Seymour Duncan :: 59 vs Seth Lover

cherrick

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If you have owned/played both Seymour Duncans (59 vs Seth Lover) can you please tell us what you thought of both?

thanks
 

freefrog

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Have owned/played them. In a few words :

59= potted Alnico 5. crispier, more mid scooped, a tad more sterile to my ears.

Seth = unpotted Alnico 2. Honky with nice complex mids. More depth and aliveness. My favourite among the regular Duncan PAF clones that I've tried (I've also owned/played the grittier Alnico 2 Pearly Gates and the APH "Alnico Pro", which has more bass than the forementioned models).

HTH.
 

Ed hunter

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Have owned/played them. In a few words :

59= potted Alnico 5. crispier, more mid scooped, a tad more sterile to my ears.

Seth = unpotted Alnico 2. Honky with nice complex mids. More depth and aliveness. My favourite among the regular Duncan PAF clones that I've tried (I've also owned/played the grittier Alnico 2 Pearly Gates and the APH "Alnico Pro", which has more bass than the forementioned models).

HTH.

+1:dude: I just sold two custom shop seths and i always loved them but lately i am into more output tones like the JB custom,or even the new hybrid they just came out with
 

JoBeans

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- '59 is a nice sounding pickup but kind of bland, no real personality of its own.
- Seth Lover is honky, airy, sweet, and articulate; my fave Duncan PAF type pickup outside of the custom shop.
 

Dougie

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- '59 is a nice sounding pickup but kind of bland, no real personality of its own.
- Seth Lover is honky, airy, sweet, and articulate; my fave Duncan PAF type pickup outside of the custom shop.

Ditto. The unpotted coils have some natural resonance about them that potting kills. It's hard to describe it's so subtle but once you have played enough of both kinds you really notice that texture, and it isn't subtle anymore, it is a must have..

Also, the Seth Lovers have full strength alnico II and not aged or degaussed. There is what I call an "early PAF" or "'58" tone since it is a more grittier edgy picking attack that the '59 won't get even if you mag swap it for alnico II. A little less of that full bodied rounded clear strong bass, the bass that is there is umm warmer, a little more broken up sounding but it melts into the whole tone spectrum very well. I use mine with vintage PAF covers which to me get a real sweet chirp, different alloy nickel silver than later covers? Dunno but you can hear something different about them.
 
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Have owned/played them. In a few words :

59= potted Alnico 5. crispier, more mid scooped, a tad more sterile to my ears.

Seth = unpotted Alnico 2. Honky with nice complex mids. More depth and aliveness. My favourite among the regular Duncan PAF clones that I've tried ...

HTH.

Pretty much sums it up for me as well.
 

logen99999

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i read somewhere that seth lovers are just antiquities without the aged magnets and hardware.
 

jcsk8

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See LtKojak, not me have read that before Lol. But it´s just someone trying to hide the secret. Never found that SD interview I´ve mentioned.
 

Eggman

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Howdy,

'59s sounded like pretty much all Bass & Treble in my ES-335, which has a Maple neck. Combine an already "bright" 335 with a Carmen Ghia and it was just too brittle and trebly. Th neck was the worst of the two; the bridge was "OK", with the tone knob rolled back, I suppose. I prefer DiMarzio's Air Classic or 36th anni PAF.

The '59 neck was also "boomy", but might be good for lower volume jazz applications, as the '59s certainly had clean tones. I wanted some mids, hence the switch to an Air Classic neck and 36th anni PAF bridge. Mission accomplished with DiMarzio. Good luck!
 

LtKojak

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it´s just someone trying to hide the secret.

What secret?

I think you're way too much into conspiraton theories...

Wanna see for yourself? Go to the Duncan site and compare the specs...

There have been the Seth Lover 50th Anniversary set with specs closer to the Ants, but in production models both are very different sounding.

Now you can go back to your aluminum foil hat... ;)
 

Backstage

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Now you can go back to your aluminum foil hat... ;)

246signs.jpg
 

gibsonguitar1988

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I prefer the 59 - a bit more gain for me... More like the 59 Les Paul tone. A bit warmer/darker, fat, etc. The Seth's were too......plain I guess you could call it. Brighter, chirpier, and definitely honky. I'd probably dig them in a 335. Not in a LP - I need more balls than that. I know some say 59 LP PAF's were bright but I disagree after actually playing one at a guitar show. It wasn't super dark, but rather it was balanced and had a thick crunch that wasn't too honky. Where as most vintage 335s were brighter and honkier in my experience. I like hotter pickups for the most part. And the unpotted is not for me. I play classic rock stuff, but am a gain freak and unpotted for the most part doesn't work well.

I've tried all of Duncan's passive humbucker offerings and still have quite a few in some of my guitars. I like how consistent Duncans are and the fact they are easily accessible in a TON of music stores.

My most favorites are the 59, JB, Alnico II Pro APH-2 (not APH-1), Duncan Custom, Custom Custom, Custom 5, and the Pearly Gates. For a set, '59/JB remains my favorite for a LP type guitar, 2nd place goes to the recent APH-2 "Slash" set. I LOVE the JB though in a Paul. Very much rock n' roll.

My least favorites are the Jazz, Distortion, APH-1 Alnico II Pros, and Screamin' Demons.

