NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation - Jemsite
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

A number of you know that I have my own blog, but I also write for the Seymour Duncan blog. I put in a request to have a Custom Shop pickup made, and it was approved, and yesterday I picked it up from the post office!

I built a Frankie type Strat last year, and earlier this year I got my hands on an Frankenstein humbucker. This pickup sounded pretty killer in the guitar, and I've been playing this guitar a ton.

What I would have liked from the pickup is something that the DiMarzio Dominion bridge has, super tight low end, and a little more output. In my band I play a lot of really tight, fast picked rhythm work where a tight low end just makes everything sound even better. The Frankie was pretty damned good, but not 100% there.

The Seymour Duncan Custom Shop wound the EVH Frankenstein for EVH, so I thought I might ask if they could do something that brought the pickup closer to what I really wanted. The Custom Shop offers a model called the IM1 which is very, very similar to the Frankie, so we worked from that. http://customshop.seymourduncan.com/im1/

I liked the EQ range of the Frankie so I wanted to keep that pretty much the same, but I did want the aforementioned tighter low end, a little more output, and slightly higher resistance. I also wanted the pickup to be trem-spaced with four conductor wiring should I want to set it up with parallel or split modes in another guitar.

So back to yesterday, it arrived, I installed it, and WOW! What a killer pickup! It has a slightly higher resistance of 15.2K (Frankie is around 14K), and I think it uses a straight Alnico 5 magnet as opposed to the Alnico 2 in the Frankie, and the deguassed Alnico 5 in the IM1.

My favourite pickup over the past couple of years has been the Dominion Bridge, this Custom Shop creation just knocked it off it's top spot. This pickup has the tight low end of the Dominion bridge, surprising since it's using an Alnico magnet and not a ceramic magnet, and it seems like it may be slightly more aggressive than the Dominion without being too hot a pickup. The tone is really balanced quite nicely, feeling just like the Frankie was. Not as much of a mid spike like the Dominion has, but still cuts through brilliantly.

Here's some pictures of the pickup, and it installed in my strat.





I'm really impressed with this pickup. It does exactly what I want. Can't ask for much more than that from a custom pickup.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 01:34 PM
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

wow, that is pretty cool that they made you your own custom pup! congrats! So I'm curious; can other people buy this pickup or did they just make this as a one-off for you?
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

You could ask the Custom Shop to make a pickup the same. They keep all designs on record. You'd probably quote my pickup number and they'd have the details on file to make another one.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 12:41 AM
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

Does Dimarzio have a custom shop as well?
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

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Originally Posted by MatiasTolkki View Post
Does Dimarzio have a custom shop as well?
No...
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 01:15 AM
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

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Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
No...
That sucks.

BTW, whats a dimarzio pup that has a similar sound quality to the Duncan '59 and JB?
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

Why not just get a 59 and JB? I don't get why people always ask for equivalents, just get the pickups you want. I even have a set of JB/59 neck that I can sell if you are after that sound.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 01:45 AM
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

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Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
Why not just get a 59 and JB? I don't get why people always ask for equivalents, just get the pickups you want. I even have a set of JB/59 neck that I can sell if you are after that sound.
I've never been a big fan of them because the sound is too thin. It's only because Timo Tolkki used them in his ESP M-II custom that I am curious about them overall. I've sat with a M-II with those pups in them and they just didnt have the meat I was looking for, which is why I was hoping there is a Dimarzio pup that has similar tonal qualities while having a little more punch to them.

How would you describe the 59/JB overall? I've only played an M-II 1 time so I cant be totally sure about the details Do you think they are much easier to manipulate than other pickups?
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

With the right setup the JB and 59 are great. The JB was designed to be used with 250K pots, so since many use it with 500K pots they find the JB too bright and thin. With a 500K pot setup they sound beefier and not so bright.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 08:45 AM
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

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Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
With the right setup the JB and 59 are great. The JB was designed to be used with 250K pots, so since many use it with 500K pots they find the JB too bright and thin. With a 500K pot setup they sound beefier and not so bright.
ah, that's why. The only reason I mentioned similar pups is because I just like dimarzio pups so much that if there were pups that could have a similar softer tone and also work well with some beefy OD boosting for more metal type stuff then I'd wanna get those. Duncan charges extra for different colors and if I want to get red or something I dont wanna spend extra money just for that reason :/
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 10:24 AM
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

Do these pickups resemble something like Duncan Live Wires or DiMarzio X2Ns with such a hot output? I bet the midrange is well supported.

