Seymour Duncan TB-4 JB Model
Seymour Duncan TB-4 JB Model

TB-4 JB Model, Humbucker guitar pickup from Seymour Duncan in the High Output Humbuckers series.

heads on fire 11/02/2011

Seymour Duncan TB-4 JB Model : heads on fire's user review

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The Seymour Duncan JB Pickup (AKA TB4) is a very nice humbucking pickup. Built in the USA, they were originally designed for guitar god Jeff Beck. The sound is similar to an old Gibson PAF pickup, only with a bit more bite and aggression. The pick attack is crisp and clear, and the output is high, but not ridiculously so. These pickups can also be very smooth and singing in the neck position, with plenty of rich harmonic overtones. The pickup is available in a four conductor version, to allow for split coil sounds, and I'd definitely recommend going that route, as the single coil sounds that can be coaxed from this pickup are quite airy and spanky, like a good Fender pickup.

The pickup really excels at classic rock tones and metal. With coil tapping, it's pretty good for country/chicken pickin', and in the neck position with the tone control rolled off, it can make a pretty nice convincing jazz tone.

In building guitars, this makes a good "calibration" pickup, as many luthiers are familiar with its inherent tones, and it can allow the builder to really hear what contributions the wood and hardware are making to the overall tone before settling on the perfect pickup to complement the guitar. Many times, this pickup still ends up being the final choice!

So many guitars come stock with this pickup nowadays, and with good reason. I've owned a Parker PM-20 Pro that came with this pickup, as well as an LTD M-1000, and I've played a great variety of guitars in music stores where the stock bridge pickup was a JB. I also bought one of these pickups ala carte and put it in a Fender Telecaster - that was a great sound and feel! Oftentimes, the JB pickup is paired with a Jazz (Seymour's personal favorite combination) or a '59 in the neck, and either choice is good. I am a big fan of Seymour Duncan pickups, and I've never really heard a bad one. This pickup is no exception, and I'd certainly recommend it as a good all-around workhorse pickup for anyone.