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View Full Version : Seymour Duncan JB vs. Pearly Gates pickups


mims2
08-23-2008, 02:02 PM
I have a SD JB pickup in the bridge of my strat right now and it just does not have the fullness that I like. How does this compare to the Pearly Gates pickups? I have one in my drawer but would like to get opinions before I install it. Also, would there be a better pickup for a fuller sound? Thanks!

TooManyHobbies
08-23-2008, 02:04 PM
I have a SD JB pickup in the bridge of my strat right now and it just does not have the fullness that I like. How does this compare to the Pearly Gates pickups? I have one in my drawer but would like to get opinions before I install it. Also, would there be a better pickup for a fuller sound? Thanks!

I went through the same dilemma and ended up with a Suhr SSH+. Couldn't go back.

mims2
08-23-2008, 02:12 PM
What pickups did you try?

FUSER
08-23-2008, 03:02 PM
I have used both the JB and SD Custom. Although I prefer the JB, The Custom is a very full and thick sounding pickup.

nrvana8775
08-23-2008, 05:18 PM
What about the custom5?

mims2
08-24-2008, 04:34 PM
The custom 5 may be an option. Does anyone know how the JB would compare to the Pearly Gates in this pickup? I've also thought about the dimarzio route. Maybe a Tone Zone?

frankencat
08-24-2008, 04:42 PM
The JB and PG are very different. Here's my take....
The PG is like a brighter/edgier vintage PAF style and the JB is a honky/midrangey high output sound that you either love or hate. I am a big fan of the JB as a bridge pickup in and I have one in my PRS CU22 where it sounds almost like a Tele on steroids but can do heavy distortion very well too. It's my favirote Duncan setup with a '59 in the neck and I can get all kinds of sounds with those two. It splits well too. I have a PG in the bridge of my G&L Legacy. It has been there for something like 15 years and it's not coming out any time soon. It sounds exactly like what I think a humbucker in a Strat should sound like. Chunky and fat but with a nice sizzle on top and not too much out put. All of Duncan's A2 buckers sound pretty good split and this is no exception.

mims2
08-24-2008, 04:50 PM
Can you get good heavy rock sounds with the Pearly Gates? Which one would you consider fatter?

frankencat
08-24-2008, 05:28 PM
They are both good rock pickups, just different. Yes you can get good chunky sounds with a PG. :)

Rid
08-24-2008, 05:38 PM
Try some DMz Breed or Norton....or the Super3...they are fat and warm.
The JB is a pickup that works in a fat sounding guitar, the PG also likes more fattish guitars on their own...good pickups and classics too...but I like the DMzs more for fatter on their own stuff.

IRG
08-24-2008, 06:20 PM
I have the Pearly Gates in a Fender Lone Star strat, and I like it a lot. I have a JB in the bridge of my Epi LP. Tough to compare the too, since they are different guitars. Both are great for rock, the JB gets associated with it more, especially 80s rock. The PG is great for rock, but perhaps a bit more versatile. I like it for a heavier blues rock, and find it works great for this. I thought it seemed like a fuller sounding pickup than the JB, but I would have to compare both back to back. If I had to choose one, it would be the PG.

Franktone
08-24-2008, 08:54 PM
From what I remember, I think the JB (Jeff Beck) pickup has a ceramic magnet and as a result, works really well in the bridge position. The ceramic magnet tends not to be as warm as an Alnico magnet pickup, and the JB pickup does not generally work well in the neck position. I would that the Pearly Gates pickups would be carefully fashioned after the Alnico humbucking pickups of Billy Gibbons 50's Les Paul standard. This type of pickup would be bluesier and warmer than the JB ceramic pickup. The Pearly Gates should work well in either position.

semi-hollowbody
08-24-2008, 08:55 PM
Ive got a pearly gates in the bridge of my epi SG (G-400) and the SH-4 JB in the bridge of my epi les paul...these pup upgrades made my Sg sound more like an SG and my les paul sound more like a les paul than the stock epi mud-pups did...LOL...

it gave my sg more of a dirtier edgier tone, and my les paul more of a mid rangey warm thick creamy tone, yet sill maintained clarity

hudpucker
08-24-2008, 09:27 PM
From what I remember, I think the JB (Jeff Beck) pickup has a ceramic magnet and as a result, works really well in the bridge position. The ceramic magnet tends not to be as warm as an Alnico magnet pickup, and the JB pickup does not generally work well in the neck position. I would that the Pearly Gates pickups would be carefully fashioned after the Alnico humbucking pickups of Billy Gibbons 50's Les Paul standard. This type of pickup would be bluesier and warmer than the JB ceramic pickup. The Pearly Gates should work well in either position.


The JB is an Alnico5 pup, not ceramic.

Franktone
08-24-2008, 09:41 PM
Yeah hudpucker, my mistake, you are right, the JB pickup uses an Alnico V magnet.

