SH-6 Distortion Humbucker Review

manufacturer: Seymour Duncan date: 03/02/2015 category: Pickups
Seymour Duncan: SH-6 Distortion Humbucker
A massive ceramic magnet and hot symmetrical coils deliver tremendous power and raw distorted rock sound.
 Sound: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 8.4
 Reliability & Durability: 9.6
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 Users rating:
reviews (5) 15 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.3
SH-6 Distortion Humbucker Reviewed by: fret-less, on december 09, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 75.95

Purchased from:

Sound: This pickup has a medium-high output, though the description might suggest more on the Seymour Duncan website. It's most suitable for bridge possition, and has great tone, yet lacks sustain especially on the high end. On the duncan site it suggests that this pickup is one of the highest treble rated pickups they have, but I honestly doubt that, considering that even the most ass kicking of pinch harmonics come out as tiny squeals. I'd say the tone is more midds than anything, especially when coupled with a solid bodied guitar. I think perhaps the solid body might eat up all the highs because of the faster resonance or something along those lines, I'm no expert. I'm using it with mostly Vox gear, and who knows, maybe Vox just has weak distortion, and I just never heard about it, but from my experience with other guitars, the distortion from this pickup is about mid-level, and nothing spectacular. However, it is GREAT for classic rock and blues, and when paired with the Pearly Gates pickup I have in the neck possition, it makes nice jazzy tones, if I set the tone pot around 4-6. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It's a VERY reliable, and durrable pickup. I've spilled drinks on it, put it WAY too close to active speakers for long periods of time, and taken it out and put it back in ALOT of times, and it still sounds just the way it did when I got it. If you want a reliable pickup, mostly anything by Seymour Duncan is good for just that. // 10

Overall Impression: It's a good pickup in my oppinion. When I got it, I wanted a hot pickup with fat tone, and squealing high-end, which it is not, so at first I was a little dissapointed. But later, I found that it has a great tone for blues, jazz, even Indie, and alternative, it has a very warm sound, and is totally reliable. I have it set in the bridge possition in my Les Paul, and it sounds great. It's not the face melting metal machine i imagined it as from the name, and description on the site, but it has good tone, and it's a nice pickup either way. I'd suggest it to anyone who wants to play anything other than metal. // 8

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overall: 9
SH-6 Distortion Humbucker Reviewed by: oneblackened, on march 01, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 73

Sound: The Seymour Duncan Duncan distortion is a rather high output pickup (mine reads at about 17.5k ohms resistance - while not an output level, it is a way to judge how high the output will be). The tone is what I would describe as "sizzly". Upper mid and high focused and very snappy. However, it still has a convincing "thump" in the lower mid range, and it stays tight so it's very good for metal with a lot of lower string chugging. It's very harmonic-sensitive; leads just JUMP out of this pickup. The pickup comes in bridge and neck versions; the neck version is suitable for the bridge position as a mid-output pickup (as far as I know, it reads about 12.8k ohms resistance) but the bridge pickup is WAY too hot for the neck. Cleans are slightly boxy and the pickup is very compressed-sounding, but it's really not meant for cleans, so that's fine. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's a pickup; it's pretty difficult to make one break without damage to the leads or the coils. Seymour Duncan make good pickups, as do their main rival, Dimarzio. It's rare - exceedingly rare - to find an American made pickup that's dead on installation. The springs are a royal pain to put on, though, so I prefer to use rubber tubing - which also cuts down on vibration. // 10

Overall Impression: I stuck this in my custom double fat strat (I built it myself - it's got an alder body, maple neck, and a rosewood fretboard). In the neck is a Duncan '59 and the Distortion is in the bridge. I can't think of anything I hate about it other than the fact that because mine is a trembucker (F-spaced) it has to use its own pickup ring. That's OK though; it matches well enough. I do, however, really like the clarity, aggressiveness and the tightness of the low end. The four conductor wires are really tiny and hard to wire, though that's the case with any wire like it. // 8

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overall: 9
SH-6 Distortion Humbucker Reviewed by: spencer_darling, on december 01, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 80

