1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Anyone prefer Duncans to all others?!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by papersoul, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. papersoul

    papersoul Member

    Messages:
    12,776
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Hey guys,

    I myself have been using pretty much nothing but WCRS and Wolfetones in my guitars which consist of a Les Paul, various PRS models and a Strat. I love the big, clear and dynamic tones that these custom hand wound pickups afford but I see a lot of people going back to off the shelf Duncans even after going through a handful of boutique pickups. What do you'all think? Any of you diehard Duncan heads?

    :RoCkIn
     
  2. Phil M

    Phil M Member

    Messages:
    10,453
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I wouldn't call myself diehard, but I've gotten such great results from Duncans. On a few occasions, they have woken up guitars that I thought were dead. I'm sure something like WCRs (I've been thinking about some Crossroads) would be a new flavor, and possibly better, but the price tag is steep. I can outfit a guitar with '59s/JBs/Customs/Alnico IIs, etc. for $100 or so and they have always sounded better.

    I love the feel of Les Pauls, but Gibson pickups never sound like they are allowing the guitar to be as good as it could be. New pickups have always cured this for me.
     
  3. bailnout

    bailnout Member

    Messages:
    741
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Ever since I was a kid, swapping pickups in and out of guitars always interested me. But I've never found it in my heart (or bank account) to shell out the big bucks for the boutique pickup brands. I've never tried the WCRs, I've never tired Fralins, I've never tired Bardens...nothing but Duncans and DiMarzios. I do have a love for Bill Lawrence pickups and I've tried one Anderson that really knocked me out. I have a pair of Bartolinis in the drawer that I've never had the chance to put into anything yet. I've had guitars that came equipped with the usual EMG, Gibson, Fender, etc.

    But when it comes down to buying a pickup and putting into a guitar to replace what is there, I just default to Duncans because I know them and trust them. Maybe someday I'll give the other bands their shot, but there are so many Duncans that I like for so many different situations that it's really hard for me to get away from them. I especially love the Custom Custom, the '59 and the JB (especially if it's old). I'm also still a big fan of the older DiMarzios like the Super Distortion (2 conductor when no tap is needed), PAF and even the newer Humbucker From Hell. I think DiMarzio still makes some great stacked single coils too.
     
  4. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

    Messages:
    19,484
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    upyerasskickinfootballs
    I'm stoked on the Duncan Custom P-90.
     
  5. papersoul

    papersoul Member

    Messages:
    12,776
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Well, how about Rios guys? Many would say these are much richer sounding than your standard off the shelf Duncan or Dimarzio.
     
  6. SFW

    SFW Member

    Messages:
    1,355
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I've always had good luck with Duncans and Dimarzios. Depends on the guitar. I have a set of Rio Grandes in my Tele. I just have a reall problem dropping $150+ for a pickup. Call me cheap. The JB/59 combo has served me well for the last 10 years. I don't see a reason to change it if it's not broke.
     
  7. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,302
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Gulf Coast, AL
    Actually, I will try everything else first before Duncan at this point. I like Dimarzios better in the guitars I've done swaps on. I'm not doing a swap for an average tone, which is what I've heard from at least half the Duncans I've tried. However, when you can get into really great pickups like Harmonic Designs, Lollars and others for a few bucks more, Duncan is far off my radar.
     
  8. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,567
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I've only tried Wcr's. 3 different types to be exact. While I think they are great pickups, I actually prefer Duncans. The Wcr's are really smooth, regardless of model and the Duncan's have an edge that I really like.

    I'm sure the smoothness it what people dig about them, but even Seth's have more of an edge to the tone.

    It's probably just me, and I'm sure I'm one of the few that feel this way. I must say Jim at Wcr has been more than helpfull, and a great guy, great service.
     
  9. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    Duncans offer a lot of bang for the buck. I have used their pickups on and off for over 20 years. But I have to say that I like some of the boutique brands better. I can't say WCRs sound 3x as good, as the price would suggest, but they sound better to me. I also find Fralins to be top notch. I have them in 3 of my guitars currently and love them.
     
  10. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,878
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA USA
    I have a WCR SR set in my Strat, but all my other electrics have Duncans (except for the Danelectro 12, stock lipsticks are fine). Every guitar I've bought since 1984 has had at least one of its pickups swapped out for a Duncan.

    My Les Paul Custom has had the Custom, JB and Distortion bridge pickups in it over the years, but for the past two it's been the Custom 5, and it's there to stay. The neck uses a 59.

    My Les Paul Special has the Duncan SP90-3 Custom model at the bridge, but I kept the stock Gibson at the neck. With its new Stellartone ToneStyler pot, that Duncan speaks with an authority that can humble nations!

