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Thread: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

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    Default Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Hey what's up bros! A bit overdue, here're my reviews of the Duncans I recently bought:



    Duncan Distortion [bridge] - A kick ass p/u for any kind of rock. It's really hot, and you can hear your signal being pushed harder and hotter through your amp. My caveat with it was that while it was a much hotter pickup, it didn't really make my tone crunchier, which is what I thought was looking for. So, instead of returning it, I moved it to the middle position, which will take us to the next review:



    Duncan Distortion [middle/neck] - Hooooooooooooooooly ****. Those were the first words out of my mouth when I moved my selector to the middle positions. This pickup sounds out of ****ing control in the neck. Great for nailing older/vintagey kinda tones, like old school metal and 80s hardcore, etc. Fantastic for rhythm work as well due to the unparalled clarity this pickup offers. Keep in mind that the Duncan Distortion I bought is intended for the bridge and not the neck, so take this particular review with a grain of salt.



    Duncan Invader [bridge] - Awesome, awesome pickup for punk, metal, hardcore; our kind of ****. I see exactly why Senor Ramos uses this *****. It ****ing roars, rocks, and rips; killer lead tone. To sum it up:


    The Invader gives you CRUNCH and power

    The Distortion gives you CLARITY and POWER.



    I knew there'd be some sort of tradeoff and I had to find out for myself what it was. The Invader isn't muddy **** as alot of people claim it to be, however you DO lose a bit of clarity when you play actual chords as opposed to power chords. Not so much with mid-high register triads but with lower register triads, 7ths, 9ths, 11ths etc you'll have to tweak your settings and/or voicings to really hear all the notes sing. But where you lose a little bit of clarity [and power compared to the Distortion], the Invader ****ing delivers with crunch and a burning tone when you're playing leads.

    When I switch to the Distortion (which is in the middle/neck position) it's actually LOUDER than the Invader, which confirms my suspicions that its a hotter pickup in regards to raw volume and power. This past sunday I'm practicing with my new band [Last Semester] and I find myself turning up my amp as the current mix [bass, drums, 2 guitars, no singer as he was in O-town] was just too thick for the Invader. I didn't have to do that when the Distortion was in the bridge. IMHO, the Distortion just naturally CUTS through the mix better than the Invader does. But almost everything in life is a tradeoff when you really think about it.


    All in all, I'm happy with my purchases. I might end up selling the Invader and getting Twin Distortions, but for now I'm very happy with my tones. This will definately hold me over until the most righteous EC-1000 is off of ****ing backorder. Short of buying EMGs, I know for a fact that my guitar is loaded with quite possibly a couple of the hottest pickups, passive or active, that are currently available.



    -Astheskyfalls



    P.S. If any reps from Seymour Duncan happen to read this, it'd be nice if you guys made a custom/hybrid sort of pickup that blends the qualities of the Distortion and Invader Pickups. That'd be the ultimate pickup for harder music.

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    Ultimate Tone Member GuitarGuru88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    So that leaves me with a question...which one do I get...I want clarity and a ton of power....why cant they just make a Duncan Distourtion/Invader hybrid pickup?
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    Fender DG-11E (Acoustic)

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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    I have nothing, but good things to say about each of the pickups talked about here. I however believe which you like better depends on what amp you are using. I personally have fell in love with Duncan Distortion/Full Shred combo, in my S5470. I am playing through Mesa Boogie Stiletto and it is loves the Duncan Distortion.

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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    If you want something between the Distortion and Invader, the closest thing is probably the PATB-2 Parallel Axis Distortion. It's hotter than the Distortion, very compressed. But articulate with a slightly sweeter solo tone. It also has thicker, growlier lower mids/bass, awesome for huge riffs. But still articulate enough for speed metal.

    It's not commonly recommended for fixed bridges, as many feel the Parallel Axis pickups, which are primarily advertised for thickening up floating vibrato bridge guitars, get too thick there.

