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Thread: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

  1. #41
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    The JB is really bright to me, I would never say it is muddy. If you have a guitar where it is muddy, I can't imagine what pickup would actually work.
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    Mojo's Minions Lewguitar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    The JB is really bright to me, I would never say it is muddy. If you have a guitar where it is muddy, I can't imagine what pickup would actually work.
    Doesn't have an extended high end though. There's something else about it that makes it seem bright.

    To me, a 59b has more treble. As does any Strat pickup. But I don't necessarily think of them as being too bright.

    There's some sort of focused thing going on with the JB.

    Seymour, from what I understand, use 250K pots in his guitars with the JB.

    With 500K it's too "bright" for me...but bright isn't really the right word.
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  3. #43
    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silence Kid View Post
    I love how the internet can't decide if the JB is icepicky bright or muddy.
    Of course. It's a QA problem with the pickup that it sounds different in different guitars, right? ;-)
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  4. #44
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewguitar View Post
    Doesn't have an extended high end though. There's something else about it that makes it seem bright.

    To me, a 59b has more treble. As does any Strat pickup. But I don't necessarily think of them as being too bright.

    There's some sort of focused thing going on with the JB.

    Seymour, from what I understand, use 250K pots in his guitars with the JB.

    With 500K it's too "bright" for me...but bright isn't really the right word.
    I don't care what pots are used (or magnets), the JB just slices through everything. It is really upper mids, not true highs. But just because it is upper mids, doesn't mean it is mud at all.
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  5. #45
    Mojo's Minions Lewguitar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    I don't care what pots are used (or magnets), the JB just slices through everything. It is really upper mids, not true highs. But just because it is upper mids, doesn't mean it is mud at all.
    I don't hear the JB as being muddy. Never have. But those upper mids slice right into my brain!

    However, I've had a JB in a couple of Strats with 250K pots and although it still wasn't the pickup for me, it did sound and feel a lot more comfortable.
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  6. #46
    Super Toneologist DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silence Kid View Post
    I love how the internet can't decide if the JB is icepicky bright or muddy. A2 JBs are a "thing" though, you can get them (or something close) from the factory as the RTM or Concept set or whatever it's called.
    The problem is what people call treble. A Tele is bright and often icepicky. A JB will never sound like that. It has too much wire on it.

    Once you get past a certain amount of turns, your resonant peak shifts lower. Right after the resonant peak the treble response of the pickup drops off. So what people are actually hearing is upper midrange, not treble. Human hearing is most sensitive in that frequency range, so it's often heard as harsh sounding. So a distorted JP will have that upper mid peak.

    But try playing it clean. Is it chimey? Nope. You can't get any bright string snap out of it, as you can with a PAF type pickup. And a lower wind pickup will sound smoother when distorted. Plus use your tone control!

    And that's the other thing; lots of guitarists these days that play humbuckers in general, and Les Pauls in particular, seem to dislike treble. And they think PAFs were warm and dark sounding. When in reality they were bright and snappy. And then lots of guitarists back in the day used treble boosters like the Rangemaster to get them brighter.

    Maybe people don't know how to set the tone on their amps? This trend of expecting your tone to sound good when you roll back your volume on a distorted amp doesn't always work, since you usually need more highs clean than dirty.


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  7. #47
    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    I don't know about anyone else, but those brain slicing upper mids are what I love about the JB.

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    Mojo's Minions Lewguitar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    I use my guitar's tone control when I solo. Clapton taught me that. That's how you get his "woman tone".

    It's also the reason I have a tone control for the bridge pickup of my Strats and turning down that tone control is what Eric Johnson does when he uses his Tube Driver and Marshall to get his "violin tone".
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  9. #49
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    Default Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silence Kid View Post
    My understanding (which is less compressive by far than others' here) is that the wind pattern would have an effect on capacitance and inductance; I'd assume that tension overall would be reflected in resistance, and if you wanted to get really anal measurements of the physical dimensions of the wind could be taken into account...

    It'd be impractical, basically my point.
    Not really. The self capacitance of the pickup is pretty low. The cable between your guitar and amp (or pedals) is much higher, and negates the pickup's self capacitance.

    Winding pattern is another area where I think there's a lot of myths involved. For example "scatter winding" is often said to either make the pickup brighter, by moving each turn farther away from the prior turn, lowering both self capacitance and mutual inductance, or makes the pickup fatter, by making the coil larger. Which is it? You definitely apply more wire per turn. More wire makes equals less highs and more lows or mids, depending on the wire gauge.

    If you hand wind you can never get a perfectly uniform coil. There's always a fairly high degree of randomness. So if the winding pattern mattered, and every hand wound coil is different (more so as you increase scatter), shouldn't every pickup sound different? Yet they don't. As long as you stick to the formula you are using, they all sound the same.