    My ASAT has a Vintage neck and Broadcaster bridge combination. This is Classic Tele twang that breaks hearts in honky-tonks.

    Even my basement beater, the Squier Bullet Special, uses one of my formerly retired Duncan Distortion pickups. It's almost gig-worthy.

    I've used the Hot Rails, Trembucker and Quarter Pound models too. All excellent pickups. There have been at least three Ibanez, two Kramer, three Gibson and one Fender guitars that have come and gone, and I know for sure that each one got a Duncan upgrade at some point of my ownership. In each case, the Duncan pickup gave the guitar a sound that was far superior to the stock pickups. And I've never had one break down on me either.

    I'm sure that the Lollar, Wolftone, WCR humbuckers and other higher priced models sound great, but I'm happy enough with what I have now to stick with Seymour.

    But....never say never!
     
  11. robbieboyette

    robbieboyette Member

    Messages:
    225
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    For off the shelf...you can't go wrong with Seymour Duncans. The JB is just a great pickup.
     
  12. 1959burst

    1959burst boogieman

    Messages:
    1,077
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2002
    Location:
    Sault Ste. Marie Ont CDN
    i just love seymour duncan antiquities! i've been a seymour duncan guy for a very long time.
     
  13. tone4days

    tone4days Member

    Messages:
    6,220
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    central maryland
    i havent needed to go 'off brand' from duncan's since i made the switch a few years ago ... the only guitars that i own w/out duncans have a set of bill lawrence 500-XLs from 1986 (from my cold dead hands! :D ) and the stock mccarty's (which might get swapped out for a set of seth's)

    loves me some duncans

    t4d
     
  14. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,657
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I love the JB/'59 or even the '59/'59 combo those rock!
    I'd pick them over almost any other combo for a SC style guitar .. except my Rolph '58 Pretenders .. (they just carry more of a mean growly tone)
    I had some Crossroads which were amazing but didn't get to hear them in a SC. Besides that in a more PRS like guitar I like Dimarzio's (Air Norton, Tone Zone)
    Strat and Tele .. Kinman, Lollars, Fralins ... hands down!
     
  15. BigDoug1053

    BigDoug1053 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,030
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    My modded guitars all have Duncans - and they sound - well... good! And I prefer the Duncan sound over DiMarzios - but like others have said - it's a lot about application and individual taste.

    I chose Duncans after doing an informal poll of players I knew and general buzz in the guitar magazines. Maybe something more exotic and expensive would sound a little better - but I don't think you can go wrong selecting Duncans for the usuallly recommended applications - and they are reasonably priced IMO.

    It 's very complicated and almost impossible to predict how a given pickup will sound installed in a particular guitar - and where the sweet spot is - so I would suggest trying out the boutique pickups if you can find a good deal on some used ones. Another way to get a good evaluation would be to try used guitars at shops that have the Fralins or WCRs already loaded.


    :Devil
     
  16. Karmateria

    Karmateria Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Location:
    Midwest
    I tend to like the lower power Duncans over most everything, but that's not 100%. I've wasted a lot of money experimenting and have come to the conclusion that different guitars call for different pickups.

    I have a set of Lollar P90s that are mind blowing, and I have a set of WCRs that are dull and boring... Duncans are quite consistent. Go figure.
    Karma
     
  17. Reeek

    Reeek Member

    Messages:
    1,208
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    I like Duncans and agree with most of the comments. I run Duncan Jazzes in my Fernandes Vertigo Deluxe (stock pickups) and I like that guitar a ton just as it is.

    But, I have been playing my cheap Agile AL-3000 Prestige almost exclusively when I force myself to put my Suhr Classic for a taste of humbuckers, and the reason why are the fantastic High Order A3's I installed in it a few months ago. 7.8/8.5, potted.

    What a bargain for a great sounding humbucker with just the right amount of heat. Can't stop playing that humbucker equipped guitar.
     
  18. ratkent

    ratkent Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Sugar Land, TX
    Duncans have a focus that I like and miss when it's not there. My favorite Duncan setup is a Custom Custom bridge and a Jazz neck.
     
  19. papersoul

    papersoul Member

    Messages:
    12,776
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    You guys should try Wolfetones. These are the best I have tried and not that expensive but WELL worth it!
     
  20. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

    Messages:
    15,278
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    MD.
    Every company has its strengths and weaknesses. I've had some SDs that I disliked, and others that can't be beat. My personal vote for the perfect SD pup is their Jerry Donohue Tele bridge. Uncanny balance of fat and twang. Plenty o bite, but very full sounding with above avg. output. None better, IMO.
     

Share This Page