    To me, the PATB-2 sounds like a mix of the best elements of the Invader, Distortion and JB. Awesome for riffs, rhythm and lead. Without the downsides of any of them. Brighter than the Invader, less biting than the Distortion, less risk of piercing upper mids than the JB. But enough of all of their qualities to approach them with a bit of amp EQ tweaking.

    As far as the Distortion being hotter than the Invader... The further you get from the bridge, the hotter and thicker the pickup sounds, that's why most guitars have brighter, lower output neck pickups. On the other hand, the Invader has the coil further from the strings, relying on larger polepieces and more magnets to bring the magnetic field close enough. I've seen some convincing arguments that makes it lower output than it might be, and that swapping out it's screws for ones from a DiMarzio Super Distortion makes it effectively hotter and broader frequency response.

    Note the JB, Distortion and Invader all share the same wind, with slightly increased amount of wire from model to model. Biggest difference is the magnet. A5, thick ceramic, thick ceramic with ceramic boosters. The PATB-2 is a Distortion with different coil architecture, with a lot of extra wire fit due to coil shape/size differences.

    Hope all this rambling was helpful!

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    MonkeyDungologist dr. ad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    you know, you could take a distortion, push out the slugs and replace them with the big invader screws. problem is, getting the pickup height right would be a problem on account of the big screw heads on 1 coil.
    on an LP, you could turn the pickup ring around and that should balance it out enough


    btw, the distortion will sound louder because it's further away from the bridge; the neck and middle slots are naturally louder.
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    RiffRaffologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Nice review. I love both pups. Especially, the Distortion split and the Invader in parallel, neck and bridge respectively.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Dark Order Lord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Quote Originally Posted by Despair View Post
    If you want something between the Distortion and Invader, the closest thing is probably the PATB-2 Parallel Axis Distortion. It's hotter than the Distortion, very compressed. But articulate with a slightly sweeter solo tone. It also has thicker, growlier lower mids/bass, awesome for huge riffs. But still articulate enough for speed metal.

    It's not commonly recommended for fixed bridges, as many feel the Parallel Axis pickups, which are primarily advertised for thickening up floating vibrato bridge guitars, get too thick there.

    To me, the PATB-2 sounds like a mix of the best elements of the Invader, Distortion and JB. Awesome for riffs, rhythm and lead. Without the downsides of any of them. Brighter than the Invader, less biting than the Distortion, less risk of piercing upper mids than the JB. But enough of all of their qualities to approach them with a bit of amp EQ tweaking.

    As far as the Distortion being hotter than the Invader... The further you get from the bridge, the hotter and thicker the pickup sounds, that's why most guitars have brighter, lower output neck pickups. On the other hand, the Invader has the coil further from the strings, relying on larger polepieces and more magnets to bring the magnetic field close enough. I've seen some convincing arguments that makes it lower output than it might be, and that swapping out it's screws for ones from a DiMarzio Super Distortion makes it effectively hotter and broader frequency response.

    Note the JB, Distortion and Invader all share the same wind, with slightly increased amount of wire from model to model. Biggest difference is the magnet. A5, thick ceramic, thick ceramic with ceramic boosters. The PATB-2 is a Distortion with different coil architecture, with a lot of extra wire fit due to coil shape/size differences.

    Hope all this rambling was helpful!

    Sorry to drag this review from the deep, but as I have been using the DD for 18 years and recently purchased the Invader (still waiting for as I write this) I really appreciate this review.... THANKS!
    DARK ORDER - 'Cold war of the Condor', 'The Violence Continuum' & '5000 Years of Violence' available now.... www.darkorder.com.au



    "A true Metal-head displays from the heart alone, not by what image is portrayed. For many are around the well, but none are in the spring"

    "War is the failure of the human spirit" - A.J.P. Taylor

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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    Nice review. I love both pups. Especially, the Distortion split and the Invader in parallel, neck and bridge respectively.
    I can imagine both of those would work well.

    Can't really speak to the Invader. However, the Distortion is My #1 fave pup in the el scorcher department!

