SH-8 Invader review by Seymour Duncan

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (67 votes)
Seymour Duncan: SH-8 Invader

Price paid: $ 62

Purchased from: Local music store

Sound — 7
This pickup is great for punk, metal, rock-basically anything that you are going to play with a decent amount of distortion. I play this through a little Fender Mustang II amp. It sounds great with all of the effects that I use (flangers, reverb). It's an affordable upgrade to the normal strat pickups. It makes very little noise and is one of the quietest humbuckers I have ever seen. My one complaint is that it does not have the greatest clean sound. I'm sure if you ran it through some noise gates and compressors it could sound better, but out of the box the clean tones are lacking.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This pickup is definitely built to last. It has a solid plastic body, and doesn't move around at all in the pickup slot. The black pole pieces have a great look to them, and they are also very solid and won't scratch if you accidentally hit it with your pick. The finish is very solid. I love the sleek, modern design. Also, the "Seymour Duncan" logo is fairly small, and won't stand when you look at the guitar. You can contact Seymour Duncan and have them make this pickup in whatever color you want. It is easy and very affordable. Shipping from their shop in Santa Barbara takes 1-2 weeks, which is a little slow, but considering what you are getting it is worth it.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this pickup is a great match for any style of music that uses distortion, especially punk/pop punk. It will take lots of abuse and has a sleek, modern design. The stock Fender Stratocaster pickups have got nothing on this baby. I would recommend this pickup to anybody. You can get it to match the colors of your guitar. It is very affordable and sounds great. If you are looking for an upgrade to your dual coil pickups, don't hesitate to buy an Invader. You won't be disappointed with your purchase.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    My experiences. Im fortunate to have enough cash to be able to tinker a lot. The active EMGs (81/85) (81/81) (81/60) and SA - I put the ZW set into an ESP F250 and that guitar came alive. They also worked in a heavy mahogany guitar with a maple cap like a lester. They sound terrible in an SG. But for a superstrat, the 81/60 in my KH-602 sound great. The SA sound awesome in a Strat (I was after Billy Corgan tone and found the SA to have more punch than Lace Sensors). But in all, the EMG pups are a very focussed, tight tone. Great for what they do, but not an all arounder - ie one-trick pony. But a very good pony. The Invader in the bridge position is awesome. Again, very tight and articulate with a more 'organic' feel and response than the EMGS. The SH-8n is good in a dark heavy mahogany body with a maple cap (like a lester), but you have to dial in the the pup height to get good tone (it is rather dark toned and prone to muddy in the neck). The SH8n was too dark in my Schecter Ultra, which is a thru neck mahogany guitar. I went back to SH-5b and SH-2n for that one. I liked the SH-8b/n in the Les Paul custom. I tried Dimarzio DP100 in my Lester, but found the tone too muddy. I think these are better suited for a super-strat bridge position on alder based instruments. I had success with them in my Jackson Stealth Pro. And in my Godin Redline, the 81/81s worked well. especially for drop tunings with its TOM bridge and thru body ferrule (neck thru, rock maple with poplar wings). For modern metal and shred, EMGS are amazing, especially if you use a tight gate. For dark chugah-chugah riffing metal and more classic metal, Invaders are great in the bridge and situational in the neck. (SH-8b in parallel wiring is awesome too!). And for Japanese super-strats, Dimz seem to shine. Every tool has a purpose it is best suited for. And different pups seem to excel or fail depending on how they are voiced in relation to the tone wood they are used. PS if dark country is your tone, SH-8b paired with a Pearly Gates in the neck installed on an SG is Baws!