The Duncan JB and it's clones

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by HeHasTheJazzHands, May 7, 2021.

  1. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29,110
    Likes Received:
    14,569
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Something I've been thinking about. I'm curious if anyone's ever tried the Duncan JB and compared it to the various supposed clones out there?

    Like, you have the standard JB. Polarizing pickup.

    And then you have the supposed clones like the Suhr SSH+ and Aldrich, the Wolfetone Timbre Wolf, the Motor City Afwayu (inb4 knightbolaire :lol:), the BKP Holy Diver, Rebel Yell, and I THINk the Alnico Nailbomb? Oh and forgot the Fishman Fluence Classic 2nd oicing. Anything else I'm missing that anyone's tried?
     
  2. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

    Messages:
    27,240
    Likes Received:
    9,055
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Earth
    The OG JB?
     
  3. Quiet Coil

    Quiet Coil Only obsesses over guitars when not playing them.

    Messages:
    1,267
    Likes Received:
    467
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Washington
    IME the Holy Diver is similar, but minus the “attitude”. Same deal with the A-bomb, though it retains more of the cut that the HD rolled off. Both are a bit clearer/cleaner than the JB, but are more “polite” as a result.

    As far as the Fluence Classic, you know very well it’s a different beast. I will say that V2 feels closer to the JB when the HF Tilt is on. I’ll also say that I greatly prefer the the JB when splitting coils.

    I definitely have a love/hate relationship with the JB. Thinking I might swap the A-bomb in my 25” Tele tuned to E drop D with a JB, and pull out the JB from my 24.75” bolt-on LP tuned to D drop C.
     
  4. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29,110
    Likes Received:
    14,569
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    To me the Fluence Classic V2 does have some JB character. But it has a tighter but bigger low end and seems to have an even brighter treble response.

    The 2 I'm most interested in is the Wolfetone and the Motor City. Always wanted to try those.

    I had a Suhr Aldrich and I remember it being okay. Didn't own it long enough to judge. Didn't jive with the Rebel Yell.
     
  5. Hoss632

    Hoss632 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    233
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2020
    Another pick up similar to the JB is the BKP coldsweat. Slightly mellower, I would compare it more to the Suhr stuff in that regard. I personally have loved the JB in just about every guitar I've heard it in. From standard all the way to drop A# tuning (breaking benjamin's singer uses a JB in his baritone). I personally want a Eclipse or if I can find the right feeling Les Paul one of those to stick a JB in as I find that thick heavy bodied stuff like that is where it tends to really shine.
     
  6. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29,110
    Likes Received:
    14,569
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Yeah both Ben of BB and Pete of Chevelle switched to using JBs after leaving PRS years ago. It does help that Ben doesn't use a lot of gain at all and Pete used an extremely tight and dry amp (Mesa Mark IV, V, and JP2C).
     
  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

    Messages:
    16,516
    Likes Received:
    18,325
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Location:
    MN
    Holy diver is a wayyy more refined JB, to the point I don't want to call it JB related :lol:
    It has a tighter low end and lacks that same vocal mid quality/ high end. Totally different feel imo.

    Same with the afwayu. It actually has the big chunky low end but somehow feels faster, meaner and much grindier/ rawer in the mids versus the JB. It's different enough that I don't associate it with the JB at all. Cleans are way better too imo

    Abomb was farrr closer to the JB than the other two ime. Had the big low end, the right vocal midrange and a good amount of hair to the highs.
     
  8. John

    John New album out now: https://goo.gl/PdPVYh

    Messages:
    898
    Likes Received:
    2,360
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    The Bareknuckle Holydiver is similar, minus the negative aspects of the JB like its 'quack' or lack of clarity under lower tunings.

    Apart from those and ones you mentioned, a couple other similarly voiced ones include the Rio Grande BBQ and SD Perpetual Burn (more balanced JB, with a little less output and and more open sound).
     
