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Seymour Duncan Duckbuckers SDBR-1 Neck Black 11205-35-B Top, SD photo

Seymour Duncan

Seymour Duncan Duckbuckers Strat Pickups SDBR-1

From the manufacturer:


Vintage output single-coil-sized humbucker. Excellent for country, pop, surf, rockabilly, blues, ska and classic rock.

Using a design and a voicing based on Vintage Rails™, Duckbuckers incorporate six fully adjustable pole pieces together with a unique, split blade design. You get all the warm tone, cool output, and outrageous "quack" of a vintage Strat® pickup, but no hum. Though tonally similar to Vintage Rails, the mini pole piece design behaves more like a traditional pickup when string-bending. Comes with four-conductor cable. USA Patent No. 5,525,750.

complete setup
Available for both bridge and neck/middle positions; and in an incredibly versatile set with an SJBJ-1b JB Jr. in the bridge, an SDBR-1n Duckbuckers in the middle and an SL59-1n Little '59 in the neck.

For all well-balanced instruments. Works equally well with maple and rosewood fingerboards.

available mods
Choose white, black, cream and parchment housing. Wire in parallel for Vintage Strat® tones, or in series for higher output.

Jennifer Batten / Jeff Beck Band, Chuck Garvey / moe., Mike Scott / Prince, Joy Basu / Jessica Simpson, Nick Lashley / Alanis Morissette & Mick Jagger, Lou Toomey / Brooks & Dunn


Ethan's picks for best videos/sound-clips:

This clip compares the sound of a regular single coil pickup to a Duckbucker. Beginning with the Sub Silo 3 single coil pickup in the neck position, you get your traditional strat sound; it's warm, fat, and has the expected 60-cycle hum. The Duckbucker in comparison at 0:10 is definitely quieter, since the hum is cancelled due to its humbucking design. The result is a slightly cleaner sound with a lower output, yet it has its own unique voicing. You get more of a 'quack' sound that is spanky and trebly, and the mids seem to be a bit scooped. If you enjoy the spank of a single coil but want the perks of a humbucker, the Duckbucker is a fair compromise. The only potential issues I see is not cutting through a dense mix, not having enough power, and possibly sounding too ice-picky at times. Fortunately, this pickup features adjustable pole pieces that could remedy some of these potential shortcomings, and it ultimately comes down to your axe and how you dial everything in.

The player is using a Sterling by Music Man Silo3 guitar.



 Here is a quick clip highlighting some of the blues tones you can dial in with the Duckbucker in the neck and middle positions. Listen to the first 30 seconds to hear the rhythm part (using the neck and middle Duckbuckers). You get a very treble-centric sound with scooped mids and warm bass. These pups have a nice clear sound and strat-like 'quack' without a lot of noise. I do think they sound a little weak in the mix, lacking the output and power you may want for a rhythm tone. The lead sound on the neck (0:32) is more fitting. It really warms up in this position as the low end kicks in, but the top end gives it a nice sparkle to cut. I don't mind the lack of mids in this context, as it gives it a nice vintage charm. Overall, the Duckbucker is a nice pickup for a hybrid humbucker/single coil sound. The player is using a Sterling by Music Man Silo3 guitar. For rhythm parts, he is using a Fender Blackface style amp. For leads, he is using a Fender Blackface and Tweed style amp.



This video reveals the Duckbucker in a whole new light. Jump to 1:45 to hear this pup in action; compared to previous videos, I think it sounds a lot sweeter here. The lows sound very deep and articulate, while the highs have just enough sparkle without sounding too brittle, and the slightly scooped mids give the tone a nice warm, vintage sound. The quack is still there, although it is a lot subtler in the middle position it seems. In this case, the Duckbucker sounds really round and mellow for an impressive clean sound.

The player is Rohan Leach and he is using a Richard Bartram guitar with a Duckbucker in the middle position, recorded with a Line 6 DT25.


Here is a comparison of the GFS Little Killer pickup and the Duckbucker in a full mix context (middle position). On the main riff, the Duckbucker tends to sound a bit thin and metallic sounding (listen at 0:15). It lacks the output and midrange needed to stand out in a dense mix, especially for rhythm tones. Adding a little distortion gives it a little more power (0:48), yet it tends to muddy up and get lost in translation. The scooped EQ, although very vintage sounding, can have a hard time competing with other frequencies in the mix due to the lack of midrange punch and clarity; perhaps a lead application would suit the Duckbucker better in this case.

The player is using a Godin Freeway Classic recorded directly into a sound card using a Fender Twang amp simulation in Guitar Rig 5. For dirty tones he used the Gratifier tone in Guitar Rig 5.






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