We created Antiquities in the mid 90s just as two things were happening: the vintage guitar market was booming, and guitarists were beginning to relic their own instruments. Antiquities are our way of delivering the tone you find in a well-seasoned, well-worn guitar, but making it available in a new instrument – or giving you a vintage-accurate aged pickup to bring a modded vintage piece back to original spec. Imagine going back in time and buying a brand new Les Paul in 1959. It would essentially have pickups like our Seth Lover humbuckers in it. Now imagine playing the same guitar today after all those decades: that’s Antiquity. $30,000 tone for $144.
Original P.A.F. humbuckers sound clearer and more open than later, hotter pickups. They’re simultaneously airy and sweet, with a very specific ‘growl’ when pushed. Our Antiquity humbuckers give you the same tone and look you would find in a 60-year-old P.A.F, right down to the way the magnet and cover age after decades of playing. The bridge model is wound a little hotter for better balance (and to reflect the mismatched sets that were extremely common among the originals), and every bottom plate and bar magnet is signed by Seymour to guarantee that you are getting an original Seymour Duncan Antiquity.
Great Stratocaster tone can mean different things to different people. If your idea of the perfect Strat is spanky attack and bell-like chime but with the slight sweetness that only six decades of ageing can provide, the Antiquity Texas Hot is for you. Doubly so if you like a little more growl and midrange from your bridge pickup. Custom-aged Alnico 2 rod magnets generate less string-pull and more sustain. Each pickup is custom aged both cosmetically and magnetically to simulate the wear and tear that a pickup goes through after decades of playing, and each is lacquered and potted in lamp black paraffin wax, like the originals.
Classic single coil sounds of the 60s were a little more beefy than their 50s counterparts, but not at the expense of classic Strat chime and bounce. The Antiquity II Surfer set uses specially calibrated Alnico 5 rod magnets and a custom scatter-wound coil for subtle sweetness amid the high-end sparkle. The bridge pickup is wound 50% hotter for more mids, and the treble is then softened with degaussed magnets. Cut through the mix with fatness and power without sharp high end. Each pickup is aged to look and sound like a 1960s originals, with vintage-correct blue/yellow cloth pushback lead wire, light gray bottom flatwork, and custom aged covers. for just the right look. They are all lacquered and wax potted.
If you play a vintage 50s Telecaster pickup, you’ll find that the high end has softened and sweetened a little. It’s a little too tempting to say it ages like a fine wine. Maybe more like a fine guitar. The Antiquity Tele Lead will give you that early 50s Tele tone, but with the high end sweetened by the custom-calibrated hand-ground Alnico 2 rod magnets for classic Tele twang and snap but with a treble response that is nice and bright without being piercing. Like the originals, the ferrous bottom plates are not wax potted, which gives you just that little extra edge and snarl, while the rest of the pickup is lacquered and potted in lamp black paraffin wax just like they were in the 50s.
The Jazzmaster defined the sound of 60s instrumental music but it’s played an equally important role in post-punk, alternative, goth and roots music. Our Antiquity II Jazzmaster bridge pickup uses hand-ground Alnico 5 rod magnets and a special coil wind to deliver bright, 60s Jazzmaster tone with crispness, glassiness and snap. Clean tones are sharp and clear, while dirty tones have a gloriously ragged bark that cuts through and demands to be heard. We use heavy Formvar mag wire, vintage-correct gray flatwork, cloth push-back lead wire and the same lacquer and wax potting as the originals.