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Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates, SH-PG1 and TB-PG1 Humbucker Neck 11102-45-B Top, SD photo

Seymour Duncan

Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates, SH-PG1 and TB-PG1

From the manufacturer:


Warm, slightly-hotter-than-vintage humbucker. Great for blues, classic rock, southern rock, jam, and hard rock.

Originally designed as a recreation of the pickups in the '59 Les Paul® Standard that defined the raw, rebellious sound of Texas blues-rock. The Pearly Gates is sweet, but slightly rude, with great sustain and a bright top end that make harmonics jump out of the guitar. Comes with four-conductor hookup cable.

complete setup
Often used in both neck and bridge positions. Can be used in the bridge with an APH-1n Alnico II Pro in the neck for smoother tones; or, a Pearly Gates in the neck with an SH-11 Custom Custom for heavier rock sounds from the bridge position.

For brighter toned instruments. Works especially well with maple and ebony fingerboards. Also works great with hollow and semi-hollow body guitars.

available mods
Nickel or gold-plated cover. Trembucker. 

Dickey Betts (neck & bridge), Warren Haynes/ Gov't Mule (neck & bridge), Howard Leese / Heart (neck & bridge), Greg Martin / Kentucky Headhunters (neck & bridge)

Magnet type: alnico 2 bar, D.C. Resistance 7.3k-neck, 8.35k-bridge


Seth's picks for best videos/sound clips:

This video is from Seymour Duncan, featuring a demo by Geoff Waldron. Geoff is playing a Hamer Monaco with the Pearly Gates SH-PG1 and TB-PG1 pickups in it for the whole video, but for the first half he plays through a Vox AC30 amplifier, and at around 9:08, he switches to a Fender Deluxe Reverb amplifier. After some introductory information about the pickups, Geoff starts playing at O:30, playing with the bridge pickup for every single note. There's some really cool stuff in here, some tasty playing at 2:00, some octaves at 2:30, and some great riffage at 3:17. He plays with the bridge pickup until 5:50, where he switches to the neck pickup. Listen for the cool sensitive stuff at 7:10 and 7:37. He keeps playing with the neck pickup until 9:08, when he gives us a more controlled demo, where he plays the same riffs through each pickup position (this time using a very clean sound through the Deluxe), starting with the bridge. After he plays the bridge, he plays the middle position starting at 9:30. He switches to the neck at 9:52. At 10:14, he does the same thing again, with a slightly muted sound through the same amp. Bridge starts at 10:14, middle starts at 10:35, and neck starts at 10:57. I love these pickups. Nice highs with a slight bite and beautiful singing mids. Geoff also plays great, so that helps! 


Here is another video from Seymour Duncan, this time featuring Paul Hindmarsh playing a Gibson SG featuring the SH-PG1 and TB-PG1 through an early Line6 Helix multi-effects processor. This is the "Hard Rock" demo, in case you were thinking that the SH-PG1 and TB-PG1 were limited to being blues-rock pickups. He starts by playing some seriously cool wide-interval riffing, before completely melting our faces with a furious wah solo. Then he calms down at 0:29 and lets us hear his melodic ability. Just listen to the whole thing, it's great. He switches to the neck pickup at 2:11, and plays some beautiful sensitive stuff, before stepping on the wah again at 2:57 and showing some more shreddy prowess, inspiring all of us to either go practice or to give up playing the guitar entirely. Great guitar sound. You can really hear the way the Pearly Gates emphasize the mids, letting the guitar cut through the mix very well.



This one features the SH-PG1 in the neck position for the entirety of the video. Darius Wave is playing his Mayones Setius GTM6 guitar through a variety of amps, depending on the tone he's going for. He begins at 0:14 by playing a fingerpicked rhythmic figure on a Marshall JCM 2000 set to a clean tone. These demos are great because he plays each sound first with a backing track and then without, so we can hear what the guitar sounds like alone. At 0:57, he plays through a different amp, a Cornford this time, and plays a bluesy lead. Again, he plays both with and without the backing track. He switches to what appears to be the Orange Rockerverb for some rock sounds at 1:51, and plays some really nice lines. As before, we hear the guitar both with and without the backing track. At 2:27, we get the metal demo, and he has switched the amp to a Peavey 5150 II playing some cool melodic stuff before two hand tapping us into oblivion! Same drill, first with the backing track, then without, so we can hear the unadulterated sound of the SH-PG1 through the 5150. After giving us a nice idea of how the SH-PG1 sounds in the neck position through all the amazing amps, at 3:10 he cleans it up again, and we get a true comparison of the following pickups one after the other: the SH-1n '59, then our SH-PG1, then the SH-2n Jazz, then the Alnico Pro II, then the Sentient. I like this part a lot, I hear how nice and bright the SH-PG1 is in comparison to the other varieties of pickups Seymour Duncan offers.


