SH-8 Invader review by Seymour Duncan

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.4 (67 votes)
Seymour Duncan: SH-8 Invader
1

Price paid: $ 112.14

Sound — 10
I mainly play punk rock but it suits well for Hard Rock and Metal, even blues. I fell in love with this pickup when I first saw it. It was in a Tom DeLonge signature guitar and since I love his sound I wanted one of those in my SSS Strat. So I put it in bridge position and made it HSS Strat. It a cheap Squier Strat. It has a really really great output and it is great for distortion. Some people say it's muddy and it doesn't sound well with cleans. Well, they're so wrong. I love the clean sound I get from it. I use it in a 130 Squier Strat and with a Peavey Valve King 212. I love what I get. I use a BBE crusher distortion pedal because I find the distortion on VK a bit too dark for punk rock. I'm really happy with the clean it gives, yeah, it's a bit muddy but I love it. I love when I use it with pedal to get the main distortion and I love it when I use the amp's lead channel for crunch sound. I only played it on bridge position so can't tell you about it's sound in neck position.

Overall Impression — 10
Well, I love everything about it. I love the was it looks (cause of those black screws on top), I love the way it sounds. As I already mentioned it is in a 2-way sunburst (I think) Strat with white pickguard, knobs and 2 white single coils. I got it in black because I didn't want to wait another 3 months just to get a white one. Its in bridge position and it really rocks. Thanks to SD for such a great pickup.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I don't know about it's durability cause nothing happened to it yet. It never gave up when I was using it. It works perfectly so I guess I can depend on it. I have never heard of anyone having problems with it so far. It is pretty heavy and thick. So watch your feet when you got that thing in hands in case you drop it.

50 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Sound Mind
    HELLSHREDD wrote: I tried these pickups in a custom strat & they sound great , but EMG fricken rules , all the big bands use EMG-81 & 85 & both my axes have them...And that dude that says he hates EMG-s has to be whacked or a banjo picker!
    so what? is everybody trying to sound like your "big bands". some people want to sound original, and not everyone buys gear solely based on the gear that their favorite bands use.
    bambusa
    I rekon EMG's sound better run at 18V not 9V. I have gone back to passive pickups - more tonal texture and emotion in them. But hey I don't play metal I play rock. So go ahead and hack on that but remember thats my opinion from experience - you don't have to agree.
    SL!!!
    Lance Verinto wrote: Convictionless is an idiot. Anyone that hates EMGs has to be either brain damaged from lack of metal or just a country ****er.
    Or someone who likes tone. Look, EMGs have a pretty good and balanced sound and all, but i would never use them. They sound too.."clean" with distortion. They sound fake, you don't get the same tone you would with passive. Not every heavy band ever uses EMGs too, just so you know.
    SL!!!
    bambusa wrote: I rekon EMG's sound better run at 18V not 9V. I have gone back to passive pickups - more tonal texture and emotion in them. But hey I don't play metal I play rock. So go ahead and hack on that but remember thats my opinion from experience - you don't have to agree.
    Definitely. There are tons of heavy bands that use passive pickups too. You don't have use a certain type of gear to play the music you like.
    TDAJGuitarist
    I have Invaders in my Ibanez Artist and I love them... And pickups are all a matter of preference...One person may think EMG's are the best and somebody may think Duncans are the best...So insted of bashing somebody else, then you should respect other guitarist's preferences...We are all in the same boat here... I love Duncan and Dimarzio, they are my personal favorites...but just because EMG isnt my favorite, doesnt mean I am going to bash them... The only thing's we guitarists should all bash is First Act guitars and Line 6 Spider amps... :-D Just Kidding...I suppose you have a right to like those two. lol
    oakn
    TDAJGuitarist wrote: I have Invaders in my Ibanez Artist and I love them... And pickups are all a matter of preference...One person may think EMG's are the best and somebody may think Duncans are the best...So insted of bashing somebody else, then you should respect other guitarist's preferences...We are all in the same boat here... I love Duncan and Dimarzio, they are my personal favorites...but just because EMG isnt my favorite, doesnt mean I am going to bash them... The only thing's we guitarists should all bash is First Act guitars and Line 6 Spider amps... :-D Just Kidding...I suppose you have a right to like those two. lol
    Well written. EMG's are not bad pickups neither is SD, Dimarzio, Bill Lawrence, Gibson, Ultra-Sonic and all other brands. It is TOTALY up to each everyone of us to choose the pickups that has the sound for our individual style of music. And on the Line 6 Spider thing... they actually sound like crap, so let's all bash 'em. (but I'm sure there is someone out there who likes 'em)
    xMikeyxMetalx
    TDAJGuitarist wrote: I have Invaders in my Ibanez Artist and I love them... And pickups are all a matter of preference...One person may think EMG's are the best and somebody may think Duncans are the best...So insted of bashing somebody else, then you should respect other guitarist's preferences...We are all in the same boat here... I love Duncan and Dimarzio, they are my personal favorites...but just because EMG isnt my favorite, doesnt mean I am going to bash them... The only thing's we guitarists should all bash is First Act guitars and Line 6 Spider amps... :-D Just Kidding...I suppose you have a right to like those two. lol
    you know not all first act guitars are bad? they make high end custom ones for some guitarists that sound really good. and line 6 spider amps are certainly not the best, but they are great begginer practice amps(the 15 watt ones, anything is a waste really) so how about we just dont bash anything. id rather be a great guitar player with shitty gear than a shitty guitar player with great gear.
