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Product 300040

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup

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Beef up the sound of the Patent Applied For pickup and you get a hard-driving, kicking sound with just the right balance of power, sustain, and disto...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

One of the most sought-after pickups in the world.

Beef up the sound of the Patent Applied For pickup and you get a hard-driving, kicking sound with just the right balance of power, sustain, and distortion. This pickup cuts through with a distinctive high end and midrange attack. Recommended for bridge position. 4-conductor cable.

FEATURES
Hard-driving, kicking sound
Cuts with a distinctive high end and midrange attack
Best for bridge position
4-conductor cable
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Seymour DuncanSH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup
 
4.9

(based on 33 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Improves sound (10)
  • Good quality (9)
  • Functional (5)
  • Easy to use (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Concerts (5)
  • Practicing (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (7), Professional musician (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

TIght, crunchy, rock tone for days

I put this pickup in the bridge of my Petrucci JP6 Music Man after trying and hating the stock Dimarzio D-Sonic, a Tone Zone, a JB and a Suhr Aldrich and it transformed my...Read complete review

I put this pickup in the bridge of my Petrucci JP6 Music Man after trying and hating the stock Dimarzio D-Sonic, a Tone Zone, a JB and a Suhr Aldrich and it transformed my axe into a classic rock tone machine. Now I realize the JP6 is a shredder guitar but I wanted more of a classic, chunky full, tight rock feel because I play in a cover band that covers a lot of ground from classic rock to new stuff to chick music. This pickup can cover it all but especially excels at eighties hard rock and even a darker AC/DC. Tight, tight low end but not overwhelming. Emphasis on the dirty mids (think growl) and a clean, penetrating high that doesn't annoy the ear like a JB can in some instruments. Very, very responsive to volume changes. It also cleaned up the sound of my JP6 which, to be honest, felt sterile to me until I put this pickup in. For cleans it's so-so but I never use my bridge pickup for clean tones so it doesn't matter to me. If you like the JB vibe but the JB isn't working in your axe, give the Custom a try. You won't regret it. All of this is through a tube amp, by the way, so if you're using solid state results my differ.
Seymour Duncan rules
It should be illegal to sell this much tone for this much

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good pickup for leads, no low end

I replaced my Gibson 498r bridge with this pickup and I did not like the sound. I use alot of low end crunch in my sound and the pickup could not bring out my...Read complete review

I replaced my Gibson 498r bridge with this pickup and I did not like the sound. I use alot of low end crunch in my sound and the pickup could not bring out my recto/progressive metal core sound on the lows to give it any balls. So, i put my 498r back in. But in all fairness, if you like alot of midrange sound with good clear highs and good sustain, this is the pickup for you. It just didn't work for me.

Reviewed by 33 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(9 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

TIght, crunchy, rock tone for days

Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

I put this pickup in the bridge of my Petrucci JP6 Music Man after trying and hating the stock Dimarzio D-Sonic, a Tone Zone, a JB and a Suhr Aldrich and it transformed my axe into a classic rock tone machine. Now I realize the JP6 is a shredder guitar but I wanted more of a classic, chunky full, tight rock feel because I play in a cover band that covers a lot of ground from classic rock to new stuff to chick music. This pickup can cover it all but especially excels at eighties hard rock and even a darker AC/DC. Tight, tight low end but not overwhelming. Emphasis on the dirty mids (think growl) and a clean, penetrating high that doesn't annoy the ear like a JB can in some instruments. Very, very responsive to volume changes. It also cleaned up the sound of my JP6 which, to be honest, felt sterile to me until I put this pickup in. For cleans it's so-so but I never use my bridge pickup for clean tones so it doesn't matter to me. If you like the JB vibe but the JB isn't working in your axe, give the Custom a try. You won't regret it. All of this is through a tube amp, by the way, so if you're using solid state results my differ.
Seymour Duncan rules
It should be illegal to sell this much tone for this much

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Good pickup for leads, no low end

By Twin Fusion

from Greensboro, NC

See all my reviews

Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

I replaced my Gibson 498r bridge with this pickup and I did not like the sound. I use alot of low end crunch in my sound and the pickup could not bring out my recto/progressive metal core sound on the lows to give it any balls. So, i put my 498r back in. But in all fairness, if you like alot of midrange sound with good clear highs and good sustain, this is the pickup for you. It just didn't work for me.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

TONE!!!!!!