    And, while there is no DD/DI hybrid, there is the Duncan Designed HB 108: Basically a Distortion wind with invader pole pieces. Lot's of love out there for it. Never tried that either but it's on my short list for my next Vendetta project.
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    Aceman, your advice was a rich tapestry of hard-fought research, blood, sweat and tears and the homespun wisdom we've all learned to expect and relish from our itinerant face-painted lunatic. I would like to award you a internet trophy for "best comment on a proco rat discussion". Let it be written in the annals of history; Aceman sure as heck helped.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Dark Order Lord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Ok everyone, I got my invader and I did a demo playing 'War Ensemble' by Slayer, one track with the Distortion, and one track with the Invader, and they both things that they do better than the other, but none say to me which way to go. The DD has a tighter sound, clearer mids, the Invader has a deeper sound and more top top end , not upper mids. Now, I as of yet have not tried it with the swap of pole pieces to the dimarzio small hex screws. Basicaly Im in need of the DD with more mid growl , so will swpping the screws on the Invader bring me closer to what Im looking for???????


    BTW, I will post the demo on YouTube asap!!!!
    Last edited by Dark Order Lord; 04-07-2012 at 02:18 AM.
    DARK ORDER - 'Cold war of the Condor', 'The Violence Continuum' & '5000 Years of Violence' available now.... www.darkorder.com.au



    "A true Metal-head displays from the heart alone, not by what image is portrayed. For many are around the well, but none are in the spring"

    "War is the failure of the human spirit" - A.J.P. Taylor

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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    I couldn't agree more in my Les Paul I'm running the following

    SH-6N
    SH-6B

    the pick attack and response, you better stand back..

    http://i39.tinypic.com/357irt0.jpg

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    Mojo's Minions misterwhizzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Order Lord View Post
    Ok everyone, I got my invader and I did a demo playing 'War Ensemble' by Slayer, one track with the Distortion, and one track with the Invader, and they both things that they do better than the other, but none say to me which way to go. The DD has a tighter sound, clearer mids, the Invader has a deeper sound and more top top end , not upper mids. Now, I as of yet have not tried it with the swap of pole pieces to the dimarzio small hex screws. Basicaly Im in need of the DD with more mid growl , so will swpping the screws on the Invader bring me closer to what Im looking for???????
    No, but an Alnico 8 in the DD will. If you do swap the magnet, remember to rotate the spacers 90 degrees, because they're too thick for a regular magnet.

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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Thats an interesting solution... I suppose it WILL give significant midgrowl boost, it did with me. The bass chugg might be compromised, but its def worth a try...

    Btw, what is a ceramic 8? Is that a regular ceramic? Does that mean it matches the Alnico8 in some measurable way? What is the DD ceramic?
    ••••••••••••••••••••••
    4 hb (80's rawk) comparison (PG8-DSD-Ant-JB)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CCULONDTzI
    VAN HALEN gtr tone: 10 Cheats
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcaTtAFnpWE
    Dunc Dist Demo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWbO7NvEpk0

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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    If you want more Slayer-y mids, try the A8. At first the DD & Invader will seem "heavier" more Pantera cuz the double & triple sized ceramic magnet does that, but tweak your settings: A8 has just enough low end chunk , followed by more JBish growl. Hanmeman thinks he used a DD back in the day: your lead tobe will be less harsh, w more tone-

    I love ceramics, but they are harsh, shrillnext to Alnico. Maybe u want A9, ...
    ••••••••••••••••••••••
    4 hb (80's rawk) comparison (PG8-DSD-Ant-JB)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CCULONDTzI
    VAN HALEN gtr tone: 10 Cheats
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcaTtAFnpWE
    Dunc Dist Demo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWbO7NvEpk0

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    Ultimate Tone Member Dark Order Lord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Quote Originally Posted by KBliss View Post
    If you want more Slayer-y mids, try the A8. At first the DD & Invader will seem "heavier" more Pantera cuz the double & triple sized ceramic magnet does that, but tweak your settings: A8 has just enough low end chunk , followed by more JBish growl. Hanmeman thinks he used a DD back in the day: your lead tobe will be less harsh, w more tone-

