Well, I am primarily a metal player (I admit it). But, I love blues, jazz, and Acoustic music. It works for all of this. Whether you are tapping, bending, squealing, sweeping, or fingerpicking away on your axe, you will be satisfied. The only thing is I wish I bought the four conductor version for custom wiring. This is a product that truly deserves high ratings. Enjoy. // 9

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overall: 9
SH-1 '59 Reviewed by: Johnny Lingo, on march 08, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 100

Purchased from: Kijiji - Used

Sound: This is Seymour Duncan's version of the venerable DiMarzio PAF. I used PAF's 25 years ago and loved the balanced, warmer tone. Checking SD's website, they state that the pickup really shines with a mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard, and that is the material of my Ibanez ART100 that they went into. Clean, or dirty, you can hear your chords just sing, and the sustain for a passive pickup is awesome. Output level is nice and high, but enough to lose the tone. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The pickup is typical Seymour Duncan quality, all aspects show great workmanship. Wired in easily and came with a wiring diagram. Bought them lightly used, installed in a Gibson Les Paul Standard. No problems so far and of course I depend on it, as I did the install and setup! // 9

Overall Impression: Love the tone curve of this pickup, along with the output level it works for a lot of styles and amp types. It really shines in an all mahogany neck thru with a rosewood fingerboard, which was a bonus for me because those are my favorite materials for an electric. Bought a pair for neck/bridge and love it to death. I know some use a beefier pup in the bridge for flexability, but I like 2 '59s. Make a $450 investment for guitar and pups into a $1200 amazing sounding guitar. // 9

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overall: 8.3
SH-1 '59 Reviewed by: oneblackened, on september 07, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 73

Purchased from:

Sound: 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. // 7

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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