Rid
08-25-2008, 02:07 AM
The JB is the fattest of the two...
And it does way beyond 80s poodlehair music;)
Landau and Huff and so on have used that thing on about everything that crawls and walks.

drolling
08-25-2008, 08:19 AM
My very 1st aftermarket pickup ever was a JB Custom custom. Too frikkin HOT for my taste, but as others have said, a good choice for certain *historic* rock tones.

Recently got a very good deal on a couple of Pearly Gates p-ups. Neck & bridge, both had been retrofitted with nickel covers (I'm sure this must affect output & tone) and I'm very pleased.

Lots more versatility, as well as *air* & 'detail' than the ole JB. Definite keepers..

Michael T
08-26-2008, 08:13 AM
From what I remember, I think the JB (Jeff Beck) pickup has a ceramic magnet and as a result, works really well in the bridge position. The ceramic magnet tends not to be as warm as an Alnico magnet pickup, and the JB pickup does not generally work well in the neck position. I would that the Pearly Gates pickups would be carefully fashioned after the Alnico humbucking pickups of Billy Gibbons 50's Les Paul standard. This type of pickup would be bluesier and warmer than the JB ceramic pickup. The Pearly Gates should work well in either position.

JB doesnt mean Jeff Beck and has an alnico 5 magnet

Ben C.
08-26-2008, 08:32 AM
...and the JB is a honky/midrangey high output sound that you either love or hate.
I feel the same way about the Custom 5 that's in my PRS at the moment. Sounds great split or with high gain, but in all other areas it's just too hazy and honky.

Bonenut
08-26-2008, 11:07 AM
I had a full size JB in the bridge of a strat for years and just couldn't get along with it. I finally swapped it out with a PG bridge and it was like the heavens opened up for me. It's exactly how I wanted my strat to sound. I'm not a fan of high output pickups, too narrow sounding and too much mud. The PG sounds perfect when combined with 250k pots/pedals/Marshalls.
I've read that JB stands for jazz/blues and other times stands for Jeff Beck. Here's a blurb I found on the SD site:
In 1974, a twenty-something American blues guitarist named Seymour W. Duncan was burning it up in London’s bars and clubs by night. During days, he performed guitar repair for Ivor Arbiter at the Fender Sound House on Tottenham Court Road. It was during those days that Seymour struck up a friendship with his all-time guitar hero, Jeff Beck.
After sending his favorite Les Paul® to a shady repairman who switched out the P.A.F.'s for newer, squealing, pickups, Jeff came to Seymour for help and advice. Seymour repaired Jeff's Les Paul, and then set about creating a special guitar for Jeff with a pair of pickups that would capture Jeff's amazing ability to coax a wide range of tones out of his axe.
The result was a guitar that Seymour gave to Jeff as a gift. The body and neck were clearly Telecaster®. But the pickups were two re-wound humbuckers made from broken P.A.F.s Seymour rescued from Lonnie Mack's Flying V®. Seymour called the guitar a "Tele-Gib," and nicknamed the bridge pickup "JB" and the neck pickup "JM," after the hot rod racer, "John Milner," in the classic film, American Graffiti. (Eventually, "JM" would change to "Jazz Model," which is what it's called today.) Jeff used the Tele-Gib on his amazing 1975 release, Blow By Blow, where it gained notoriety for the haunting volume swells heard on "Cause We Ended As Lovers," which Jeff dedicated to Roy Buchanon. Interestingly, it was Seymour who introduced Jeff to Roy a few months prior.
The JB bridge pickup became very popular, very quick. Soon, many of England's top guitarists, including more than a few legendary names, sought out Seymour's "JB Mod" for their guitars. They found that the JB gave increased output (16.4K Ohms) without sounding harsh or dark, like other high-output pickups of the mid-'70s. When Seymour returned to the USA the next year, his reputation as a pickup designer and the JB's reputation as a great pickup preceded him. And the rest was history.
In traditional marketing study, products generally have a life cycle with a period of growth, followed by maturity and eventually decline. However, the life cycle of the JB flies in the face of traditional marketing. Year-after-year, for the last 30 years, it has continued to gain in popularity, easily garnering its spot as both the oldest and the most popular Seymour Duncan pickup. Nowadays, the JB can be heard on recordings by such diverse rock bands as 311, Allman Bros. Band, Bad Religion, Garbage, Kings X, Megadeth, Motorhead, Sevendust, and Static X; Country recordings by the likes of Trisha Yearwood, Kentucky Headhunters, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, and Reba McIntire; and pop acts such as Jessica Simpson, Bee Gees, and Shania Twain.
According to England's Guitarist magazine, "You really can't beat the beefy tone of a genuine Duncan JB. Not for nothing is this humbucker Seymour's personal favourite, and it's also probably ours; the fact that it can handle almost all styles equally well is a big bonus..." Long live the JB!