    I love ceramics, but they are harsh, shrillnext to Alnico. Maybe u want A9, ...
    I read that too in an interview, but I've looked at photos during the Reign in blood album period and I see no DD anywhere
    DARK ORDER - 'Cold war of the Condor', 'The Violence Continuum' & '5000 Years of Violence' available now.... www.darkorder.com.au



    "A true Metal-head displays from the heart alone, not by what image is portrayed. For many are around the well, but none are in the spring"

    "War is the failure of the human spirit" - A.J.P. Taylor

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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Order Lord View Post
    I read that too in an interview, but I've looked at photos during the Reign in blood album period and I see no DD anywhere
    Slayer's Axemen Kerry King and the Late-great Jeff Hanneman both use EMG equipped axes. Hell, many would argue that those two guys put EMG on the map.
    For a Slayer-y tone, you could just go with the setup they use-85 neck, 81 bridge. Or you could carve you own sound with Duncans or whatever brand you prefer.

    BTW just am fyi guys, if you love the tone of the Invader but want more clarity and cut, I recommend the Bareknuckles Warpig. Unfortunately, I have yet to use it myself, but from what I have heard and from what I gather from the specs, Its effectivevly an Invader with A5 mags and hex poles (you can also get it with the traditional fillister screws, ala Dirty Fingers). "Brutality with Clarity" is a good way too describe it.

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    Ultimate Tone Member dvanburen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    if you want a DD with more growl and meat. make a custom/DD hybrid with the big mag from the distortion. This was my complaint too. I love the DD, but it was missing something. I also love the big fat sound of the custom. This hybrid was the ticket. Still sounds like a DD with killer lead tone. Its very responsive, super clear but has a huge bottom end that blooms like the custom. Its the best of both pickups. Ive tried A8 and its ok. Too much high end for me and not enough big fat bottom end. The big ceramic mag was the ticket in this one. I just did a thread reviewing it.

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    Toneologist Lucy Diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Yeah man, the Distortion name is a misnomer because it is a very clear pickup.

    The Seymour Duncan Distortion is one of those links in your chain that will actually force you to play better and Paired with (let's say) a Mesa Mark IV, you have to be on your game or you will sound like crap because it will hide nothing.

    The Invader seems to have it's own special little EQ curve right there at the pickup stage and was always missing something to me and that is no longer an issue for me since the release of the Black Winter. Now...when I want a little different flavored insanity on my potato, I turn to the Black Winter.

    Props for the visual appeal of the Invader though. It is the scariest looking pickup on the planet.
    For the record, Lucy Diamond is a stage name and a movie reference and I'm a guy.

    Also, the Dimarzio PAF Pros that came in my 1991 Blue Floral Ibanez Jem are some of the best paperweights ever made.

    What are you doing right now? Thread.

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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    The Distortion seems like a really amazing pickup set.
    Sometimes I wonder how they would fare against my actual humbucker sets combinations: Slash Alnico II Pro's, Custom + 59n, 490r/498t.

    I had my chance for a Distortion set twice*
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    Ultimate Tone Member dvanburen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy Diamond View Post
    Props for the visual appeal of the Invader though. It is the scariest looking pickup on the planet.
    Black winters have the scariest looking box. Never tried them but from what ive heard they are the scariest sounding

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    Tone Member p4vl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviews for the Distortion and Invader

    How's the Invader sound in standard/Eb tuning? Don't care about leads, just riffs.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Mighty Giawulf View Post
    Slayer's Axemen Kerry King and the Late-great Jeff Hanneman both use EMG equipped axes. Hell, many would argue that those two guys put EMG on the map.
    There is no argument, Metallica were using EMG's as far back as 1985 (kirk's strat with the 3 single coils, james had 81's by 1987). Slayer didn't go active until 1990. Before that, Slayer used Bill Lawrence's and Dimarzio Super Distortions, Megadrives and PAF's at the neck, depending on who's guitar it was. Frankly, I think the EMG's have kept both bands from having great tone.

    Slayer tone = lots of mids. They used to put boss 10-band eq's in front of their marshalls to boost the mids.

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