Seymour Duncan JB Model

Price Paid: 
Humbucker/Single Coil/Stacked Single: 
Passive/Active/Not sure: 
AlNico/Ceramic/Not sure: 
Instrument Installed in: 
Charvel San Dimas USA & Japan Pro Mod's, Edwards Les Paul
Sound Quality: 
5 (excellent)

Always worked

Customer Support: 

Never dealt with Seymour Duncan


If you have someone telling you about some new boutique pickup maker's newest hot rod humbucker, it's probably "based" on the Seymour Duncan JB, and it's no surprise. The JB is Duncan's most popular humbucking pickup, and has been for roughly 30 years, responsible for some of the greatest guitar sounds of the 80's, and is today, a long with the Duncan '59 neck pickup, the stock passive pickup of choice in many hard rock and metal guitars, such as Charvel, Jackson, ESP, and Schecter. And quite frankly, in my opinion, if you're paying double for a supposedly hot rodded JB, you're throwing your money away for hype. Well at least most of the time. The JB is a high output, balls out, hard rocking, alnico 5 humbucker, and it's one of those pickups that doesn't try to be all things to all people, although in my opinion it cleans up nicer than other pickups in it's class, compared to say a DiMarzio Super Distortion, but there is no mistaking what it was born to do.

The JB has an airy sound quality, like most Duncan's, has punchy mids, and the highs sing, the bass is tight, and has lots of sustain, it's an aggressive pickup designed specifically for the bridge position, and works equally as well in both Strat and Les Paul style guitars, and just about everything in between. The JB isn't without it's detractors. Some argue that it lacks articulation, and pick attack sensativity, or that it's a one dimensional pickup, which lacks harmonics. These arguments aren't without merit, compared to the Duncan Custom Custom, a slightly lower output, warmer sounding alnico 2 humbucker, to me it does lack the articulation, and is not as harmonically rich, some say the JB always comes back to the same harmonic actually. Sometimes the highs can be a little rough, with many JB users opting to use 250k pots to smooth them out. But the JB does what it does better than most, it's all balls to the wall, it's aggressive in a way that a pickup like the Custom Custom can't be, it's the snarling pitbull of the standard Duncan high output line. The best part of the JB is that it's always a JB, it doesn't require a rocket scientist to find out what guitar it will sound good in, it sounded equally as good in my Charvel San Dimas Pro Mod's as it did in my Edwards Les Paul, both had punchy mids and tight bass, and was equally as aggressive, the highs were smoother in the Les Paul style guitar however. I'm giving the JB 5 out of 5, I think there is a better high output bridge pickup, that is also at home in different types of solidbody hard rock and metal style guitars, that pickup being the Suhr Doug Aldrich bridge pickup. But the JB is about $30 less, and for that money I don't think it can be beat by any other pickup, if what you're looking for is a passive, high output, aggressive pickup. They came stock in all 3 guitars I had them in, but they sell for about $75 new.

Overall Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)