View Full Version : SD Seth Lover vs. Gibson '57 Classic - differences in a hollow or semi-hollow?

11-22-2010, 08:48 AM

I'm gearing up to build a semi-hollow guitar with a mahogany back & neck, carved spruce top, and 24.75" scale IRW fret board. I need to select some pickups for blues and classic rock.

I've read a lot of posts here extolling SDuncan Seth Lover HBs, and I've heard a lot about the '57 Classics also being very nice.

What are the tonal differences between the two pickups in a 2-pickup semi-hollow or fully hollow guitar?

Thanks very much.


11-22-2010, 11:10 AM
I found the 57's to be really thick in the mids in a Gibson 335. I didn't like them at all (at least in that guitar). I thought it was too dense and had no air around the top end. They may sound great in a guitar with less bottom, like an SG or something and set up for rock.

The Seth Lovers are great, they have that top end and not too much bottom. I think they would be perfect in 335 type guitar.

I do prefer low output, non-potted pick-ups though.

11-22-2010, 11:13 AM
As no two guitars may sound alike with the same pickups you'll probably just need to build the guitar first and try pickups until you get a good match.

11-22-2010, 01:53 PM
I play a lot lower gain and lower levels and have them in 6 guitars including a Les Paul and love them.

mark norwine
11-22-2010, 02:38 PM
I play a lot lower gain and lower levels and have them in 6 guitars including a Les Paul and love them.


Which? Seths or 57's?

For me, Seth all the way.

11-22-2010, 04:30 PM
I meant Seth Lovers

11-22-2010, 07:41 PM
It'd be interesting to know more about your guitar, especially if it is full 335 size or smaller.

It sounds like an RF tone wood formula.

I have Seths in one Guitar and Stormy Mondays in another.

Anyway the Bare Knucle Stormy Mondays are like taking the whole Seth thig to another level.

That level is not a whole lot higher though.

Personally I demand coil splittiing.

That rules out the 57's which are also a slightly hot pup.

If I wanted a bluesier pup I would try those Marc Ford Buckers.

I have a Fuchs so I can pull anything I want pretty much out of low winds.

I can play Jazz on the the low winds at or near full volume.

Used to have 57's and it was more like 3-7 for the jazz tones.

They were good jazz tones though and the OD response was very good.

So the 57's were good, but the Seths / Stormys. are great.

Also consider the Callaham ABR bridge.

11-22-2010, 11:11 PM
Mahogany semi-hollow rather than maple? Interesting.

Marty s Horne
11-23-2010, 05:23 AM
I have the 57 Classics in a chambered Les Paul and also had them in an ES 336 semi-hollow. They sounded great in both guitars; fat and warm sounding with some nice high end chime. I found them to be very balanced sounding pickups with a sweet tone.

11-23-2010, 07:32 AM
Thanks for your input. It sounds like Seth Lovers are the way to go. As to the responses regarding the selection of body wood, the guitar body will be chambered with a (relatively) flat back. For an idea of what I'm going for, check out the Robin Savoy (http://www.robinguitars.com/savoy_classic.html) or the Carvin SH-550 (http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/index.php?model=sh550).

11-23-2010, 09:53 AM
i have used both seth lovers and 57 classics in the same guitar and, imho, the seths
have a more "airy" quality than the much more mid-heavy 57 classics.

in a bright guitar, the 57 classics do a good job of warming up the tone.

just my 2 cents, ymmv............

Marty s Horne
11-23-2010, 10:59 AM
This is from a review by Matt Blackett in Guitar Player from March 2000.
"The Gibson '57 Classic humbuckers work well with the chambered design. They're loud and punchy, and possess a treble sparkle that really cuts. Compared to a non-chambered Paul with Duncan Antiquities, the Elegant was louder and brighter. Thanks to its inherent shimmer, this guitar has nice chime even on the neck pickup. Simply put, this guitar sounds and plays like a dream."

11-23-2010, 08:30 PM
I've got '57 Classics in a Epiphone Dot. The neck is warm and smooth; the bridge is bright and tough. Blended they're full-sounding. There are plenty of mids and lows, but not so many they sound out of balance with the highs.

Good for jazz, good for rock, good for rough blues.

11-23-2010, 08:41 PM
When you have alot of mahogany the brighter clearer pups are better.

11-23-2010, 09:47 PM
I have two 335s. Right now one has 57 Classics and one has Wolfetone Legends. I like the Seth Lovers better than anything I have tried by far, including a few boutique models.