SHR-1 Hot Rails review by Seymour Duncan

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (16 votes)
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Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 9
I believe around the 16k mark last time I checked. I (had) it on my Strat, running into my Peavey classic. The tone is bassy and crunchy, with a rolled off top end. But it was in the bridge position, so it automatically had a trebly bite although the pickup itself was bassy. Overall sound was quite good, but real bad for finger picking (picked up a lot of noise when your fingers hit the strings).

Overall Impression — 9
It's pretty darn good. It's great for nirvana and such, and it does it's job well. However, tone freaks probably will think a fullsize humbucker would be better. I think the hotrails has a bit more of a classic metal crunch aside from a lot of humbuckers that I've tried. But, that may just be me. Overall, a 9. Although the sound is good, some people may not like it. This isn't a one size fits all pickup. It picks up too much of the strings to fingerpick with, and may not be a good choice if you want a fendery tone. This won't give you a fendery tone. This'll give you a good Iron Maiden tone though. It'll sound inbetween a les paul and a strat sort of. This can be a bad thing or a good thing.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a pickup. This one seemed pretty durable. It's a nice fiberboard bobbin, and the windings were potted and wrapped well. It's a pickup, the chances are pretty low for it to die right on stage. I think I've dropped it several times before (I took it out and replaced it several times), and still worked fine. and all the solder joints were solid.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    dilligaf372
    Seeing as it's a high output humbuker, which are designed to be used with heavy distortion, its obviously not going to be very good for fingerpicking
    danvwman
    Put it in the neck position of my Hamer Californian. Kicks major ass,gots a clean quack and works better than I thought. I was afraid it would be too boomy in the neck. Its not.
    MarkoakaNiggaK
    L.T Kickass wrote: how's tapping on it?
    I tried it in a store on a Squire strat with a 400$ laney amp and tapping goes extremley well and loud, and im not usually loud when tapping... i think it's ideal for some melodic death. did a cover of bullet in your head from made of hate in the store and sound was right on spot...
    dennis22opina
    I actually installed his on the neck (yup.neck) of my Kramer b-7 and it actually sounded good. its not muddy, its good for rythm and with the split coil it can sound a bit like a Strat.
    TornUp
    I have one in the bridge of my strat. I think it sounds great clean as well as wirth distortion. It sounds as good as my old PRS humbuckers.
    T7E
    if you put it in bridge in a strat you don't really need to worry about cleans as strats have other pickups 4 cleans. I personally hate clean strat bridge sounds. Im not a real fan of treble
    sven_svensk
    I have this and while it does distortion and lead sounds very well, it is useless with clean, it sounds like crap then.. What im saying is that there's pickups out there that can do clean tones as well as distorted. I bought it on sale, i do not regret it but i wouldnt buy it again.. there's just not much dynamics..
    purvis
    I have a squire fender strat classic vibe 60's and was thinking about putting this pickup on the bridge. Is it worth it?
    SupersonicJSX
    I have this pickup in the bridge of my strat ( I bought it used and it was already in it). I have trouble finding an amp that it sounds good through that is a reasonably priced. Any tips?
    fretman5000
    These will definately give u an iron maiden sound cuz these r what they use. same pickups. Sweet.
    darkworrior80
    I have a new 2009 hot rail model in the neck position and can say i dont get any of those faults. I have fitted in a squire standard fat-strat alongside the factory pickup min the middle position and a Duncan Custom SH-5 in the bridge. It can produce all the sounds i need and pack a good punch. its suprising looking at the description but i fits the music of which i play in my band which is metal/metalcore/death metal like trivium type stuff. the only problem i have encounted with it was that it didnt fit the slot on my pickguard so i had to file about a mil off. Apart from this it is a great pickup and one if would suggest to anybody especilly if it was for the neck position like maine.
    OttovanZanten
    I have those fake hotrails by squier 'duncan design' fake, but still pretty sweet xD think i'll buy the real ones some day (if the difference is big enough)
    Multiplayerjon
    I have these too... i don't have any problem with the finger picking... does anyone know if i could put them in a "H" Position or should i just get blackouts?
    ferretjoe
    Just put a Hot Rails in a 05 Squire std. strat and so far I love it. Really wish Duncan would consider an Invader jr. though., I have SH-8's in my other 2 main guitars and they Scream!:M:
    oakn
    HAHA, "Related Products: Hot Sessions 1 [8741] - Erotic Video (Youngsters in gay feature)" Well thats really related I've heard that many folks say that they are too muddy and can't deliver any good bright tones. I dont think they changed the pots to 500k, which they should do cuz' it will allow more treble. I would love to put one in a telecaster and really thrash out!
    FenderMaster
    yeah, i totally agree, its definitely not for everyone, and a little over sensitive for finger picking id probably go with a full sized humbucker next time its a good compromise sort of pick up though, as long as you understand what your getting
    the_addict
    I find humbuckers to be more thicker in sound but thats what you get in a humbucker. These work perfectly well as substitute if you wanted a humbucker type sound if you have a strat/tele. Not as thick but still good enough.
    solszew
    I'm a fingerpicker, and I love the hot rails pup in the neck of my Pawn Shop 51. Fendermaster is right - this pickup is sensitive and will reveal every little thing that you do. This is one of the many reasons that I love it. It is incredibly honest, and forces me to play clean.
    thomas.bergere
    I`ve had a SD Hot rail in my strat bridge over 8 years now. I am very pleased with it. The strat does have a volume knob; you know? :-D
    neugens
    I used to have one of the old serie "neck" pickup in my bridge position and it sounds great, you can hear how it sounds it http://www.myspace.com/frinemusic (the band is dead), it's strat on a twin reverb and an od3 as overdrive. I think this makes for even less treble, but has a nice tele-like sound (very warm, I really like it, but it's too muddy at times with many effects on live stage). I changed the pickups with vintage '69 (custom shop), but I'm not happy with the bridge pickup, so I think I'll buy a new one (bridge on bridge this time), if I'm not happy again, I can always revert as I have all the pickups. My setup is already full of treble (reason why I don't like the '69 pickup at the bridge, because it sounds great otherwise, but the output is very low, especially compared to the neck position), do you think I should still change the pots to 500k?