    filthylittleboy
    I don't really trust the opinions of the people posting these reviews, I don't want to hear about your blink 182 fanboy tendencies... I'm looking for a good metal pup, and I think that maybe I could find a better quality seymore duncan but i'm gonna reserve my opinion till i can actually hear one for myself. you are all wankers, all the brands posted here seem probably have ass pickups and great ones, you have to check out the quality level. wow.
    outlaw_torn989
    HELLSHREDD is a ****ing moron, please disregard anything he says about anything, ever. He sounds like every other bandwagon fan who is afraid to say something else besides EMGs are the best pup ever made. Try a set of Blackouts in any guitar that will fit them, and you wont be disappointed. I have a set in my Epi SG and they sound utterly delicious. I have used EMGs before, and I have to say, they sound a little diluted.
    MUSICFIEND21
    blackout r amazing they blow emgs out of the water. i had emgs they r okay but no clean sound and everything sounds the same(except solos they amazing)but i think emgs sound the same in evry guitar.now back on topic the invader is awsome, i dont like avenged sevenfold syn(he has the invader) has great tone and zacky is an amazing rythm playing. and i luve tom delonge's tone. i have also tried this pup it is really good but u do need 2 clean it up a bit, igets pretty muddy when on clean. wpould recomend a single coil in the neck of guitar for cleans.like trey from morbid angel
    MUSICFIEND21
    would put. and luv. sorry my laptops keyboard always sticks cause my friend spilled maple syrup on it and hasn't paid me back to get a new laptop.
    Sickhead3000
    thers a differenc between a metalhead and an emo you ****tard [quote]XxAvantGardexX wrote: Listen you stupid metalhead, why don't you stop bashing other people and go cut yourself? quote]
    mattb91
    never used these, but am considering buying one to put in one of my guitars. I think u people who say they sound muddy when used clean are on crack. blink 182 always had great guitar tone, clean and distorted.
    arnster
    hey ppl i desperatly need someones opinion on wether its worth getting this pickup(bridge) coz ive got an banez RG that came with INF3 pickups, personaly i think theyr crap but i dont have a clue bout pickups.i need a rock/metall sound.
    Kozlic
    convictionless wrote: actually this pickup is considered one of seymour duncans worst pickups ever made. id rather put a emg in my guitar it has better tone...and i hate emgs. this review was probly made within the week of you using these.
    no actually I'm using it for a year now (almost) and it still is the best pickup ever!
    lumpy.gravy
    No iv found that the best location for the pickup is in the bridge. It boosts ALL of my solos and phrasing to the max. In my opinion this is 2x better than the EMG 81/85. You could even have one pickup in your guitar with this one, i dont even use the EMG that i have in my neck because this one is so much of a beast!
    arnster
    iv got an ibanez RG with INF3 pickups wich i think are gay,iv never bought pickups seperatly n havnt a clue what to look for,i jus saw tht sinister gates uses them and thought they must be gud,are they?( for rock,metall)or is it worth stiking to INF3?
    Si-monster
    There seems to be a lot of tarts bitching about how much better EMG 81/85s are than the Vader. Tone is player's choice f**knuts! Fair enough if you "prefer" the tone but if you basically just rely on using what every metal band and their mothers use then you need to find a new instrument. I stuck an Invader in the bridge of my PRS SE EG and it sounds top. Especially when combined with the SCs. I'd happily pit this against an EMG 81/85 combo for versatility any day!
    arnster
    lol mozilla crashed when i was posting first comment didnt think it posted
    padgea7x
    My jackson has this pickup!(white though) But i've never really heard it's full potential cz the potentiometer was messed up.(from the previous owner), now i've bought a new potentiometer and i get it all wired up i'll be able to hear this baby!
    brandonvrsn
    Arnster wrote: hey ppl i desperatly need someones opinion on wether its worth getting this pickup(bridge) coz ive got an banez RG that came with INF3 pickups, personaly i think theyr crap but i dont have a clue bout pickups.i need a rock/metall sound.
