Seymour Duncan Jazz or 59? Pickup Comparison

When lookign to change poickups, tow of the most popular options on the market are the Seymour Duncan Jazz and Seymour Duncan 59.  Many people who are considering one of these pickups will be looking at the other, so why not compare them?

The Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup is a humbucker designed to deliver a smooth, warm tone perfect for jazz and blues players. Its low-output design emphasizes the midrange frequencies, giving your guitar a rich, full-bodied sound.

On the other hand, the Seymour Duncan 59 pickup is a more versatile option that can handle everything from classic rock to heavy metal.  This is Seymour Duncan’s version of the legendary Seth Lover PAF (Patent Applied For) humbucker found in early Gibson guitars.  It has a slightly higher output than the Jazz pickup, which gives it a more aggressive and dynamic sound.

Seymour Duncan Jazz vs. 59 Pickup: A Comparison

Both of these pickups are available in both the bridge and neck positions. For this comparison, we’ll look at the neck pickups.

Seymour Duncan Jazz Pickup – Humbucker – SH2N

Seymour Duncan SH2N Jazz Model Humbucker Pickup


  • Delivers a clear, articulate tone that’s perfect for fast jazz runs.
  • Designed to deliver a well-balanced sound with excellent definition and clarity.
  • Excels at producing smooth and articulate high frequencies.
  • Known for its rich midrange response, it provides a full-bodied tone that can cut through the mix without becoming overly aggressive.
  • The brighter sound of this pickup has slightly less output, making it a good match with most pickups.
  • Features wax potting, a process that helps eliminate unwanted microphonics and feedback.
  • A popular combination with a JB (SH-4) or Duncan Custom (SH-5) in the bridge.


  • Some players may find that the SH2N Jazz Model lacks the warmth and depth of other pickups.
  • This pickup may not be the best choice for players looking for a heavier, more aggressive sound.

Seymour Duncan 59 Pickup – Humbucker –  SH1N (Neck)

Seymour Duncan 59 Humbucker - Neck SH1N



  • Captures the essence of classic PAF (Patent Applied For) humbuckers, providing players with a rich, warm, and articulate tone reminiscent of the iconic late ’50s and early ’60s vintage pickups
  • The Alnico V magnet and single conductor wiring allow for a balanced and clear tone.
  • produce tight lows, open mids, and creamy highs, resulting in a harmonically rich and expressive tone.
  • Strikes the perfect balance between vintage and modern sound. It provides a touch of extra power and sustain compared to traditional vintage pickups.
  • Features a versatile four-conductor wiring system, enabling various wiring options such as coil splitting, series/parallel switching, and phase reversal.
  • Wax potted to remain quiet and reliable even when subjected to high volumes and gain.


  • The pickup may not be suitable for those who prefer a high-output sound.
  • The price point may be higher than other similar pickups on the market.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing between Seymour Duncan Jazz and 59 pickups, there are a few key features to consider.

  1. Type of music you’ll be playing. If you’re looking for a pickup that will provide a warm, smooth sound for jazz or blues music, the Jazz pickup may be your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re after a more classic rock or hard rock sound, the 59 pickups may be the way to go.
  2. Output of the pickup. Higher output pickups will provide a stronger, more aggressive sound, while lower output pickups will be more mellow and subtle. Think about the type of sound you want to achieve and choose a pickup with an appropriate output level.
  3. Tonal Difference. The Jazz pickup has a brighter, more articulate sound, with a clear and defined high end, while the ’59 pickup has a warmer, more rounded sound, with a slightly scooped midrange and a smooth top end.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup handle distortion?

Yes, the Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup can handle distortion very well. Its bright and articulate sound cuts through the mix, making it a great choice for lead guitar work. It also has a relatively low output, which allows it to retain clarity and definition even at high gain levels.

How does the Seymour Duncan ’59 pickup compare to other vintage-style pickups?

The Seymour Duncan ’59 pickup is widely regarded as one of the best vintage-style pickups on the market. It has a warm, smooth sound similar to the classic PAF pickups, but with a slightly more modern edge. The ’59 is known for its balanced tone, with a well-defined low end, smooth midrange, and sweet top end.

What type of music is best suited for the Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup?

The Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup is a versatile pickup that can be used for a wide range of musical styles, but it is particularly well-suited for jazz, fusion, and blues. Its bright and articulate sound is perfect for clean and slightly overdriven tones, and it has a smooth and creamy tone when played with a bit of gain.

Are Seymour Duncan pickups versatile enough for different genres of music?

Yes, Seymour Duncan pickups are known for their versatility and are used by guitarists in a wide range of musical styles, from rock and metal to jazz and country. They offer a wide range of pickup options with different tonal characteristics, so there is a Seymour Duncan pickup that can suit almost any musical style.

What are some popular guitar models that come equipped with Seymour Duncan pickups?

Many popular guitar models come equipped with Seymour Duncan pickups, including the Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, and PRS Custom 24. Seymour Duncan pickups are also available as aftermarket upgrades for most guitar models, so you can easily install them in your favorite guitar.


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