All user reviews for the Seymour Duncan SH-4 / TB-4 JB Model
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1 people found this review helpful
wwhhhaatt's review"Maybe just not for me"
When I first plugged in my SC6 I thought there was something wrong with it. The sound was just thin with tons of irritating treble and no real meat to the sound. The attack is great for cutting in a mix but the lack of fullness behind it just makes it sound like a stuck wah pedal to me. I tried a lot of different EQ settings on my amp to compensate but never really got a sound I liked. The wood combination of alder and ebony is a bit bright so I figured maybe it just wasn't a good match for this guitar. Using lower tunings made the pickup sound a little better to me but I never go below a c# so it had to go.
I replaced it with an Anderson H3
A few years later I bought the eclipse. The eclipse having the standard LP woods I figured the pickup would sound much better than my experience with the sc6. It was slightly better but still not for me. Fast leads sound good and it had a bit more low end compared to the SC but I still found it overly bright with a kind of stuck wah "quack" sound and not very full. Also as with the SC6 I thought the pickup sounded pretty good with real low tunings.
I replaced it with a Duncan Distortion
Case in point, I've owned two guitars in the last year that have come with the JB stock as a bridge pickup. One was a 2010 USA made Charvel San Dimas with an alder body, quartersawn maple neck, and an Original Floyd Rose tremolo. The other was a 2009 USA made Jackson King V Select with an alder body, maple neck with ebony fretboard, and an Original Floyd Rose tremolo. I would have definitely thought that guitars with such similar specs would sound very similar and hopefully have that biting top end and thick low end that I really like from this pickup. The Charvel hit home on all fronts... it was to me a prime example of a great sounding L.A rock machine, and the JB in the bridge just had this beautiful, snarling attack. The Jackson, by comparison, was a complete and utter letdown. For a guitar that had such similar specs, I was absolutely shocked at how thin, weak and lifeless the JB sounded. It had none of the aggression that the Charvel did, and there was a serious lack of sustain as well... definitely confusing.
All in all, I would say if you are looking to buy this pickup, tread with caution. Though it CAN sound great, it really does depend on the guitar you are using, and as my experience shows, similar specs doesn't mean a similar tone.
1 people found this review helpful
Ok back to the pickup review. It's a decent pickup, and can be used for many applications. This review will be one for the JB as a bridge pickup, which is what it's famous for. A lot of artists used the JB pickup for a lot of their recordings, so many I can't even begin to name them it'll just take forever!
Cleans: As a bridge pickup it's not bad, it's nothing to write home about either, it's relatively clean, doesn't break up and is definitely a usable clean. But the distortion is where it's at.
Dirty: This is what made it WORLD famous. It's sharp but not too sharp, and clear, I'd say it's high output, though it's not as high output as other pickups out there today. Depending on the amp you can get some very tight metal sounds out of this pickup. Again it is tight, and sharp, not flubby. Which, for some people is or isn't good. It depends on the guitar, I think for the majority, most players prefer it in a mahogany-bodied guitar to balance out the bright/sharpness that the JB offers. This is highly famous due to it being a rock or heavier tastes of music type of pickup. I don't personally know anybody that uses the JB for anything else. Andy Timmons used to use this pickup for years and his tones have always been great, and yes I would consider him rock.
I've also owned a guitar that had the JB coil tapped, and was not impressed with the tones either. I don't know what it is but it wasn't very musical to me, sort of just flat and lifeless.
Overall as i've stated it's a decent pickup, the cleans are good and the distortion is tight and sharp. The harmonics don't fly out compared to other guitars as the gain structure of this pickup seems to be a little different it seems. When I palm mute, the mutes don't come out as strong as if i strummed chords even with the same amount of strength put into it. I noticed this over years of playing different guitars with different pickups. I don't know what it is about the dynamics of this pickup that makes it so, but that's what I disliked about it. But then again it's in almost every guitar from the factory now so it must've worked for a lot of other players before me! It cleaned ok decently with the volume rolled down but of course you'd need to do the treble-bleed mod, I do it on all my guitars now just out of principle. I give it a 7. It's good but it's not perfect, but it's very usable and versatile for rock and heavier music, but not for anything else, even though it's labeled as a jazz/blues pickup.
Hatsubai's review"Picky when it comes to woods"
The JB is an extremely love or hate pickup. It has such polarizing opinions that it’s crazy. The biggest reason is that it’s very picky when it comes to what guitar it mates to. It’s also very picky when it comes to pickup height. Both of these can lead to either an amazing sound or an awful sound, depending on what it was mated with.
The low end on this is fairly vintage sounding. It’s not terribly tight, but it’s just tight enough to work for metal. The midrange is a bit “stringy” at times, and the treble has a bite to it. This helps it really cut through the mix, and it generally doesn’t get too harsh. Split coil and parallel tones are great, too.
I find this pickup to sound best in mahogany. Most of the time, when I try it in alder, it sounds a bit too bright. However, it totally depends on the guitar in question. In my alder bodied Strat, this pickup just screams like crazy. The same went for my alder bodied ESP M-II. It’s really a pickup you have to try for yourself to see if you like it, and be sure to spend some time with it adjusting the pickup height. Some people use the JB in the neck, and while it does work, I find there are better pickups out there for the neck.
