Some days ago, I re-strung the Edwards Potbelly & spent some time hearing the Seymour Duncan ’59s (SH-1) in action. These humbuckers came default in the guitar & I plan to keep them in tact regardless of how they perform, for variety’s sake. I have too many high output pickups, sometimes a different pickup type inspires different ideas.
From the manufacturer’s website, we see that the SH-1 is a scooped sounding pickup for both the neck & bridge versions. This is what’s documented but hearing the pickups in action is a totally different sonic experience. I have a high gain setting with excessive saturation & the SH-1s sound bottom-heavy, very suitable if you chug low notes for heavy music. In the neck position, it sounds clear with single note definition aplenty & sounds awesome for legato type runs. The SH-1 is famous for its clean & crunchy (Zappelin-esque) tones & will continue to be propelled as such. Only those who experience it in person will tell you that it’s good for some other applications given the right amp & maybe some pedals to achieve a certain expectation.
My standard in heavy, palm muted chugging will always be Reinkaos (Dissection). I tried replicating this tone with high output pickups but couldn’t come close enough until the SH-1 was factored in. For this album in particular, Gibsons were used (Nodtveidt was a huge Gibson fan) & looking at live footages with this tone in action, it’s an LP Custom (black) through & through. We know that LP Customs were never equipped with high output pickups so the magic lies in the tamed output in heavy (almost back breaking) guitars.
Pic: Seymour Duncan