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Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Staggered APS-1 single coils Universal Right (standard) 11204-01 Top, SD photo

Seymour Duncan

Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Staggered APS-1 single coils

From the manufacturer:


Vintage-correct true single-coil. Recommended for country, pop, surf, rockabilly, blues, ska and classic rock.

The hand ground Alnico 2 magnets and moderate windings (Heavy Formvar® wire) yield a warm, sweet tone with more natural string vibration for great sustain. Players who get their distortion from the amp rather than the pickup love the APS-1. It allows them to back off the crunch and get beautiful clean tones with softer attack. Compared to the SSL-1, the APS-1 has a rounder sound with a spongier bass response. Comes with waxed cloth hookup cable and vintage-style "keyed" bottom plate.

complete setup
Calibrated set available with RW/RP middle pickup.

For warmer toned ash, alder or basswood body instruments. Works with maple and rosewood fingerboards.

available mods
Reverse wound, reverse polarity (RW/RP) middle pickups for hum canceling in positions "2" and "4" on the five-way switch. Left-hand magnet stagger pattern.

Magnet type: alnico 2 rods, D.C. Resistance 6.4k

CMarc Ford / Ben Harper & Black Crowes, Kevin Hunter / Shania Twain, Dale Oliver / Reba McIntire, Jeff Pevar / CPR


Ethan's picks for best videos/sound-clips:

The Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups are conveniently offered in a single coil format, allowing you to warm up your strat and give it great versatility. During the intro you can hear how transparent these pups are on a clean setting -- with plenty of low-end warmth, even mids, and rounded highs for a clear, full sound. Johnny Hawthorne takes you through the various pickup positions, beginning with the bridge at 0:45. The bridge pickup has a natural twang character with plenty of midrange snarl and low-end punch. The second position (bridge and middle) gives you a smoother tone, with a soft attack and subtle bite for snappy leads (listen at 0:55). You can also get a nice crunch tone with the bridge pickup, especially if you rely more on the amp for distortion vs. the pickup itself. Listen at 1:08 to hear how responsive the bridge pickup is, giving you a nice grit when you dig into the strings. Skip to 1:25 to hear the 4th position (middle and neck) for a bouncy and percussive strat tone that is warm and punchy.  The middle position (1:35) even does a good job at giving you that 'nasally' strat sound that we all know and love; and the neck pickup (1:50) has plenty of honk and warmth for beautiful blues tones. You can even combine the bridge and middle pickups for a great rhythm sound with plenty of sparkle (2:10).

The player is Johnny Hawthorne and he is using a Fender Strat.


Here is a comparison of the Seymour Duncan SSL-3 pickup and the APS-1 in the bridge. For the APS-1, clean tones can be heard at 0:20 - 0:37, 0:55 - 1:15, and 1:35 - 2:10. The biggest distinction you'll notice between the two pickups is that the APS-1 has a lot more clarity and power. The SSL sounds very dark and almost muddy. It seems to have a weaker output and lacks the presence and character that the APS-1 has. Drive tones begin around 2:50, and you'll notice a similar pattern in terms of tone and power. The APS-1 definitely has more punch and transparency; it sounds a lot fuller and stronger than the SSL-3. The SSL-3 is not a bad sounding pickup, but I think you have to consider its EQ voicing and adjust the amplifier accordingly to get a better sound.

The player is Dave Neijsen and he is using a Fender Lite Ash Strat through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.


You can get a pretty good idea of the sound of the APS-1 (from 0:20 onward) in this clip. Generally speaking, this pup has a much tamer sound than most single coils --giving you a rounder EQ with less top-end sparkle. The tone is very warm and suitable for blues and jazz tones, although it has a soft and subtle attack that makes it a nice pickup for chicken pickin' country and rockabilly styles. With the APS-1, you definitely have to rely a little more on the amp for power and punch; although it makes for a responsive pickup that is very sensitive to your playing technique.

The player is using a Fender Strat through a 1973 Fender Pro Reverb amp.


Check out that Fernandes Burn Strat, loaded with Seymour Duncan APS-1 pickups. This video really runs through all of the various pickup positions, demonstrating all the sonic possibilities this pup has. The neck pickup (0:10) has a fat sound with a lot of warmth and spank for a funky tone. Combine it with the middle pickup and you get a more nasally strat tone (0:25). The middle pickup by itself has a lot of midrange, giving you a nice punchy sound with growl and bite (listen at 0:40). Combine it with the bridge and you get plenty of sparkle and grit for a nice rhythm tone. The bridge by itself has a focused midrange, with a tame top end and deep low end. The result is a gnarly tone with plenty of single coil twang (listen at 1:15). Listen on to hear how these pups sound with more overdrive on tap, giving you a huge pallet of tones to work with.

The player is using a Fernandes Burny Strat MIG 1975 into a Mesa Roadster EL34 head and Mesa 2x12 cab.


This clip showcases the APS-1 in the bridge position. You can get some really good old timey rock'n'roll tones with this pup. It has a really killer voicing -- with a warm low end, edgy midrange, and smooth highs. The tone always stays very clear and transparent; but if you were to crank the amp, these pups would start to scream with even more expression and response. Nonetheless, you still get a fat tone that is incredibly rich and articulate.

The player is using a homemade strat through a Fender Blues Junior.



This clip mirrors the previous one, but highlights the APS-1 neck pickup instead. In the neck, this pup has a smooth tone that is extremely mellow and warm, while still having plenty of top-end chime for a vintage strat voicing. The mids are slightly scooped, while the low end is warm and spongey. The highs are sweet and smooth, with a subtle treble attack that lends to a musical and bell-like timbre. Overall, this pickup has a very full sound that is clear and bouncy for a classic Strat sound.

 The player is using a homemade strat through a Fender Blues Junior.





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