Price paid: € 77
Purchased from: Thomann.de
Sound — 9
The Little '59 for Neck Position basically sounds like a PAF. According to Seymour Duncan it is the single-coil-sized version of the SH-1 '59 model. The sound is very close to it's full-sized brother, however the Little '59 does have a little less bass. This may be because of the different size, different position of the polepieces and especially the differences between a strat and a fat PAF-equipped Les Paul. But all in all this PU delivers a classic neck humbucker tone. Nice warm and smooth. Also works great with high gain, it retains its warmth and smoothness. The split sound is a bit thin though, but it works great when combined parallel with another single coil or split humbucker. The output is moderate, as expected. The noise level is very very low. Who wants some more gain and more aggressive sound should try the other strat-humbuckers by Seymour Duncan like the JB Junior.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Great quality by Seymour Duncan, as always. The metal threads for the mounting screws are really cool, super durable. I've got this PU for about four years now and the polepieces don't show any rust at all. The PU is completely sealed in its enclosure. This is built like a brick but you cannot change the cover. There is a circuit board in the back, makes it very easy to determine which wire goes to which coil with a multimeter. One thing to the wiring because this is a little awkward: The ST59-1N has opposite winding directions than standard SD humbuckers, it is also kinda backwards (black and white wire: outer coil) Meaning to combine this with a full size humbucker, especially with split-coil combinations, you will have to wire one of the pickups backwards and also with the order of the coils swapped. Like so: black and green wire as serial link, white as hot and red as ground to get everything in phase and hum cancelling. Maybe Seymour Duncan is doing this to make the PU work more easily with the commonly reversed middle single coils of strats.
Overall Impression — 9
Great replacement pickup for guitarists who want a classic neck humbucker tone in their strat. The sound is very close to a PAF. Excellent quality. Watch the wiring when combining it with a full sized Duncan humbucker!