Based on a Jeff Beck Prototype
Updated 7/3/09, 9:10 am EST at bottom of story
Finally some closure (understanding of) the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop George Lynch Signature Super V pickup. The below info is from a recent thread on the Seymour Duncan forum, which referred to the following language from this post:
“Marisala Juarez (MJ) from the Duncan Custom Shop was the person who assembled the three prototypes of the Super V. She told me that the basic design of the Super V was based off the original version of the JB, which used a gauge of winding that hasn’t been used since the original JB pickups were made long ago. Also, there were three different outputs and two different magnets in the three [prototypes], two of which were similar but with different amounts of winds.”
Here’s the more-recent info, posted by a Duncan employee:
“To be clear, it’s not like there was an original JB and then it changed [to] the current SH-4. The current JB is no different from the original. Substitute the word “prototype” for “original” and you’ll understand.
“Back when Seymour and Jeff were working on a set of pickups to replace the PAFs that were stolen out of Jeff’s guitar, they went back and forth trying out many different specifications before settling on the SH-4 and SH-2n (though back then, they were called the JB and JM).
“The pickup that George’s tech is talking about is one of those prototypes. Even though it didn’t make it permanently into Jeff’s guitar and even though it wasn’t used on Blow By Blow, it was still a very cool pickup.
“Cut to 35 years later and a pickup very close to that cool prototype pickup is now available as the Super V.”
BUT sound-wise, George recently said it sounded “Seth Lover-ish.” If he was referring to the Duncan Seth Lover Model (SH-55), Duncan says that’s an “ultra-authentic, Alnico 2, PAF-type humbucker. Great for country, jazz, blues and classic rock. For brighter toned instruments. Works especially well with maple and ebony fingerboards. Not recommended for use with ultra high gain tube amplifiers over 50 watts.”
Hmmm. George designed that pickup I believe to go into his mahogany-bodied, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard ESP Super V guitar. Seems like it would sound dark. And he definitely plays “high gain” amps “over 50 watts!” Last but not least, the Super V’s resistance is about 17K ohms vs. 8.1K (bridge) for the Seth Lover (but 16.4K for the JB), ohms being a rough measure of output.
So it seems the bottom line re: the Super V is that it’s a Seth Lover/JB-sounding pickup (the Lover and Super V have Alnico 2 magnets, the JB has an Alnico 5 mag) with JB-level output. Makes me want to try one!
Update 7/3/09 at 9:10 EST
But then there’s this recent post by someone at the Duncan forum: “I have owned both the LTD version and ESP versions of the Super V guitar. The ESP has the Super V pickup [which] sounds real close to a Duncan Invader I have in a San Dimas Jackson strat. Kind of bright and hot. I liked the Screamin’ Demon that was in the LTD version better. Less distorted and more separated.”