SH-8 Invader review by Seymour Duncan

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (67 votes)
Seymour Duncan: SH-8 Invader

Price paid: £ 60

Purchased from: GAK

Sound — 10
Purchased this pickup online having had it suggested to me on a forum and consequently trying out my guitar teacher's - He had his in an Ibanez, I planned to put mine in an Epiphone, so was slightly concerned that it would sound muddy in my LP. What I was looking for was a pickup to do metal with, but, being a massive bohemian kid, didn't want to sound generic and go down the Active route. I have not looked back since. I made completely the right choice going for this passive. It definitely did not sound muddy in my LP, actually (being passive) taking its sound from the guitar, becoming warm and actually quite nice clean, but still tastily high output. The pickup naturally fulfilled my metal needs, but complimenting the guitar rather than having a set in stone tone. It might sound more balls-out in a Jackson or something, but it certainly absorbs the qualities of the guitar. Naturally, the pickup has a very tight bass response. I play in drop C so this is brilliant for me, however it works in drop D (a la Synyster Gates) and works well in lower tunings. The mids are not overly pronounced, but not lacking either, so you can shape them easily as you please. Cutting treble works very well for lead parts. It works very well in Bridge, I haven't tried neck, don't know if it would be worth your while sticking one in there.

Overall Impression — 9
Over all, this was exactly the pickup I wanted. I get the output of an active, yet it doesn't castrate the character of my guitar. I gig with this pickup a lot. It really brings my Epiphone up to a very good standard. I record with it, everyone point out my thick guitar tone. Slight background noise, but handled easily with an ISP Decimator. I play through a Blackstar HT Stage 60, which has two options on the clean channel. A British voice and an American one. This guitar sounds very nice through the Marshally, warm channel, actually passing as a decent clean pickup, but oddly, as soon as I put it through any American voiced clean amp, it begins to sound unpleasant. Just a thought. First class, Seymour Duncan.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This pickup has shown no sign of wear. The iconic design has lasted well. It does, if I'm nit picking, gather dust very quickly due to the fiddly aesthetic. But then again, who cares? Its never failed me sound wise. There was a short period when it crackled a bit, with the volume dropping. This continued to worsen for a period. I'll be honest though, I fixed it by getting a big screwdriver and hitting the pots with them. Not highly scientific, but hey ho. May not have been the pickup. Go figure.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    These pups are killer, had it in a Schecter oo6elite. Loved it, I hate my sh6 I have. The sh8 is way better. I had no problem with cleans, turn your volume down and get a treble bleed circuit if you still cant get a good clean. And DO NOT GET THEM to close to the strings. They WILL pull on the strings and cut into your sustain. PS these are better than EMGs
    Guitarguyryan94's review of this pickup is right on, it has loads of bass. I put the Invader in my Jackson RR5 Rhoads (bridge of course, alder body) and I had to lower my gain and bass on my amp slightly to compensate for the Invader. But I am getting massive, wide & fat sounding metal tone. Single notes runs and tremelo lines sound absolutley monsterous with this pickup, and the rhythm is mean and heavy. Power chords are HUGE. On the clean channel lowering the volume dulls out the sound so I always flip over to middle or Jazz in the neck for cleans. But it has loads of bass so in the bridge with too much gain your metal tone will turn farty. The Invader is always a pleasure to play on any amount of distortion... from blues to death metal. After using this pickup for a while, it's no wonder Nile's guitar tone is so precise present and accurate, despite tuning down so low.
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