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A dumb question - JB/Distortion hybrid?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Gabrielinconfident View Post

    You do realise the JB and Duncan Distortion are the same exact pickup with different magnets, right?
    ​​​​​​
    No, I don't. That's why I asked. I've come across a bunch of posts saying what you're saying, and a bunch of other posts saying the winds are just a bit different. The listed resistance specs on the website are a little different. If they're a little different in the real world then it would be cool for me to hear the mismatch, and if they aren't then I would have an answer of a different sort. I'm curious enough about it to want to hear and feel it through my own rig. But practically speaking, this time around, I was also looking for a bridge pickup in my Gibson that makes me just a little bit happier, which I ended up with by going a different route. I do think Artie is a credible source and I imagine based on what he says that the JB/Distortion project might be a waste of time, but I'll never really know until I try.
    Take it to the limit
    Everybody to the limit
    Come on Fhqwhgads

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    • #32
      I wanna say that I'm really, really not after trade secrets or trying to open a can of worms with this. I've also read that they vary their recipe to achieve the same results with slightly different materials, as suppliers change, so I wonder if some of those differences could be down to just having pickups from a different batch even if they do make them side by side. In which case, heck, maybe it would be worth trying after all.

      I appreciate all the links you've shared, cheers.
      Take it to the limit
      Everybody to the limit
      Come on Fhqwhgads

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      • #33
        "The company *has not confirmed this to be false*, to my knowledge, anywhere on the internet." – that's what Falbo said. He didn't deny it, quite the contrary.

        I once ordered a custom shop DD with Alnico II on the 3 treble strings, and during the design phase, it was mentioned that if I chose A5, it'd be a DD/JB hybrid, because they're the same coils. To be completely honest, I don't remember if it was me or them who mentioned it – it was years ago – but it was a consensus. MJ built the pickup for me, and I still have it. It's weird that it suddenly became controversial to say it, but yeah, they're the same. Any minor differences can be attributed to material tolerances over the (40?) years those pickups have been manufactured.

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        • #34
          If you're not deaf, they're different coils. One of my favorite pickups is a Distortion with an alnico magnet in it. I've spent a lot of time with an A5 Distortion which is NOT a JB.
          The things that you wanted
          I bought them for you

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Seashore View Post

            The listed resistance specs on the website are a little different.
            No, they're the exact same. See attachments.

            Originally posted by Seashore View Post
            I was also looking for a bridge pickup in my Gibson that makes me just a little bit happier, which I ended up with by going a different route.
            There's so many options, I wouldn't know where to begin helping. But if you already replaced your pickup and are happy with it, great. I just don't want you to waste time doing something that's a lot of work and wouldn't really change anything.
            If you really do want a Distortion/JB hybrid, contact the Custom Shop and request a Distortion with Ceramic on the 3 bottom strings, and Alnico 5 on the 3 top ones. They can definitely do it, and it'll sound great.
            Attached Files

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            • #36
              The most fun part about this conversation is there is an absolute. So I often advise everyone not to be too attached to your opinion on the matter.

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              • #37
                They're different coils. I've spent time with an A5 DD.
                The things that you wanted
                I bought them for you

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Gabrielinconfident View Post

                  No, they're the exact same. See attachments.



                  There's so many options, I wouldn't know where to begin helping. But if you already replaced your pickup and are happy with it, great. I just don't want you to waste time doing something that's a lot of work and wouldn't really change anything.
                  If you really do want a Distortion/JB hybrid, contact the Custom Shop and request a Distortion with Ceramic on the 3 bottom strings, and Alnico 5 on the 3 top ones. They can definitely do it, and it'll sound great.
                  This chart on the website has the 6 string JB at 16.4k and the Distortion at 16.6k:



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                  The JB and Distortion I have right now are both 7-string models. The 7-string JB isn't on the list... no big deal, the list was just one of a few data points that made me think it might be worth a shot. The Distortion is in one of those soapbar covers and sounds great where it is, so I don't really want to take it all apart. But getting something even slightly more open out of my JB would be worth it because that's the guitar I play all the time.

