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Seymour Duncan - Seth Lover vs '59 neck humbuckers

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Lefty Addams, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2012
    Hi - speccing up a G&S Classic Bluesboy Tele at present with a humbucker in the neck and undecided about which of the SD buckers, these two are both similar of output and after listening to a gazillion sound clips, I'm still undecided.

    Anyone with experience of either or both? Thanks.
    El Tele Lobo likes this.

  2. Golem

    Golem Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    This is something that has been discussed a lot. I've linked you to the google results for several threads on major forums about this topic.

    Edit: LMGTFY may come of as a little bit snarky but it's actually the first thing I think of when I want to share someone google's search results.

  3. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2012
    Well thats all fine and dandy but i was looking for people's actual opinions and experiences on both pickups. Anyone can google.

    But thanks.
    Rich B in Tempe and CV Jee Beez like this.

  4. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    Lefty Addams likes this.

  5. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    I have both. The Seth Lover uses AlNiCo 2 where as the 59 has AlNiCo 5, and I think that's what sets them apart more than anything. If you prefer a softer highs and lows, with a more emphasized mid range, you seem to get that with the weaker AlNiCo 2/3/4 bars in general, and you get it with the Seth Lover set.
    Grant Austin and Lefty Addams like this.

  6. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Holic

    Apr 20, 2014
    Here's a test spec comparison:

    Device Circuit under Test
    : Seth Lover SH55N SD SH-1N ‘59 model
    Test Date : Sep 9, 2016 Nov 27, 2016
    DC resistance (Ohms) : 7,300 7,390
    Loaded Resonant Frequency (Hz) : 2740 2980
    Loaded Peak (dB) : 1.4 2.4
    Inductance (H) : 4.73 4.3

    The 59 shows a slightly brighter response. The difference is not all that much. Keep in mind that the 59 is wax potted and the Seth is not.

  7. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    I wish I could realistically A/B them, I do have each, but in completely different guitars. The '59 is in a Godin and the Seth is in a hollow-body, so they are worlds apart from each other.

    That being said, I like the Seth better, but I also prefer the weaker magnets over most everything else, so that colors my opinion as well. The '59 is a great pickup, I doubt you would be disappointed by it, but I prefer the Seth Lover.

    Just too many variables, you will only know by running them in your guitar and through your amp, but I would bet that which-ever one you choose first, you will likely keep. I always wanted to try a Fralin pickup, but I happy enough with what I have now.
    Brian L and Lefty Addams like this.

  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I don't get your response. He gave you a bunch of links to people comparing the two based on their actual opinions and experiences on both pickups.

  9. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Do you go high gain often? Seths aren't potted. That said, while I don't go too high gain (think early Jeff Beck Group/Zep/Green era Fleetwood Mac), I will do loud and I have a ten year old+ set of Seths that have yet to squeal. Woody vintage tone. Does well for old school jazz sounds too.

  10. freddarl82

    freddarl82 TDPRI Member

    Nov 10, 2012
    I own both, but, like Antigua Tele, in different guitars. I like both. Most of the major differences have been covered. I prefer A2 magnets and have put them in multiple sets of '59's. The '59 is often dissed as a neck pickup with complaints of "too muddy," but I think that is a by-product of the A5 mags. I have a number of boutique humbucker sets, but, quite honestly, I could live with a set of '59's with roughcast A2 mags. REALLY great for classic rock and blues.

    I have never had a feedback problem with the Seth's, but I do not play real high gain.

    A word on Antigua's description of"softer highs and lows..." To be clear, IMO, this is not in reference to volume, but in the "edge" of the note. The A5's will produce more biting, in your face highs and lows. In addition to "softer," other descriptive terms for the A2 sound might be "rounder" or "smoother."

    PM me if you're interested in a 59 neck. I have three extras around, all of the "59NJ" variety (the "J" for the winder, Maricela Juarez) with roughcast A2's already swapped into them.
    Lefty Addams likes this.

  11. Golem

    Golem Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    The top google hits are threads from The Gear page, Seymour Duncan Forum, and two threads from this very sub-forum on the topic. Hence why I thought it was relevant.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017

  12. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    I agree with that, the difference seems to be more apparent in the transient, or the pick attack.

    The highest harmonic amplitudes are in the transient, so any difference with respect to the frequency response of the pickup predominantly impacts the perceived pick attack. Pickups with a higher treble response have a sharper pick attack, while those with less treble sound softer.
    Golem likes this.

  13. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2012
    Yes thanks for that, there's not much in it as you say. As for the wax potting, in the real world, how much does it actually matter?

  14. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2012
    Yes I know, thank you.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017

  15. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2012
    Well most of the comparisons reviews are of two humbuckers, in LPs and the like, there's not many on there who review with Tele experience, which is what I wanted, hence my query on here. It will be paired with a MFD single coil bridge, as G & L supply.

    But I do appreciate your links, thank you.

  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    Others may disagree but I've owned Tele Deluxe builds with two Seths at the same time I owned LP's with two Seths. The sound of the two was as similar as any two guitars of the same model, in my experience.

    What is your application? Playing at home or in a band? I (obviously) love Seths when I use HBs. Best I've used. But the A2 does have a notably softened attack. This can make them come across as quieter and "warmer" (darker) because the transient is not as present. My live rig is not set up to be super bright, so sometimes that softened it too much. At home - brilliant. In a band with more space than mine (3 guitars) probably brilliant as well. In a busy band, I tended to put a Duncan Jazz in the neck - more transient and more present.

    JayFreddy and Lefty Addams like this.

  17. darkwaters

    darkwaters Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 14, 2012
    I'm in a similar quandary and, just to confuse the issue, a Duncan APH-1N is also on my shortlist. I lean (slightly) towards the SL because it's Alnico 2 and unpotted. I currently have a SL and a '59 in my Dot and love'em both.

  18. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    I think it makes a huge difference...but not in the way most people think.
    The best way to get a "woody" tone is for your pickup to actually "hear" the wood.
    A good, microphonic pickup does that.
    I have a neck '59, and I really like it...and I am not a humbucker guy...I have one humbucker guitar out of the dozen (give or take) I play/gig. The thing that improves the '59 is the poorly-fitting, aftermarket cover that is not soldered on...this somehow makes the pickup microphonic.
    darkwaters and Lefty Addams like this.

  19. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2012
    You see I am interested in what these sound like paired with the G&L MFD bridge pickup, until I hear it I guess I won't know what I prefer.

  20. BB

    BB Friend of Leo's

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    In my chambered mahogany body tele, the Seth Lover was darn near perfect. The 59 I tried sounded good, but nowhere near the tone or dynamic response of the seth. I've also had great results with Antiquities, Jazz and a few older Dimarzio PAF's.

    I now have a Lollar Low wind Imperial in the neck slot. For me, it's the best sounding (and feeling) humbucker I've used in this tele. It responds to picking dynamics and the guitars vol/tone controls unlike any bucker (Zhangbuckers Pure Handwound was close!) I've used. sorry! got a bit off topic...back to SD!

    I've used 59's in a few semi's and a sweet LP copy before and really liked them. I've also used Seth Lovers in similar instruments and really liked them. It may boil down to the wood, a specific guitar and/or what the player's ears like to hear.

    I know many players who use, love and would not consider changing out the 59 in the neck of their tele's. If I had to chose between the two, I would take the Seth over the 59 every time....but that's just me.

    Good luck with what ever way you go!
    singlecoil and Lefty Addams like this.

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