By Les Sgarlato

from Missoula, MT

Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

I recently put this pickup in my Ibanez Iceman and i was really blown away. The stock pickups in the Iceman were very limited as far as tone was concerned. They could only do distortion (very trebly distortion at that). The SH-5 has an amazing clean sound as well as distorted. I also play in drop C tuning, and the lows sound very tight. Not mushy at all. I have this pickup paired with a SH-2n in the neck, and they really work well together. Very art rock/metal sound (like Tool)

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Pickup!!!

By Slash Man 54

from Murray, KY

Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

I have a Fender HSS Strat and this pickup was a great improvement!!! The tone really brought out the classic strat tone. When I looked at this pickup I thought it would be a metal pickup and it wouldn't be good for a strat I was wrong!!!!! Great for a Strat!!!!! If you buy this pickup you wont want another pickup!!!!

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Pickup!!!!!

By MS864602722

from TEXAS

Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

great sounding pickup for the price!!! really happy.
replaced my stock burstbuckers with a sh-4 jeff beck and had used one in another guitar but it wasn't quite right in this one. decided to go back to a ceramic magnet with the sh-5 and it sounds perfect now. really crisp rythm definition with no sacrifice for the lead sounds. tight but with good sustain. love it.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

SH-5

By loonybin-guitfiddle

from New England

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Functional
  • Good Quality
  • Highs
  • Improved
  • Improves Sound
  • Mids
  • Sustain

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Classic Rock

Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

I have purchased an Epiphone Les Paul to offset my Strat and Tele and wasn't liking the sound until I installed the SH-5 on the bridge. What a difference!! Tons of crunch and sustain when I need it. Clean sounds awesomr too. Now I'm considering an SH-1 '59 on the neck because the stock one doesn't compare with the SD pickup. You'll love this in your copy LP or LP for that matter.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

what a difference...

By bogeyrpro

from atlanta ga

See all my reviews

Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

This is a great pick up. I bought this from MF based on reviews from other users. I installed it on a Schecter C1+, but wired it standard with no coil split in the bridge position. I play through an Egnater 30 watt tube combo, and this pickup has really made this guitar. the cleans are excellent, but where this shines (in my opinion) is on the gain channel. I have a Fulltone Fulldrive in the signal chain, and am finding that it is not needed as much. very pleased with the tone!

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

PAF on Steroids!!!

By Rockin RD76

from PHX, AZ

See all my reviews

Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

I bought this for my Epiphone Les Paul standard that I customized, putting a '59 in the neck and the Custom in the bridge. It gives you all the sound of the PAF'59 plus a great crunch distortion without sacrificing a clean sound when you back it off a bit. When used in combo with the '59, it is a classic LP sound. I also wired it for a coil split and the single coil sound is thin, like a Strat, but a bit sweeter and sounds really nice with the '59 as well. I tried this in an old Ibanez Les Paul (circa '84-86) and it sounded great then, too!! If you're looking for a good, clean vintage sound that will also rock your world, this is the pickup to get!!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

excellent bridge pick-up...

By The Original Big Gino

from Ogden, UT

See all my reviews

Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

SD's website says it's a "PAF on steroids". enough said. tone is warm, full, beefy, and has a great tight low end. i do a lot of clean work. a single coil from this and 1 from the neck pick-up is a dream come true. nice twang in single coil mode. the perfect compliment to my '59 4-conductor in the neck. fyi my gear is: mahogany body/maple top bolt-on neck axe, all-tube combo amp.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

SH-5 is my new frontliner

By Patrick-MFmix

from NC

See all my reviews

Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

I just put this bad boy in my SG in the bridge position. I figured I'd try it out and if I didn't like it I could always sell it to a buddy or something. Well right after I installed it I plugged into my 6505 and went exploring. This PUP blew me away with the clarity and punch. I set my trebs on my amp kind of low and this pick up has just the right amount of treb response to really make it shine with my set up. I will put this pick up in all my guitars from now on.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Sounding Pickup

By SavannahArtist

from Savannah, GA.

