One of the best (if not THE best) humbucker pickups I have ever owned is my Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB pickup. I have been playing in my live band using the SH-4 in my custom built Stratocaster for quite a few years now. I have had this pickup in my guitar since 1986 and I have always loved the way it sounds.
The Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB pickup just comes alive with a Stratocaster’s 25-1/2″ scale length. The SH-4 really takes advantage of that scale lengths ability to produce bell like highs and amazing natural harmonics. It seems like the pickup was simply matched and made for the Straocaster. I have about a dozen guitars with various pickup combinations but the only guitar I own that can hold a sustained harmonic almost indefinitely is my SH-4 JB equipped Stratocaster.
I have my SH-4 JB wired to an on/on/on mini-toggle switch so I can run the pickup in Series, Parallel or Split coil configurations. I do run the SH-4 in series configuration most of the time as that gives me the beefiest tones. If you want to look at the many ways the SH-4 can be wired in your guitar, here’s the wiring diagram. It’s really amazing how many tones you can get out of this guitar pickup.
As I said before, I’ve been playing live music on my Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB for 23 years now and it’s seen a lot of stage and studio time. I’ve used it on dozens of recordings and countless gigs as well as hours and hours of practice. The pickup has never failed me or let me down. It’s quite gouged from all the years of picks scraping it. It even took all the abuse I could give it during the period of time I was using copper picks. As a matter of fact, I quit using those copper picks because they were chewing up my SH-4 so badly. The copper picks are gone but the SH-4 JB keeps on going strong!
I just can’t recommend the SH-4 enough. It’s simply a fantastic sounding electric guitar pickup. It’s easy to install if your guitar is already routed for humbuckers and it’s available in several string spacing options depending on which type of bridge you have. If you have a Floyd Rose style locking tremelo, make sure you get the Seymour Duncan TB-4 JB Trembucker so your strings pass directly over the pole pieces.
If you’re looking for a huge upgrade to your humbucker equipped guitar, you just can’t go wrong with the excellent Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker!