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Honing in on the Suhr SSH bridge pickup, would like some feedback

GurthPeedler

Member
Messages
7
My style of music is kind of a mix of rock and mid-gain metal, all in standard tuning, but I've been finding metal-oriented pickups to be a bit cold and one-dimensional, and I prefer medium output alnico pickups overall. So I'm looking for something with mids that doesn't fall apart under a palm mute. So far I have tried:

Duncan JB: upper mid bump is too narrow.
Duncan Custom 5: Amazing, but the giant mid scoop became bothersome.
Duncan Pegasus: So incredibly versatile, but has no character. If it had more mids it would be nearly perfect.
Suhr SSH+: Perfect in every way, but far too high output.

Which brings me to the Suhr SSH. Is it just a lower output SSH+? Do you think this would satisfy my needs or would you recommend something else?

Thank you for anyone who read this!
 
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hippieboy

Member
Messages
10,015
I have a Suhr custom with SSH I don't play the type of music you mentioned, but I researched a lot the SSH + vs SSH (and other pickups) because I wasn't sure which one to get on my build, and yes the SSH is a lower output SSH+ which means less compression and also less mids which to me is exactly what I was looking for, if you like the SSH+ but want something with a little less of everything I think that's the perfect choice.
 

GurthPeedler

Member
Messages
7
I have a Suhr custom with SSH I don't play the type of music you mentioned, but I researched a lot the SSH + vs SSH (and other pickups) because I wasn't sure which one to get on my build, and yes the SSH is a lower output SSH+ which means less compression and also less mids which to me is exactly what I was looking for, if you like the SSH+ but want something with a little less of everything I think that's the perfect choice.
This makes it sound totally worth it to give it a shot. The neck pickup is a Duncan Jazz, which I've heard is already somewhat close to an SSV so I figured it will pair well.

Thank you!
 

hippieboy

Member
Messages
10,015
This makes it sound totally worth it to give it a shot. The neck pickup is a Duncan Jazz, which I've heard is already somewhat close to an SSV so I figured it will pair well.

Thank you!
You are welcome, above your post I shared a clip of me using the SSH with Fuzz, I think it's not the type of music you are looking for but when possible I like to share my opinion with a little clip of music I feel It helps even a little!!
 

GurthPeedler

Member
Messages
7
You are welcome, above your post I shared a clip of me using the SSH with Fuzz, I think it's not the type of music you are looking for but when possible I like to share my opinion with a little clip of music I feel It helps even a little!!
It sounds good! I think I'm going to give them a shot.
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,129
I like it, sits right between vintage and hot. I had a set of SSV's in my Charvel and the SSV bridge was a little too bright and tame. Previously I had a JB and Jazz and the JB was too hot and midrangey. The SSH is warmer than the vintage output but not pushed mids like the high output.

Ultimately I got a little bored of the sound and I went back to a Jazz neck which is brighter than the SSV and a 59/Custom Hybrid which is a bit leaner than the SSH but a little more pushed in the upper mids. It seems more lively.
 

GurthPeedler

Member
Messages
7
I like it, sits right between vintage and hot. I had a set of SSV's in my Charvel and the SSV bridge was a little too bright and tame. Previously I had a JB and Jazz and the JB was too hot and midrangey. The SSH is warmer than the vintage output but not pushed mids like the high output.

Ultimately I got a little bored of the sound and I went back to a Jazz neck which is brighter than the SSV and a 59/Custom Hybrid which is a bit leaner than the SSH but a little more pushed in the upper mids. It seems more lively.
Could you describe the mids of the SSH a little more? I definitely want liveliness, but not something overbearing like the JB or with too big of big vintage honk like straight vintage pickups. By sitting inbetween I'm guessing you mean it's inbetween those two?

The 59/custom hybrid is another option I've debated too.
 

hippieboy

Member
Messages
10,015
After looking into it more, I'm really leaning more into the 59/Custom Hybrid. This has become a tough call.
Yes I totally understand It's very hard to choose pickups because they all sound a bit different depending on your amp, eq, pedals, style, guitar, etc. Which is why I don't mess around with pickups, even though I want to change the H on my American deluxe strat hehe.
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,129
Could you describe the mids of the SSH a little more? I definitely want liveliness, but not something overbearing like the JB or with too big of big vintage honk like straight vintage pickups. By sitting inbetween I'm guessing you mean it's inbetween those two?

The 59/custom hybrid is another option I've debated too.
It’s not scooped and it’s not boosted, they are kind of neutral? There’s definitely a little more output and bass and a little warmer highs compared to SSV. The 59 custom hybrid is a little more open sounding with a bit more push in the upper mids and not quite as balanced or warm, but still not as bright and lean as a vintage output. this particular guitar seems a little more bassy so leaner is better but not brighter.

What guitar are you using?
 

GurthPeedler

Member
Messages
7
It’s not scooped and it’s not boosted, they are kind of neutral? There’s definitely a little more output and bass and a little warmer highs compared to SSV. The 59 custom hybrid is a little more open sounding with a bit more push in the upper mids and not quite as balanced or warm, but still not as bright and lean as a vintage output. this particular guitar seems a little more bassy so leaner is better but not brighter.

What guitar are you using?
I'm gonna admit, I've never understood what "open" means in regard to pickup tone, but at this point I'm too afraid to ask.