When I was in a band one guitarist had EMG 81s through 4x12 JCM 900 stack and other had various guitars (with passive pickups through 100 w. Marshall 4x12). Nothing was able to compete with the stupid 81s and they drowned out the other guitarist. Things turned out OK when he picked up an Ibanez with dual DiMarzio X2Ns, passive yet just as powerful as the EMGs. The passive pickups were better in that they sounded good clean, too where the EMG 81s were just too harsh on the clean setting.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 08-23-2013 at 02:07 PM.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

My custom definitely doesn't sound like an active pickup. Very much a passive sounding one.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 06:37 AM
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

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Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
My custom definitely doesn't sound like an active pickup. Very much a passive sounding one.
Active is definitely going to sound different, but I was wondering if it was as loud and sounded similar to an X2N (passive but powerful dual bar magnet). When I want more power I still go for a ceramic passive but pretty much avoid active pickups. I may want to try some Evos in my guitar but a really powerful passive pickup, custom wound, also sounds like an excellent option.

It's get so tricky and I have mixed and matched so many humbuckers over the years in so many guitars. For just a combo of clean and dirty over many styles of music, I got an old PAF from my friend's '61 SG Les Paul and it was very versatile. It didn't do metal that well but I paired it with a Duncan '59 which I have found to actually be just right. I moved '59 to bridge and it was a better metal pickup. My JB was perfect for metal but a tad bit harsh clean at times, but still OK. I also tried a passive, ceramic Jackson stock humbucker and that thing was even more perfect for metal but terrible clean. EVH Frankenstein is the best warm distorted tone in this context but it so hard on ears as a clean pickup. There doesn't seem to be a pickup than can do everything but I may just revert to an old, used Gibson humbucker and work from there. The right pedals can dial in that hardest of distortions if needed.

I like the basic clean tone to be as close to that old PAF as I can get. It was a nice, warm tone and most pleasant to the ears but at least the one I had just didn't take extreme gain too well. I think that's why people have more than one main guitar but I get so used to a certain neck/body that I try to find the most versatile pickup possible, but that's just me. Others love to get every nuance in a giant collection of guitars but I don't have space nor patience to warm up to a large herd of guitars.

I can try the Seymour custom route and experiment. What would you make to get the closest to an old Gibson PAF clean but still as closest to EVH dirty? I know a part of Van Halen's great sound was what he did to modify his Marshall which may be in his signature amp which can also be another route.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 08-24-2013 at 06:55 AM.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 06:41 AM
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

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Originally Posted by 63Blazer View Post
Active is definitely going to sound different, but I was wondering if it was as loud and sounded similar to an X2N (passive but powerful dual bar magnet). When I want more power I still go for a ceramic passive but pretty much avoid active pickups. I may want to try some Evos in my guitar.
Evos are awesome. I have them in my 350EXZ and that thing is just awesome. I need to switch it back to standard tuning though :/
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 07:04 AM
 
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Re: NPD: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop creation

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Originally Posted by MatiasTolkki View Post
Evos are awesome. I have them in my 350EXZ and that thing is just awesome. I need to switch it back to standard tuning though :/
Is the clean harsh as on X2Ns or just a little harsh as on let's say, JBs?

I can live with a little harsh as on the JB. It's just that when it comes to mid definition at super high volumes, it's hard to beat the bars on X2N type.

You get spoiled when you hear a real PAF but they just don't do modern metal thus the whole replacement pickup industry and even the hotter variations Gibson makes of the humbucker. If PAF did heavy, modern distortion well, let's say more modern than Cream's live "Crossroads", then we wouldn't even have this thread. I heard a couple of customers fire up a few uber-expensive bursts at the vintage store and none of them did the hard stuff well but were great for old school distortion.

I may try Gibson's Burstbucker II or III and even Dirty Fingers. I already know Dirty Fingers doesn't get a clean I like though. It's just that I have had more luck overall when it comes to pumped up with DiMarzios and Duncans. Quite a few on the internet seem to rave about Bare Knucke humbuckers but then again I don't hear them talking about ever doing clean settings. I also discovered fellow English maker of pickups, the Creamery and I almost went for those.

What I did live best with was a pair of Shaws in a Gibson but that was years before the newer metal.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 08-25-2013 at 12:09 PM.
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