Given how popular the JB is, it’s worth at least trying one time in your life. They’re so plentiful that they’re very cheap on the used market, so there’s no reason to avoid it. If you don’t like it, just sell it or maybe swap in a ceramic magnet to have a baby Duncan Distortion.
1 people found this review helpful
glassjaw7's review"A mainstay in my arsenal for years"
The JB is built around an Alnico V pickup which delivers exceptional harmonics and overtones, as well as juicy overdrive and chimey clean tones. The strong point of this bucker is its versatility. It is literally equally at home playing blues, classic rock, modern hard rock or heavy metal. It may not be the best choice for modern, ultra aggressive metal tones, where a ceramic pup with an extreme tight low end is preferred, but plenty of modern bands use the JB for aggressive metal tones.
I currently have the JB in two of my guitars; a Schecter C-1 Classic and a G&L Invader. The Schecter has a mahogany body with a maple top and a neck thru design with rosewood board. This is a very dense and warm guitar, and the JB sounds very good in it. It may not be the absolute best choice for this guitar, but it delivers good note separation and an addictive airy quality that I love. At first I felt that the high end was too shrill in this guitar, but I've grown to like the detail in the highs.
In the Alder bodied G&L, the pickup delivers perfect rock distortion sounds. The G&Ls are known for their "snappy" response and tone, and the fact that it has a bolt-on maple neck adds to this spanky, snappy sound. The JB is a near-perfect fit in this guitar, producing rich and warm overdrive, that cuts through with a nice airy sizzle, but doesn't get harsh.
As great as these pickups are, I am always searching for something better. I've recently spent a fair amount of time on the phone with several custom pickup builders and when they ask what I'm looking for, I catch myself saying "something like a JB, but better". After several years of tone searching, I'm beginning to wonder if there really is a better pickup for rock. I still want to try some of the boutique pickups that are becoming popular, like Motor City and Bare Knuckles, but I don't have several hundred dollars to drop for a set of pickups.
The JB is a time tested workhorse that suits most styles of electric guitar playing. If you haven't yet, check one out.
Audiofanzine FR's review
Originally mounted on a Fernandes Monterey Elite (Les Paul-like) with mahogany body, set mahogany neck, maple top.
I added a pickup housing connected to the shield so I have no noise problems. No need for "wax potter" with modern pickups.
Sound: I had to do lots of tests to find the perfect height. I can't say it enough: height dramatically changes the response of a pickup!
The pickup produces a singing sound with superb overtones. With the housing and an average height it sounds fat and has a wide dynamic range.
Clean sounds are precise and crystal-clear but not sharp or aggressive.
With distortion it's very versatile and it sounds good from light crunch to heavy metal.
The SH-4 is quite unique because it has a strong character but also a great versatility!
I've had this in basswood, alder, mahogany, alder with maple tops, mahogany with maple tops, etc, etc. guitars. It has a different character with all of them, but you always know it is a JB. There is always speculation, and reference that this is a "Jeff Beck" signature pickup... it has never been. Not sure, but there was some controversy regarding this as to Seymour trying to pass it off as a a signature model.. not sure how the legend goes. LOL! It actually stands for "Jazz Bridge". Hence, the fact that it is very balanced... good for fusion.
As I mentioned.. I have always had this in one or more of my guitars for over a decade. I would say I am fairly sold on this pickup. I think this is a good value given the prices for Gibson pickups for example... which are no better than this. I would make the same choice.... owning this pickup does not stop me from owning other pickups... if I could only own ONE pickup, I might reconsider .. then again.. I might not! It covers a lot of bases.. it could be considered an all-in-one solution.
1 people found this review helpful
benoi31's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
With the gain, it is a microphone that is doing very well, you can type in the Led Zep, hard rock 70S easy or hard rock 80s to the gun's & roses this stuff. It's really fun, beauuuucoup mediums that allow out of the mix on big solos quite distorted.
The problem is that these mediums in the clear, bah it gives her a duck which is really not very flattering ... Personally after 3 years of use, I'm really disappointed with the clear sound that really is not top
on the other hand once split is nice, it twang so much TV, with a spring reverb can already be a good laugh to do fun stuff style western.
Difficult to put a note because this mic is not bad in itself, it's just that I do not clean top so it is not suitable for me too ... If you're more hard rock, it is very well!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Qill's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
Already the sound is present it does not sound hollow, they can swing the Rock, Hard Rock nothing scares him and the worst is that it sounds serious you can even send the big drive ask Mustaine who used Jackson on these ... compared to SH5 it sounds so cold ... and compared to the Classic 57 is nothing to see more open sound that sounds less boxy ... So there it is good for me, completed the changes on this guitar for a long time, the marriage with the Flying V is perfect as the SH2, it was the last change before reselling it so I could not find the sound alchemy on my vintage gear, the reputation of this microphones well worth everything that is told above is not overrated and after the test is not a legend, you can darken
5 of 7 people found this review helpful