The idea of creating a Humbucker using coils from 2 different models is new to me but it turns out some clever people have been doing this for years over at the Seymour Duncan Forum to the point that Seymour Duncan themselves realised there was a market for these uniquely voiced creations, and so the 59/Custom Hybrid (SH-16) was born.
I had the SH-16 installed into the bridge position of my Suhr S4 to replace the stock SSH+ humbucker that came with the guitar, I don’t know why but that pickup always seemed a little bright or metallic sounding to me in this particular guitar which must be due to my particular guitars’ wood selection as I haven’t noticed it on other S4′s so I was hoping a lower output pickup could solve this problem. I should point out that the standard pickup comes in black but as I was replacing a chrome humbucker and didn’t want to lose that look in my guitar I spoke to Seymour Duncan and they created a Production Floor Custom version for me with a Chrome cover.
Let’s look at a description of each of the pickups that have been combined here, first of all the classic Seymour Duncan ’59:
Late-’50s, vintage-correct, humbucker sound. Warm and crystalline clean tones. Full and bright distorted tones. Smooth sustain. Classic appointments include plain enamel wire, long legged bottom plate, vintage single conductor cable and no logo. Compared to the SH-55 Seth Lover, the ’59 has slightly more scooped mids and is vacuum wax potted for squeal-free performance.
And now the Custom:
Beefed up Patent Applied For tone for a hard-driving, kickin’ sound with the right balance of power, sustain, and distortion. This pickup cuts through with a distinctive high end and midrange attack. The ceramic magnet and custom coil design give it compressed dynamics, an enhanced harmonic structure, and a punchy bass. Perfect for dropped tunings without “mushing” out.
And when combined Seymour Duncan say:
Unique hybrid construction pairs a ’59 screw coil with a Custom slug coil for crisp, clear highs, powerful lows, and a complex midrange growl.
Well it was definitely mission accomplished for me this humbucker seems to be made for this guitar with a wonderfully warm crunchy overdrive and chiming cleans. I think if you listen to my demo you will agree it certainly does have plenty of midrange growl and it never gets mushy or flubby. The best thing about this pickup is that it cleans up so well with the volume control so it is like have a few different channels on your amp. I know YouTube compresses the audio so I have also made a Soundcloud edit of my demo and I have embedded it below.
You can read more about the 59/Custom Hybrid (SH-16) over at Seymour Duncan’s site -