    I played an RG with the same pickup in the bridge, and compared to my standard RG it sounded amazing, awesome heavy sound, good amount of bass, a bit muddy but worth it if you want crazy riffs or a good rock/metal rhythm sound
    brandonvrsn
    ^ not bad for lead either, just not clear enough for my taste, excellent dist. not that great clean (just my opinion though)i'd go with a balanced neck PU for clean sounds
    HELLSHREDD
    Listen here adantdickswallower i think you suck dick balls deep
    XxAvantGardexX wrote: Listen you stupid metalhead, why don't you stop bashing other people and go cut yourself? And yea EMGs are quite one dimensional, cleans arent even that great. I'd go with a DiMArzio, they are the epitome of expressive pickups.
    jerm138
    My SD Invader should be arriving in the mail any day now. I'll be putting it in the bridge position of my LTD M-100fm with a push-pull so I can go series or parallel. Has anyone here tried that with this pup? I'll be tuned down 1 step because this is my "Crue" guitar. I'm really looking forward to hearing this thing... people seem to either love them, or hate them... not much in-between, kinda like Glocks. Compared to the stock ESP pickup, I'm sure I'll be pretty happy. I've played EMGs before and don't see what all the fuss is about. Sure, they sounded good, but not enough to make all other pickups sound like "garbage, crap, junk, etc." I'll post a review after a few weeks of getting used to it.
    wasted-years
    whosamerica wrote: any metalhead who says this pup is crap hasn't heard it used for anything but blink 182. and tom uses a strat through a boogie dual rect with the treble and presence cranked, obviously its not gonna sound apealing cuz he has a really high end eq. go listen to a7x's last 2 albums to hear just how good it can sound with a more balanced setup. (its in the syn gates custom.)
    or lamb of god but my opion is that its to muddy i love other peoples invaders but i bought one put it in a kelly then a esp mh250nt now its back at the shop i bought it. i just couldnt find a lead tone with it now rythm players will love it i think
    wildchild6666
    The only thing's we guitarists should all bash is First Act guitars and Line 6 Spider amps...
    I have a Line 6 Spider Valve head and the tone the i get out of it live is clear! fat! and tight like the virgin mary herself. I will admit I use a E.Q. pedal and a noise gate but other than that its a great product for its price range! I run that with my ESP Alexi Laiho Custom shop pink sawtooth and my ESP Custom Shop Eclipse both with blackouts.... these pickups are insane!!!!!
    CustomCustom
    The problem with EMGs is they dont come in enough flavors like Duncans or DiMarzios imo. They sound great in Les Pauls (EMG 81/85) for metal but they werent so hot in a 1990 Ibanez RG570 I used to have (81/SA/89). And the cleans of low/mid output passives like a 59, jazz, or Air norton cant be had in the EMG catalog.
    bambusa
    Everyone with EMGs - run them at 18V and you will get rid of the slightly squashed sound that you get. Yes even you metal/thrash guys. They can run up to 27V but there is little gain over 18V head room wise. Its all in the fingers and your attack on the strings - not whose pickups you use.
    Detonation
    TDAJGuitarist wrote: I have Invaders in my Ibanez Artist and I love them... And pickups are all a matter of preference...One person may think EMG's are the best and somebody may think Duncans are the best...So insted of bashing somebody else, then you should respect other guitarist's preferences...We are all in the same boat here... I love Duncan and Dimarzio, they are my personal favorites...but just because EMG isnt my favorite, doesnt mean I am going to bash them... The only thing's we guitarists should all bash is First Act guitars and Line 6 Spider amps... :-D Just Kidding...I suppose you have a right to like those two. lol
    Hey I dont find anything at all wrong with my Line 6 amp and i got the half stack. I dont find it a waste at all. And ive been trying to see wat would be betted the SD Invader or Blackout.
    123-Trav
    oakn wrote: And as we say in Sweden "The taste is like the butt, parted".
    ahahha. You crazy swedes you!
    Dvnc
    Lance Verinto wrote: Convictionless is an idiot. Anyone that hates EMGs has to be either brain damaged from lack of metal or just a country ****er.
