Designing The Slug

Seymour Duncan Slug

The Seymour Duncan Custom Shop is home to all sorts of vintage-inspired, traditionally-voiced, historically respectful pickups. The Greenie and Joe Bonamassa humbucker sets. The Psychedelic Strat set. The BG1400 Telecaster set. The Charlie Christian Swingster. The P90 Staple Soapbar. Much of what the Custom Shop does is about capturing classic sounds, some of which are a little too specialised to fit into the regular pickup range.

Then there’s the Slug.

The Slug's DC Resistance is a hefty 48k

The Slug’s DC Resistance is a hefty 48k

The idea for the Slug was conceived by International Sales Manager Alex Semple who is a metal guitarist and huge fan of the some of the most extreme metal bands. Alex was looking for something that could make any guitar sound like it was blasting through a 200 watt Sunn stack, in appreciation for doom/stoner rock bands. “The SLUG was simply conceived for fans of the heavily distorted tones from bands like Electric Wizard, High on Fire, Sleep, Cathedral, Boris, sunn o))) etc,” Alex explains. “We wanted to give players the same amount of over the top saturation without needing a wall of dimed amps. However, the pickup remains amazingly articulate with plenty of highs and can be played clean, rolled back, and it can still be used with an overdrive pedal while holding itself together. It’s entirely unlike anything we’ve ever designed. It’s Slug. Don’t question it.”

From the outside the Slug looks a lot like the Hawkbucker. Suitable for guitar or bass, the Hawkbucker is a 10.1k humbucker with plenty of low end and a moderate output. The Slug is certainly not the Hawkbucker. It  uses Ceramic magnets in place of the the Hawkbucker uses Alnico V used in the Hawkbucker, and the Slug’s DC Resistance comes in at 48k. 

There were some design challenges we had to overcome to bring the Slug to life. For instance, it was too big at first and we had to file down the mounting rings to fit it. We still have to use the larger rings due to the size of this pickup.

The Slug

For those who like it loud. Real loud.

We had to be careful. When you design a pickup with super-high output, you often tend to lose high end as you increase the number of wire turns. We were worried the Slug might sound muddy, but with the lack of a bunch of steel parts like a regular humbucker, I think we were able to keep the resonant peak higher than what you would expect from such a high DC Resistance. The tone is thick and sludgy but with a punchy attack that manages to stay intact even when you’re piling on tonnes of distortion. It’ll hit your preamp hard and five you plenty of sustain.

The Slug is available now, and we can make a matching neck model on request. It also pairs nicely with the Black Winter neck model. You can order your Slug from the Custom Shop store. As for what kind of guitar it’s best suited to, it’s happiest in any guitar that smells like weed and booze.


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