The Latest

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seymour Duncan 59 SH-1 and 59/Custom Hybrid Pickups ... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: Seymour Duncan 59 SH-1
$72.95 USD + tax &  shipping
Street Price: Seymour Duncan 59/Custom Hybrid
$89.00 USD + tax &  shipping

The Seymour Duncan company is the Manufacturer of guitar and bass pickups and effects pedals.
This review was conducted using a 2001 Epiphone Les Paul standard. I used this guitar because it was the biggest piece of crap I could find and if these pickups could make this sound great they could make any guitar sound great. This guitar is a real gem, according to the " official Gibson USA records" it is Korean wood assembled in china then shipped back to Korea for paint and setup. It has street price of $450.oo USD new and I think $400.00 USD of it is from import customs charges. I re-wired the entire guitar and put in shielding with (1) all parts on on on switches for the coil taps.

Pickup one - 59 model SH-1

Manufacturer Suggested Application: Neck
Versatile P.A.F.-type humbucker. Great for country, jazz, blues, funk, classic rock and heavy rock.

Manufacturer Description:
Late-'50s, vintage-correct, humbucker sound. Warm and crystalline clean tones. Full and bright distorted tones. Smooth sustain. Classic appointments include plain enamel wire, long legged bottom plate, vintage single conductor cable and no logo. Compared to the SH-55 Seth Lover, the '59 has slightly more scooped mids and is vacuum wax potted for squeal-free performance.

Manufacturer Complete Setup Suggestion:
Available in both neck and bridge models. Often a '59 neck is used together with a hotter bridge pickup like the SH-4 JB or SH-13 Dimebucker for extra versatility.

Pickup two - 59/Custom Hybrid; SH-16 and TB-16

Manufacturer Suggested Application: Bridge
Versatile blend of classic and modern tones. Recommended for blues, rock, pop, and classic rock

Manufacturer Description:
Unique hybrid construction pairs a '59 screw coil with a Custom slug coil for crisp, clear highs, powerful lows, and a complex mid-range growl

Manufacturer Complete Setup Suggestion:
Use in the bridge position with any vintage-output neck humbucker, such as the '59n or the Alnico II Pro

I took my time as I always do and from start to finish; it was 2 hours with coil taps. Please note that you should have a luither from your local music store put pickups in for you unless you know what you are doing. It is normally a 2 - 3 hour charge + bench fee to have 2 pickups installed with coil taps. The total investment will be well worth it when you POS (Piece of Shit) guitar sounds like a well made instrument. 


Amp used:
Vox Pathfinder 15r

Cables used:

Just Neck:
A well balanced Jazz/Blues tone with a rich bottom end and clear bell like highs. Has very 1960's smoke filled New Orleans lounge feel.

Neck and Bridge:
Full round rock & roll, but rolled back a touch. The combination of the two is a unique modern twist on vintage. 1959 meets 1989.

Just Bridge:
1960's rock & roll leads with a heaver punch. Its 1 part Dime Bag, 1 part Slash, and 2 parts Paul Stanley. It's the hole in your sound you look for that the amp just can't give you.

Neck Split:
Fat Strat all the way. It has that Stevie Ray Vaughn warm whiskey blues feel.

Bridge Split:
Vintage under wound single coil, Hendrix leads with a little less dirt almost like a p-90 on 8. 

By using the coil splinting feature on these pickups; this " Less than" Paul has a total of 12 different sound combinations by using full humbucker with a split coil in series and out of phase. It can go from jazz & blues to rock to twang in a flip of a switch.

Reliability & Durability:
They are made by the Seymour Duncan company. Their mission is to create top-quality musical products that satisfy the needs of their customers.  They provide superior service, support, and education, both before and after the sale.

Going into this review I had high expectations from my experience with the Seymour Duncan company's products. I personally find them to deliver a high-end, quality product at a reasonable price. As always with their pickups I was not disappointed at all. The combination of the two pickups made this "Les than" Paul have some rock-n-roll qualities. Now the pickups can not change the fact that this is a terrible excuse for a guitar that was constructed using the wost materials by slave labor...but they have made it more than acceptable to use. It is a night and day difference in the sound quality, tonality, and sustain. I was able to turn the amp up without that ear piercing squeal that the deaf could hear from the stock Epiphone pickups. It's always amazes me how the majority of large manufactures of mass produced instruments make such a poor product that can be easily fixed with a few aftermarket upgrades.  As always, hats off to the Seymour Duncan company from saving this guitar from the fireplace.      

My advice:
If you are in the market for a pickup upgrade the Seymour Duncan company is one of my personal favorites in its price range. This is a great way to bring new life into an old guitar, and make her fun to play again.

Read more

The Seymour Duncan Company
5427 Hollister Avenue
Santa Barbara, CA 93111-2345, USA
P (805) 964-9610
F (805) 964-9749

Posted 04/2012