The Seths fit in between those two categories. I don't hate 'em, but I don't love 'em. Where as I hate the Jazz pickup. I never got the love for that one. I still have one guitar it's in and I've been putting off replacing it because it came in my Epiphone Dot 335 copy I bought used with a JB also but when I have time I'm going to probably put in a 59 set but it's a bitch to change pickups in a 335. If it wasn't for the gain thing - I'd put Seths in there because that's where they would shine, low output blues. But for Classic Rock and English Blues, I prefer medium output pickups. And generally prefer Alnico 5, other than the exception that I love the Slash signature APH-2s with the Alnico II's, because they blow the APH-1's away.

They just came out with a 59/Custom hybrid that has a coil from the 59 and a coil from the Custom, and they put them together. I've been wanting to try it as it's the only passive Duncan I haven't tried because it just came out. I think it would be great. Hotter than the '59 but not as hot as a Custom or JB... I've always needed some extra oomph in the output as I want my amp as the platform, completely clean and get my gain from my stompboxes and pickups. Just more versatile for me. I'm old school though for the most part other than that.
 

Dougie

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I know some say 59 LP PAF's were bright but I disagree after actually playing one at a guitar show.

That's only one guitar. The more that is known about them, the more it becomes apparent that no two of them were the same!

Funny thing about pickups, the more you put into them, the less you get out of them. Meaning, the more you wind it, the darker it gets and it only sounds at it's best with certain styles and amps. Pickups with more middle of the road winds and magnets seem to be a lot more flexible in what you can do with them. They have more going for them in that respect. That's one thing I dearly love about the Seth Lovers.

The hybrid on the other hand, breaks some rules in that it jumps over that more wire/darker sound hurdle like a bottle rocket. Nothing sounds like the hybrid, they are in a league all their own. I had to tame mine down with A4 to use it in a R9 Les Paul.

I wound a couple of hybrids but they are on the bench and my go to pickup of choice is one done up exactly like the Seth Lover.
 

logen99999

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i got to agree that the 59s to me sound like the mids are scooped quite a bit. leaving a very smooth bass and treble. it's a preferential thing. they're very smooth, but they dont have much cut. at least that's how i feel about a 59 in the neck.
 

Benjammin

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I think you guys have talked me into replacing the 59 neck with a Seth Lover in my SG :laugh2:
 

gibsonguitar1988

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That's only one guitar. The more that is known about them, the more it becomes apparent that no two of them were the same!

Funny thing about pickups, the more you put into them, the less you get out of them. Meaning, the more you wind it, the darker it gets and it only sounds at it's best with certain styles and amps. Pickups with more middle of the road winds and magnets seem to be a lot more flexible in what you can do with them. They have more going for them in that respect. That's one thing I dearly love about the Seth Lovers.

The hybrid on the other hand, breaks some rules in that it jumps over that more wire/darker sound hurdle like a bottle rocket. Nothing sounds like the hybrid, they are in a league all their own. I had to tame mine down with A4 to use it in a R9 Les Paul.

I wound a couple of hybrids but they are on the bench and my go to pickup of choice is one done up exactly like the Seth Lover.

True. But I've also heard many other 59s in clips. They were for the most part dark although they were all different but I'd say most of them were dark before I'd say most of them were bright. I prefer hotter PAF's from that time. PAF's with growl, bark, and punch and a midrange that wasn't honky as much as punchy and full. Not bright, chirpy, honky, etc.

I tend to like higher output pickups though. I disagree about that. JBs, Duncan Customs, Custom Customs, and Custom 5s all sound great. Not a fan of the Duncan Distortion though - it's too much for me. Seths are great for light rock or blues but for the classic rock music I play, I just need something with more guts because as I said, the gain is coming from the pickups and pedals in my case - the amp is dead clean just how I like it. And the potting thing (or lack thereof) is a big deal for me. If the Seths were wound hotter with some potting - I'd use them. But then you'd be in the 59 territory so I might as well just use that. And if I wanted Alnico II, I'd use my guitar with the APH-2 (not APH-1) Slash model Alnico II Pros. Those are the only A2s I've liked. The have the hotness I need in a pickup.

I tend to prefer a brighter tone in general, but I like that to be more the amp set REALLY bright and REALLY clean (I use 6L6 based Blackface Reverb Fenders - Twins and Supers), and the thickness and gain and darkness coming from my pickups and pedals - which is where all of the gain comes from. I like the classic rock tone that produces and it's very versatile. Where as most guys want the amp to do the work and get the gain from tube distortion. I'm not into that - mainly for the lack of versatility compared to a clean amp + pedals route. And I can still get all of those Classic Rock 70s/80s tones this way. Everything from the Stones to AC/DC to Motley Crue.

I don't like super high output, nothing more than say, a JB. And I hate actives. But I find I need some extra power than Seths or Antiquities would give me. I do like 59s though...

But I am really wanting to try that hybrid. Something in the 10k range on a bridge pup is perfect for me. Not too much, not too anemic either. And something in the 8k range on a neck pup is perfect for me. I love the JB but for some stuff it's too much - which is why I think the hybrid would be a happy medium between the 59 and the JB or Custom. But I love gain - and I like a chunky yet bright tone and I love mids, but more from the pedals than the pickups. I tend to prefer a more scooped amp/pickups and use Tubescreamer-y type pedals for a fat lead tone (I use a Fulltone Plimsoul for this).

It's all personal preference. I think the Seth Lover is a good pickup - but not for me and the type of music I play and my rig...
 

samldr1984

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I've had SH-55s in my 2004 LP Standard since 2004 - love them. I play Blues and Classic Rock.
 

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