Seymour Duncan Pickup choices

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by clovis, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. clovis

    clovis Member

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    Has anyone here owned and/or used either the Hot Rodded Humbucker or Vintage Blues pickup combos from Seymour Duncan? The Vintage blues is a pair of matched '59's in the neck and bridge. The Hot Rodded Hum set is a Jazz in the neck and a JB in the bridge.

    I've also heard that a 59 neck sounds good with a JB in the bridge. Has anyone tried this combo either?? I'm looking to change the PU's in a Carvin C66 I just bought. I'm going Duncan for sure. The tone I'm looking for is a cross between bluesy Scott Henderson type stuff and the legato sound(s) of Garsed or Holdsworth. I'd really like to be able to get a lot of good and clear harmonics..natural and artifical with ease.

    Any suggestions?

    John R.
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    IMO...

    The '59 is the best neck humbucker Duncan makes. It's clear but full, bright but warm, and just the right output for vintage tones with a bit of edge. It sounds great in every guitar I've ever put one in (which is a lot). The '59 bridge isn't quite as good - I find it a little too bright and not quite powerful enough (even though it's slightly more overwound than the neck one). It's OK for true vintage tones but IMO doesn't quite have enough punch for more modern ones.

    The JB and Jazz both work better in some guitars than others. I find the Jazz neck a bit too bright and strident usually, especially in naturally bright-sounding guitars. It has a slightly metallic overtone that I can't get on with. The JB is very focused in the high-mids (not treble) which makes it cut extremely well for classic to modern rock tones, and it's fairly powerful without being too much. It can be a bit nasal, but also excels at harmonics.

    In other words, I'd go for a '59 neck and a JB bridge ;).
     
  3. clovis

    clovis Member

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    Thank you for the reply John. My C66 is VERY bright. Alder body with a flamed maple top. MUCH brighter than my poplar body Ernie Ball Steve Morse model.
     
  4. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    As an example of what John is saying, I've put the Jazz/JB combo in a couple of Epi's: a Sheraton (335 copy) and a LP Studio with alder body and neck. The Jazz sounds quite good in the Sheraton and reasonably good (though a bit too bright) in the LP. The JB sounds great in the Sheraton but annoyingly strident in the LP.

    I have no experience with the Custom Custom myself but I hear it's pure warmth, so a '59 - Custom Custom may be a good combo for your guitar. And if you want to warm things up a bit more in the neck position, you could use there the '59 bridge model - slightly overwound and therefore warmer sounding than the neck version. I've done a similar thing with a Dimarzio Air Classic Bridge in the neck position of a Warmoth LPS I put together for a friend and it works a treat.
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I'd consider the Custom Custom too - it's a very woody, warm, dark pickup (some people find it too much so, to the point of being muddy, but it does really depend on the guitar too) - and a Pearly Gates neck... interesting in that it's in some ways brighter than the '59, but also softer, so it's less full-on than the '59 in a naturally bright guitar. That's why I put this combination in my PRS Custom - I have the '59/Custom Custom in my Standard.
     
  6. clovis

    clovis Member

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    My guitar is alder with a maple cap and ebony fretboard. It's bright...but not horribly bright. I definately want something that cuts through the mix but doesn't sound like an ice pick in the ear. I think the JB/JAzz combo is not going to work for this guitar. I'm guessing that combo is more for thicker bodied guitars like Les Pauls and PRS's and esp mahagony guitars. I think once I get the dough I'll try out the Vintage Blues set. (matched 59's)

    I've also been considering a pair of Dimarzio's. Does anyone know what a Tone Zone bridge and Air Norton neck sound like together in a guitar like I described??

    John R.
     
  7. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    Funny you mention that. Having learnt the lesson, the owner of the Epi LP asked me to find some alternative PUs to warm it up and I suggested an Air Norton / Air Zone (supposed to be a more vintage version of the Tone Zone) combo. It's low priority and won't happen before Christmas or thereabouts so I can't comment yet, but in the meantime you can listen to an Air Zone (bridge) in a basswood / thick maple top Godin Artisan TC here (courtesy of my friend Harry Jacobson): http://www.harryj.net/GodinTeleClips.htm I think it's killer tone.
     
  8. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    another vote for the Custom Custom, the first time I heard one on the SD site, instant love.

    Have it in my Carvin DC 127 bridge, which is now my #2 axe

    my #1 is a Strat with a JB Jr bridge....wish they made a Custom Custom JR !
     

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