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Price Paid
Humbucker/Single Coil/Stacked Single
Passive/Active/Not sure
AlNico/Ceramic/Not sure
Instrument Installed in
Jackson DK2
Sound Quality
5 (excellent)


Never had issues with Duncan before, don't expect any now

Customer Support

Past dealings with Duncan have been pleasant.


Where has this pickup been? On a suggestion from the tech who does my repairs and setups, I decided to give this pickup a try.

I wanted something in the low medium to medium output range, at 9.5k this pickup fit the bill. We all know by now that these output ratings are pretty meaningless in terms of power and loudness, I mean my Custom 8 is the same output as the Custom Custom it started out as, but a magnet swap from A2 to A8 made it way louder, I think there is a correlation between these ratings and how the pickups behave, in that the output rating generally has influence on clarity, articulation, etc... But anywhooo

I've been interested in the Parallel Axis pickups for a few months, so kinda jumped at the chance to get it. The PATB-3 is Blues Saraceno's signature pickup. It features an Alnico V magnet, and the unique Duncan staple looking Parallel Axis poles. The heart of this pickup is all PAF, tonally that's what this pickup really is. The concept of this pickup was basically a PAF pickup that was more aggressive sounding when you wanted it to be, but still sounded like an old PAF, as well as give superstrats a more "Les Paul" sound, and I think it does that better than most of the other hot rodded PAF pickups I've heard, most of those are high output. The Parallel Axis design is meant to give the highs a smooth sound, and lows to be tight but remain somewhat spongier, as well as increase sustain, again this was accomplished. I don't think I have heard nicer harmonics from a pickup, they're plentiful, and they ring out piano or bell like. The pickup is sensitive to pick attack, this pickup is really dirty if you hit the strings hard, or really clean if you lightly pick the string. The pickup is very clear and articulate. The pickup is somewhat scooped in the middle, 6-5-6 I believe is the listed EQ, but I just turned a few knobs on the amp to get a more midrangey sound with no problem. It's not meant for modern metal, mainly classic rock and metal, blues, country, etc., but with a high gain amp, like my 5150, I have had no issue with getting a nice metal sound from it, I haven't had an instance where I did not like the sound of this pickup. They only make this pickup for the bridge position, and is only a Trembucker, but I have heard great things about it in Les Paul's, which is odd since it's designed to give superstrats more of that sound.

Typically it would be paired with a PATB-1 neck pickup which tonally falls somewhere between a 59 and a Jazz. Presently, I still have the stock 59 in the neck, and think they work well together, especially when used together in the middle position, I tend to never use the 2 humbuckers at once, but love the sound I'm getting, sounds better than the 59 in the neck by itself, IMO. I've already this pickup for another guitar... So yeah, I like this pickup! Hands down my favorite pickup for a superstrat, and for me that's saying something because I like some good ones, such as the Custom Custom, Custom, JB (which it replaced), Custom 8, Alternative 8, and the EVH Wolfgang pickups. Not sure what the wind is on this pickup though, I've heard it's the same wire as a JB, but not wound as hot, and the pole pieces give it a unique sound.