Suhr SSH pickup opinions anyone?

ErictheRed

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I'm looking for opinions on the Suhr SSH pickup, not the SSH+. I have the SSV neck and SSH+ combo in a Suhr Modern HSH and the SSH+ is a fantastic pickup, all of the good in a hot pickup with very little of the bad (compression, mud, etc).

For another guitar I'm going to use a Suhr SSV neck pickup because it's pretty much my favorite after market neck pickup, but I'd like to try something else in the bridge. It's a 25.5" scale neck-through project. I really doubt that I need anything as hot as an Aldrich, and I've read that Suhr recommends the SSV for Gibson scale and SSV+ for Fender scale. So I'm thinking about the SSH or SSV+. It seems like everyone either buys the SSV or SSV+ for the hot vintage type tone, and the SSH+ or Aldrich for modern high gain stuff, but no-one seems to buy the SSH!

Anyone here have any experience with the Suhr SSH pickup to share?

I'm pretty familiar with Bare Knuckle pickups if anyone wanted to compare to them, too.
 
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ErictheRed

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I'm bumping my post of more than a year ago to give a quick review: in short, the SSH is fantastic! I like many of Suhr's products, and this is one of the better ones.

I've now played the Suhr Thornbucker neck and bridge, SSV neck and bridge, SSV+, SSH, and SSH+. They've all been in exactly the same guitar (a neck-through custom build with hard tail, Fender scale length, 24 frets, 500k shared Volume and Tone pots, very similar to a Schecter C1 Elite) with the same electronics as I've been trying to dial in the sound for a while. I've also had Bare Knuckle True Grits, Emeralds, Nailbombs, VHII neck, and Holydivers, as well as the Seymour Duncan Jazz and JB that it came with, and a Seymour Duncan Sentient neck. I've been rolling all of these pickups over the course of almost three years now.

The Suhr SSV is my favorite neck humbucker, though it's a little dark. I also really liked the Jazz in this guitar, and the Sentient is really good as well. Most of the Bare Knuckle neck pickups disappointed me, but the True Grit was quite good, and the Holydiver was interesting (kind of like a Thornbucker neck). This is really about the Suhr SSH bridge, though.

I've only had it installed for about a month, but so far this is my favorite bridge pickup of them all! Some of the others were nice, but didn't work out as well for various reasons. For one thing, with a shared Volume and Tone, I didn't want a super bright bridge pickup because it's harder to tame (I don't want to keep turning my tone knob down and up when I go from the neck to the bridge and back, I want something more balanced). The Suhr SSV+ sounded good but was VERY bright, for instance.

I started with a JB, which we all know and is good in some ways but also loose in the bass and overly middy. I tried a Nailbomb which was just way too aggressively voiced and not versatile at all. The True Grit bridge sounded great also, but didn't have the low end that I wanted. The Holydiver was kind of an improved JB, but overly compressed for me (sounded fantastic for leads, though). The Emerald was a bit thin and boring. All Bare Knuckle pickups seem to have a particular quality to me, kind of sterile and clinical. They have fantastic note separation, but can be boring IMHO.

Moving on to Suhr, the SSH+ is probably my favorite high-gain pickup, but I have it in another guitar. It's also just a very high output pickup with a lot of mids that doesn't clean up super easily. It actually sounded fantastic in this guitar for higher gain stuff like Alice in Chains, but I had a harder time taming it for lower gain sounds. It was more of a feel thing, but it didn't seem versatile enought to me. I tried the SSV but wanted more output, and the SSV+ sounded great clean and for lower gains, but is a VERY bright bridge pickup! All of the extra output compared to the SSV seems to be in the highs and upper mids, making it sound thin. Suhr pickups generally have more "character" to me, they're a bit low-fi and smear notes together in a beautiful, musical way. It's hard to explain, but I like their feel.

SO, I'd been through all of these pickups, and actually had the True Grit bridge back in there twice, the Holydiver in there twice, and the SSH+ in there twice. I just couldn't quite get the bridge pickup where I wanted! The Holydiver was too compressed, and the SSH+ was too high output and hard to control on some songs. The Suhr SSV+ sounded good, but it was too bright. Enter the SSH: it's like they took the SSV+ and added more output, but this time filled in the output in the lows and lower mids to match up with the already higher output in the highs. Or like they took the basic tone print of the SSH+ and backed down the output some, while maybe removing some of the mid push.

