Seymour Duncan JB - I don't like it

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by GuitarIV, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Well-Known Member

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    thanks man. I've been struggling with the guitar lately
     
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  2. davidrf

    davidrf Member

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    I'm bringing this thread back from the dead just to chime in and get some advice. I play guitar since 1995, mostly hard rock/punk/metal and some blues, I've had a total of more than 50 guitars through the years, but for some strange reason none of them ever had a JB. Until today.

    I just bought a 1982 Aria Pro II Cardinal with JB/59 loaded on it. For the many who don't know what guitar I'm talking about, is an ash body SG style HH guitar with maple neck and rosewood fretboard.

    Those pickups sound... WTF... strange. They definitely have a distinct sound I've heard many times, but they're just weird. Weird mids, flabby (JB) or boomy ('59) bottom, and many other things I couldn't describe. With high gain the JB sometimes sounds like it distortend sound was mixed in some way with the clean sound... like if a dry/wet circuit knob was there at 10 o'clock. What the hell is that.

    I have / have had guitars with Alnico 2 Pros, many kinds of PAF and overwound PAFS with Alnico 5 and so on... non of those sound remotely close to this JB/59. And I like them more.

    Should I give those pickups more time and try to experiment with EQs and stuff? I'm really really perplexed.
     
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  3. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    love them. why do you not like it?
     
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  4. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    The Cardinals look like they may have a coil tap switch (or two).
    If so how do you like the '59/JB splits and combinations.
    My '59/JB San Dimas is now my 'Go-To' single coil(ish) guitar.
    But I am (like you) uneasy with the full hum tones (esp. the JB).
     
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  5. davidrf

    davidrf Member

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    Yes I can coil split both humbuckers... well I can't say I love those sounds, too. The only sound I kinda liked so far from those I managed to pulled out of that guitar was a clean on the neck position (so, the '59) with a bit of reverb and delay with which I played the solo for "Santeria" by Sublime. Every other thing I tried was meh at best, in every configuration possible. My other Aria (the Viper) splits its humbuckers in the best way I've ever heard, but I don't even know what pickups are those.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  6. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    what (value) are the volume pot's?

    '82 Aria Pro II Cardinal: (for those who don't know)

    [​IMG]
     
  7. davidrf

    davidrf Member

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    Close enough! But that's actually a lower tier model, like CS-200 or 250 with bolt-on neck, flat top and lower specs. Mine is this one:

    [​IMG]

    and about the pots:

    [​IMG]

    I can't read if they're 250 or 500... there's soldering material on every single writing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  8. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    website says it's a 400... :shrug:

    https://mojostompboxes.com/products/1982-aria-pro-ii-japan-cs-400-cardinal-mij-guitar-black

    JB's are a hot/trebley pickup. They play well w/ mahogany, but, not so well w/ ash. To tame treble down, you go w/ a lower value pot.

    So, if you have a 500, you go to either a 300 (Gibson), or 250. But... sometimes, that only makes the pickup lose it's brightness & embellishes it's bottom end, which might not be a sound you want.

    Not sure why you're getting what seems like a lack of signal. Maybe something in the wiring is off... If that's the case, it should explain everything.
     
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  9. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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    That guitar is just faking a headache because she's WAAAAY too sexy for you
     
  10. bullhead

    bullhead Well-Known Member

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    I have a JB jr in my Fender Mustang and that thing is bad ass through my Marshall’s. I’m sure there are better pups out there and maybe the JB isn’t for everyone but man, I love mine.
     
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  11. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    I had one for years. I liked it back when. But as my ear matured its started to sound flat like it was lacking highs and harmonics. I had it in several strats and it landed in my MIJ strat....after debating a pup swap I just unloaded it. PAFs and 490s for me.
     
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  12. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Way too honky in the mids. You wanna buy it or trade for something?
     
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  13. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    damn it man. lol not in the cards at the moment. wish i knew a few
    weeks ago. that and a neck 59'er are the beez knees to me.
    damn limb from the last storm went through my windshield and i gotta
    get it fixed. when shit gets back on track i'll be in a good spot to buy it.
    if you still have it. curious to what color it is.
    reminds me, i need to send you a PM anyways. computer related stuff.
    we talked back last spring about wiping my computer clean. i think im ready.
    (i think lol)
     
  14. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    I have JBs in the bridge of most of my guitars. I have kind of a love-hate relationship with that pickup.


    This is positively bizarre but it was only fairly recently that I became aware of its honky, almost quacky midrange tonality, which is a mid boost that's great for high gain playing. But when played clean, I don't want to hear that pickup by itself.

    My own Les Paul, which I built for myself back in 2001, has such a tone to it, I call it God's Balls, every now and then. Compared head to head with pretty much every guitar it's ever been compared to, this one has The Nuts. But when I realized that the JB quacks like a duck, or at least my ears think so now, I decided to try some other pickups in the bridge. I tried a Pearly Gates bridge. I tried a Custom bridge. I even tried a Gibson Classic 57 Plus. And none of them matched the JB when both pickups are on at the same time. Which is where I commonly play.

    So...it's kind of a quandry. In combination with any of a number of good neck pickups, the JB in the bridge makes the tone. But played alone, I'd rather have a pickup that has less of a midrange push. Especially when played clean.

    So it's a pickup I love...PART of the time.

    I now post a song that, for me, exemplifes the clean tone of a Les Paul where the toggle switch is in the middle and both pickups are perfectly balanced to each other. There's this whistle-like overtone that is distinctively Les Paul...but only for some of them.

    My LP does this. With the JB. With any other bridge pickup, it misses that tone.

    Solo (CLEAN solo, no less!) starts at 2:44.

     
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  15. davidrf

    davidrf Member

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    The previous owner of the guitar told me those are 500k pots.
     
  16. AdrianDSL

    AdrianDSL Active Member

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    I find the stock JB kind of meh for cleans, but for crunch and high gain I really dig it, I actually quite like that honky specific sound. It is flubby in the bass but don't find it ear piercing. I'm playing through a Maxon OD-9 set up as clean boost into a DSL40-CR with a Boss GE-7 in the loop for adjustments. Pretty basic, but the OD-9 is mandatory, otherwise the amp sounds kind of fizzy and boomy. This way I find the JB sound pretty tight for riffs, very close to the Duncan Custom. The DSL is set as follows: Ultra gain 7, vol max, treble 4, mid 7, bass 6, presence 3, resonance 0. MV is used for overall volume.
    After doing some magnet swapping lately I found both the JB and Custom Custom (Alnico 2) sound better with A8 in alder body guitars. Still, the stock JB sounds very good in a mahogany ESP LTD, BUT it needs the od pedal to tighten it up. They all do, in fact :)
     
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  17. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Also have a Lil 59, so you got nothing to trade? Pickups, pedals, etc.

    JB Jr is black, Lil 59 is white.

    Let me know what make and model pc you have and I'll look it up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  18. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    shit. is the 59 a neck pup?
     
  19. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Bridge, but could be used in the neck, its fairly low output.

    Maybe you'd be interested in a Dimarzio Area 58 neck pickup I have, its white and noiseless.
     
  20. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    does the 59 have a blues tone to it?
    never put a bridge in the neck before.
     
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