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Thread: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

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    Default The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Hi folks,

    my local guitar thrift shop got a Fender DH-1 Humbucker for sale.

    I heard it was the Pickup that came in Fender Am Deluxe HSS Strats for a while and thought about putting it into my Squier HH Jazzmaster.

    Since the Fender forum is closed I didn't really find any good source for its specs.


    I'm mostly a metal and heavy rock guy, but I prefer medium, more classical voiced output pickups over those modern high output beasts.

    Years of owning a Gibson Guitar made me more of a luthier than a guitarist

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    Mojo's Minions Masta' C's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    The DH-1 is also known as the Atomic humbucker (per Fender). It's the closest thing they have to the Duncan JB and great for rock/metal without being too hot or compressed.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Mr. B's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    I have a DH-1 and two of the Atomic humbuckers from Highway One strats. Using only those as a reference, the DH-1 is very similar to the Atomic, but has a little grit/graininess to it that the Atomics do not have. I like them both. They remind me of the JB, but with a firmer bass end, and without the big mid hump. They are also fairly similar to the Perpetual Burn, but a bit hotter. They run well with 250k pots, and mix well with single coils.

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    Mojo's Minions Masta' C's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. B View Post
    They run well with 250k pots, and mix well with single coils.
    This. The DH-1/Atomic is voiced fairly bright.

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    Super Toneologist Jack_TriPpEr's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Quote Originally Posted by Masta' C View Post
    This. The DH-1/Atomic is voiced fairly bright.
    The DH-1 pickup also came stock in the Bridge of mahogany Stratocasters made during mid- to late- 2000s, and they also were the stock pickups in both the neck and bridge of some HH Fender Strats that were made in the early 2010s. I have experience with each of those guitars. I also play metal/thrash music like you do. I really liked the DH-1 for metal-thrash in the bridge position, and I also thought it was great at clean tones in the neck position, both as a full humbucker and when in splitcoil mode.

    So I bought a DH-1 and plan to install it in the neck of a Les Paul type guitar that I own. I happen to prefer the Fender Hot Vintage Alnico humbucker in the bridge for metal just a little more than the DH-1, so the Hot Vintage is what I plan to install in the bridge position. That decision is more personal taste preference vs any fault of the DH-1. The Fender Hot Vintage Alnico happens to have more grit than the DH-1 and I like that. A rough example would be the guitar tone of Metallica Kill Em All album vs the Metallica Ride The Lightning album. Both are great tones. I just happen to prefer the grittiness of the Kill Em All tone, so that is why I am going with Hot Vintage Alnico humbucker over the DH-1.

    I have yet to find out if what I liked about each pickup will be effected by this guitar having a 24.75" scale vs the two Strats that I originally tried those two pickups in.
    Last edited by Jack_TriPpEr; 04-08-2020 at 05:57 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Super Toneologist Jack_TriPpEr's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. B View Post
    I have a DH-1 and two of the Atomic humbuckers from Highway One strats. Using only those as a reference, the DH-1 is very similar to the Atomic, but has a little grit/graininess to it that the Atomics do not have. I like them both. They remind me of the JB, but with a firmer bass end, and without the big mid hump. They are also fairly similar to the Perpetual Burn, but a bit hotter. They run well with 250k pots, and mix well with single coils.
    Quote Originally Posted by Masta' C View Post
    The DH-1 is also known as the Atomic humbucker (per Fender). It's the closest thing they have to the Duncan JB and great for rock/metal without being too hot or compressed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ursupator View Post
    Hi folks,

    my local guitar thrift shop got a Fender DH-1 Humbucker for sale.

    I heard it was the Pickup that came in Fender Am Deluxe HSS Strats for a while and thought about putting it into my Squier HH Jazzmaster.

    Since the Fender forum is closed I didn't really find any good source for its specs.


