As a side note, when I photographed this model in the Nickel Cover I was really blown away with how clean and beautiful the cover was. Partially this can be attributed to not having been potted (e.g. it wasn't dipped in wax and then cleaned like the others) but still...it is like a jewel. Also, the bottom plate has a great Seth Lover signature-style stamp/vintage serial number on the bottom.
From the manufacturer:
Ultra-authentic, Alnico 2, P.A.F.-type humbucker. Great for country, jazz, blues and classic rock.
Designed jointly by Seymour and humbucker inventor, the late Seth Lover. Just like the original 1955 P.A.F.s, the SH-55 utilizes a nickel silver cover and long-legged nickel silver bottom plate, butyrate plastic bobbins, plain enamel wire, Alnico 2 bar, wooden spacer, and black paper tape. To be completely true to the original design and tone, the pickup is not wax potted. The tone is vintage P.A.F. The unpotted cover gives a slightly "honky" microphonic quality. Vintage style single conductor cable standard.
Mostly commonly used in a neck and bridge set. Can be used 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. Not recommended for use with ultra high gain tube amplifiers over 50 watts.
Choose nickel or gold-plated cover. Four-conductor cable.
Joe Perry / Aerosmith (neck & bridge), Gary Rossington & Rickey Medlocke / Lynyrd Skynyrd (neck & bridge), Blues Saraceno, Dweezil Zappa, Sheryl Crow (neck & bridge), George Pajon Jr. / Black-Eyed Peas (neck & bridge), Steve Stevens (neck & bridge)"
Best videos/sound clips:
Here we have an excellent demonstration of the Seth Lover SH-55 from Seymour Duncan. In the first clip at 0:18, I am incredibly impressed by the SH-55's articulate clean tones -- crystal clear with plenty of low end and endless sustain on tap. A little overdrive kicks in around the 0:38 mark and we start to really hear the bite this pickup has. It has a characteristic "honk" tone that sounds incredibly microphonic, rocking a fat bass response with plenty of attack, while still maintaining absolute clarity. As the player moves up the fret board at 1:11, you start to notice the warm bell-like tones this pickup can produce and around the 2:00 mark we can really hear its rich and percussive nature. The bridge pickup chimes in around 2:48 as the guitarist plays sustained chords. The SH-55's ability to clearly articulate each individual note despite the amount of overdrive is impressive. Switching back to the neck at around 3:21, we can finally hear the shredding capabilities of this pickup and how clean you can alternate pick up and down the fret board with amazing precision.
The player is Geoff Waldron and the song is "JD Driving." Geoff is playing a Hamer 2006 or 2007 Studio Custom through a Blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb amp.
This clip shows some quick demonstrations of the SH-55 in the bridge (1:32), middle (1:47) and neck (2:07) positions. Primarily focusing on clean tones, it's evident how dynamic and transparent these pickups sound even in the most basic setup, offering balanced shimmering tones with plenty of low end, sustain, and sparkle.
The player is Johnny Hawthorn and he is playing an 80's Les Paul Classic through a Carr Rambler amp.
Here is another thorough demonstration of the SH-55, focusing on the various lead capabilities of the pickup. Skip to 1:15 to hear the neck pickup and its beautiful jazz tone, with its deep low end and emphasis in the midrange - yielding a deep mellow tone with just the right amount of snap. At 1:45, both the neck and bridge pickups are engaged, adding a boost of presence without losing too much low end - perfect for solos and runs on in the upper register. We can hear the SH-55 in its sweet spot at 2:45, with just a tiny bit of overdrive, producing a smooth and semi-saturated blues tone with sweet sustain and an impressive dynamic range. High gain tones can be heard at 4:55 as the pickups enter Joe Satriani territory, boasting an airy lead tone that is vibrant and unique.
The player is Marin Debelic and he is playing a Gibson ES-335 Dot.
This video highlights the SH-55 bridge pickup and its various tonal capabilities. Jump to 1:20 to hear a nice bridge clean tone with a little bit of natural breakup. The tone is nice and crisp as we hear arpeggiated chords until 1:34, when it switches to a percussive blues riff, accentuating the pickup's low and midrange characteristics. At 2:58 we hear a classic vintage rock tone, perfect for palm muting, power chords, and other rhythmic playing. Dial in a little crunch and you can really hit a sweet spot in the midrange as the SH-55 produces a naturally compressed rock tone. An extra boost of overdrive kicks in at 3:38, further demonstrating the SH-55's leads and just how much they can scream if you let them.
The player is Justin Juknelis and he is playing a Juknelis Custom 58 Double Cutaway guitar through a Vox Night train 15 Watt amp head through a couple of Bill Jenkins cabs with Celestion G-12H speakers.
This clip demonstrates how good the SH-55 can sound in a classic Les Paul/Marshall configuration. We first hear the bridge pickup at 0:05 with the volume rolled down. The tone is thick with a punchy low end and glassy highs. The volume is rolled all the way up at 0:28, as the pickups push high gain with complete clarity, sporting that famous Marshall crunch tone. Classic rock leads are demonstrated around 0:49, showing off the SH-55's defined midrange. At 1:12-2:00, we hear the neck pickup with the volume all the way up, producing a creamy saturated clean tone with mild breakup. Both pickups are activated at 2:02, demonstrating just how well both the bridge and neck pickups can sound together; you get the best of both worlds with the bass from the neck and the presence from the bridge, resulting in a beautifully rounded sound.
The player is Jacob Trowbridge and he is playing a 1969 Gibson Les Paul through a 1980's Marshall JCM800 2204 with a Marshall 1936 2x12 cab loaded with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
This video is a wonderful demonstration of the SH-55's clean tone strengths, as well as how distinct the bridge and neck pickups are. Beginning with the neck pickup, we can hear the underwater jazz tones this pickup does extremely well, compliments of its extraordinary low end and shimmering midrange. At 0:55 the player switches briefly to the bridge pickup, which has a bit of twang and attack distinct from the mellow characteristics of the neck pickup. The unique frequency range of these pickups makes them sound good in almost any application on a clean setting. At 2:25, a little overdrive is kicked in to compliment that pickup's endless sustain and dynamic midrange. Even when played through such a bright amp, these pickups manage to stay equalized, never sounding too harsh and always sounding as smooth as possible.
The player is Greg Hilden and he is playing a 1969/70 Gibson ES-345 Walnut guitar through a 1966 Fender Vibrolux Reverb. The overdrive used is an Okko Diablo pedal.