Video: Five Seymour Duncan Neck Pickups Compared

With more than 30 years in the business, Seymour Duncan pickups have become a staple for musicians everywhere. And here at PAL, we couldn't be more proud and excited to offer our customers the very best in ingenuity and tone that Seymour Duncan has to offer. In the video demos below, the guys at Seymour Duncan take five of their popular neck pickups and pit them against each other in rock, blues, metal and clean demonstrations. A Marshall is used for clean tones, Cornford for blues, Orange for rock and a Peavey 5150 for metal. 


Sh-1n '59 

The SH-1 '59 is a versatile P.A.F. style humbucker that is a popular choice for country, jazz, blues, funk, classic rock and heavy rock. This neck humbucker boasts a vintage-correct Late '50s sound that offers plenty of warm, crystalline clean tones but can easily get full, bright and dirty when distorted. It also boasts a particularly smooth, natural sustain. Classic trimmings include plain enamel wire, long legged bottom plate, vintage single conductor cable and no logo. Perfect for players looking for a classic sound with modern versatility,


SH-2n Jazz 

Despite the name, the SH-2 is a great neck pickup suitable for a wide variety of musical styles. Its also the very same neck pickup that used by legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads. The SH-2n provides an articulate and clear tone that is perfect for faster styles of playing. The brighter tone has slightly less output and is a good match with most bridge pickups. When distorted, the tone is full and bright with smooth sustain. Compared to the SH-1 '59 Model, the Jazz has slightly less output and a more detailed treble response.


SH-PG1n Pearly Gates

The Pearly Gates humbucker was originally designed to replicate the qualities and feel of the pickups in the '59 Les Paul Standard, a tone that defined the raw, rebellious sound of Texas blues-rock. The Pearly Gates neck is a warm, slightly hotter than vintage humbucker with great sustain and a bright top end that make harmonics jump out of the guitar. Perfect for blues, classic rock, southern rock, jam, and hard rock.


APH-1n Alnico II Pro 

The Alnico 2 magnet and moderate output of the APH-1 neck pickup give this humbucker a particularly warm, sweet tone with more natural string vibration for great, smooth sustain. Classic rock players who get their distortion from the amp rather than the pickup will love what the APH-1 has to offer, allowing them to back off the crunch and get beautiful clean tones with softer attack. Compared to the '59, the Alnico II Pro has a rounder sound with a spongier bass response. A great choice for jazz, blues, classic rock and slide.


Sentient Passive Neck (Active Also Available)

The Sentient neck pickup is voiced to capture a blend of vintage PAF and modern tones with enough output to deliver harmonically rich distorted lead tones but subtle enough to give you deep, detailed cleans. The Sentient neck pickup is the perfect neck pickup for natural, complex warmth and tight articulation with tones that sound excellent in both clean and high gain settings.


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What's your personal favorite neck pickup and why?

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