Duncan JB makes no sense, but...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Gradinger, Aug 7, 2006.


  1. Gradinger

    Gradinger Member

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    Despite its metalicious specs, I keep coming back to this pickup in many of my guitars even though I don't play much aggressive music. How in the world can a pickup be so "hot" spec-wise, but still balance nicely with a vintage-style PAF in the neck position?

    Anyone got a good answer? Any other fans?
     
  2. kjrocks

    kjrocks Supporting Member

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    There is a reason its Duncan's #1 selling pickup and one of the highest sellers ever.
     
  3. Junior

    Junior Member

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    Good question! I have a theory, and it applies to Teles, Strats and LPs, as well.

    As Seymour's first pickup (I think, can't document this?) he had all the possibilities open to him. It wasn't really his first, he had at least ten years experience with rewinds, and so he took all that experience and went to market with his "best". Now, if he comes out with another pickup, he has very little room to be different from from his others.

    Same with Les Pauls, PAFs, and so many other things, even songs. When you're making your first, you have complete freedom. After that, your options become limited if you want to provide variety.

    This doesn't answer the core of your question, though. JB's PAF's had been ripped off, and likely Seymour wanted to give some of that character. What resulted doesn't sound like a PAF, but it has convinced a lot of folks that Jeff was playing a Les Paul, not a Tele. So it blends nicely with a PAFish tone. As to output, neck pups are louder anyway, so that's not a problem.

    Not sure if I'm right about this, but it is fun to think about.
     
  4. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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  5. Zanary

    Zanary Member

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    The JB has been a great bridge pickup in several of my guitars over the years...but my main LP now has the Duncan Custom 5 in the bridge against an Alnico II Pro in the neck and I've never been happier.

    Check out the Custom 5. Seriously.
     
  6. lespauldude

    lespauldude Member

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    JB's were my go-to bridge p/u for years, until I stuck a Duncan Custom/Custom in one of my L.P.s. I now use it in a couple of them.
    The JB is still the best-selling pup at the shop I work at, and we do alot of p/u installations.
     
  7. johnny q

    johnny q Member

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    I have a c5 in my LP custom, great p'up - if it only had a pinch more mids, it may be my favorite bridge bucker of all time.

    Back to the JB - I have one in my PRS, I hear none of the shrill, bass lacking characteristics people complain about, in this particular axe (mahogany body/maple cap) it sounds real warm.
     

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