SH-5 Custom Review

manufacturer: Seymour Duncan date: 08/22/2016 category: Pickups
Seymour Duncan: SH-5 Custom
The output levels are outstanding, way too much for the clean channel on my amp to still be clean. The highs and mids are a bit nasally and overwhealm the lows.
 Sound: 7.7
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Overall rating:
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reviews (3) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
SH-5 Custom Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 26, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 70

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound: The SH-5 is not bad, but not what I was looking for. The output levels are outstanding, way too much for the clean channel on my amp to still be clean. The highs and mids are a bit nasally and overwhealm the lows. Coil tapped it sounds pretty good matched with the JB2 in the neck position. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The only unreliable thing about the pickup is my soldering. I have Duncans in my other Ibanez and my Les Paul. // 10

Overall Impression: Nasal tone/amazing output. I will give this a 7 because the SD website didn't mention anything about nasal highs. Had I know that, I might have changed the position and combination or gone with the Custom 5. // 7

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overall: 9
SH-5 Custom Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 14, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 50

Purchased from: Used

Sound: Output level was slightly higher than a duncan jb. I used it with various setup, Line 6 pods for recording, Peavey 5150, Marshall jcm 800, jcm 900, jcm 2000.. Tone, quite similar to the JB model, but with much tighter bottom end.. Overall tone is bright as a jb, but with a whomp in low mid frequency, and tight bass response.. 2 words : Thick Distortion. The sh5 shares the quality that makes the duncan jb so popular in the 80s: Soft mids.. Yes, it is a bright pickup, but I find the mid response is very "comfortable", unlike some other high output pickups, the mids doesn't sound harsh or pushed on lower gain setting.. The response is very familiar like the stereotypical PAF sound.. For those quality, the sh 5 suit many styles.. Blues, classic rock, hard rock, down to modern metal.. This is a really versatile pickup... Now the drawbacks: Clean tone is nothing special, but I don't play clean with the bridge pups anyway.. Split sound is very very twangy.. This could be a good thing if you play country, but I don't... I much prefer the JB split sound.. Overall, I will give this pickup a 8.. A very good pickup.. Close, but not there yet.. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Every Seymour Duncan I owned is built sturdy and solid.. Very dependable, and give you a feel of quality when you hold it in your hand before you install it.. It really feels like youre holding a rock..! Unlike the other big name "di****io", which also make some great sounding pickup, but they use plastic baseplate.. Construction is not as rigid as a seymour.. kinda feels like toy.. I will give this pickup, and seymour in general, a big 10..!! // 10

Overall Impression: Love the tight bass, smooth mids, great output.. Hate the split sound... If this pickup has more harmonic overtone, then this is the holy grail for me.. really close.. Guitar is an Ibanez ar 300.. Mahogany body with maple top, mahogany set in neck rosewood board, 25.5 scale.. Acustic quality (unplugged) is Tad brighter and snappier than a good les paul, but with great resonance, ans typical compressed low mids of mahogany guitar.. Bridge position, paired with a duncan sh1 neck... // 9

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overall: 9
SH-5 Custom Reviewed by: breadfan82, on august 22, 2016
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from:

Sound: This is a pickup choice I made as a replacement for the Seymour Duncan JB in my LTD VF-401. No offense to the JB lovers/users out there, but I needed something without that spike in the upper mids that the JB tends to have. This pickup delivered in that aspect. It has a little more of a scoop in the mids, treble response that is bright but not harsh, and lows that I can only describe as having more "fur" on them than the JB. I play metal, and I run a Marshall JVM410H and a 1960 Vintage cabinet. The combination of the guitar, pickup, and amp is really good - the lows kind of balance the natural treble of the amp. I would describe it as a warmer-toned bridge pickup with good harmonic response and good crunch. It's not fantastic for cleans - it will still cause your tube amp to break up on a clean channel, but honestly, I've heard worse. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It's a Seymour Duncan USA pickup... so I have zero worries about its construction or longevity. Comes with the familiar black tape around the coil wires, the plastic bobbins are solid, and the base plate and legs are in perfect condition as well. In my experience, most pickup manufacturers are building these things to be pretty durable, and I can't particularly think of a way I could damage it under normal circumstances. I have never had any pickup from Seymour Duncan that was not dependable as long as it is properly installed. // 10

Overall Impression: Again, I play metal, and this is a pretty good match. High output, but not so high as the Black Winter or Dimebucker. With high-gain overdrive, the tone remains organic and sweet, with great clarity in the mids and highs, and the lows have an almost "brown sound" quality to them.

It's all about personal preference, kids. I have a lot of years into experimenting with guitars and pickups (upwards of fifteen of those pickups have been from Seymour Duncan), and my honest is opinion is that this pickup is towards the top of what the Seymour Duncan catalog offers. Covers a lot of ground in the realm of rock and metal, and very well at that. A great choice for those who need smoother mids than the JB offers, and deeper lows without getting into DiMarzio Super Distortion or Tone Zone territory. All things considered, this is a fantastic pickup. // 9

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