    EMG's don't always sound good. It depends on the guitar, and especially the amp. ou almost have to have something like a high end Randall or Boogie to get good tone with EMG's. I agree with everyone else that they can make the sound a bit cold as well. Just my two cents.
    badguitarist13
    Sound Mind wrote: HELLSHREDD wrote: I tried these pickups in a custom strat & they sound great , but EMG fricken rules , all the big bands use EMG-81 & 85 & both my axes have them...And that dude that says he hates EMG-s has to be whacked or a banjo picker! so what? is everybody trying to sound like your "big bands". some people want to sound original, and not everyone buys gear solely based on the gear that their favorite bands use.
    +1 eveyone i know is concentrated on sounding like nothing else. Something original. Sure, we use bands we like as reference to our own music but when you LIKE a band that is completely different than BEING another band. oh and on the EMG's... I would never own them.
    Zeldaik
    only bad thing about these pickups is they're pretty noisy if you are going for a clean sound.
    knotslip
    oakn wrote: Every time someone put a review on a pickup thats not EMG, everybody goes "EMG is the best". Well I say f*ck you, the choice of pickups is totaly individual. I have EMG 81 and 85 in my Les Paul, and a Gibson 500T in my SG and I can tell that i like passive pickups more than active ones. Active EMG pickups sort of... takes the character out of the guitar. I haven't tried active pickups from some other brand than EMG, maybe other brands are better. And a thing to have in mind in the war between passive and active pickups, In the early recordings of Nile they used passive Jazz-pickups and the sound they got is much heavier than many bands out there with their pretty little EMG 81/85 set. On topic, I've wanted to try the SD Invader for a long time, just becouse many says that it is a damn good pickup and some says that it's the shittiest SD ever made. And as we say in Sweden "The taste is like the butt, parted".
    this guys right. its all about individual taste. some people like emgs others may preffer dimarzio. who gives a flying **** let them like whatever they want to!!
    =MetaL=FanatiC=
    Karl Sanders from Nile uses these so i wouldnt expect an amazing clean, and ill agree its not but the distortion on these pickups is phenomenal imao but then again the clean on most EMGs are pretty fail too so id take these over EMGs any day, not to mention the price difference. That is all.
    nick_b
    these are the ones syn from A7X uses arent they? call them what you want to, he's got great tone
    oakn
    Every time someone put a review on a pickup thats not EMG, everybody goes "EMG is the best". Well I say f*ck you, the choice of pickups is totaly individual. I have EMG 81 and 85 in my Les Paul, and a Gibson 500T in my SG and I can tell that i like passive pickups more than active ones. Active EMG pickups sort of... takes the character out of the guitar. I haven't tried active pickups from some other brand than EMG, maybe other brands are better. And a thing to have in mind in the war between passive and active pickups, In the early recordings of Nile they used passive Jazz-pickups and the sound they got is much heavier than many bands out there with their pretty little EMG 81/85 set. On topic, I've wanted to try the SD Invader for a long time, just becouse many says that it is a damn good pickup and some says that it's the shittiest SD ever made. And as we say in Sweden "The taste is like the butt, parted".
    Slashiscool
    nick_b wrote: these are the ones syn from A7X uses arent they? call them what you want to, he's got great tone
    yeah his are slightly different but basically the same. ive got the synyster custom and love invaders. easy pinched harmonics and deep heavy riffs are easily acheived.
    Flying VFTW
    I put these in my epiphoneflying v and It s gone all tele caster ish is that the guitar or is something wronjg witht the way I put it in?
    ferretjoe
    Flying VFTW wrote: I put these in my epiphoneflying v and It s gone all tele caster ish is that the guitar or is something wronjg witht the way I put it in?
    Now that's different! I think you must have wired it wrong. I have two guitars with Invaders, and couldn't get a twangy sound at gunpoint
    kyle_adams
    i'm thinking about putting one of these in my epiphone G400 with a pearly gates in the neck, so i can have clean and gain sounds. i dont use the middle setting.
    hothot
    EMGays I played with every EMGay and they all suck. There is no tone. I have the invader because it cost less(78.99) and sounds great compared to an EMG 60(109.99)the EMG 60 is the only EMG I whould get if the price whould drop to around 60 dollars.
    Josola
    petey gunnz wrote: ive only heard good things about these bad boys,only downside these on clean is complete garbage
    How do you mean about the cleans? like what does it sound like (besides garbage lol)?
    whosamerica
    any metalhead who says this pup is crap hasn't heard it used for anything but blink 182. and tom uses a strat through a boogie dual rect with the treble and presence cranked, obviously its not gonna sound apealing cuz he has a really high end eq. go listen to a7x's last 2 albums to hear just how good it can sound with a more balanced setup. (its in the syn gates custom.)