Adjective: Present, appearing, or found everywhere
“Seymour Duncan pickups are Ubiquitous.”
Seven dollar words aside, it’s hard to find players who aren’t playing Seymour Duncan Pickups. It doesn’t matter what genre of music – Rock, Metal, Country, or Pop – players are lining up around the block for some Duncans. We here at TheToneKing.com wanted to take a moment to try and figure out why these pickups are so popular.
Seymour Duncan Pickups was founded in California in 1976 by a dude named Seymour Duncan. (Didn’t see that coming) The first big break came for the pickup company when, in 1983, Kramer started including Duncan pickups as standard in their guitars.
Duncan Pickups offer a ton of variety. Seymour Duncan has more flavors than Baskin-Robbins. If you like Blues and Classic Rock, you’ll want to check out the Alnico II Pro Slash (APH-2). Country players will dig the Jerry Donahue Tele Lead (APTL-3JD). Jazz players, check out the Jazz (That was easy).
Of course, TTK’s all about rock. Hell, regular viewers of TTK will notice that we’ve probably had more Seymour Duncan install videos than anyone else out there. The first set of vids, we checked out the SD Blackouts.
The Blackouts are an active humbucker neck/bridge set. Most active humbuckers are unbalanced inputs in a differential preamp. The Blackouts manage the same bone-crushing output but using balanced inputs. You get less noise but more lows and highs. And, most importantly, more output.
Another TTK Seymour Duncan install vid used the Duncan Distortion pickups. These pickups are about as metal as you can get in passive pickups. A massive ceramic magnet and hot coil windings help produce blistering power. These are a great option for players that want a lot of output but don’t want to bother with batteries.
Then, there will be the upcoming Screamin’ Demon install. Moderate output P.A.F. style pickups that are a favorite of George Lynch. Which is why TK will be popping them into his George Lynch Tiger Burst Bengal. Custom designed for George Lynch, these humbucking pickups are modeled off of Seymour Duncan ‘59’s with a bit less bite and a little more growl. They combined allen screws in one row with slotted screws in another row for a unique “airy” sound.
Winter is coming.
Actually, it’s already here.
I’m referring, of course, to the Seymour Duncan Black Winter pickups. Specifically designed for the blackest of black metal, Black Winters are pure aggression. Carefully articulated mids, trebles and bass are important when moving from heavy chugging to sixteenth-note arpeggios. Black Winter is about at metal as it gets.
We even had a chance at NAMM 2013 to talk to Ola Englund about the Black Winter Pickups before they even came out to market in January.
So, if you’re still not convinced that Seymour Duncan is possibly the most popular pickup among players, here’s a small list of some of the heavy hitters playing Duncans.
Here we go.
Mick Thompson (Slipknot/Stone Sour), Joe Bonamassa, George Lynch, Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Paul Stanley (Kiss), Anders Nystrom (one of my personal favorites: Katatonia), Gus G. (Ozzy), Bill Kelliher (Mastadon), Synyster Gates (Avenged Sevenfold), Steve Harris and Janick Gers (Iron Maiden), Will Adler (Lamb of God) Warren Haynes (Allman Bros./ Gov’t Mule), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Slash (Freaking Slash!), Sascha Gerstner (Freaking Helloween!!!!!)
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About the Author: Marc published his first novel Becoming in 2010. It’s a kick-ass book with monsters and dreams and stuff, and you should buy it. Since then, he’s written thousands of articles for TheToneKing.com, many of which have been picked up for circulation by manufacturers and other news outlets. His next book, Drugs and Pancakes, should be available early 2014 if his alcoholic editor can find time to work on it in-between destroying his liver and screaming about punctuation. He graduated from Roosevelt University with honors, which means that he’s not as dumb as he looks. He’s been playing guitar for over 25 years, which is almost twice as long as most of his students have been alive.