Seymour Duncan Whole Lotta Humbuckers

The Archer

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Went to buy a couple pickups for a Tele project I am working on. They had a set of Seymour Duncan 'Whole Lotta Humbuckers' in stock so I grabbed 'em. When I got home I decided to try them in my 'burst and they are bloody awesome. The WCR Fillmores that I had in the guitar had great presence and clarity but were a bit thin for what I want to hear in a Les Paul. These Duncans have it all, just enough heat and compression to make things feel good when you are playing and enough honk to give a nice vintagey sound. Interestingly they blow away the equivalent set of Bare Knuckles (Black Dogs) I had before. The Black Dogs made my guitar sound like it had sinus congestion. That is not a problem with the Seymours. To me they sound a bit like a Duncan 59 but with more in the middle where it counts and less on the high and low end where it can be annoying. The bass is warm but fairly tight sounding and the highs are smooth. The mids are great without being over the top.

These make my Les Paul sound the way I think a Les Paul should sound. I guess the Fillmores are destined for the Tele project.

PB150011_zps49e55787.jpg


PB150005_zpscf584b6b.jpg
 

DADGAD

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I assume you got the SH-18's and not custom shop. Seymour and MJ definitely got a winning recipe when they made that set. It does it all. They definitely hold their own against most booteek offerings. I am probably going to get MJ to wind me another set but perhaps unpotted and maybe an A3 neck and UOA5 bridge. I think that could be a super killer set.
 

bulletproof

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Went to buy a couple pickups for a Tele project I am working on. They had a set of Seymour Duncan 'Whole Lotta Humbuckers' in stock so I grabbed 'em. When I got home I decided to try them in my 'burst and they are bloody awesome. The WCR Fillmores that I had in the guitar had great presence and clarity but were a bit thin for what I want to hear in a Les Paul. These Duncans have it all, just enough heat and compression to make things feel good when you are playing and enough honk to give a nice vintagey sound. Interestingly they blow away the equivalent set of Bare Knuckles (Black Dogs) I had before. The Black Dogs made my guitar sound like it had sinus congestion. That is not a problem with the Seymours. To me they sound a bit like a Duncan 59 but with more in the middle where it counts and less on the high and low end where it can be annoying. The bass is warm but fairly tight sounding and the highs are smooth. The mids are great without being over the top.

These make my Les Paul sound the way I think a Les Paul should sound. I guess the Fillmores are destined for the Tele project.

PB150011_zps49e55787.jpg


PB150005_zpscf584b6b.jpg
Very nice!! I have the itch to try these out.....
 

jab996

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I really like my SH-18 set, but am very interested in the unpotted set also.
I'm hoping someone will post some vids with the unpotted set.
 

darthphineas

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How do the match up against the Re-Wind Pre72 and Post72 set? Or the BKP Page set of the Mule neck and Riff Raff bridge? Or the other boutique offerings based on the LZ era Page pickups?
 

DADGAD

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How do the match up against the Re-Wind Pre72 and Post72 set? Or the BKP Page set of the Mule neck and Riff Raff bridge? Or the other boutique offerings based on the LZ era Page pickups?

Totally different flavors. the ReWinds are excellent pickups made to represent Pages pickups from Pre 1972 ( Both PAF's) and post 72 (PAF/T top). The WLH set is base on a set MJ wound for Jimmy in the early 80's. This is likely the set that ended up in his Red B bender LP. That LP was his experimental guitar. I can say the Custlm shop WLH's are raw and aggressively vintagey sounding but add some gain and they can do some modern stuff too.
 

jab996

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The WLH set is base on a set MJ wound for Jimmy in the early 80's.

Just my opinion and nothing personal, but when I read the marketing about the SH-18 set, SD says nothing about the 80's and everything about the 70's. Does not mention MJ. I strongly beleive these pickups are based on multiple winds he did for a whole lotta artists in the 70's.
 

The Archer

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DADGAD

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There was another thread where the marketing jargon was talked about. It's vague and never directly says Jimmy Page. Likely for a reason. Something like, for a certain London based session player, wink, wink. MJ has said in an interview in a magazine that her first artist set she made when she started at Duncan in 82 was the Jimmy Page set. She could never forget the specs, 8.2k and 8.78k AL5. those are exactly the specs of the WLH. The ad is a little vague in order to tie Seymour to Jimmy. Kind of like this. Seymour used to be in London rewinding pickups for major artist. Guys like Beck and Page used to be players in London. Seymour made a set of pickups for Page (no direct time mentioned) So now you get a set of pickups I made for Jimmy Page who used to be in London at the same time I was rewinding pickups.
 

OldBenKenobi

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Even Seymour has said that this is based on a 70's rewind that he made.

Livin

If we're to read between the lines and interpret the article the way we're supposed to it says this:

"Seymour Duncan rewound Jimmy Page's PAFs in 1971 and these pickups are replicas of those pickups."

If that were the case it would be a pretty major breakthrough. Not only is it a big addition to the story of #1, it would also mean the elusive pickups from #1 are readily available in a mass-produced form.

But I do not believe that to be the case. I believe thats how we're supposed to read the article and understand the story, but the actual text doesn't definitively link Seymour Duncan and the pickups to Page circa 1971. It tells us that Seymour was in London at the time, that Jimmy Page was a major player at the time and that major players of the time went to Seymour for a tone boost.

We know that these are Jimmy's pickups, theres just nothing that specifically ties them to 1971. The reasoning kinda makes sense: The pickups probably sell more under the guise of being the pickups for the Zeppelin sound, rather than the post-Zeppelin sound (and really, to most people Jimmy's career died with John Bonham).