    I'm mostly a metal and heavy rock guy, but I prefer medium, more classical voiced output pickups over those modern high output beasts.
    I can't pull up my bookmark because the Fender Forums have been discontinued as of March 20 (!), but there was a thread there in the Strat section where a few people with a lot of experience with Fender's pickups were adament that the DH-1 and the Atomic Humbucker were not the same pickup. So the differences Mr. B's ear is picking up makes sense.

    I had it bookmarked because before I decided to purchase a Fender DH-1, I first did a lot of research to try to instead buy an aftermarket pickup that closely resembled the specs and tone of the DH-1. What people said was a comparable aftermarket pickup, wasn't conclusive enough for me, so that is why I decided to just buy a DH-1.

    Besides finding used DH-1s on Ebay, Darren Riley's online store is one of the few places you can purchase the DH-1 pickup in New conditon.

    https://darrenriley.com/store/fender...ck-0063265000/

    Following are those links to threads here on the Seymour Duncan forum site that discussed the DH-1. Like Masta' C , a few people compared the DH-1 to the Seymour Duncan JB pickup

    https://forum.seymourduncan.com/show...up-Replacement

    https://forum.seymourduncan.com/show...nd-closest-too
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Mojo's Minions Masta' C's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Reps from Fender have said directly that the DH-1 and the Atomic are the same pickup. That said, I'm sure there have been small variations over time and, like any other pickup, they are going to sound a bit different in every guitar, leading some to believe they are more different than they actually are.

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    Super Toneologist Jack_TriPpEr's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Quote Originally Posted by Masta' C View Post
    Reps from Fender have said directly that the DH-1 and the Atomic are the same pickup. That said, I'm sure there have been small variations over time and, like any other pickup, they are going to sound a bit different in every guitar, leading some to believe they are more different than they actually are.
    Ahh, that's great info about the Fender reps. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Thanks guys,
    from what I read here the pickup is exactly my thing.

    I like the JB, but don't like that extreme bump in the mids that makes it kind of muddy in fast or low tuned situations.

    I will give the PU a try, when the shop opens again in a few weeks (or month or whatever).
    If it is too bright in a Jazzmaster I've got an old Gibson 300k Pot laying around.

    Years of owning a Gibson Guitar made me more of a luthier than a guitarist

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    Super Toneologist Jack_TriPpEr's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursupator View Post
    Thanks guys,
    from what I read here the pickup is exactly my thing.

    I like the JB, but don't like that extreme bump in the mids that makes it kind of muddy in fast or low tuned situations.

    I will give the PU a try, when the shop opens again in a few weeks (or month or whatever).
    If it is too bright in a Jazzmaster I've got an old Gibson 300k Pot laying around.
    Glad we could give you helpful information.

    Did you see in one of my prior posts I provided a URL for the Darren Riley online store? So you wouldn't have to wait weeks to acquire this pickup? Darren's price may even be cheaper, you'd have to compare.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_TriPpEr View Post
    Glad we could give you helpful information.

    Did you see in one of my prior posts I provided a URL for the Darren Riley online store? So you wouldn't have to wait weeks to acquire this pickup? Darren's price may even be cheaper, you'd have to compare.
    I'm located in germany, so a shipment from north carolina wouldn't be the cheapest and/or fastest option.

    Years of owning a Gibson Guitar made me more of a luthier than a guitarist

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    Super Toneologist Jack_TriPpEr's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursupator View Post
    I'm located in germany, so a shipment from north carolina wouldn't be the cheapest and/or fastest option.
    Ahh, ok.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

  13. #13
    Tone Member cokekolev's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    I had one in a Fender American Special Strat. Got rid of it, as it was bright and low output. I put a hot rails in the bridge and never looked back.

  14. #14
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Mr. B's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fender DH-1... Tell me about it

    Even the Atomic humbuckers vary wildly between examples. I have seen them meter anywhere between 14k and 17k DC Res. I much prefer the hotter winds around 17k. The 2 DH-1's I have played in an American Deluxe and an American Pro Strat did sound slightly different from the Atomics I had in HWY One Strats, but that could be down to other circuit factors in the different models.

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