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What are Seymour Duncan Antiquity pickups and how to they differ from non-antiquity pickups?

Seymour Duncan Antiquity pickups offer vintage sound, construction, and looks, right out of the box - no need to wait four decades to get the tone and mojo you want!  While many manufacturers offer "vintage"-themed or inspired pickups, and Seymour Duncan is no exception, these are really the "next level" of vintage correctness.  

In case there is any confusion about the "Antiquity" vs. "Antiqutiy II" lines, the Antiquity product line generally replicates pickups from the 50s and/or use Alnico II magnets, while the Antiquity II line generally replicates pickups from the 60s and/or use Alnico V magnets. 

Both of these lines come in completely different packaging than the normal pickup lines.  They ship in a cream-colored cardboard box, and inside the pickup is first wrapped in brown paper, taped shut with the DCR written on the tape (nice touch), and this is then enclosed in a cloth bag with a tag explaining the Antiquity line and also having the DCR written on the tag - all very nice touches.  Note that the DCR listed is the actual resistance of the pickup you receive, not the average of the line.  These pickups have some serious mojo before you even get then in your guitar!

Perhaps it would be best to let Seymour himself describe these pickups.  Here is the excerpt from the tag on my Antiquity for Tele bridge (11024-22).  

"Did you ever see the bridge pickup on a '53 Telecaster?  It's not clean or shiny or new looking.  It's ugly.  That's because it's probably been through hell.  Night after night spent on a wooden stage in a cigarette smoke-filled club under a guy's sweaty wrist slammin' out the scariest guitar tone around.  It's got grime and sweat and smoke impregnated deept into the bobbin.  The lacquer has thinned and the magnets have discolored.  The coil wire and insulation have been tempered by the surge of thousands of hours of electricity; and it may have even blocked a flying beer bottle or two.  To some, it's not a pretty sight.  To me, however, it's as beautiful as the Mona Lisa.  

My name is Seymour W. Duncan and I build guitar pickups.  I've been doing it for a long time and I'm really proud of the products I've created.  I'm pleased to announce that I have embarked on an entirely new concept in pickups.  I'm introducing a highly limited series of guitar and bass pickups that will be closer to the real thing than anything else made in the last thirty years.  I'm calling it the Antiquity series.  

Each Antiquity pickup is handcrafted in Santa Barbara, California from the same materials as the originals.  Also each pickup is hand wound using a "scatter wind" process that captures the original winding patterns in a way that no machine can duplicate.  The pickups are carefully aged, the magnets are ever so slightly demagnetized, and the wire and insulation are treated to duplicate the tempering of years of use.  Of course, all of this is done in order to accurately replicate that unmistakable vintage tone of the early pickups in a way that could never be done in a mass production process.  

To some, this is craziness-imagine, intentionally creating an aged electrical component.  But if you're like me, and you appreciate the personal commitment and hand craftsmanship found in early American electric guitars, than (sic) you'll want to capture that timeless beauty with an Antiquity."

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  • SCott wAlker on

    I bought this pickup and installed it in my 52 reissue that i converted into an esquire. I have been playing since 1968 and grew up with fender and the tele. I have to say this pickup is the best sounding i have heard and i have played the real deal. It really made the 52 stand out in sound. I play classic country and rock, and through my twin reverb it sounds like the old songs that we use to hear in the 60s. I still gig on weekends and it really made my guitar talk.

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