Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom

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SH-5 Duncan Custom , Humbucker guitar pickup from Seymour Duncan in the High Output Humbuckers series.

13 user reviews
Prices starting at $79 Average price: $91

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Seymour Duncan
  • Model: SH-5 Duncan Custom
  • Series: High Output Humbuckers
  • Category: Humbucker guitar pickups
  • Added in our database on: 04/13/2005

We have no technical specifications for this product
but your help will be much welcomed


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Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom user reviews

Average Score:4.8( 4.8/5 based on 13 reviews )
 10 reviews77 %
 2 reviews15 %
Audience: Value For Money :

Mythrandir1's review"Versatile and heavy in sound"

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
I purchased Seymour Duncan’s SH-5 bridge pickup because I received a wonderful Fender Strat as a gift but it had only single coil pickups and I needed something beefier and heavier for the music I play. I had the body of the Strat modified to be able to fit in a humbucker pickup and after a good deal of consideration I decided to go with the SH-5. My decision was certainly a good one and I do not regret making it because this SD pickup brought life to my guitar and it improved everything about it when it comes to sound, tone and sustain as well, not to mention the fact that my guitar is now less of a background hummer with the humbucker instead of a single coil pickup which tends to bring out some unwanted background noises.

Features and Sound

The SH-5 bridge pickup is a high output pickup using a ceramic magnet and as with all Seymour Duncan pups that I have some experience with, it comes with 4 conductors giving the more advanced players and modders the option of coil splitting which simply means that the player will have the ability to use the humbucker exactly as a single coil pickup with the simple flick of a switch. The SH-5 is similar to the famous JB pickup from Seymour Duncan. It has a beefy low end, a rich but moderate midrange and a decent amount of treble and while it is a high output pickup, the sound it produces will remain tight and focused at all times by having just the right amount of compression. It still is an open coil pickup but it still has a certain amount of compression to it which keeps the sound just tight enough.

The SH-5 is extremely versatile when it comes to sound and tone and you can literally play pretty much anything with it, depending on the rest of the gear you have available of course. Played clean, the sound it produces seems to be nothing really special but it does sound great to my ears during the few times I actually get to play clean. To me the pickup shines when overdriven or distorted. The sound is heavy with good sustain, natural and pinched harmonics sound very much alive while the rhythmic dead note chugs sound thick and powerful. More or less I made my Stratocaster sound pretty close to my Les Paul and it became much more versatile in sound. Before the modification, the single coil was too weak and lacked a powerful bottom end, especially for metal, but now I can play whatever I want.

Durability and Reliability

I own two Seymour Duncan pickups, the SH-5 and JB (SH-4) and so far I had absolutely no problems with either of them. They are easy to install, they feel extremely solid in your hands, it doesn’t feel like holding a cheap pickup made out of plastic. All Seymour Duncan pickups come with highly detailed installing instructions, including coil splitting and other options you may have other than the standard installation. You can fit your guitar with new pickup yourself, you just need a soldering iron and to pay attention to make the connections properly and solid enough to ensure proper functionality. The older SD pickup I have is a little over 2 years old and not once have I had a problem of any kind with it. I haven’t tried another pickup brand yet, but if I will change my guitar’s neck pickups as well, I will certainly rely on Seymour Duncan pups.

Overall Impression

If you are into hard rock and metal especially, you should really look into this pickup because it may be exactly what you are looking for. I love it mostly because it turned my Strat into something I actually enjoy playing and it made its sound and output much more appropriate for heavier genres of music.
To give you a better idea on how this pickup performs I will attach two covers I recorded using my Fender Strat with the SH-5. One of the covers is one of my favorite songs by Tool and there you can hear how the clean tone sounds, how the harmonics perform, dead note chugs, muted strings and of course a healthy dose of distortion. If you want to skip straight to the distortion part on Tool’s song just go straight to 5:15.

Tool cover -,m.474895.html

Two steps from hell, Heart of Courage arrangement with guitar -,m.474894.html

tjon901's review"A good heavier alternative to the JB"

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
Seymour Duncan is one of the big 2 pickup makers in the guitar industry. It pretty much is them and Dimarzio ruling and making most of the pickups most people use. They kind of fill in different segments of the guitar industry with Dimarzio having a more modern and contemporary heavier area and Seymour Duncan filling in the more classic and vintage area. There are always exceptions to this rule though. The Duncan Custom is one of their more unique creations. While most of their pickups come with Alnico magnets the Custom has a ceramic magnet that gives it a bit more of a modern edge to it. The pickup has a slug on one coil and the screws on the other end. Seymour Duncan classifies this pickup as a medium output pickup but the output is more than adequate for just about every type of music you could want to play with a passive pickup. The pickup like most every modern pickup comes with 4 conductor wiring. If you are getting a new one you can do yourself a favor and get the liberator Seymour Duncan wiring system and help yourself to easier pickup swaps with their solderless system. This pickup reminds me of a hot rodded JB which itself is a hot rodded PAF. The tone is super tight in the low end for a Seymour Duncan. The low end frequences are also a bit more refined than on the JB. It is fat and the high end is nice but not harsh. The pickup has good high end clarity. This pickup goes great with a 59 or Jazz in the neck position. If you are looking for a Seymour Duncan for your bright position that is nice and tight and not a JB this is a good alternative to what everyone else is using.

Hatsubai's review"Fat and yet fairly tight"

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
The Seymour Duncan Custom is the original pickup in the line of pickups that shows the difference a magnet swap can make. The Custom has a ceramic magnet installed inside. It also has the slugs on one coil, adjustable screws on the other and four conductor wiring.

Seymour Duncan made a series that shows how important a magnet can be in terms of the overall tone of the pickup. The Custom was the first pickup that they released, and it had the ceramic magnet installed inside of it. This pickup is very fat, focused, has some moderate midrange and a nice treble going on. It’s my absolute favorite bridge pickup in the Seymour Duncan lineup. Given that I mostly play metal, it’s no real surprise.

This doesn’t “bloom” as much as the other Custom series. However, it makes up for it in terms of overall tightness. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a super tight pickup like some other pickups out there. It still has a nice open quality about it, but it delivers just the right amount of compression to be great for metal yet subtle enough to still work with rock and blues. I’ve used it in every wood without a single issue at all. I was afraid it might be a bit too thick in mahogany, but it’s just perfect in my one Caparison. It really helps thicken up an alder bodied guitar, as well. It absolutely screams in my ESP M-II. Split coil and parallel tones sound great with this, too.

If you’re looking for a bridge pickup in the Seymour Duncan lineup and play metal, I recommend looking heavily into this pickup. It has qualities of the JB, but the midrange isn’t as obnoxious, nor is the treble. It has just the right amount of everything, in my experience.

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
How long have you use it?
I use this mic for 6 months, I mount a Epiphone Goth G400 and bridge pickups (bridge) for a powerful and pplus prcis sound with a Seymour Duncan Sh1 ('59) in the neck (neck ) .dropoff window

What is the particular feature you like best and least?
I like good distos that sends even if I happen to find a little weakling ...
I do not like the old screaming that his super dmonte ears sometimes ...

Have you tried many other models before acqurir?
Well no H <img class="smiley" src="" alt="wink" />

How do you report qualitprix?
The microphone is about 80 I think, and as it is a high-end microphones and everything and it's really cool to play, I think it's not bad.

With experience, you do again this choice? ...dropoff Window
Or or else I will look downright Dimarzio or put an active EMG kit for the potato because it is mounted on my guitar nag ...

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