Direct-Mounting Pickups Part II: The JB meets the PMS (Pickup Mounting System)

The SH/TB-4 JB is – no joke – THE most popular replacement pickup ever. No, no just the most popular in the populous Seymour Duncan humbucker lineup, but the most popular aftermarket pickup available. Has been for 30 years. Seriously, that top shouldn’t be open for debate, really. A certain British guitarist with the same initials was known to have used one of the originals in the 70s, and since then it’s been a staple of rock music. Other pickups can only get in the neighborhood of the iconic nature of the JB. It’s everywhere, whether you know it or not, and for good reason. It’s all over more classic and current recordings than you can begin to imagine, so cool is this pickup. It is, in fact, the SOUND of ROCK.

Track Stacking: Fun with Guitar Orchestration

As a budding home recording enthusiast, you’ve got your work cut out for you. The basic mechanics of your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) must be learned. You begin by studying the techniques of recording – mono vs. stereo tracks, amps, mics/placement, emulations, plug-ins, etcetera – and you think that’s hard enough. But you soon realize…

The Kramer Chronicles Volume VI: The Pearly Gates Neck

In this ongoing saga of testing out Duncan humbuckers in my trusty rebuilt vintage Kramer Voyager, I’ve been through quite a few bridge pickups all paired with the ’59N, which is a great neck pickup. Not just great but super versatile, and able to blend with every single bridge pickup I tried. Great cleans, killer…

The Kramer Chronicles Volume V: The JB/59 set

In part five of the Kramer Chronicles, by reader request, we’ll check out what is one the most desired bridge pickups and pickup combinations ever: the workhorse ’59N and the legendary JB. The SH/TB-4 JB is the flagship humbucker of the Seymour Duncan line and the most sought after replacement pickup in the world – for good…

The Kramer Chronicles Volume IV: The Custom

In the continuing saga of testing pickups in my 80s vintage Kramer rebuild, we’ve been through how the ’59, Pearly Gates, and Alternative 8 sound in the bridge position, and matched with the ‘59N in the neck. Since the Voyager’s Alder body has proven to be an interesting test bed for all the pickups so…

The Kramer Chronicles, Volume III: The Alternative 8

The Alt 8 is one of Seymour’s more-recent offerings and the first of their production humbucker line to be designed around the A8 magnet. The A8 has a unique flavor, one that seems to span the gap between Alnico and ceramic magnets in that it has Alnico sweetness in the highs and ample mids, but also has a tight low end similar to a ceramic.

The Kramer Chronicles, Volume II: The Pearly Gates

When last we left off, I’d installed the ’59 set in my resurrected-mutant 80s Kramer Voyager. It sounded great, but the idea was to see how different combinations worked in the guitar, so we’ll be moving on to the next bridge pickup combo (the ‘59 neck remains). While the ’59s sound great, and fully nail…

The Kramer Chronicles, Volume I: The ’59 Set

When I was a kid first starting out on guitar, there was no widespread “DIY” market to speak of. That was just beginning. You basically took what you could get at your local music store, and liked it. Unless you were daring enough to try the also embryonic mail-order market and run with something you…

Upgrading Your Guitar

Got an old Strat or any other guitar that you love to pieces, but that isn’t quite fully dialled in yet? Upgrading your guitar’s parts and hardware can improve the tone and performance of your instruments – it can actually make them feel better, and therefore more fun to play! With a few tweaks and…

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