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Discussion Starter #1
I've read all the hype surrounding the vintage '80s Duncans wound by Maricela Juarez and was curious to hear what an old JB sounds like, since I've never gotten along with the new ones. I found an old "JBJ" on eBay for a decent price and decided to try it in Noodles' old white USA Soloist. That had a recent SH4 in it when I got it from him, and we both agreed that pickup sounded like crap. No life to it. Not so with the JBJ. What a fantastic pickup. It's high output but doesn't sound like it, and it has all the richness and detail that I usually find lacking in JBs. No woofiness or harsh top end.





 

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Awesome. I'm wondering whether 20+ years of magnet softening and use has changed the pickup to the point of it sounding better or did it always sound that good?
 

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Bro of Bros, Bro.
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I really like this pickup, but I also like JB's. I have one of these lying around that I need to put in something. I had it in a Charvel Model 6 back in the early 90's, and swapped it with a Distortion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Awesome. I'm wondering whether 20+ years of magnet softening and use has changed the pickup to the point of it sounding better or did it always sound that good?
I'm sure it's some of both. The Duncans wound by Maricela have a reputation for being a little better sounding, and their parts sourcing has changed over the years. However, I'm sure it's a little different now than when it was made.
 

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Dream Crusher
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Wirelessly posted :)yesway:)

How would you compare it to an Aldrich? Suhr uses those "degaussed" magnets in their pickups designed to simulate the aging process.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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Wirelessly posted :)yesway:)

How would you compare it to an Aldrich? Suhr uses those "degaussed" magnets in their pickups designed to simulate the aging process.
This is relevant to josh always suggesting aldrich and my being curious haha
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's not nearly as bright as an Aldrich, I'd say. This pickup replaced a Suhr DSH that was just too dark for this Soloist, and the JBJ probably splits the difference tonally between Aldrich and DSH. The Suhrs have their own character, where this JBJ is very Duncan, just without the harshness that has crept into hot PUs lately, in my experience.
 

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I agree I had an 80's JB that I loved (it went through several guitars) much smoother and fuller sounding than any of the newer ones I've had.
I currently have an 80's Distortion DDL that I pulled from an old RG550 (it sounded great in the 550) that I'm going to throw into my Soloist Pro.

Nice soloist BTW :)
 

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I am Groot
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Wirelessly posted :)dio:)

FYI this is where Wolfe was going with the Timbre Wolf. It's a much smoother sounding pickup, without sacrificing the mid bite that the JB is famous for.
 

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God damn the things I'd do for that soloist.
I mean, if it didn't have the kahler.
I honesty thought the difference in JB's was old people being old people, saying 'they don't make 'em how they used to', I'd be curious to hear clips. Not sure if families allow time to make clips for some random guy on a forum lol
 

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I have one of these in my white Zion, and it definitely sounds WAY better than the newer ones - no fizz.
 

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Señor Member
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I'm wondering how much of the difference in sound is different technique/materials and how much of it is aging...?
 

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Arrr, Matey!
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I had an old MJ wound Distortion that sounded killer. Sadly I think I sold it off to buy something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wirelessly posted :)dio:)

FYI this is where Wolfe was going with the Timbre Wolf. It's a much smoother sounding pickup, without sacrificing the mid bite that the JB is famous for.
My understanding is that the Timbre Wolf is lower output than JB specs, though. The JBJ has close to the same output as a modern SH-4, just a different tonal characteristic. The Timber Wolfe sounds more like the rumors about special winds that Seymour did for celebrities back in the '70s and '80s. Some of those were supposedly "powered-down JBs".

God damn the things I'd do for that soloist.
I mean, if it didn't have the kahler.
I honesty thought the difference in JB's was old people being old people, saying 'they don't make 'em how they used to', I'd be curious to hear clips. Not sure if families allow time to make clips for some random guy on a forum lol
Soloists sound better with Kahlers. Really. This one has the heavy-duty springs and stays in tune quite well for me. I also use it for Jeff Beck-ish things that aren't as easy on a Floyd (though I've gotten better at doing them on a Floyd).

Lately, my growing family has made it difficult to plug in at all, let alone make clips for random Internet guys. :lol:

I'm wondering how much of the difference in sound is different technique/materials and how much of it is aging...?
See my post above. I think it's both. Maricela Juarez runs Duncan's custom shop now and is a legendary pickup winder. The magnets they use now are differently made, as well.

I had an old MJ wound Distortion that sounded killer. Sadly I think I sold it off to buy something else.
I've got my eye on a vintage DDJ at the moment for my Heritage Les Paul. I've always loved Distortions in Les Pauls, and the chimey sound of the Pearly Gates in there is starting to annoy me.
 

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I've got a Pearly Gates in the bridge of my PRS SE Singecut and even after a solid 2 years of it in there, I still can't decide if I like it.
 

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Dream Crusher
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I've got a Pearly Gates in the bridge of my PRS SE Singecut and even after a solid 2 years of it in there, I still can't decide if I like it.
That's how I felt about the Custom.
 

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I am Groot
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My understanding is that the Timbre Wolf is lower output than JB specs, though. The JBJ has close to the same output as a modern SH-4, just a different tonal characteristic. The Timber Wolfe sounds more like the rumors about special winds that Seymour did for celebrities back in the '70s and '80s. Some of those were supposedly "powered-down JBs".
Ah, I thought the old JBs were lower output. The Timber Wolfe is definitely lower, then, since every one I've had has read right around 15K.

I've got my eye on a vintage DDJ at the moment for my Heritage Les Paul. I've always loved Distortions in Les Pauls, and the chimey sound of the Pearly Gates in there is starting to annoy me.
You have to hear the Marshallhead II set that Todd has in his 1960 reissue LP. They sound fantastic; all the scream of the Pearly Gates without the bell overtones.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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I really like hearing everyones thoughts on these pickups, thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ah, I thought the old JBs were lower output. The Timber Wolfe is definitely lower, then, since every one I've had has read right around 15K.
No, that's about where the old JBs were, 15-16k. It's also supposedly where the newer JBs are. The trem-spaced TB-4 has longer coils and is probably hotter, I suppose. I didn't think the SH-4 you put in the white Soloist was especially high output. My Axe-FX has input meters, so I have a pretty good sense of that stuff. It just sounded bad.

You have to hear the Marshallhead II set that Todd has in his 1960 reissue LP. They sound fantastic; all the scream of the Pearly Gates without the bell overtones.
I think I need to steal that LP from him generally. :lol:

I was going to keep the Heritage with lower output PUs, but it's an 11 lb. beast with a soul that really needs to go more for Sykes than Page. Hence the move back to a Distortion in the bridge--I really want to get that vintage DDJ for it, though. I'm probably going to put a JB of some sort in my SG and see how the two guitars team up that way.
 

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I am Groot
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I think a Custom would slay in that Heritage. I prefer the hammer to the Distortion's chainsaw.
 
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