Getting the best sound out of your guitar has just become easier. Seymour Duncan has taken the guesswork out of matching the correct pickups together and has introduced a line of matched sets that are built to work together and sound great, right out of the box. While you will still be able to obtain individual pickups, the new Seymour Duncan Sets provide Ready To Go Tone that will upgrade the sound of any 6, 7, or 8 string guitar. This article will showcase some of the new Sets coming out of the oven, ready to be part of your next tonal upgrade.
Pearly Gates Set
Available in black, nickel, and zebra, the new Pearly Gates Sets make it easier than ever to grab yourself a slice of that famous Texas Tone. While the starting point for the Pearly Gates was a vintage PAF from one of the most famous (and most expensive) guitars to come out of Texas, it adds a bump in the output and high end, making this set perfect for harder blues and classic rock styles.
The Invader is the pickup designed for the heaviest tones you can get out of a passive pickup. The Invader Set is even more menacing, with twice as many of those giant hex screws to send every ounce of aggression flying out of your guitar. In the Invader Set, the high output bridge pickup is matched with a much lower output neck pickup for tonal diversity. The Invader Set is available in black, as these pickups absorb all visible light.
Seth Lover Set
This is the set that was designed by Seymour Duncan and Seth Lover, the inventor of the humbucker. This Set is ‘made like they used to make them’ and features wooden spacers, long-legged bottom plates, butyrate bobbins, plain enamel wire, and black paper tape. They are not wax-potted either, just like the original P.A.F. pickups. The Seth Lover Set is perfect if you love the sound of vintage humbucking-equipped guitars going into low-wattage tube amps.
Alnico II Pro Set
The Alnico II Pro Set is a ‘modern vintage’ set: It has the dynamic response of vintage pickups, but includes modern touches like 4-conductor cables and wax potting. If you enjoy using your volume knob to go from clean to distortion, or vary the tone of your guitar with your fingers, this Set was designed for you. The Alnico Pro II’s are perfect for brighter instruments, and come in black with no logo.
Antiquity Humbucker Set
The Antiquity Humbucker Set was made to look and sound like they were made in the 1950’s. Each one is completely unique, and has their own character and DC resistance. The bridge pickup is slightly hotter, which is perfect for hearing the weaker string vibrations next to the bridge. Each pickup is individually signed and aged by Seymour Duncan, giving your guitar the look and sound of one that is 60 years old, and played every one of those 60 years.
Pegasus & Sentient Set (6 or 7 strings)
Combine the medium output Pegasus in the neck position with the clarity of the Sentient in the bridge position, and you have what is fast becoming a very popular Seymour Duncan set. Designed to compliment the high gain available in modern amps, these medium output pickups have the detail you need while retaining the tightness needed for the most progressive of metals. These are available in 6 or 7 string Sets, so your more curvy guitars can sound as good as your pointies.
Nazgûl & Sentient Set (6 or 7 strings)
The other most popular pickup to pair with the Sentient is the Nazgûl. The Nazgûl is a very high output bridge pickup with more of everything: output, bass, mids, and highs. It was built to specifically bring out the tightness and articulation of the low strings. Combined with the Sentient in the neck, you can transfer the weakest of guitars into a weapon of mass destruction. This set is available in 6 or 7 string varieties.
Phat Cat Set
The traditional P-90 has a sound that is more powerful than a single coil, but is cleaner and clearer than a humbucker. However, the physical shape of a P-90 makes it so it won’t fit in most guitars without modification. The Phat Cat Set solves this, by putting a traditional P-90 under a humbucker cover so more people could access the beefed-up single coil sound. In this set, the bridge pickup is RW/RP so it cancels hum when both pickups are used together.
Antiquity Texas Hot Strat Set
Just when you thought humbucker players got all of the attention, we introduce the Antiquity Texas Hot Strat Set. These members of the Antiquity line share a custom aging process with the whole Antiquity line. Made to look like pickups that have played every backyard BBQ and chili cookoff for the last 60 years, the Antiquity Texas Hot Strat Set are all scatterwound, and have vintage push-back cloth wire. The slighty hotter output is perfect for rocked-up Texas blues when you want the vintage look to go with that vintage sound. The middle pickup is rw/rp for hum cancelling in those notch positions, too.