                  In this case I wound up making a hybrid out of the JB and a BKP Brute Force neck pickup with a messed up baseplate that I had sitting in a box. I'm psyched; it's what I hoped I would get out of this experiment. Really a joy to play through. And I don't mind spending a few hours working on it either way because I'll learn something from it. I like the dual magnet idea! Would be interested to hear how that sounds vs the more common alnico bar/ceramic flanker or ceramic bar/alnico slug recipes. Thank you for sharing your experience with it.
                  Take it to the limit
                  Everybody to the limit
                  Come on Fhqwhgads

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Seashore View Post

                    This chart on the website has the 6 string JB at 16.4k and the Distortion at 16.6k:
                    A little variance – especially a 0.2kΩ one – is to be expected, even between different units of the same model; it's within tolerance of the wire. On the model page of the JB, it lists 16.6kΩ. Also, the magnet itself exerts some force on the electrons, and ceramics are stronger magnets than alnico, which means a ceramic pickup can have a tiny bit more resistance than the same coils with an alnico bar. Very small, but sometimes measurable. There's a maniac who made a youtube video testing literally dozens of Celestion V30s, and they each sound slightly different. Speakers are just pickups in reverse, so it's a good way to hear how just material tolerance, batch, age, etc. can influence the sound.

                    Anyway, I'm happy you're happy with what you got. If you've got a sound sample, please share, I'm curious.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
                      JB and Distortion are the same coils. It will simply become whichever mag you select. You can't do a JB/Distortion hybrid.
                      That's what I said in post #2 Artie. Not exactly the same but close enough tonally. But everyone is all "How amazeballs!" the hybrid is, even though they are using single ceramic mags, UAO5's blah blah blah. I agree - the magnet will drive the sound more than anything.

                      And of course the Coil mis-match chat. I had a long talk with a couple of people at Duncan about this and got educated. To hear a coil mis-match, they need to be really different.

                      So un-scientiffic it is sad....
                      Last edited by Aceman; 09-16-2023, 10:25 PM.
                      Originally posted by Bad City
                      He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Gabrielinconfident View Post

                        You do realise the JB and Duncan Distortion are the same exact pickup with different magnets, right?
                        They are not.

                        They are very similar, but not the same. If you swap mags JB to Double Ceramic, or Distortion to A5, you get very (extremely) close, but not the same. Close enough that I practically do not care.
                        Originally posted by Bad City
                        He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Aceman View Post

                          That's what I said in post #2 Artie. Not exactly the same but close enough tonally. But everyone is all "How amazeballs!" the hybrid is, even though they are using single ceramic mags, UAO5's blah blah blah. I agree - the magnet will drive the sound more than anything.

                          And of course the Coil mis-match chat. I had a long talk with a couple of people at Duncan about this and got educated. To hear a coil mis-match, they need to be really different.

                          So un-scientiffic it is sad....
                          Nobody has actually made a JB/Distortion bridge hybrid by using one coil from each, so nobody's talking about how amazeballs it is. Reading through all of this I suspect that you (and a few other people) are right that any difference would be extremely subtle. Since you've actually gotten to talk to people at Duncan about coil mismatch, how different would you say is different enough to make a meaningful difference?
                          Take it to the limit
                          Everybody to the limit
                          Come on Fhqwhgads

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                          • #43
                            It would sound like a distinct pickup if you were to make it. Although the 2 pickups have similar eqs, the Distortion has an overall more modern sound, more solid bass, a bit more defined top, and rings out cleaner without a mid clog. You'd hear this contribution in a hybrid.

                            User Blueman used to talk about using hybrids between a Jazz neck and Jazz bridge or 59 neck and 59 bridge just because of the slight heat mismatch while being the same recipe.
                            The things that you wanted
                            I bought them for you

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Aceman View Post

                              They are not.

                              They are very similar, but not the same. If you swap mags JB to Double Ceramic, or Distortion to A5, you get very (extremely) close, but not the same. Close enough that I practically do not care.
                              As I said in other messages, if you take 50 JBs or 50 DDs, you'll get "very extremely close" tones, but not exactly the same, because if the copper ore came from Chile or China, it'll be slightly different. You're being obnoxious for no reason; 10 years ago in this very forum everyone already knew DD and JB have the same coils, I have no idea why it has since become a debate.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Clint 55 View Post
                                the Distortion has an overall more modern sound, more solid bass, a bit more defined top, and rings out cleaner without a mid clog.
                                Yes, 100%, because the DD uses ceramic magnets, which are brighter and more scooped than A5

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