Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Humbucker Pickup - Black

High-output Bridge Position Humbucker with Ceramic Magnet - Black
Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Humbucker Pickup - Black image 1
Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Humbucker Pickup - Black image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $33.00 MSRP: $112.00

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Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom Humbucker Pickup - Black
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Seymour Duncan Pickups - It's all about tone!

Think of the Duncan Custom SH-5 as a bigger, beefier P.A.F., perfect for searing leads and huge chords. Don't get us wrong, the tone is still very much P.A.F., but this one is voiced to be a bit on the mean side. The ceramic magnet and custom coil design provide compressed dynamics with an enhanced harmonic structure and excellent low-frequency response. If you're a dropped-tuning player, the Duncan Custom SH-5 lets you go low without the mud. For aggressive rock, the Duncan Custom SH-5 is perfect!

Seymour Duncan Duncan Custom SH-5 at a Glance:
  • Sound
  • Complete setup

The Duncan Custom SH-5 is chock-full of "P.A.F. on steroids" tone, and is often used for classic rock, heavy rock, funk, punk, R&B, metal, and drop-tunings. This beefed up Patent Applied For tone provides a hard-driving, kickin' sound with the right balance of power, sustain, and distortion. This pickup cuts through with a distinctive high end and midrange attack. The ceramic magnet and custom coil design give it compressed dynamics, an enhanced harmonic structure, and a punchy bass. The SH-5 is perfect for dropped tunings without "mushing" out, and comes with four-conductor hookup cable to facilitate complex switching options.

Complete setup
The Duncan Custom SH-5 is recommended for the bridge position, and is often paired with an SH-1 '59 in the neck for bigger P.A.F. tones in the bridge and vintage-correct P.A.F. tones in the neck. The SH-5 is great for balanced and warm instruments, and works especially well with rosewood fingerboards.

Seymour Duncan Duncan Custom SH-5 Features:
  • Humbucker
  • Standard spacing, Learn more...
  • High output
  • Color: Black
  • Bridge position
  • Standard spacing, Learn more...
  • Ceramic magnet
  • Custom coil design
  • Compressed dynamics
  • Enhanced harmonic structure
  • P.A.F.-style tones with more bite
Your tone begins with Seymour Duncan pickups!

Why Choose Seymour Duncan?
Quite simply, it boils down to tone. Seymour Duncan has spent the majority of his life refining the art of creating pickups. Seymour Duncan is dedicated to getting the best tone possible from his pickups, from modern metal monsters to faithful reproductions of gems from the '50s and '60s. We know tone is important to you which is why we choose to carry Seymour Duncan pickups. With the massive amount of pickups available from Seymour Duncan, you're certain to find the sound you've been looking for.

Tech Specs

Type Humbucker
Active/Passive Passive
Magnet Material Ceramic
Position Bridge
Number of Conductors 4
Covering Uncovered
Number of Strings 6
Manufacturer Part Number 11102-17-B

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
Write your review

A monster of a pickup.

I've been a Dimarzio guy for awhile(I still like and use some of their pickups), but when I first tried out SD, I went with the JB and Jazz setup. I liked the Jazz, but the JB was horrendous in my opinion. Bad clarity and a rather undefined sound. I couldn't get rid of it fast enough. After that, I went back to Dimarzio until recently I traded my PRS SE with upraded Marzio pups for an Ibanez Prestige with a SH5 Custom and 59' neck combination. Man, this pickup has balls! It's super aggressive and very clear. It's about as rock and roll as it gets. I'm now sold on SD again and will give some more of their products a chance.

SH 5 Duncan Custom Pickup

I like this pickup so much it has gone in all my Gibsons. tighter bass, nice highs and hot output. never sounds mushy and cuts thru the band and aggressive tone. good for rock, punk and metal.
Music background: I have been playing guitar for over 20 years, banging it out in the clubs and some festivals and tours here and there.

