SH-8 Invader Review

manufacturer: Seymour Duncan date: 09/25/2015 category: Pickups
Seymour Duncan: SH-8 Invader
The combination of 3 large ceramic magnets, hot coils, and 12 black oxide cap screws give the awesome Seymour Duncan SH-8 Invader Pickup bolts of volts for an electrifying force of energy.
 Sound: 8.6
 Overall Impression: 8.9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.2
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (10) 98 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.7
SH-8 Invader Reviewed by: Ich_Bin_Ibanez, on january 12, 2008
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 40

Purchased from: A friend

Sound: The output on this pickup is amazing. I put into a Fender Stratocaster HSS and didn't really expect much from it. But once I managed to get it all wired in and ready to be played. I cringed when I turned on the amp. Not, because this pickup is bad. it's the fact that my ultimate test is to do a pinch harmonic on the 3rd fret of the g string. Then turn up the volume on my amp. It was the most ear splitting sound that I have heard in a long time. The last time I heard something close to this is when I plugged a Jackson DKMG dinky with EMG's into the Peavey XXX amp and performed the same test. The output is actually a just muddy enough that it in not perfectly clean but will do the job. It has an insane amount of bass coupled with some amazing clarity in the treble region over-all I would say that this pickup is well balanced. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I am hoping that this pickup will last and I am assuming it will since it is a Seymour Duncan. I can most definately depend on this pickup, I have had it installed in the Fender for almost 9 months and it plays just as it did out of the box. It still even looks Brand New. Everytime I plug my guitar in I still can't get over the fact that my Fender can sound like a true metal guitar. Not, saying a Fender can not sound like a metal guitar, it is just usually they do not. I think that I will have this pickup installed in my guitar until I either can afford a new guitar and put it in that or somehow for some strange reason I no longer own this guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: I love everything about this pickup. There is absolutely nothing that I could possibly hate about. And if you knew me then you should be amazed. I am nit picky about anything and everything. Down to how easy it is to install or why kind of box it came in. And it was all perfect. I have this in a Fender Stratocaster HSS American made and it is in the bridge position. // 9

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overall: 10
SH-8 Invader Reviewed by: Kozlic, on may 01, 2008
5 of 9 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 112.14

Sound: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9.3
SH-8 Invader Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 22, 2011
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound: This pickup is, in a word, epic. It has huge amounts of gain, and produces harmonically rich sustain that lasts for days and days thanks to a D.C. Resistance to the tune of 16.8k- that's more than the fabled Dimebucker. The cermaic magnents (there are 3 of them!) do a good job or producing your picking nuances. If your tone falls flat, or your guitar does not Drive your rig the way you'd hoped, this is a pup worth serious consideration. I know the dude from Avenged Sevenfold uses Invaders for both positions, but I really have to disagree. Even though the neck position has a greatly reduced output, I would highly suggest using it for the bridge position only. This thing is basically made to flatten villages. *On a side note, I found if you roll the volume back CONSIDERABLY (down to 5 or so) you actually get clear, open Acoustic sounds. Go figure! // 9

Reliability & Durability: This pickup dropped right into the guitar, and within 30 minutes it and I were laying waste. The large pole peices means it'll work with both regular and f-spaced instruments- this things has a huge magnetic field. Seems to be built like a tank. // 10

Overall Impression: I just wanted to say: this pickup saved a guitar's life for me. I had an old Les Paul style DeArmond guitar. I was unimpressed with the guitar as a whole, and was on the verge of selling it. At the last moment, I decided to turn in into a project. Little did I know: redemption was neigh in the form of an under rated pickup (and a few other goodies). This pickup won't play the guitar for you, it won't do country and it won't hold your hand. However, if you can harness the fury you'll be rewarded with a responsive, explosive sound that few (if any) passive pickups can match. Long live Seymour Duncan, and long live the Invader! // 9

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overall: 8.7
SH-8 Invader Reviewed by: guitarguyryan94, on december 22, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 85.5

Purchased from: Warmoth

Sound: This is a VERY hot pickup. It has loads of bass so be prepared to re-equalize your amps. I currently am using this pickup in a Fender Highway One Strat played through a Line 6 Spider Valve 112. The tone is bassy as I said above. The pickup, in general, has anything you could possibly wish for in a heavy metal pickup if you don't mind sacrficing the clean tone. I play a lot of punk, metal, and alternative music and in my opinion, I like the clean tone. The pickups bass helps contribute to a nice clean tone, but because this is such a high output pickup, you get a little dirt even on the clean channel. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I wired this pickup myself and it was an easy install. Top notch wiring diagrams from the Seymour Duncan website. The pickup is very quiet and can handle loads of distortion quite well. The pickup has lasted me for the time being and I don't expect any problems from the Seymour Duncan quality. // 10