The SSH has a mid push compared to a scooped PAF-type pickup like a Burstbucker Pro, but it's a very even, balanced EQ to my ears. It's still higher output, but not crazily so: less than the SSH+ and less than a JB, but more than the Emerald or VHII or SSV+. About as much as the True Grit. It seems like it has more "weight" than a True Grit, which I really like. It's not nearly as compressed as the SSH+ or Holydiver or JB, not as loose in the lows as the JB (though not as tight as a True Grit). It cleans up really well and while it doesn't sound like a PAF, it can pull off the lower gain classic rock tones much better than the SSH+ to me, and has better cleans. It's easier to control/tame than the SSH+, it feels much better to me for everything except high output stuff. Having said that, I have a Mesa TC-100 so my amp isn't lacking in the gain department, and it does exceptionally well with higher gain, too.

I so far love this pickup, and I think it's been long enough and enough rehearsals that I'm out of the honeymoon phase. I realize that this is a long and rambling post, but it might help someone who finds it with Google. There's very little out there about the Suhr SSH, most videos are of the SSH+ or Thornbuckers.

TL,DR version: Suhr pickups are amazing. If the SSH+ is a little too much for you and the SSV+ is too bright/thin for you, then the SSH is probably perfect! It is for me in this guitar.
 

AJK1

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I once asked the forum opinion on Suhr pickups and got no reply
 

Jim Klein

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I have 2 Suhr moderns and a Strandberg NX6 with Suhr pups..Love them! my son has the Aldrich set in his LP great pups also.
 

ErictheRed

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I think they're fantastic pickups in general. I haven't tried a ton of different brands, but for my tastes they're at least as good as the pickups I've tried from Seymour Duncan, Bare Knuckle, DiMarzio, and Fralin. They're my go-to for aftermarket pickups now.

Anyway I haven't been able to find much on the SSH, it's all Thornbucker and SSH+ and DSH+ and SSV, so thought I'd make this post. It seems incredibly versatile. If someone wants hotter than a PAF but not a true high output pickup with compression, then I can highly recommend trying the SSH. It's voiced similar to the SSH+ and not like the SSV+ (which is very bright) at all.
 

hamerfan

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Thanks for the write-up on Suhr humbuckers. I tried a lot of Duncan and found most of them a bit stiff sounding including JB, DD, Screaming Demon, 59 and Jazz. By chance i worked on a Rockfield guitar with a DSV in the neck. It was clearly the best neck pickup i have heard so far.
 

ErictheRed

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I've never tried the double-screw series from them but I'm sure they're great.
 

roberty

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Thanks for your write up @ErictheRed, I appreciate you coming back to follow up. I think I'll give the SSH a go in my LPC. I have a True Grit in there at the moment and the attack is just a little too much on what is already a very percussive sounding guitar
 

ErictheRed

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Thanks for your write up @ErictheRed, I appreciate you coming back to follow up. I think I'll give the SSH a go in my LPC. I have a True Grit in there at the moment and the attack is just a little too much on what is already a very percussive sounding guitar
I think you'll be happy with it. A little too much attack is a good way to describe my feelings about the True Grit bridge, though I do like that pickup. Let us know how it works for you! It's been about two months and I think that this is my new favorite bridge pickup, at least it's my favorite in this guitar.
 

roberty

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I think you'll be happy with it. A little too much attack is a good way to describe my feelings about the True Grit bridge, though I do like that pickup. Let us know how it works for you! It's been about two months and I think that this is my new favorite bridge pickup, at least it's my favorite in this guitar.
Thanks, I have ordered the SSH now and will be sure report back. I've been running my tone control at around 4 or 5 with the True Grit and it's pretty good there but I'd still like a bit more push in the mids. I have an SSH+ in a Yamaha Revstar and it's wild honestly, I love that pickup but I'm after something a little less exaggerated and more balanced for my LPC
 

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