It'll KNOCK YOU OUT and clean up nice for something pretty.

Some people will tell you that pickup changes don't make a difference. That is incredibly incorrect! Depending on your amp, what style you play and what volume you play at, the sound and response will be either affected or greatly affected by changing pickups. I bought one of these from Sweetwater ... maybe a year ago. I switched from the SH12 Screaming Demon in my Gibson LP standard to this. I used the SH12 for well over a decade and while it was lush and harmonically rich and easier to play the fast stuff because of its thinner sound, I was ready to go back to higher output, fatter, teeth rattling capabilities of the hotter (and warmer) options like the SH 5. I read a lot of reviews because as we all know, we can't drive to our local music store to try out a pick up. The first of several clearly obvious surprises that I found after installing the SH5 was that the chunk factor from the Marshall increased GREATLY! I was missing that with the SH12. The 2nd surprise was how much hotter the output was. I didn't need to keep the pick up as close to the strings as I did with the SH12. When double tracking heavy rythm guitar parts, I found it necessary to drop the pick up lower to get better doubled sounds and I raised it back up a bit for the lead parts. I used to do this back in the tape days. Still works! I used higher output pickups then too. The 3rd surprise is the increase in warm tone that this pickup gave me. It took a little while to learn to pick some song parts a little differently because of the hotter way that this pickup rings out, but the sound is great. It cleans up nicely and sounds totally clean and lovely on my clean amp channels. With the SH12, I sometimes wanted my guitar knob to have an 11 on it. I don't need the 11 now! I'd like to try the SH5's alnico twin (SH11?) and see what that's like. I do prefer the Alnico sound, but I love the tone, chunk and output of the SH5.
Music background: Pub, club and studio rocker. Many years. MORE GUITAR!

Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom (Black)

I installed this pickup in the bridge position in my 1988 Charvel Model 4 with a Jackson / Floyd Rose licensed Tremolo Bridge. String alignment over the pole-peices is excellent. The guitar has a basswood body and a mid-boost circuit. The guitar always sounded midrange heavy with the stock Jackson bridge pickup even with the mid boost turned all the way down. Other model 4s that I have heard did not have this issue. The SH-5 pickup sounds awesome. The mid boost circuit is useful now! The guitar has just a little grit on clean settings (not that I mind) but that can be remedied by rolling the volume down a tiny bit. I run this guitar through a BOSS GT-8 straight into the sound board at my church and can replicate just about any tone from Chris Tomlin to Lincoln Brewster and Third Day. On my off time I can get that "Brown Sound" with this guitar and my MXR Phasor and MXR Flanger as well as AC/DC and Metallica tones. Overall, this is a very versatile pickup. I have had to improve my technique using higher levels of gain since the pickup is very responsive. Pinch harmonics are easy to achieve. I would recommend this pickup to anyone who plays classic rock, alternative or contemporary praise and worship music.
Music background: Church Musician

Adds needed grit to a Strat

Was looking for a humbucker sound for my Fender Strat and found it! Single coils just don't have that fullness without lots of additional treatment, which means I am constantly adjusting everything as I switch guitars between single & double coil setups. Being lazy, I decided to install a humbucker to cut down on the on-the-fly tweaking and see if I could get additional sounds from my strat's setup, rather than reaching over to the amp all the time. After much shopping around and comparisons online, I settled on the SH-5 as the compromise between classic rock style and more modern heavy gain (I play both). I was not fact, I was pleasantly surprised at the versatility and power of this classic design, and it was an easy install. Only knock on Seymour Duncan was that I had to go search online for wiring diagrams--enclosed instructions were only for Les Paul-type double humbucker setups, nothing for adapting a single-coil slot to a 4-wire humbucker pickup. Oh well, it wasn't hard to figure out.
Music background: Hobbyist
See also: Guitar Pickups, Seymour Duncan, Seymour Duncan Electric Guitar Pickups