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound: (Pickups installed in a medium price range Ibanez RG) This pickup is high output. Actually Incredibly high out put. I ran this through my amp with no pedals at all and I had to decrease the gain on my amp to almost 0 (Depending on how you wire it). // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've had them installed for almost a year self installed. I don't get any creaks or squawks or crackles from it. I played these pickups A LOT my old pickups I had in this guitar (Ibanez infinity) had rusted in a year. I honestly haven't took very good care of these pickups and there's not rust or wear. // 8

Overall Impression: Pros: This pickup has a huge sound. It can really make your riffs scream. You can take a cheaper guitar sound fuller bigger and better. Cons: If you don't have experience in wiring guitars it maybe difficult to install correctly with out getting ground noise. If not grounded properly you get an overbearing buzz that can ruin your sound. // 9

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overall: 8.7
SH-6 Distortion Humbucker Reviewed by: Forbidden burn, on june 04, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 139

Sound: The output of this pup is hot. I use this through a 15 watt Peavey Vyper or my Bugera 6262 Infinium no effects. Currently installed in the bridge position in my EC series ltd and it sounds very good I play melodic Metalcore, deathcore in drop b or a sharp and this pick up is perfect tight full bottom end great for breakdowns or just chugging away, cutting mids every note is defined really cuts through in a band situation. The highs are also really good although I prefer the Seymour Duncan JB models highs the highs are good enough for leads. The cleans are good but not the best still usable though. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Seymour duncans are good quality and I feel I can depend on this pickup for many years to come. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall this pickup is made for metal old or new so if your looking for a pickup that does metal especially low tuned the SH6 is your pup I just love how every note is audible and no bass bottom end mush like I said I prefer the treble details of the JB but the SH6 has the bite you need I replaced the JB for the SH6 and fell in love the JB is a great pickup and does low tuned metal well but the SH6 does it better. // 8

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overall: 9
SH-6 Distortion Humbucker Reviewed by: givemeajackson, on march 02, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 50

Purchased from: ebay

Sound: I've had it in the bridge position my Schecter Hellraiser Special for the past 5 months, and I play it through an Engl Ritchie Blackmore and a Laney 4x12 with UK made Celestion Classic Lead speakers. Genres are all sorts of metal and rock, as well as blues. The SH-6 is a very high output passive pickup. I've had the Duncan SH-4, SH-10, SH-5 and SH-8 in that guitar before, as well as the EMG 81, and the SH-6 is extremely well balanced compared to those. It doesn't have as much mids as the SH-4 or the SH-10, it doesn't have as much bass as the SH-8, and doesn't have that extreme bite of the SH-5. It's perfectly middle of the road frequency wise, and it has the most output out of those apart from the SH-8. All in all, it's a pickup that I think works for pretty much everyone in pretty much any guitar if you're just looking for a high output pickup. For me, it just lacks that bit of character. It works, I get a good tone out of it, but it doesn't sound as distinctive as the SH-10 for example. Also, being a ceramic humbucker, it does not quite have the dynamics of the SH-10 either. Splitted it sounds very nice, high output humbuckers tend to sound excellent when split. Sparkling and with a lot of bounce to the tone, really pleasant. All in all I think it's a very good sounding pickup, it just gets a bit boring after a while, and when playing leads it does not quite allow for the amount of dynamic variety and expression as the SH-10. // 8

Reliability & Durability: All Duncans have flawless build quality, and this one is no exception. I bought it used, and apart from the normal wear it's as good as new. I've had it in my current guitar for 5 months and for 2 years in the one I've had before, it's held up very well. I don't really know how I'm supposed to fill 500 characters about the reliability of a guitar pickup, so I'll just tell you that Duncan's wiring diagrams are very easy to understand and if you watched any videos on the topic of how to solder properly the installation won't be a problem, no matter how terrible you are when it comes to fixing stuff. // 10

Overall Impression: As a metal guitarist, you will not be disappointed by this pickup. If you're upgrading from some cheap stock pickup on a cheap guitar it will be a revelation even, and its perfectly average and neutral frequency response will make it the perfect pickup for some people. I just miss that last bit of dynamic response when playing leads, which is why I'll put the SH-10 back into my Schecter. It's well built, just like all Duncans, and Duncan's customer support is great. If you find one used for a good price, don't even think about not buying it. Having some good spare pickups around is always a good thing, and this is definitely a good one. // 9

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