    What does matter is how many turns of wire (not the resistance) on the coil. So you can get slight variations that way. So if you look at the various PAF type pickups on the market, even from the same maker, they all vary slightly in how much wire is wound on them, as can be determined by the DC resistance readings.

    Add to that the magnet type, offset on coils, pole and keeper alloy, and bobbin geometry - Although for replacement pickups the bobbins are usually pretty much the same.

    Inductance is a product of the turns on the coil, metal parts, and magnet type (AlNiCo being higher than ceramic since it contains iron. Ceramic has the inductance of an air coil).


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    Last edited by DavidRavenMoon; 06-17-2017 at 12:06 PM.

  10. #50
    Tone Member Zheddar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by oilpit View Post
    I think it can be both of those things depending on the guitar. The way I see it the JB, with correct electronics, in an ash or alder strat is basically perfect. It has a smooth, vocal, lead tone that just feels so good to play.

    That being said that pickup can sound realllyyyyyyy bad in a lot of guitars. Which is why it's criticisms seem so contradictory. It's a finicky pickup. It's older than I am! This pickup should not be expected to do it all in the same way that a '59 cherry sunburst Les Paul should not be expected to do it all.

    It's just really ****ing good at being itself.
    Soo, what are the correct electronics? I am guessing you mean a certain pot and or cap values? I like how this derailed into a "how the JB sounds" fest.
    Last edited by Zheddar; 06-17-2017 at 12:23 PM.

  11. #51
    Mojo's Minions Lewguitar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zheddar View Post
    Soo, what are the correct electronics? I am guessing you mean a certain pot and or cap values? I like how this derailed into a "how the JB sounds" fest.
    The correct electronics are whatever works for you.

    And that's the truth of it.

    The Seth Lovers I use sound best to me with 500K pots.

    But if I were going to use a JB in my own guitar, I'd use 250K volume and tone pots and a .02 cap.

    Others might like 300K pots or 500K pots. Or 500K volume and 250K tone or some other combination.

    "Correct" is what gives you the sound you want to hear...or at least feel comfortable hearing.
    Last edited by Lewguitar; 06-17-2017 at 12:35 PM.
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  12. #52
    Ultimate Tone Slacker gregory's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    Winding pattern is another area where I think there's a lot of myths involved. For example "scatter winding" is often said to either make the pickup brighter, by moving each turn farther away from the prior turn, lowering both self capacitance and mutual inductance, or makes the pickup fatter, by making the coil larger. Which is it? You definitely apply more wire per turn. More wire makes equals less highs and more lows or mids, depending on the wire gauge.
    There's something that makes a 59 sound different from a Jazz and a Pearly Gates sound different from an APH, and I doubt it is just the number of turns. Likewise, it's pretty well accepted that a JB is pretty unique; yet I'd be quite surprised to find out that SD is the only manufacturer who makes a pickup of 17k worth of 44AWG and a standard A5.

  13. #53
    Super Toneologist DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregory View Post
    Likewise, it's pretty well accepted that a JB is pretty unique; yet I'd be quite surprised to find out that SD is the only manufacturer who makes a pickup of 17k worth of 44AWG and a standard A5.
    The JB is 6,800 turns of 44 AWG per coil. The DiMarzio Super Distortion is 6,500 turns of 44. Almost the same pickup! But that little bit of extra wire and an AlNiCo magnet (plus the pole pieces) makes them sound very different.

    Most makers go to ceramic magnets at that point to retain some clarity.


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  14. #54
    Member gearhead63's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    I have an Invader and a Detonator set. I modded the Detonators by taking out one row of screws and inserting solid slugs from a old pickup I had for parts. Just had to tap them in. Fit nice and snug. Made the pickup brighter. I would guess that will work on an Invader also.

  15. #55
    Mojo's Minions Lewguitar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    The specs for the Duncan 59N is 7.4k and Polished A5. Specs for the Seth Lover is 7.43k and Polished A2.

    Both plain enamel 42 AWG.

    I put Polished A2 in my 59 set and installed them in a PRS SE Singlecut identical to my other PRS SE Singlecut with Uncovered Seth Lovers.

    They sound very, very similar...but perhaps not identical.
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  16. #56
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by allstarrme View Post
    also the invader neck has a cap across one coil to allow more treble through.
    It's not across a coil, it soldered to the baseplate (to ground) and darkens the tone.
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  17. #57
    Ultimate Tone Slacker gregory's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhangliqun View Post
    It's not across a coil, it soldered to the baseplate (to ground) and darkens the tone.
    According to Frank it is in series, but like the rest of us he isn't immune to misremembering or making mistakes:

    Quote Originally Posted by frankfalbo View Post
    the capacitor is located between the two coils, and results in less bass/more treble. If the capacitor had been wired between signal and ground, then it would reduce highs.
    Pickups don't "take" gain.
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  18. #58
    Super Toneologist justFred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Duncans Are The Same Pickup But With Different Magnets?


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