Thursday, December 18, 2008

TONE FREQ REVIEW: Seymour Duncan P-Rails SHPR-1

A few months back I wrote about the “Swiss Army Knife” of Humbucking pickups called P-Rails by Seymour Duncan. They were touted as groundbreaking and suitable for all genres of music from surf rock, jazz and rock. After spending some time with them I can say that I LOVE THIS PICKUP!

I installed two P-Rails in my Epiphone Custom Les Paul and had them wired in series. I also had push-pull pots installed in both of my volume pots so I could go from Humbucker mode to P-90 mode. I must say that their use of an Alnico V magnet made for a great punch in both P-90 and Humbucker modes. They were very reminiscent of original P-90’s. The Humbucker tone was there albeit a bit breathy it was very unique. Overall the pickups were very musical, especially using a clean channel. When I kicked in some devilish distortion chords still remained very distinct and robust.

Overall the P-Rails pickup is a P-90 with a little more kick when the Humbucker is activated. My LP even sounded great in the middle position! If you are a lover of the P-90’s you’ll really love this pickup. I love the tonal clarity, the fat and breathy sounds you can get as well as its quiet operation. If you are looking for a true hard-rocking Humbucker this set of ‘buckers may fall a bit short since there is so much character from the P-90 shining through. However if you like P-90’s and a wide variety of tones this pickup is for you. The P-Rails just scream the word “experimental” in a good way. All I have to do now is install a toggle to get that single-coil sound! Kudos to Seymour Duncan for giving us another killer tool to carve our own tone!

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Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.



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