We all know that most people end up on the Seymour Duncan website because they are looking for the best tone possible out of their guitar or bass. But there are many areas of the SD website you may not know about. This article will mention some of the lesser-known areas of the site, and hopefully you can spend some time investigating these areas, and just maybe learn something about tone that you didn’t know while making new friends along the way.
This is a specialized forum filled with just-as-special tone cats! People who are just like you and I, who love all things guitar and bass. From answering questions about which pickup to use in a ’73 Tele, to debating which amp is the absolute best and worst, you will find them here. Now, I reside on many gear forums out there, and I have to say, the SDUGF tends to be the nicest and most helpful. You can ask a question on the Pickup Lounge about wiring or the sonic difference between a real-deal single coil or a Classic Stack, and you won’t just answers, but you will get knowledgeable information from people who have already been down that road before. There are separate rooms for guitar, bass, amps & effects. There is a room dedicated to sound clips from actual Seymour Duncan users, and an Off Topic Room to post pictures of your weekend BBQ or your new car. Occasionally there are Seymour Duncan giveaways there too, as well as exclusive information about upcoming products.
Now this is pretty cool. You tell the Wizard what kind of guitar you play, what kind of pickups it has, and the type of music you play, and it spits out some great recommendations. For instance, I specified a guitar made out of alder, in a humbucker-single-single configuration, with an ebony fretboard and vintage trem. I specified my music style as ‘fusion’ since that fits better than anything else. It gave me 2 suggestions for every pickup position, with links to audio samples, descriptions and the Tone Chart for each pickup. What did it come up with? Try it yourself!
This is a master chart of pretty much every pickup Seymour Duncan makes. It is divided into sections such as humbucker, single coil, Tele, Bass, etc. It states if the pickup comes stock with a 2, 3 or 4 conductor cable, the D.C. Resistance, Resonant Peak, and overall tone EQ. The last column is a special bonus, as it allows you to select up to 4 pickups and look at the specs side-by-side. This helped me a lot when I was debating for a week about which pickups to put in my Strat build. While specs and sound clips don’t tell you exactly what it will sound like in your guitar, in your hands, there are some generalities. A pickup with a higher D.C. resistance will have more winds, be higher in output, and have more lows and mids. But if you are unsure of what the specs mean, you can do a little research on your own.
This is a small course on how pickups work, and how to choose the right ones for your guitar. If you have never considered changing a pickup before, this is a good place to start. It explains various terms, types of pickups, what makes them different, and how to install them. It is easy to digest, but great information, presented with pictures and demonstrations. Changing a pickup might be intimidating at first, but it won’t be after reading through this section. However, if you want to dive deeper into the world of pickup science and design, you have to hear from the man himself…
This may be the most comprehensive compendium of pickup facts online, anywhere. Here we get to hear straight from Seymour himself, about the differences in wire, magnets, pole pieces, winding, etc. There are 850 FAQs here, compiled from a lifetime of eating and breathing tone. So if you really want to dive into the ins and outs of pickup (and music) making, pick a number and start reading. I learned a lot from browsing through this excellent reference, and I am sure I am not the only one.
You may have gotten here from a Facebook or Twitter link, but there is some great information covering a whole host of musical topics in the Seymour Duncan blogs. From our resident bass expert Jon Moody’s column on using the thumb upstroke, to Richard Iron’s piece on Antiquity pickups in a semi-hollow guitar, we all can benefit from decades of combined experience designed to provide information in an entertaining format. New blogs are being posted all the time, so make sure to visit often, and follow those Facebook and Twitter feeds so you can be the first to comment on them.
I am not an electrical engineer, and having accurate wiring diagrams has helped me understand how guitar circuits work. There are dozens to choose from here, and this is the first place to start when you finally get your new pickups. Chances are, your style of guitar or bass is covered here in clear, easy-to-understand, color-coded diagrams. And once you start digging into your own guitar wiring, you will understand the obsession many of us have about it. After awhile, you can change how your knobs and switches work at will, and you will never settle for stock pickups and wiring again.
Wanna look cool while rocking out? Duncan sells t-shirts, necklaces and straps in their own online store. You can even buy small parts like Triple Shot Mounting Rings, Liberator Pickup Change Systems, and my favorite, YJM High Speed Volume Pots. The inventory will constantly be updated with new products, so check back often. Everything here makes a great gift for the guitarist in your life, too.
Custom pickups aren’t just for rock stars. Now you can order a custom made pickup with all of the options available right from the Custom Shop’s very own website. You specify the color, form, magnet, number of wires and more in an easy-to-use checkout system which will simplify and speed-up the ordering of your very own pickup. This is a direct line to the Custom Shop in the Home of Tone, so if none of the stock offerings will do it for you, you can get exactly what you want here.
The Seymour Duncan website is a fountain of information, where you can be on the road to realizing your own voice as a guitarists. Stop by, say hello on the forum, and remember, finding your tone is supposed to be fun and musically rewarding. The SD website is specifically designed to lead you to your own path.
What is your favorite section of the Seymour Duncan website? What section do you return to most often?