Overall Impression: This is a very good quality pickup. I love everything about it when I have it on my distortion channel, but if they could find a way to make the clean tone more "clean" then this would be the perfect pickup for me. The alder wood in my strat is a counterweight to the Invader because of the wood's brightness and all of the pickup's bass. It's one of those pickups you just have to try. It doesn't look like any other pickup out there and has a very unique sound. If you have some spare time and money, I highly recommend at least trying this pickup out. // 8

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overall: 8.3
SH-8 Invader Reviewed by: CelebrationDay, on march 03, 2010
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 90

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound: I recently purchased a Mex Strat, and decided to Switch out the cheap, noisy and bad sounding stock pickups. My first idea was the SD Invader because I had heard it in the bridge position of my friends Stratocaster and liked the tone. First of all... This puppy is LOUD! The output level is significantly greater than the neck pickup on the Strat, which I haven't switched yet... Keep in mind that this one is a single coil... And the SH-8 is a humbucker. But none the less, the big and clunky magnets in the Invader give it an enormous output. The tone I got was interesting however. I plugged into my Bogner Alchemist 1X12 Combo (All tube, 12 inch Celestion Gold speaker) with a bit of reverb, some delay and a DOD YJM308 Pre Amp Overdrive pedal with the settings at 10. My amp settings were: Green Channel (clean/crunch) Gain: 10 toggle Switch to crunch Treble: 7 toggle Switch to bright Mid: 5 Bass: 3 toggle Switch to deep Master Volume: 3 The tone was raw and dirty, sludgy and muddy. The higher range was very articulate, but if I played any chord other than a power chord with any amount of gain the result was mushy and single notes could barely be heard. The pickup put out a lot of low end and mid range tones, but pushed through when I would play a solo. It had a fantastic metal, sludge metal, early rock and roll or believe it or not, blues sound. Currently I'm using it to play Sabbath song at are in C# with my band and its working quite well. I also feel like the Invader made my Strat sound 10x more like a Strat than it did with the stock pickup in it if you catch my drift. You could really hear the resonance of the wood and the thin maple neck with the Invader in...which is why I put this pickup high on my list of great blues guitar pickups. I recommend this pickup for either the neck or the bridge position, because as I said, there is quite a lot of low end and mid range coming off of it. I was unhappy with the saturation of bass at first and tried to correct this by switching the "deep" toggle Switch under the bass knob on my amp off. This didn't really help much, so I've accepted that its a bassy pickup, and am now utilizing it accordingly. Lastly, the clean tone on the pickup is surprisingly warm and not very muddy or hot like its overdriven counterpart. The ceramic magnets give it a surprisingly shimmery tone that I was very pleased with. My clean settings were the same as my overdrive settings, I just turned off the Overdrive pedal and switched the channel toggle to clean instead of crunch Here are my final sound ratings for the Invader - Overall Output - 10 Cleanliness - 7 Tone: Neck - 9 Bridge - 6 Overall I give it a 7... Just because its so dirty and bass prominent... It can really only be used for sludge riffs or blues solos. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The Invader is built like a tank, and I can't imagine it breaking. I installed it myself, it took no more than 30 minutes, to get it in there and wire it up... My only problem was that Seymour Duncan didn't include a wiring diagram for an HSS Stratocaster... Just for a 2 Humbucker Les Paul or Jackson Rhoads V style axe. I totally trust in the Invader at a show to do what it needs to do. As I said in SOUND, the pickup is tremendously loud... And on top of that it never cuts out or clips. // 10

Overall Impression: As I said, I installed it in my Strat... I had to drill two new holes in the pickguard to mount it, because the stock humbucker had a strange mounting configuration. (this caused me to burn myself with a soldering gun! But its all for rock and roll right? ) I give it a 7 in the bridge and an 8 in the neck on over all tone and a 10 on durability in any position. // 8

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overall: 9.7
SH-8 Invader Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 18, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 66