  9. Apex1rg7x

    Apex1rg7x Agent of Chaos

    Messages:
    1,631
    Likes Received:
    567
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    I have a Les Paul on the way that currently has Wolfetone Marshallhead's installed, so this will be my first guitar with Wolfetone pup's. I emailed Wolfe and he did recommend the Blisterbucker or Timber Wolf as a tighter high gain option. Motor City is another cool option and I love Jerry's tone so I've always wanted to try those as well.
     
  10. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29,110
    Likes Received:
    14,569
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Yeah Jerry is how I discovered them. I think he used the Afwayu in his Rampages and the Black Belts in his Gibsons.

    I did message Wolfe about the differences between the Timbres and the Blisters. Just to get his opinion.
     
    Apex1rg7x likes this.
  11. Richter

    Richter SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    62
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Paris, France
    Don't forget the DiMarzio AT-1
     
  12. TheBolivianSniper

    TheBolivianSniper SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    634
    Joined:
    May 25, 2020
    Location:
    PA
    What's the most "metal" sort of JB clone? I love the whole cocked wah, fizzy top end, huge low end sound but I'd rather get a hold on something a little bit tighter and more aggressive. Would be downtuned probably to drop B at most.
     
  13. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

    Messages:
    16,516
    Likes Received:
    18,325
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Location:
    MN
    afwayu or nailbomb.
     
  14. Neon_Knight_

    Neon_Knight_ SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    77
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Location:
    Devon, England
    Perhaps Nailbomb, but "huge low end", "tight" and "aggressive" are not words I would use to describe a JB. However, because you want a "sort of JB clone", that rules out most of the obvious choices for down-tuning.

    Really not a JB clone, but a DiMarzio Super 3 probably covers every other part of your description.
     
    John likes this.
  15. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29,110
    Likes Received:
    14,569
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    It's weird because spec-wise, the JB doesn't have a huge low end, but it feels like it does. I have no clue how Duncan managed that. :lol:

    FWIW since making this thread, I ended up getting another guitar at a steal, and if I needed a pickup swap, I ended up talking to Wolfe McLeoed and he said that the Blisterbucker sounds like what I want over the Timbre Wolf. He does say that if you want a more versatile metal pickup that cleans up nicely, the Timbre Wolf would be something to consider, though.

    Believe it or not, check out the Dean Baker Act. It's got that forward mid push and still a big low end, but it's tighter. I completely forgot to include that in the OP. :lol:
     
  16. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

    Messages:
    13,984
    Likes Received:
    1,476
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    Woodbridge, VA
    Being the resident JB loony around here for a long time, I've used most of them.

    The Wolfetone is a little darker, a touch smoother, and the low end isn't as wooly. It's my personal favorite.

    The Aldrich is #2 - a vicious, snarling beast that plays a little better with singles than the Wolfetone does.

    I preferred the real thing to all the others, although the Holy Diver was pretty damn close.
     
    SubsonicDoom99 likes this.
  17. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

    Messages:
    13,984
    Likes Received:
    1,476
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    Woodbridge, VA
    I almost tried one of those, but then I bought a Fenris just for the hell of it. Sounds like an A2 JB variant, a la the DeMartini RTM. Glorious hair metal tones in a basswood guitar.
     
    Spaced Out Ace likes this.
  18. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29,110
    Likes Received:
    14,569
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I've seen it described as a clearer Duncan Distortion. Once I figure out what I'm doing with this guitar on the way I'm def gonna check it out.
     
  19. Neon_Knight_

    Neon_Knight_ SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    77
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Location:
    Devon, England
    Could it be that the loose / wooliness of the low end makes it sound 'bigger' than it actually is in certain situations?
     
    Zhysick likes this.
  20. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    317
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I have guitars with both pickups and the CS bridge does not sound similar to a JB to my ears. CS has less mids, more bass and lower output. That being said, the JB and the 81 are my favorite pups :)
     

Share This Page