Here's Paul Rose killing it with his Gibson '57 Reissue Les Paul through IK Multimedia's Amplitube 3 software. He starts by talking a bit about how he's wired the guitar to have only one functioning set of volume and tone controls and why he chose the SH-PG1. The ones he got are super cool, with aged nickel covers. He starts his demo at 1:52, playing with the bridge pickup until 2:01, when he moves to the neck pickup. He plays some amazing stuff here, listen at 2:10 and 2:20 in particular. This guy plays beautifully, great touch and tone. Toward the end of the video, at 2:26, he plays some cool chords before the video fades. Again, the SH-PG1s have this really nice smooth high frequency bump that sound great, especially through Marshall-style amps. Great playing, great sound.



This one is a nice blues played on a 2002 Gibson Les Paul Classic with the Pearly gates set in it. He starts off playing an overdriven solo at 0:05, with the bridge pickup. Listen at 0:20 and 0:30 for some furiously interesting licks. Great sound. I know I seem like a broken record, but what keeps striking me about these pickups is the nice musical way they treat the treble frequencies. Very punchy in the highs, not round like the Slash Pickups, but sharper. At 0:36, he switches to the middle position with his pickup selector, and plays half a chorus with both pickups. Toward the end of this chorus, he switches to the neck pickup alone, at 0:49. Listen for an effortless showcase of chops at about 1:00. He's back on the bridge pickup at 1:36, with another cool flourish at 1:45, and he stays on the bridge pickup till the end of the video. Soulful blues with a little Pearly Gates bite!



Finally! Another demo with a Strat! This is James Ryan playing his Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster with the TB-PG1 (the TB designation meaning that the pickup's pole pieces are spaced a little farther apart than the normal PAF-style humbuckers you's find in a Gibson guitar...Seymour Duncan calls this wide-spaced pickup a "Trembucker," hence, TB) straight into his Digidesign Eleven Rack. After a little bit of explanation, James immediately makes us want to practice more at 0:29, playing the TB-PG1 alone for a bit before allowing us to hear how the pickup sounds with combined with the middle single coil at 0:38, playing a truly frightening descending lick and switching back to the TB-PG1 at 0:40. James seems to have had some trouble in the past finding a humbucking pickup for his Strat that would match well with the single coils in the middle and neck, so a lot of this video is him bouncing back and forth from the TB-PG1 to the various other pickup positions to hear how well the TB-PG1 plays with others. Listen at 0:57, 1:19, 1:38, and 1:51 to hear the Pearly Gates by itself. Nice sounding pickup! Balances well with single coils in a Super Strat!



This one is the opposite of that last one! The Pearly Gates in this guitar is in the neck position this time, and has been wired to be coil-tapped when the neck pickup's volume control is pulled up. He's playing an Epiphone Les Paul Standard through a Vox Night Train amplifier set to a clean tone. He starts by explaining himself, and how he came to find himself in a position to rewire his guitar, and then at 1:39, we hear the full SH-PG1. Full, with the bright highs and high mids. Then, at 1:58, he pulls up on the neck volume control, and we hear how the pickup sounds with one of its coils grounded out. It sounds good, not quite like a "true" single coil, but very usable, especially if you need a guitar that needs to get a few more sounds than are possible with a regular Les Paul. More options are always good!



 This video shows us how well the SH-PG1 takes effects. It's a Fender Stratocaster with the Pearly Gates in the bridge. It starts out with a "clean" sound, but it's really fairly wet, with a bunch of chorus, reverb and some stereo delay on it. He plays some open chords with this sound for a while, then he puts some hair on it at 2:16, with what he calls "dirty clean," but what I would say is a guitar sound that breaks up a bit when you hit it hard. At 4:03, he lets loose with his "main dirty rhythm" sound, and to me, it seems like he's using a fuzz of some kind (rather than an overdrive or a distortion). He pulls out all the stops at 6:45, and we hear his lead sound...lots of distortion, delay and reverb. Listen to the clarity of the highs. It strikes me that this pickup would be a good partner with a dark amp, like an old Silvertone.



Here's another one that just features the Pearly Gates in the bridge position of a Strat-style guitar, so it's a good bet that it's the TB-PG1. This is a Moon Custom ST Type guitar being played through a Line 6 UX1 into Line6's POD Farm software. It starts with some really great heavy riffage immediately, but I'm partial to the second riff that starts at 0:30. You can really hear that pick attack! Then at 1:39, we hear his solo sound in the bridge. Great sustain. At 2:00, we get a flanged riff, followed by an outro solo at 2:23, where we hear the nice sustain possible with the Pearly Gates. Excellent tone and feel for this type of music.


This guy has put the SH-PG1 set in his 1997 Gibson Custom Shop '57 Reissue Les Paul. He's playing through a Fender "The Twin" amp with an Okko Diablo Overdrive in front of it. For the whole video he just plays with the neck pickup. Very tasty smooth jazz, played with just the fingers. Great illustration of the SH-PG1 without a lot of gank covering up the sound of the pickup. Listen to the highs when he starts to play up the neck, at 0:51, say.






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