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Sound comparison HB-103's vs Seymour Duncan JB's (USA vs MIK Import pup's)


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#1 Crimsontider

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:37 AM

Just swapped out pickups on my $120 pawn shop special from a year ago. 1996 1st generation Hamer Slammer Series Californian mahogany. Swapped out the stock Duncan Design HB-103 (based on SH-6) with a SH-4 JB and did a little metalish snippet for comparison.

While the Duncan Designs lack the brightness of the JB's they have a nice dark tone for metal, kind of sinister, imo. I can see why they are so widely used in mid line guitars.




comments appreciated. Duncan Designed HB103 followed by Duncan TB-4 JB

Edited by Greg GLasscock, 10 October 2012 - 01:26 PM.

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Rush + The Church + Type O Negative = A Perfect Band


#2 tomteriffic

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:56 AM

I had a Studio Custom-y one from the same era. It came with DD HB1-2 and a 103. I bought the guitar with the express intent of using it as a pickup test bed. Long story short, those pickups wound up in a "cheap but better than it ought to be for the bux" Washburn. I agree about the darker tone, even though these were likely less powerful pickups than yours. OTOH, that cheapo Washburn was set up for slide and I like my slide tone darker, stronger mids, less zing and whine, if you will. They absolutely roar in that guitar. No complaints.

The import Slammer series was a pretty nice guitar. Until the neck twisted :(
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#3 Crimsontider

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:18 AM

Appreciate the comments. Glad that the DD's ended up serving a purpose. People with an ear for tone can usually find a home for everything B) (worse selection of smiley's ever)

I had a Studio Custom-y one from the same era. It came with DD HB1-2 and a 103. I bought the guitar with the express intent of using it as a pickup test bed. Long story short, those pickups wound up in a "cheap but better than it ought to be for the bux" Washburn. I agree about the darker tone, even though these were likely less powerful pickups than yours. OTOH, that cheapo Washburn was set up for slide and I like my slide tone darker, stronger mids, less zing and whine, if you will. They absolutely roar in that guitar. No complaints.

The import Slammer series was a pretty nice guitar. Until the neck twisted :(


Damnit Jim,  I'm a drummer, not a guitar god.

Rush + The Church + Type O Negative = A Perfect Band


#4 Crimsontider

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:26 AM

Edit double post.

Edited by Greg GLasscock, 09 October 2012 - 12:19 PM.

Damnit Jim,  I'm a drummer, not a guitar god.

Rush + The Church + Type O Negative = A Perfect Band


#5 Toadroller

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:09 PM

The DDs were much more in your face; great for the music you were playing, When you switched to the JB, they felt thinner, but with a lot more character. The character really showed up in the solo. I can tell all this on the 2" speakers that came with my wife's computer, so I'm golden-eared.

Nice playing, by the way.

I've got a couple Hamer import experiments:

Korean import Standard whose stock Duncan Designs were simply dead, muffled. Replaced with GFS Alnico 2s which were able to tame the all maple beast.
Chinese SATP90, where I swapped the P90s with GFS P90s I had from a Xaviere guitar. The GFS P90s are a lot of fun.
Just got a Slammer Series Centaura HSS pointy-thingy with a Floyd. The bridge is a high output beast and I probably won't mess with them.

I play these and then I plug in the Artist, Daytona, and T-51 and say, "oh. yeah."

Hamer Stable:
Imports Standard, Stellar 1, SATP90, Slammer Series Centaura
USA '93 Special FM, '94 Special TV Yellow, '99 25th Anniversary Artist, '94 Daytona, '95 T-51
 

5de5b891-af18-448e-8874-bb5173fa7b79_zpse9da4627-3328-44f9-a224-320d75841723_zps


#6 Crimsontider

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:36 PM


NIce pick.

You have purchased several imports. I have seen that a lot which reinforces that they are bargain. When I bought mine for $120 in a pawn shop, there was also an 87 Charvel Model 3A for $400. I have owned both and like the Mahogany Korean Hamer over the Basswood Japenese Charvel and the price difference was crazy. I think they had a Harmony strat for $125.

In the audio sample, I think I the volume is lower on the JD's. But you are right that the stock DD's are good pickups for hard rock.

Damnit Jim,  I'm a drummer, not a guitar god.

Rush + The Church + Type O Negative = A Perfect Band


#7 Toadroller

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:57 PM

Thanks about the pic, Greg. That's the youngest of six, Stella.

I've steadily worked my way up the world of inexpensive imports to Hamer USAs which are also, to be honest, inexpensive. I now know where and when to dip down and recognize a bargain when I see one. The recent Slammer Series Centaura was $105 plus shipping ($130 all told) on the 'Bay, but needs some Floyd TLC- parts are ordered. To serve my stable of hi-octanes (Peavey Wolfgang Special, the Standard, and even a Studio with a JB bridge) it's perfect- 24 frets, thin neck, wacko paint job, and kinda fun.


Posted Image

Hamer Stable:
Imports Standard, Stellar 1, SATP90, Slammer Series Centaura
USA '93 Special FM, '94 Special TV Yellow, '99 25th Anniversary Artist, '94 Daytona, '95 T-51
 

5de5b891-af18-448e-8874-bb5173fa7b79_zpse9da4627-3328-44f9-a224-320d75841723_zps


#8 Crimsontider

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:53 PM

The great thing is that Hamer's seem to sell quickly and are usually well taken care of. That's great that you have a source and know what your doing. Maybe you can give me some advice when I take the plunge in a year or so. I have a son at the U of Alabama and am on a strict budget. My first guitar was a 76 ash strat that now go for $3700 which I foolishly sold for basically Beer money while in the army back in 1990. Its tone is the gold standard that I have compared every guitar to since, it was versatile. So I may purchase a Daytona USA when I have the money to spare again and just noticed that you own one. Wonder how those compare to G&L or Tokai strats which seem to sound good. The Daytona would be great for that rocking blues strat sound that is I miss.

Edited by Greg GLasscock, 09 October 2012 - 04:55 PM.

Damnit Jim,  I'm a drummer, not a guitar god.

Rush + The Church + Type O Negative = A Perfect Band


#9 zenmindbeginner

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:44 PM

The Duncan HB-103 is wound a tick hotter than the JB and has a ceramic magnet instead of the JB's polished A5. Definitely different pickups... the HB-103 is simply higher output than the JB and will have a much stronger bass presence because of the ceramic magnet. It should be brighter than the JB as well due to the ceramic magnet, but maybe not. I just heard an overall pretty large output difference... the JB sounded tiny.

DDHB-103 = SH-6 Duncan Distortion
DDHB-102 = SH-4 JB
DDHB-101 = SH-1 '59
DDHB-105 = Blackouts

#10 veatch

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:26 AM

For studio use - take the DDs for the rhythm and the JBs for the solo.

Opinions vary, so trust yer own ears. :)

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#11 Jakeboy

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:57 AM

I had a DD 103 in the neck of a Samick Ray Benson tele about 13 years ago and that pickup was perfect in the neck of that particular guitar. Creamy , smooth and it played well with the Strat pup in the middle........I was astonished how good the DD set in that guitar sounded.

#12 Crimsontider

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:09 PM

Come to find out that I had my preamp set to "vintage" on the TH4-JD part, which kicks up the EQ.

1st. Duncan Design HB-103
2nd Seymour Duncan TB-4 JD with exact settings as with DD
3rd Seymour Duncan with preamp set to vintage.


Edited by Greg GLasscock, 11 October 2012 - 07:46 AM.

Damnit Jim,  I'm a drummer, not a guitar god.

Rush + The Church + Type O Negative = A Perfect Band