My ears perked up when I heard about Seymour Duncan’s new 59/Custom Hybrid bridge humbucker. I’d never tried a pickup that combined coils from two very different pickups — in this case, the ’59, a vintage-accurate PAF, and the Custom, long described as “a PAF on steroids.”
I was eager to hear how a hybrid pickup would blend with a vintage-style neck PAF. My test guitar was a Hamer 20th Anniversary retrofitted with Antiquity Humbuckers. (It originally had a JB/’59 pair.)
I had several burning questions:
• Could I could get a hotter bridge tone without losing too much treble definition?
• Would the more powerful bridge pickup overpower the neck pickup?
• Could I still get a delicate, chiming clean tone?
• How would it sound in split-coil mode (which solos the hotter Custom coil)?
• How would the split-coil bridge blend with the neck pickup?
I made some before-and-after recordings. Have a listen:
First I recorded a clean phrase and a crunch phase using the original Antiquity Humbucker and the amp simulations from Apple’s Logic Pro.Antiquity Clean Phrase (Vox amp model) Antiquity Crunch Phrase (Marshall amp model)
Then I popped out the bridge Antiquity Humbucker and soldered in the 59/Custom Hybrid. (I would have used a solder-less Liberator pot, but I needed a push/pull pot for the split-coil option.)
Then my ears perked up all over again. Check it out:59/Custom Hybrid Clean Phrase (Vox amp model) 59/Custom Hybrid Crunch Phrase (Marshall amp model)
It’s a cool compromise with the Antiquity. You get a lot more “push” relative to the Antiquity, yet the pickup still does nice, pretty clean tones.
Next, I tried blending the pickups and mixing in the split-coil tones. I switched over to an analog amp are played a clean passage that incorporates all five pickup combinations (neck, bridge humbucker, bridge split coil, neck and bridge humbucker, and neck with bridge split coil, in that order).59/Custom Hybrid Mixed Settings Clean
Then I added a homemade overdrive for some scuzzier sounds, once more cycling through all five combinations:59/Custom Hybrid Mixed Settings Crunch
I really dig this pickup.
Anyone else had experience using pickups with “mismatched” coils? Any observations?