Custom Seymour...

Discuss internal affairs of pedals, guitars, amps and components etc...
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Custom Seymour...

Postby Properpat » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:03 pm

I don't wish to complain, but there are gear related topics burning within my skull and I have no friendly guitar nerds to verbally vomit them to. A few years ago I commissioned a custom pickup from Seymour Duncan. The description I gave for the sound I wanted was long and superlative-filled, but in hind-sight I believe I got what I asked for. I requested they make me humbucker in the style of their slug pickup (fat blades, extra long bobbins). I had hoped that I could get a vivid color, but they only offer that style of bobbing in black. The pickup was sweet sounding and very articulate, but the output level wasn't quite where I liked it and I didn't realize that the blades were the magnets, so it has a big strat' style honk to it and doesn't sound very full. I was disillusioned by the whole process of waiting so long for just a pickup and never gave it a second thought until earlier this year. By that time I had bought a new body for my guitar and realized that krylon spray paint, while extremely durable and tough, is a poor finish for a guitar and had been literally choking the life out of my tone. Once the new body was stained and oiled I tried every pickup I had on hand a few times a piece to get a feel for what my new guitar sounded like. Then I ordered another custom Seymour with a much better understanding of what I needed. It took nearly a month longer to get than my previous order and apparently many folks helped MJ to find a recipe that worked for what I was asking for. The form-factor was more traditional this time, simple trem-spaced bobbins with all hex-head pole pieces. I still didn't realize what I would get. The overall tone/feel of the pickup was beautiful. Super-sweet mids, wonderful clarity even under heavy overdrive and just the right amount of output. There were, however, two problems. The low end was a bit bulbous (I had expected that a bit since I asked for an A2 magnet) and the high-mids, while sweet, were a bit piercing to my ears. I then began the process of magnet swapping. I slapped in an A8 and the pickup had great low end and the high-mids were no longer harsh, but the sweetness was lost. An A5 brought back a bit of the sweetness, but then the high end then became a bit fizzy. Then I started doing a bit of research and found out that the hex-head pole pieces tend of extend the high end frequency response compared to the usual slugs/screws configuration. I had a beat-up custom custom lying around that I've torn apart, modified and rebuilt a few times that became a donor for correctly sized screws. Now the bobbing closer to the bridge has screws and the other still has hex-heads. I also put the original rough cast A2 that came with the pickup back in and we're about 98% where I really want the pickup to be. The sweetness is back, the low end is fuller and tighter and the high-mids and highs cut but are not harsh or fizzy. Perhaps next I'll flip the pickup around and see what the results are. Thank you to whomever takes the time to simply listen.
Alder bodied, maple/pau ferro necked parts-caster with one Seymour Duncan Griffin (my name choice; Custom slug coil with a Pegasus screw coil and a roughcast and unoriented A5 magnet).
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 3:24 pm
Location: Somewhere in rural Missouri

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