It's for an Epi Les Paul Standard, but it tends to be on the brighter side for LPs. What's drawing me toward the 59/custom hybrid is how it can apparently handle high gain very well, and stays tight in the low end. I suppose my only concern over the SSH is how it handles high gain. I obviously don't expect anything tight-tight, but at least something that doesn't fall apart when hit with a palm mute.
 

rauchman

Member
Messages
1,580
How does the SSV compare to the SSH and their + versions?

OP, I have a set of Thornbuckers, TB+ for the bridge in a partscaster. Also have another partscaster with a set of Doug Aldrichs.

I live the DA's, but love the TB+ bridge. Really open and clear and holds up to gain well. The DA's have a rich sound, but more compressed. However, like the TB+, it's very articulate and stays articulate as you bring the volume down.

Very curious as to how the SSV/+ and SSH/+ compare.
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,129
I'm gonna admit, I've never understood what "open" means in regard to pickup tone, but at this point I'm too afraid to ask.

It's for an Epi Les Paul Standard, but it tends to be on the brighter side for LPs. What's drawing me toward the 59/custom hybrid is how it can apparently handle high gain very well, and stays tight in the low end. I suppose my only concern over the SSH is how it handles high gain. I obviously don't expect anything tight-tight, but at least something that doesn't fall apart when hit with a palm mute.
Yeah it's hard to describe and I didn't record them so going off memory, which is always terrible. But to me the 59/Custom is more open meaning you can hear the string attack and ringing a little more and it's a little less compressed sounding and feeling. The SSH is a bit fatter and warmer. On a brighter guitar I'd prefer the SSH and on a darker one the Hybrid.

The only time I didn't like the Hybrid was on my PRS CE-24 which is balanced leaning bright. It was too piercing.

Otherwise, the 59/Custom Hybrid is like the perfect middle of the road pickup. It's not too hot or mellow, it's not too bright or dark, it's not scooped or mid pushed. A really good starting point. It's a lot like the Suhr Thornbucker but hotter.

Of course it's not perfect which is why I originally replaced it with an SSV and later the SSH. That may just be boredom though.

How does the SSV compare to the SSH and their + versions?

OP, I have a set of Thornbuckers, TB+ for the bridge in a partscaster. Also have another partscaster with a set of Doug Aldrichs.

I live the DA's, but love the TB+ bridge. Really open and clear and holds up to gain well. The DA's have a rich sound, but more compressed. However, like the TB+, it's very articulate and stays articulate as you bring the volume down.

Very curious as to how the SSV/+ and SSH/+ compare.
The only one I haven't tried is the SSH+.

Thornbucker is the mellowest, very clear sounding, no excess bass or treble, maybe a hint of a mid push. Thornbucker Plus is the same thing just the tiniest bit hotter and the tiniest bit less bright. Very subtle difference not worth swapping IMO.

SSV is a little bit fuller and brighter sounding and a little bit hotter than the Thornbucker. I think it's mostly the alnico 5 magnet rather than 4 which gives it a little more bass and treble and a little less mids. I like it more in my Strat as it sounds closer to the single coils which are brighter. The SSV Plus is again a little hotter and has more of a push in the upper mids.

SSH is noticeably hotter again, fatter/fuller in the lows, warmer in the highs. Doesn't sound scooped or mid pushed to me. It just sounds bigger than the TB/SSV all around.

Aldrich I did not like. It was super hot and sounded hard and distorted, like running a limited on a signal too hot. It was also pretty fat and warm, big and punchy, but my ears like something more open and dynamic. I'm guessing the SSH+ is similar but not quite as hot and fat and compressed.

As far as neck pickups go, I like the TB more than the SSV. I think they are similar but the TB is lower wind which with the alnico 5 gives more of a leaner low end and snappy single coil like sound. Kind of like a Duncan Jazz but maybe not as sharp sounding due to the different quality magnet. Most guitars tend to want a leaner and more open neck pickup unless it's a bright bolt on guitar.

Generally I'd probably go:

Les Paul -> Thornbuckers for an updated vintage PAF sound
HSS Strat -> SSV bridge and ML single coils in neck/middle
Modern 24 fret -> SSH bridge and SSV neck, unless you're doing high gain a lot then SSH+ might be good here
 

rauchman

Member
Messages
1,580
[QUOTE="Jarick
[/QUOTE]

Excellent info. Interesting comment on the 59 Hybrid. I love the clarity of the TB+ but wish it had a little more drive. I found the neck TB a bit dark. I have the B and N coil splittable and have to say, they sound decent split.

Agree with you assessment of the DA's too. I find them very compressed. Playing the 2 guitars I have with them back to back, the TB's sound louder than the DA's, or maybe project more is a better term.
 

mixn4him

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,835
I swapped an SSH+ for an SSV+ and it balances in my guitar perfectly. (Suhr Standard Pro Basswood with Maple top) SSH+ was too much everything for me in that guitar...
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,129
Excellent info. Interesting comment on the 59 Hybrid. I love the clarity of the TB+ but wish it had a little more drive. I found the neck TB a bit dark. I have the B and N coil splittable and have to say, they sound decent split.

Agree with you assessment of the DA's too. I find them very compressed. Playing the 2 guitars I have with them back to back, the TB's sound louder than the DA's, or maybe project more is a better term.
Woah, that's really different from my experience! The neck TB's I've got are all pretty bright and open sounding. And the Aldrich pickups I had were super hot.

Definitely think a combo of Jazz neck and 59/Custom Hybrid might be up your alley. That's what is in my Charvel DK24 right now, although I just got a 59 to swap into it and see how I like that. I just saw Polyphia last week and that bright middle position was stuck in my mind.
 
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