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.

Hot Rod Guitars Of A Bygone Age

The 1980s are a difficult era. On one hand this era was awful: tight lycra pants, big hair, the rise of the synthesizer… One the other hand, the 1980s were amazing! Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Winger’s debut album, Metallica’s first string of albums, Megadeth’s first few albums, Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms… Timeless bands and albums, written and recorded in the 1980s. I am sure I missed a ‘few’ amazing 1980s acts and albums! The impact the 1980s had on us, guitar players and guitar lovers, is unmistakable and undeniable. Not in the least due to the amazing guitars the 1980s spawned unto the world! In this article I wish to take a look at some common traits of the best 1980s ‘shredstick’ guitars, as well as some neat wiring tricks those guitars had!

Look Who’s Using Seymour Duncan Pickups

Since there are so many guitar builders out there it could be a daunting task to find out who is using Seymour Duncan pickups. To ease the effort we compiled an extensive, albeit far from complete, list of builders who use our pickups. Gibson Guitars Gibson is one of the biggest guitar companies in the…

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…

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