Antiquity II Surfer Set
The Antiquity II series were designed to showcase the best properties of the 1960’s vintage pickups. The sound of those classic surf instrumentals played on custom-colored hot rod-inspired Strats reminds us of a time when rock music was played with a suit and tie, and the smell of salt water filled the air. The Antiquity II Surfer Set is perfect for surf, British Invasion, pop, and cleaner blues styles. The magnets have the exact vintage stagger, and everything from the covers to the wires are hand aged giving each pickup its own unique look. If you want your Strat modern Strat to look and sound like it was built 50 years ago, this set is the tonal upgrade you need.
Hot Rails Set
One of the hottest pickups that Seymour Duncan makes, the Hot Rails Set triples the aggression, transforming a mild-mannered Strat into a punishing metal beast. You may love your Strat, but wish it it would be more suitable for heavier styles. The Hot Rails Set is perfect for wanting a powerful humbucker sound out of a guitar. Like all Rails models, the Hot Rails are true humbuckers, so they remain quiet when you aren’t playing. Available in black, with an aggressive look that matches the sound.
Little ’59 Set
The ’59 is one of the most popular humbuckers that Seymour Duncan makes. Now you can have that sound in your Strat. The vintage humbucker sound of the ’59 is shrunk down to fit into any guitar with single coil pickups. The Little ’59 Set replaces all 3 pickups in your Strat with 3 single coil-sized humbuckers that recall the best pickups of the late 1950’s. If you ever wished your Strat could sound like those classic rock recordings you grew up with, the Little ’59 Set will drop right in without any modifications.
Vintage Stack Tele Set
Seymour Duncan has not forgot about Tele players. Have you ever wished you could get the famous Tele snap but have problems with single coil hum? The Vintage Stack Tele Set fixes this problem by stacking 2 coils on top of each other, making a pickup that eliminates the hum, yet still looks just like a single coil. Traditional Tele tones are now dead silent, but retain the snap and cluck you need for country, rockabilly, and blues.
Little ’59/Vintage Stack Tele Set
Do you ever wish your Tele had a little extra power for those classic rock and electric blues songs? The Little ’59/Vintage Stack Tele Set pairs the stack-based Tele neck pickup with the more powerful Little ’59 for Tele bridge pickup. You get the the clean Tele neck sound, then send more power to your amp by switching to the P.A.F.-inspired bridge pickup. Both pickups are humbucking, for the quietest Tele around.
Hot Tele Set
If you want to retain the snap and chime of traditional single coil Tele pickups, but want a little more output, the Hot Tele Set is just for you. You get 2 single coil pickups with beefier lows and mids that hit your amp just a little bit harder. Combined with the increased output, you have a Tele that is perfect for modern country, Southern rock, electric blues, and classic rock. Like all of the new Sets, these drop right in with no modifications.
Quarter Pound Tele Set
If you want a Tele set that is even hotter than the Hot Tele Set, the Quarter Pound Tele Set hits your amp with even more output. Quarter-inch magnets on the bridge pickup sense even more vibration, and the look reminds you that this isn’t as kind and polite as most Teles. Perfect for fusion and heavier rock, both pickups are true single coils. Like P-90’s in Tele clothing, this set’s neck pickup matches the bridge’s output and tone perfectly.
Black Winter Set (6, 7, & 8 String)
Inspired by a land where it is dark and cold for 6 months out of the year, the Black Winter Set is for the extreme metal guitarist that wants an even balance of highs, mids, and lows in their distortion. Available in 6, 7, and 8-string versions, you had better like black, because any attempt to make these pickups any other color has failed. They will render your channel-switching amp useless too, as you will be stuck on the gain channel. The Black Winter Set has even been known to change the shape of your guitar into an actual axe, or possibly Thor’s hammer.*
*Claims not verified.
With Seymour Duncan’s new Sets, you can upgrade the sound of your guitar all at once. Each set contains pickups that have been engineered to work well together, and they are drop-in replacements for stock pickups. Seymour Duncan Sets are an easy Tonal Transplant that can transform the sound of any guitar.
What pickups would you like to see Seymour Duncan bundle together as a set?