Seymour Duncan Nazgul vs Custom 5, what say you?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by littlebadboy, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

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    I'm thinking of swapping out my PRS S2 pickups. I know I want the SD Jazz on the neck, but for the bridge, I'm torn between the SD Nazgul and Custom 5. I usually play heavy rock and metal (newer, not classic) but I also want it to be versatile.

    What do you guys think?

    This was an awesome comparo video, but I am still undecided.

     
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Pointy Gang

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    custom 5 is wayyyy more versatile ime. great cleans, tight but big low end, slightly scooped midrange that gives it extra chunk for chugs/power chords, good clarity. The voicing is a bit more old school comparatively, but it works great for fast/tight riffs, whether black metal, tech death or thrash/metalcore along with classic rock/80s hair metal.

    The nazgul is much more picky about the guitar it goes into due to the kind of nasal/croaky midrange it can get. Also it has worse cleans and split tones imo. Definitely a better option if you want a pummeling metal pickup, as that's what it really excels at. It has great chugs and does well for thrash and beyond (black metal, tech death, etc), but the voicing is just way better suited to more modern tones than say 80s hair metal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  3. Sdrizis89

    Sdrizis89 SS.org Regular

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    I can agree with this. The nazgul is an absolute beast for modern metal tones. It is very aggressive and can cover all things heavy. Tight, good clarity, chugs are huge. The cleans and split tones arent the best. The custom 5 is a great pickup and is more versatile. Better cleans and split tones, tight, a little scooped, good clarity.
     
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  4. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Custom 5 all the way

    Nazgul, as @KnightBrolaire said, has that prominent mid-range sound. My problem with that is that you can't dial it out very easily, so it will always be there in everything you play.

    Custom 5 is pretty balanced IMO. Chunky low end, but not so fat that you can't control it with a high pass filter or your amp/plugin EQ/depth setting.
     
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  5. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Black Winter over both.
     
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  6. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood SS.org Regular

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    Yes, Black Winter over both. BUT, if it is between these 2, the C5 is way more versatile. It is seriously scooped, but it could be used for all levels of gain easily (even clean). The Nazgul does one thing, really well.
     
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  7. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    I'm also saying this as someone that upgraded from the C5 to the Black Winter, and owned a Nazgul in the past. The Black Winter will do the Nazgul thing and do metal better than the C5, which I found was too scooped and bloated in the low end when you got down to drop C and below. But I also found the Black Winter could be versatile as well.
     
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  8. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Pointy Gang

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    ehh the black winter is def more versatile than the nazgul, but I don't find it more versatile than the c5. The midscoop isn't a big deal if you're already using a midforward sounding amp like a mark or a marshall imo.
    I've had the c5 in 2 different guitars and it's been tight and chunky all the way down to drop G, whereas the black winter sucks below d standard imo (gets too muddy). Obviously it depends on the guitar/rig.
     
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  9. Aliascent

    Aliascent SS.org Regular

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    Had both, and while I agree with what's been said before, I'll add that:
    The nazgul, while not having great cleans, has a kind of cold, almost breaking up clean, which I really, really enjoyed. I also found that it was a great lead pickup, probably due to the mid-range. Reminded me of a tighter, meaner, thunderous JB mixed with a distortion.

    The C5 is exactly as described, however the low end is indeed big. Worked well with most of my amps, but not so much with the recto. I had to change my eq quite a lot.

    In the end I'd go for the C5 . The nazgul can be hard to tame for non-metal music.
     
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  10. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    ^This!
    I have a Nazgul in the bridge of a Schecter, and I dislike it very much. Thin. Dry. Chalky sounding. In my mind, the antithesis of what the tonal character of a metal pickup should be. I would avoid it unless you're playing a lot of early Joy Division.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  11. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD EIght.Fold.Path / Hinge Theory Contributor

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    Never watched that 6-string comparison before... it's amazing to me how the same tune, through different pickups, could sound so differently; sometimes like classic metal, sometimes thrashy, sometimes djenty (looking at you Omega :lol:).

    I see why the Custom 5 and BW get so much love... but my fave has always been the Full Shred :D Probably not right for the OP, but I love the way it sounds!
     
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  12. efiltsohg

    efiltsohg SS.org Regular

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    C5 pairs well with jazz

    I would pick the nazgul if I played nothing but death metal but otherwise...
     
  13. Strobe

    Strobe SS.org Regular

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    I own a custom 5 in the guitar model that's currently in my sig (ESP EII Horizon III). It's everything people say, in that it is very versatile, sounds great at any gain level including clean. It is also a very articulate pickup.

    That said, what folks say about it having a bit of a scoop is true. The mids are restrained. For this reason, I think that if you are choosing between two pickups and only two pickups, this should be an easy choice. Do you like a boatload of gainy mids or not? If so, go with the Nazgul. It sounds very aggro to be sure. Obviously this gets more complicated if you are choosing between all possible pickups, but those two are very different.
     
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  14. PatientMental76

    PatientMental76 SS.org Regular

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    I agree with what everyone is saying about the Nazgul, its a beast of a pickup but you really have to reign in the mids! Once you do tho look the fuck out!
     
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