Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Durham, England
Seymour Duncan SH8-Invader Review
I recently bought a new USA Stratocaster with an S-S-S Pickup configuration, and after living with it for a week or two, I decided to buy a High-Output pickup for the bridge and a coil spliting Pot switch to give it some balls.
All my local music shop had in stock was Seymour Duncan Stuff, so I decided to go for the Invader, as it had the largest output of a pickup in the shop, and I seriously wanted to get the guitar sorted.
What I wanted was for the guitar to Retain the S-S-S Fender sound, but be able to go fat when required, to this effect I am happy
When split, I percive the Single coil sound (I wired it so that I acsess the coil closest to the bridge) to be v.close to the previous Stock pickup. It is hads a quite glassy tone, and the only major difference is a slight increase in the upper frequencies
if the stock was about Bass 5 / Middle 5 / Top 7, the SH8 is about Bass 6 / Middle 5 / top 9.5, so I tend to roll down the tone when split. I have the pickup set so that it matches the 2 singles when in split mode.
Onto the full Humbucker sound:
This pickup is v.v.Hot when the amp is cranked. At low volumes there is no real difference from any other seymour duncan but when at high volume there's a near active sound to it when distorted. It's no EMG, but for a pasive I was impressed. as a result I have taken to reducing the lead gain down a tuch.
as with most seymour duncans the pickup is hella midrangey. It doesn't take nicely to scooped frequencies, so for anything akin to metal the guitar is useless. I use it for mostly clasic rock and bon jovi type stuff.
the E.Q of the pickup is about Bass 6.5 / Middle 6.5 / Top 7
On clean the pickup is very midrange orientated and gives an interesting sound. almost pleasent depending on where you pick the strings. if you pick up near the neck the sound is very round and smooth, if you play close to the bridge the sound thickens up and sounds heavier. I usualy turn the treble on the amp right up to accenuate the highs, and turn the bass up more than I normally would to get a boost when I palm mute clean.
As a few of you are probably aware, and as I have just recently found out, the Blink 182 guitarist used to play a strat loaded up with a single SH8 Invader a few years ago. I decided to screw around with my settings for a while to see if I could get a similar sound (could you call it tone!!?!!) and to my suprise it was easy to find and quite similar through a marshall.
weather having access to that sound is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen. Thankfully there are a range of other strat type tones I can grab. Stevie Ray, Mark Knophfler ect
In summaray it has forfilled it's goal quite admirably in that it has given me the normal strat sound, plus the abillity to fatten it up when required.
I don't think I'll bother to change it out in the future, but I am considering buying another U.S. Strat and loading it with an H-S-H dimarzio sellection.
Probably Stevie's special / Cruiser / Air Norton. I'll let you know how that turns out if, and when.