Pickups are always evolving. That’s why you’ll find models like the Seth Lover and the Sentient, the SSL-1 and the Hot Stack for Strat, the P90 and the P-Rails. It’s always been this way, going right back to the dawn of the electric guitar. So how does this relate to the Antiquity series of vintage reproduction pickups?
Antiquities are designed to be spot-on replicas of those early classics, but pickup design and materials didn’t stay still. So the original Antiquity series gives you reproductions of those ‘50s classics as you would have found them on an Esquire, Broadcaster, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Les Paul, ES-335 or P-Bass. They’re perfect for if you need to bring a modified vintage instrument back to original spec, bring some classic mojo to a modern guitar, or help to get a reissue instrument a little closer to the real thing. For instance, say you have your eye on a Fender Classic Series ‘50s Stratocaster. These guitars are great value if you’d like a ‘50s-style Strat, but you can make them even more vintage-accurate by adding a set of Antiquity for Stratocaster pickups.
As time moved on, new guitar models were introduced and some construction materials changed. The Antiquity II line is designed to reflect the designs that were either introduced or refined in the 1960s. Models like the Antiquity II Surfer Strat give you that classy-yet-smoother ‘60s Strat feel compared to their twangier ‘50s, Antiquity I cousins.
Either way, many Antiquity models have very specific provenances that reflect the variations in factory pickups back in the day. For instance, the Antiquity II Tele Neck was designed by Seymour to be the perfect match for the hybrid-picking and bending style he used on his mid-‘60s maple-neck Tele. And the Antiquity Texas Hot for Stratocaster set gives you the sound and feel of pickups that were overwound at the factory, with a hotter bridge pickup for better balance. Think of it as taking the random tone lottery out of your ‘50s pickup search.
You can see our entire Antiquity I and II lines here, plus the Antiquity JB and Jazz models, which reflect what a ‘70s Hot Rodded Humbucker Set would look and sound like today, built with the same materials that were available when these pickups were first available.