About Me Novice

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Functional
  • Good Quality
  • Improves Sound

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

      Let me start off by saying that I am a bedroom player but I do know what GOOD tone is!!! In 1983 I purchased a 1970 Gibson Flying V That was completely stock except the previous owner had replaced the bridge pickup with a Dimarzio Super Distortion that was the rage and one of the first companies that offered after market pickups. I found it to sound like gravel. I really didn't understand why anyone found this tone desirable. It ruined the guitar. I didn't know much about pickups but my brother that is a serious player had replaced the pickups in some of his guitars with Seymour Duncan's and suggested that I do same. Not knowing anything about which on to purchase I could only read reviews, there was no internet to listen to sound bites, so this was a total shot in the dark. The SH-5 was described as a traditional PAF with a much higher gain. After installing it I found that I got a really nice crunch without loosing the chime on the higher strings. Very pronounced mids and a very full bottom. This is a very articulate pickup. My rig is a Marshall Super Lead 100 half stack from the early 70's with 25 watt black backs. This recreates the Thin Lizzy, Scorpions, UFO and other hard rock and heavy metal bands from the mid 70's and early 80's perfectly. I have also played it through a Peavey Classic combo and my baby Marshall Class 5. Sounds great through both of them. I let a couple of friends that played in an Allman Brothers cover band take it for a test drive. They were playing through Fender Hot Rod Devilles and were nailing the Allman Brothers guitar sound. They liked the guitar so much they offered me some serious JACK for it. I won't ever let it go and much of that has to do with the excellent sound that I get from this pickup........oh yea and its totally vintage except for the bridge pickup. I also left the original neck pickup in the neck and they are perfectly matched. Buy it you won't regret it if you like that period sound.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Oh Yeah Seymour Duncan Strikes Again!

      By Gitfiddle76

      from Detroit

      About Me Professional Musician

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Great cleans
      • Powerful
      • Tight Focused Overdrive
      • Tight Low End
      • Warm and Bright or Dark and Moody

      Cons

      • None

      Best Uses

        Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

        I dropped this guy into a Gibson SG and now it's a monster. The original pickups were good, but they lacked power and they were a bit on the dark side. I guess I'm just not a fan of weaker pickups. This thing; whoa! It's not as bright and glassy as the JB. It's also tighter and more focused too. The highs are nice and clean and clear but not piercing. And the low end thumps and is very defined. It's got the same EQ as a PAF but more power and definition. The mids are powerful enough to cut through but not too much (and I love me some mids). If the JB is making your ears bleed because it's too glassy and piercing try this guy on for size. Love it.

        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Play metal but need versatility?

        By kvltwalter

        from San Diego, CA

        About Me Novice

        Pros

        • Cleans Up Nicely
        • Good For Drop-tunings
        • Good Quality
        • Improves Sound

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Classic Rock
          • Metalhard Rock

          Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

          I was in need of a high-output ceramic magnet pickup that could do more than just extreme metal to replace the stock pickups in my Epiphone SG, and this is the pickup that gave that to me. The SH-5 gives my guitar a burly, powerful and full-bodied sound that's perfect for hard rock and metal, but without the pulverizing output of some other ceramic magnet pickups. The low end is decent and the midrange is crunchy and delicious, and the highs shrill and shred. I tune down to C# standard and this pickup has by back on those low tunings. Plug your guitar into a fender and you'll notice that the pickup is just as adept at clean than it is with the distortion cranked. Awesome sustain too. Love this pickup!

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Nice, clear improvement.

          By bangitsmom

          from Indiana

          See all my reviews

          Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

          I've been wanting to modify one of my guitars for months and have been researching which pups to go for and deciding which guitar I wanted to change. I picked my Ibanez Artcore AWD82LTD to play around with. I just put the SH-5 in the bridge position and LOVE the new clarity and bite I'm getting from it. The stock pups were a bit muddy and even had a bit of unwanted distortion, but the SH-5 took care of both of those problems. I feel like I have a brand new guitar. Now, I'm researching a new neck pup for the Artcore.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Crunch!

