Seymour Duncan PATB-3 Blues Saraceno Parallel Axis Model
Seymour Duncan PATB-3 Blues Saraceno Parallel Axis Model

PATB-3 Blues Saraceno Parallel Axis Model, Pastilla de Guitarra from Seymour Duncan in the High Output Humbuckers series.

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King Loudness 29/05/2011

Seymour Duncan PATB-3 Blues Saraceno Parallel Axis Model : la opinión de King Loudness (content in English)

"A great and unique sounding take on the PAF"

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The Seymour Duncan PATB-3B is based on their popular Parallel Axis humbucker, but voiced to the requests of the guitarist Blues Saraceno, best known for his stints with bands such as Poison or Transmission OK. He's always had a very interesting tone that has a very apparent upper mid voicing that can best be described as "honk." It cuts through very well in a band mix and doesn't get in the way of other tones. This pickup from Seymour Duncan is supposed to get players one step closer to that great and unique tone.

Upon first inspection, this pickup looks a little bit different than a conventional humbucking pickup. Most humbuckers have 6 circular polepieces per coil. However, the Saraceno humbucker has two horizontal, rectangular polepieces for each string (one is placed directly above the string, one is directly below it)so now each coil effectively has 12 pole pieces. To my ears this seemed to react like a rail magnet based pickup with a good strong string pull overall. It's supposed to be like a PAF on steroids, and being a fan of Blues, I have a decent idea of what his tone is like.

I tried this pickup loaded in the bridge position of a Fernandes Monterey Les Paul clone (mahogany body/neck with ebony fretboard). It was paired with the stock Sustainer system humbucker in the neck position. I tried it through a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster head/Orange 4x12 and a Soldano Astroverb 16 combo. The tones were very pleasing overall. Cleans had a nice chime to them as well as the aforementioned "honk" based midrange frequency, which really suits a Les Paul type guitar very well in my opinion. The dirty tones were really cool. For being essentially a PAF style pickup, it has gobs of output and sustain on tap. It's not a modern or tight voiced pickup in the slightest... I found it to be very loose and somewhat fuzzy, much like Blues' classic tones on record were. For playing vintage voiced rock with lots of gain though, whether playing power chords or sustained lead passages, this pickup sounds awesome.

In closing, I felt that this pickup was a really cool alternative to the typical PAF clones that are out there. I like the fact that it has a different design for the polepieces and I like the voicing and output that this pickup offers. For what it is worth, the pickup that was replaced in the guitar (owned by my good friend Andrew) was a stock EMG 81, and Andrew commented that to him, this pickup had more output than the stock EMG did!