Seymour Duncan SHPR-1s P-Rails – a P-90 and a Strat Pickup in a Humbucker-Sized Package

Seymour duncan hpr p-railsIf your guitar has humbucker-sized mountings, yet you dream of the sounds of a P-90 or a Strat, the Seymour Duncan SHPR-1s P-Rails can make this a reality.

First things first: If you are looking for a full-fledged humbucker, go out and buy a full-fledged humbucker. Just wanted to put the whole “…well, it’s not really a real humbucker” argument aside. This pickup is meant for folks who have a humbucker-fitted guitar, yet are looking to get P-90 and or Strat tones out of it.

Some might say: “well, why don’t you just put a P-90 or a Strat pickup in the guitar?”

A: Because some folks cannot or do not want to make such a change. A perfect example would be a Les Paul or SG, which if already routed for a humbucker, is not a good candidate for further cutting.

So, if you have to stay with your humbucker-sized mounting, the SHPR-1s P-Rails from Seymour Duncan is lovely. All three of the sounds in this pickup are terrific. Keep in mind though, when you are in “humbucker” mode (i.e. both coils in series), this one is not going to sound like a normal full-fledged humbucker. It’s not. You will still have that “Strat-ish” kind of sparkle and snap, but then again, that is what you came here for.

Search eBay for Duncan shpr-1s

Keep in mind that you will need to get jiggy with a mini-toggle switch (double-pole / double-throw is probably your best bet) and a soldering iron. But let’s assume you are, or you know someone trustworthy who is. Once you pop these babies in and wire ‘em up, you are in for some pretty fun stuff. P-90 kinda stuff, Stratty bell-like charm, and fun combinations of both are on the menu. Of course if you play a Les Paul Jr or a Strat, when then… duh! But if you are stuck with a mucho-macho humbucker-focused guitar and really want to get these two classic sounds under your fingertips, the Seymour Duncan SHPR-1s P-Rails are a brilliant product that kill two birds with one stone.

Seymour Duncan – Phat Cat Pickups

Seymour Duncan - Phat Cat Pickups
Seymour Duncan Phat Cat


If you like P-90 pickups, then you are gonna love these Phat Cat pickups… I promise

I’ve been trying out a set of the Seymour Duncan Phat Cat pickups recently, and I’ve gotta say: they really got it right on these. When I started this blog, for some reason I decided to add the links at the bottom first. When I was researching the Harmony-Central reviews, I started to read the first review. The more I read the review, I kept thinking to myself: “wow, this guy sounds like he has had the exact same experiences as me… and he seems to have the same sense of humor as me… wow, I really agree with the way this guy approaches his review on these Phat Cat pickups and the kind of feedback he is giving….this is bizzare!”

…then I realized that this guy was me.. duh!

I figured the best testimonial is a real testimonial. So, without further ado, here is my orginal Harmony-central review of the Seymour Duncan Phat Cat pickup:

I give these a 9 because the only thing I would change is maybe the Phat Cat bridge pickup could be a little hotter. The neck pickup over powers the bridge pickup a little. With that said….

These Phat Cat pickups are phenomenal. I took them outta the box only 8 hours ago and put them in my Les Paul. They are surprisingly quiet for passive non-humbucking pickups. I like to use alot of compression which can cause even more 60-Cycle hum than drive sometimes, or certainly make it worse once you add gain. My first crappy guitar had some horrible P90’s in them, and they used to squeal like hell all the time. That was almost 30 years ago, and quite honestly, I have had an aversion of P90’s since then (even my therapist couldn’t seem to rid me of this un-relenting P90 anxiety : – ) When you use them together, they are 100% hum-canceling… NICE!

What a relief! these babies are reasonable quiet (sure, when you add alot of gain, there is hum, but at low to moderate gain settings, it aint too bad!) These Phat Cat pickups are outstanding. The neck pickup has a massive sound. Great bit and clarity. The bridge pickup also has a nice bit. I am VERY happy with these pickups. Not only would I replace them if they were stolen, but I’m gonna grab another set for my Tele that is routed for humbuckers. I’m that happy with these. I will write another review after I’ve had them for a while and used them on stage, but at first glance, these are first class pickups. And, at literally half the price of Fralins, they are an incredible value. I have’t used P90’s for 20 years, so I can attest to how they compare to classic P90 pickups, but as someone who uses totally hum-canceling pickups all the time (i.e. Dimarzio Virtual Vintage and Duncan mini humbuckers, etc…) I am VERY pleased with the tone and minimal 60-cycle hum of these Phat Cat pickups. If you play Blues, you will really be impressed with these.