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Seymour Duncan Custom 5 SH-14 and TB-14 Black 11102-84-B Top, SD photo

Seymour Duncan

Seymour Duncan Custom 5 SH-14 and TB-14

From the manufacturer:



If the 59 Model bridge humbucker was twice as loud, it would be a Custom 5. Scooped mids, even bass & treble, and high output.


Originally called the Custom Custom Custom this pickup began life in our Custom Shop from players requesting a brighter, alnico 5 version of the popular Custom Custom humbucker. It has a nice, full tone, a scooped midrange, and strikes a nice balance of bass & treble. This even reponse makes it extremely versatile and great for all types of music and playing styles. Match with the 59 neck or Jazz neck model for a perfectly balanced setup.Hand built in Santa Barbara, CA, the Custom 5 uses an alnico 5 bar magnet, nickel silver bottom plate, 4-conductor lead wire for multiple wiring options, and is vacuum wax potted for squeal-free performance.


Best videos/sound-clips:

This clip demonstrates some of the heavy rock tones you can get with the Seymour Duncan Custom 5 bridge pickup. Metal lovers will dig its punchy low-end response and sharp attack -- perfect for quick riffing with sharp precision and power. Jump to 0:40 to hear how heavily distorted chords resonate with absolute clarity and sustain, with a nice organic compression to keep the tone very dynamic and balanced. Skip to 1:55 to hear how fast runs cut through the mix with ease, highlighting the SH-14's fantastic midrange. This pickup really packs a punch for heavy rhythm players and shredders.

The player is Dean Wells and he is playing an Ernie Ball Music Man Reflex through an Axe FX Ultra.

Check out the bite and power you can get with the Custom 5 in this clip. Jump to 0:20 to hear tight rhythm sounds -- with chords sounding full and thick with endless drive and sustain. At 0:40 you can hear some really respectable thrash metal tones with a punchy low-end and tight midrange. Lead tones at 0:50 are extremely musical with plenty of bite and smooth saturation. Shred lovers will appreciate the precision of these pickups and how clear each note is articulated (1:25- 1:30).  These pickups are amazing for heavy chugs and metal riffing; just listen to the Slayer tones you can get at 5:00. Clean tones aren't bad at all either (7:38) -- with a pretty balanced frequency range and responsiveness, although I would say that this pickup is most ideal for heavier distorted tones.

The player is Serge Tabachnikov and he is playing a Warmoth Strat through a Fractal Axe FX II (Bogner Ecstasy, Vox AC30).


A great demo of the Custom 5 bridge pickup begins at 0:47, beginning with a showcase of the clean tones, which are very airy and have plenty of midrange for a cutting clean sound. Add a little gain and these pickups start to really bite (1:07) with an edgy attack and heavenly sustain. At 1:27 you can really hear where this pickup shines. It has such a tight rhythm sound that packs a punch with its amazing bass response and focused midrange. From glassy cleans and vibrant leads to full-bodied rhythm sounds, the Custom 5 is a killer bridge pickup for players of all types.


This Seymour Duncan 7-String bridge pickup comparison clip provides an extensive demonstration of various pickups, including the Custom 5.  Skip to 4:31 to hear this monstrous pickup in action. For heavy riffers, the Custom 5 does a great job handling high gain sounds with amazing punch and clarity. Low notes are crystal clear and resonate with amazing sustain, while still having plenty of attack for each note to cut like a dagger. Even in drop tunings with heavy gain, notes are never muddied up or lost in the mix. These pickups have amazing detail in higher register notes as well (5:05), making for an excellent lead tone as well.

The players are Keith Merrow and Wes Hauch from the band The Faceless.



Here is a shootout video comparing three high-gain pickups: Seymour Duncan Custom 5, DiMarzio Dominion, and the Tom Anderson H3. Listen from 0:00 - 1:00 to hear the Custom 5 in action. It has a full-bodied sound with a crisp mid and treble range that cuts nicely, although the lows tend to muddy up the tone at times. The DiMarzio Dominion in comparison at 1:00 has a much tighter sound that is more focused and balanced. The midrange cuts nicely while the low and highs give the tone a nice depth and bite. It has a much more open sound than the Custom 5, and tends to distribute the gain very evenly for a smooth saturation. Listen at 2:00 to hear the Tom Anderson H3 pickup, which has more of a treble presence and less bottom end. You get plenty of bite but you may not always get the warmth you want for a high-gain sound. You also have to keep in mind that higher frequencies can often make your distortion sound fizzy and harsh if there is too much of a treble spike. 

The player is Jung Park and he is using an Ibanez SZ and Ibanez SZ4020.





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