Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
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Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom

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

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All user reviews for the Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom

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Average Score:4.8( 4.8/5 based on 13 reviews )
 10 reviews77 %
 2 reviews15 %
Audience: Anyone Value For Money : Excellent
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Mythrandir105/21/2015

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 - https://en.audiofanzine.com/guitar-pickup/seymour-duncan/Custom-Bridge/medias/audio/a.play,m.474895.html

Two steps from hell, Heart of Courage arrangement with guitar - https://en.audiofanzine.com/guitar-pickup/seymour-duncan/Custom-Bridge/medias/audio/a.play,m.474894.html
tjon90112/28/2011

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.
Hatsubai03/29/2011

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.
Qill06/01/2012

Qill's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" PAF on steroids"

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
I installed it on Gibson Flying V to replace the 500T (micro bridge) which is also in ceramics, OK I admit I play a little fashionable Schenker ... P I can say is that I do not regret any of the 500T, the SH5 provides increased precision and especially a sharper attack than the Gibson model which suddenly seems more vintage, Heavy plans emerge better it breathes, it sings ... this species was more compression in the bass by playing against a blues, bah there is not the good stuff ...
In Mesa or the Wampler Triple Wreck it sounds great, for the fans of his Heavy ...
07/16/2009

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="https://fr.audiofanzine.com/images/audiofanzine/interface/smileys/icon_wink.gif" 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 ...
Lonewolf01/23/2008

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

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
[11.04.04] Micro ceramic bridge, is roughly the same as the SH4 (JB), but more accurate and less fat (Ceramic forces), no distortion scares him, and unlike the Evo has a Di Marzio home is not just a cold with a big microphone output level, he know to stay warm enough (for a ceramic) and has a bump in the top meds (Duncan what) that allows it to much out of distortion in the mix.
ideal with SH2 or 59 'round in order to allow a very wide range of sounds

[edit of 22/01/08] Well, I come back, I finally bought one for my Explorer instead of the Tone Zone, because unlike the latter it has a hollow in the lower midrange (of where precision), and a little less bass (offset by the big fat mahogany morcif what the explorer). It also has a grain more airy (with my ENGL it is ultimately not a luxury). Against it by as much gain as the latter.
A slight change, but that allowed me to take my place in the best mix of the group.
A microphone which I think is much more at ease on mahogany guitars
Stef12000006/24/2007

Stef120000's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
I have installed the microphone in the neck position on a good yamaha, cheap but very good violin, with alder body good.
The result is very satisfactory. Very good for all distortions, both blues rock, metal etc. ... It is a micro caracatère with a good bump in the midrange, which may displease some who want a more micro linear, versatile. The bass are present but gently.
The only downside in my view are acute. It is a powerful powerful micro, hot, but the highs are a little weak people, they do not show up and suddenly we have the impression if you rule badly the amp that we are only mediums, a bit like blowing in a watering can. For example the funk I think it is not too good microphone.
Micky20111/15/2006

Micky201's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
I mounted the microphone on PRS Santana SE in the bridge position.
The goal was to add a depth that was missing in the lower to the microphone in front.
I was looking for the same sound I heard in the demos of this on the site of micro seymour duncan, ie a sound with equalization V style that gives a tonalite boosted in low over the microphone that had PRECEDING a presence mainly in the treble. The result is a sound I would describe as cavernous.
The result is breathtaking. Exactly the sound I was looking for.
Position splitee not, I use it only for distortion in the sound that I defined above.
Splitee position, I use a couple with jazz in the neck position to get his stratien but sharper.

A beautiful micro
jackkkkk03/30/2006

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

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
I will not repeat myself I quite agree with the previous opinions.

I have wired to my sauce;) (I like electronics)

I have a push / pull and a Switch that allows me to have it in series, parallel and split.
Split the sound is pretty close to the style and strato-between with the middle (of SSL4 DUNCAN, micro worth more experienced) I sound hendrixien limit of time (celon amp setting) and it is very scalable. The microphone goes from a serious patator humbucker saturated overdrive on a small split in nice with SSL4 or in parallel.

You can do many things it is very comprehensive.
Almomo12/09/2005

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

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom
C is a microphone that I bought there a little over a year. I was looking for a microphone with a lot of potatoes. In sound, it is between overdrive and distortion, even when much closer to that of overdrive distortion. By consquent, c is a powerful micro, with a good foundation in the bass, it is prcis, ideal for the solo lead and heavy metal, and all this is to manufacture in cramique . D Also, this microphone is used by Glen Drover (former guitarist of Megadeth), Duke Erikson of the group Garbage, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, Alanis Morissette, Troy Van Leuween group Queens of the Stone Age, As for the report quality price, I think that a cot Di Marzio, has still unbeatable.