Purchased from: PMT

Sound: When I first got this pickup I was praying that it would sound worth the cash I saved up for it and it pleased me to no end I installed it on my PRS SE Singlecut and plugged it into my Marshall Valvestate 2000 amp I set it up with my usual tonal set up of: 10 Gain 8 Bass 5 Middle 10 Treble I was shocked at the shear crunch it gave me it was a huge step up from the korean stock pups and it was a good one it was really loud and really dirty on the ton but I loved it and if I switched to the clean channel although it was still quite dirty it was good cause it gave that nice classic rock tone I love. Its definitely a balanced pickup that gives off really clear notes and supplies my valuable tone. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have no doubt this pickup will outlast even the guitar its in and I will continue using invaders in any guitar I acqire. I've gigged it time and time again no cut outs no issues whatsoever and everytime someone asks me to play a guitar with standard pups i tend to get upset when the crunch dont reach my sweet spot. // 9

Overall Impression: I originally bought this pickup based upon its unique look and because everyone told me this was THE distortion pickup now im writing this after about having it a year so I can be sure of it. I love the looks for a start it just looked nice to have a pup that didn't just look like all the others I see on the shelf I wanted different so I bought it and the guitar i equiped with it is my PRS SE Singlecut in the bridge great pickup and I would no doubt get one for any other guitar I would get. // 10

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overall: 9.7
SH-8 Invader Reviewed by: ebmusicman16, on october 03, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 59

Purchased from: Fret Music

Sound: This is a fantastic pickup that I had fitted on my Ibanez RG370DXL along with another Invader and a HOT Rail. It has a high output level and it suits my playing style perfectly. I am currently using it through a Line 6 Floor POD Plus which is connected to a Line 6 Spider IV. I mainly use a heavy distortion sound which suits the treble end nicely. This pickup is suitable for the neck and the bridge options and I have it in both. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have had this pickup fitted for 4 months because the original ones which were on the guitar broke after a year or so. For the price I paid it should definitely last and lots of guitarists use them so I think I can depend on it. // 9

Overall Impression: I love the sound it gives when I turn the distortion up and the notes are still perfectly clear. // 10

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overall: 9.3
SH-8 Invader Reviewed by: Paddynbob, on january 09, 2013
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 60

Purchased from: GAK

Sound: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 8.3
SH-8 Invader Reviewed by: thequassitworsh, on december 20, 2013
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 62

Purchased from: Local music store

Sound: 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. // 7

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 7
SH-8 Invader Reviewed by: juliojusti, on september 25, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 92

Purchased from: La Nota

Sound: Put my SH-8B in my modded to hell Schecter Omen-6 with .09 D'Addario NYXL strings. This is a really high output pickup. Turned the gain on my amp down a lot, which is a benefit, cause I wont get as much feedback. But if you like your trebles, scratch this pup out, unless you got a rig with many tweaking options, cause I got my treble all the way up and never found a sweet spot. Its dark sounding, I feel its great for the times, which does not happen to suit my style. Though, I would highly recommend it for rhythm guitar with few leads or solos. Its heavy as hell and since its a tad muddy, any mistake doesnt scream out too bad. I did find another interesting sound, put the bridge pup on the neck for cleans, absolutely adored the cleans that way. Back to the bridge, unless you play heavy, it doesnt suit other genres at all. Loses its attitude that way. And yes, it is muddy, but the good kind of muddy for rhythm, bad kind for leads. I would of loved this pickup during my first 3 years of playing, heavy and with an attitude, but 15+ years your tastes expande and this isnt a diverse pickup. Also harmonics sound bland. Would keep it around if I had a third spare guitar (maybe). Rate it a 7 for lack of diversity. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The only grudge I have with it are the Hex screws, 1. Cause the 4th one was the only I couldn't raise (magnet would pull it back to place, unlike the rest, put a piece of rolled up tape to keep it up) and 2. I find it a tad tacky looking if you got the white pickup with black screws, kinda looks like when someone has huge nipples, but on a guitar pickup. Plus the hex screws are thicker than their regular screws, so not easy to mod or swap pieces. The rest was just fine, cables in place, coils stay put. No issue with that. Swapped it about 4 times and never had an issue with it. Rate it a 7 cause I was really upset about that 4th hex screw. // 7

Overall Impression: It's really not for people with diverse styles, or few guitars, not for modders either. It's brutal in its own world of thick brutality, modern metal players would love it just as is, but I can't image it for other genres. Personally, I'm gonna get rid of mine. It was cool for about a week. Wish I investigated a bit more, seeing how no bands I listen to use pickups that resemble this one at all. But that's my bad, and its cool cause it was the first time I ever bought pickups. Live and learn. Still, good to go for rhythm, and if you wanna stick with one style. // 7

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