          By Buster-e_uem

          from Texas

          Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

          Didn't like the stock LP ceramic PUs (way to muddy), so I tried SD SH-12 PUs, still way to muddy. Tried a Custom SH-5 and it's CRUNCH time now!! Pure, clean CRUNCH, like a Leslie West power chord without all that fuzzy distortion that gets in the way of the tone.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          THE pup for an ash guitar

          By miketheslut

          from Ohio

          See all my reviews

          Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

          I replaced the L-500xl in the bridge of my Warmoth custom ash "strat"(its one of my E tuned Guitars) I have an old jackson with a sh-4 in it thats also ash and its a bit shrill so I got an Sh-5. It was warm on my practice amp but didn't impress me. When I ran it thru the tubes into my half stack......WOW!!!!All the gain I could ever want while retaining control and focus and Hear every string clarity. No boominess at all. Palm mutes are percussive and floor shaking. Sustain is endless. Everybody noticed how hard my amp was hittin' long before I announced I changed pups. Could be a bit hotter for soloing in my opinion but all around for crunch and totally shapable tone oozing everywhere its the bomb. Kinda suprized me really. Didn't shake it down clean because I just preffer neck and middle pups for clean.It is THE pickup for this ash guitar but I want to try it in a set neck mahogony axe next for tuned down stuff. All guitars are different (and ears)so who knows.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great!!

          By StratPlayer24

          from NY

          See all my reviews

          Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

          I have this pickup installed in the bridge position of my Fender HSS and my Les Paul Standard. It has a totally different sound in each guitar, brighter in the Fender and a little darker in the LP as expected. However, it has a couple of things in common too. It has superior sustain, great harmonics, and you don't lose any notes in a bunch of fuzz like you do with some other high output pickups. It's a very versatile pickup, good for both classic rock and harder rock as well. I highly recommend this pickup, Seymour Duncan seems to really get it. Some manufacturers just want a bunch of Vai clones out there, just tons and tons of distortion. You get that here too, but you get allot of tone too. Don't get me wrong, I use the other companies pickups too, just the older standards such as the Super Distortion and PAF Pro. I use my pickups for the quality of the tone and let my amp control my gain levels. That's hard to do with some of these new pickups today, this pickup is not like that at all. Try it and you will glad.

           
          5.0

          great pup

          By les paul larry

          from Al

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Good Quality
          • Improves Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Concerts
            • Practicing

            Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

            used this in a gib les paul traditional to replace a duncan distortion the distortion didnt work in that guitar so i tried this one after some friends suggested good power really clean great on distortion even metal has really good bottom end not to bright just enough mids not scooped so need to know that but its low mids which i like work well in a gib les paul traditional i paired it with the original pup 57 classic which worked well i actually wanted a 57 bridge but after talking to people this pup stood out glad i choose it but pups work in some guitars not others really depends on the wood how dense dont know how this works on chamber guitars i dont mess with those it is a 59 on steroids

             
            5.0

            Really good pick up

            By AG Marshall

            from Florida

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Functional

            Cons

            • Difficult To Use

            Best Uses

            • Concerts
            • Practicing

            Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

            This pick up is very good you can get really rich tones either in clean channel or overdrive.A nice attack but difficult to set for beginners it will end up getting their tone saturated A+ in my opinion Seymour Duncan making their name shine like always

             
            5.0

            Ideal hot humbucker for LP bridge-position

            By KRob

            from Detroit-ish

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Good Quality
            • Improves Sound

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Concerts
              • Practicing

              Comments about Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Guitar Pickup:

              I have spent a LOT of money for the years experimenting with humbuckers. I've gone through Duncan '59s, Antiquities, Gibson Burstbuckers, Dimarzio Super Distortion, etc... It's been a struggle to find the right EQ balance as well as the right output. I like a wide variety of music styles, so I need a pick-up that can deliver a nice, bluesy classic-rock tone as well as have enough output for metal riffs. And that's where the SH-5 really shines. It has a big, powerful sound that can easily deliver metal riffage, but it also sounds great doing a more Paul Kossoff/Angus Young-ish vintage tone through a mildy overdiven tube amp. Many hotter 'metal' pick-ups sound dead and lifeless when you try to use them for classic rock. This thing really gives you that classic PAF sweetness but with a big, boosted output, just as advertised. It is on the bright side, but it's a very 'musical' brightness that cuts through the mix. It will brighten-up a 'darker' sounding guitar. It's my favorite 'jack of all trades' bridge-position humbucker for a Gibson-type guitar.

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