Either way it doesn't really matter. Even if the pickups are the original #1 PAFs rewound by Seymour in 1971 then the bridge pickup died within a year and the only official recordings would be parts of Led Zeppelin IV (assuming the rewind was done in early 71), parts of Houses of the Holy and possibly "Down By the Seaside." If Seymour's story is true then the neck pickup would be the interesting one, since you could theoretically pair it with a T-Top and have the exact post-May 72 combo.
 

darthphineas

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it sounds like the way the marketing is worded for a Zep-themed set from the early 70s is a bit odd for something from the 80s. a little confusing. 80s? hmmmm. wouldn't it have been more accurate to call this set THE FIRMbuckers?
 

The Archer

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MJ has said in an interview in a magazine that her first artist set she made when she started at Duncan in 82 was the Jimmy Page set. She could never forget the specs, 8.2k and 8.78k AL5. those are exactly the specs of the WLH.


Or maybe Jimmy called Duncan for a set like the ones Seymour made and those were the specs. MJ, having been tapped to make a set for Mr Page has those specs burned in her memory.

I dont see Seymour lying or playing with facts to mislead people when he is such a trusted name in the biz. He did work for Jimmy in the early 70's and these are based on that work....maybe they are replicas or maybe they are just an homage. The bottom line is these are great pickups
 

darthphineas

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I dont see Seymour lying or playing with facts to mislead people when he is such a trusted name in the biz.


I don't think Seymour is actually writing the copy for the ads. there is no doubt Mr Duncan is a well-respected man in the business, as is MJ.

they have had a fair share of descriptions over the past couple of years that are poorly worded and in some cases contain totally wrong info. I don't think Seymour wrote those either.
 

DADGAD

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Seymour and MJ likely have little
to do with the marketing side. I respect Mr. Duncan tremendously. I have spoken to MJ several times, and despite her busy workload she has always been friendly and professional. A classy lady. There is no real deception per se, just a blending of the facts that may try to tie all the events together. Not the first time a marketing team stretched things a bit.
 

The Archer

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If things are stretched then it is directly from Seymour. He told the story of these pickups to the guys at Premier Guitar on video.

But again, regardless of origin the WLH set is pretty awesome.
 

OldBenKenobi

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I don't think theres anybody who wouldn't prefer it if the pickups were actually #1's pre-T-top set.

If that is indeed the case then these are the original WLHs, just before the bridge died:

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjt9o_fQdQE]LED ZEPPELIN - ROCK N' ROLL LIVE SIDNEY 1972 ...BEST PERFORMANCE EVER! - YouTube[/ame]

Can't think of a better advertisement than that.

Assuming the chain of events happened as Duncan describes the likely scenario is that Page asked for a replica of the set to go in #3, which MJ wound, and later had a bridge pickup made to go into #1 (which would still have the SH-18n in the neck). At some point he also had the pickups put into the EDS-1275 - you can see the Duncan logo on the six-string bridge pickup. Thats a pretty reasonable series of events.
 

DADGAD

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Pages number 1 didn't have a Duncan in the bridge until the late 80's/ early 90's. Not too long ago Tim at Bareknuckle had an opportunity to examine Pages number 1. The Duncan bridge measured approximately 8.15k and was AL5. Not really WLH range. More like Duncan 59. Page is kind of reluctant to give details in his gear and his memory seems deliberately "foggy" so that leaves us forum guys to speculate.

It is a bit of a stretch to connect those pickups (WLH) to Pages Doubleneck. I am wondering what pickups are in there. It is possible that Seymour did rewind pickups for Page in the 70's. Page's number 1 is quite well documented by the legions of fans to the point of when the Klusons came off and the Grovers went on. On another note, I got a set of the whole lotta humbuckers in 2012 when they were limited to 150 sets worldwide and only to the UK. They are essentially the "Jimmy Page" pickups that weren't advertised but you could call the custom shop and order a set. They are the same set. MJ has confirmed with me via email before. Before I got my set in 2012. I was always looking for a Duncan Custom shop set of Page pickups. They were always the same specs as they were made in '82. 8.2/8.78 AL5. One set I was looking at was made in 2003. So they really weren't limited edition. All this aside, it isn't a new set just relaunched differently.

The bottom line in this is that this set is awesome however they choose to market it.
 

darthphineas

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Pages number 1 didn't have a Duncan in the bridge until the late 80's/ early 90's. Not too long ago Tim at Bareknuckle had an opportunity to examine Pages number 1. The Duncan bridge measured approximately 8.15k and was AL5. Not really WLH range. More like Duncan 59. Page is kind of reluctant to give details in his gear and his memory seems deliberately "foggy" so that leaves us forum guys to speculate.

This seems like a fair and concise summary. :thumb:

Didn't Tim say something about the neck pup being a lot like the Riff Raff that he offers? I thought he offered the Mule neck and Riff Raff bridge for the Zep-era Page set, so that was interesting.
 

DADGAD

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This seems like a fair and concise summary. :thumb:

Didn't Tim say something about the neck pup being a lot like the Riff Raff that he offers? I thought he offered the Mule neck and Riff Raff bridge for the Zep-era Page set, so that was interesting.

I believe Tim said his Riff Raff bridge was the closest in spec to Page's Duncan bridge. His Page set has a Mule NECK I think which is around 7.5k. I believe the concensus was that Pages neck was over 8k and AL2. Can't remember exactly who here who was in the know had that info. It was apparently 8.68k but that was likely measured in the circuit which can lead to higher readings according to Bill M. It likely was approx 8.0 to 8.2 which sort of fits the range of what people are making. The Riff Raff bridge is one I want to try but I have tried a Duncan 59 in my bridge with a real PAF neck. I couldn't get along with it but that was before I got my Orange AD30 single channel.
 

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