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Seymour Duncan Little '59 SL59-1 for Strat Neck White 11205-21-W Top, SD photo

Seymour Duncan

Seymour Duncan Little ‘59 SL59-1 for Strat

From the manufacturer:


P.A.F.-voiced single-coil-sized humbucker. Great for country, jazz, blues, funk, classic rock and heavy rock.

This little brute was designed to impart the warm, smooth tone of an old Patent Applied For humbucker in a direct replacement, single-coil size. It possesses an even, dynamic response, and its adjustable pole pieces allow the guitarist to fine tune the string balance and dial in just the right amount of punch. Compared to the JB Jr., it has less output and more upper-mids. Comes with four-conductor hookup cable. USA Patent No. Des. 355,207.(SSL-1) Hot Stack® (STK-S2) pickups, Cool Rails are for players who need a louder, punchier, and fatter single-coil sound. Comes with four-conductor hookup cable.

complete setup
Available for both bridge and neck/middle positions; and in an incredibly versatile set with an SJBJ-1b JB Jr. in the bridge, an SDBR-1n Duckbuckers in the middle and an SL59-1n Little '59 in the neck.

For all well-balanced instruments. Works equally well with maple and rosewood fingerboards.

available mods
Choose white, black, cream and parchment housing.

Bill Frisell, Audley Freed / Cry of Love & Black Crowes, Courtney Love, Jake Kelly / Gary Allan, Jon Hudson / Faith No More, Brad Fordham / Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Kelly Willis, Ron Laster / James Brown, Glen Campbell"


Best videos/sound-clips:

Here we have a video from Seymour Duncan letting us hear the SL59-1 Lil' 59 sounds like in the bridge position of a Fender Strat. After an explanation of the 3 pickups in this guitar, we hear the SL59-1 at 0:54 playing rhythm. He rolls the volume down a hair and plays some single notes at 1:20. So much midrange! Doesn't sound at all like a stock Strat single coil bridge pickup. Much more of the PAF vibe happening in this pickup. He cleans things up at 1:39, and we hear the pickup's punchiness and thickness here. At 1:59, we hear the pickup with high gain in a rhythm situation before he plays some leads with the high gain sound at 2:30. The SL59-1 sounds just like a full size humbucker. He lets us hear the pickup with a "blues" vocabulary at 2:52, and at 3:27, we hear it with a "rock" musical vocabulary. He plays on the SL59-1 with more of a  "fusion" musical vocabulary at 3:57. And at 4:49, the demo of the SL59-1 ends by demonstrating how the SL59-1 sounds with a clean sound when combined with the SSL-2 Vintage Style Strat Pickup that is in the middle position. Lots of bite and mids. Sounds very much like a vintage PAF to me.


This is a shootout vid that pits the Lil' 59 SL59-1 against the Hot Rails SHR-1. He's playing a Japanese Made 1986 Fender Strat through a Genz Benz Black Pearl 30 amplifier. After recording a loop track to play over, we hear the SL59-1 playing a clean lead at 1:42. He's using only the fingers of his right hand, no pick at all. Again, I like the way the SL59-1 accentuates the mids. Gives a Strat some much needed thickness. At. 2:20, he kicks on his XTS Atomic Overdrive pedal. Great high gain sounds. He puts the pickup selector in the in between position at 3:04, and we hear the ST59-1 combined with the stock Strat middle pickup, again with overdive. It's nice how the sound still has the PAF-style mids, with the glassiness of the single coil glazing the top. Though he doesn't highlight it explicitly, it sounds to me like he switches back to the SL59-1 by itself at 4:08. He kicks the overdrive off at 4:08, then puts the pickup selector back in the in between position at 4:40, playing some interesting 6ths and octaves until he ends the ST59-1 demo at 5:13



Here is a video that tries to compare the SL59-1 with the Lil' Screamin' Demon SLSD-1. He starts with the SLSD-1, and demos it for 2 and a half minutes or so, then starts on the SL59-1. The pickup is in the bridge position of a Fender Mexican Standard Strat, and he's playing the guitar through a Marshall JVM 205. At 2:50, he starts by playing a medley of classic metal riffs with high gain, and we hear the power and meat of the SL59-1. Nice low mids in this example. At 4:18, he plays some single-note leads using the same high gain sound before returning to the riff jukebox at 4:41. Again, these single coil sized humbuckers make Strats sound huge!


This one features the SL59-1 in a 2000 Fender American Standard Strat being played through a Blue Stripe Mesa/Boogie Mark III. From 0:02 to 1:29, we hear the SL59-1 with the volume rolled off to about 6 playing some classic rock riffs, sounding HUGE! After an explanation of the whole setup, he plays the bridge pickup for a bit from 3:05 to 3:23, again mostly playing standard classic rock riffs. We hear the SL59-1 again at 4:55, in an illustration of how softer playing makes the pickup clean up very nicely. At 6:32, we hear the SL59-1 in conjunction with the middle pickup. Interestingly, in this position, the SL59-1 is setup to be coil split, so only one side of the humbucker is active and interacting with the middle pickup. It turns out to be a really nice thing though, because that position sounds just as crystalline as a regular Strat would. 7:05 brings the full bridge humbucker back to our ears, and after a little middle pickup interlude, we get the SL59-1 again at 8:22, this time with the volume pushed to 7. There's even a bit of country playing at 8:40, with the volume returning to 6. At 8:55, he opens up the volume to 10, drops the low E string a full step, and plays some detuned metal with the SL59-1. This pickup sounds great through the Boogie. Then at 9:48, he does something pretty remarkable, in terms of demo videos: he plays the same riff with the volume up all the way, then he continues to play the same riff, dialing back the volume by one number each time, so we hear exactly how the pickup starts to clean up. From 11:18 to 12:20, we hear the SL59-1 coil tapped and combined with the middle pickup, and ar 12:20, we hear the bridge alone again. After some playing on the other pickups, we return to the bridge at 15:03, then we finally get to hear the lead tones of the SL59-1 at 16:00. He switches to his amp's clean sound, and we get to hear the way the SL59-1 in the in between position sounds squeaky clean at 18:00. He ends with the bridge pickup alone at 18:19. Great sounds that showcase the versatility of the SL59-1!




This one's nice because we get to hear the SL59-1 in the neck position. This is a Fender American Standard Strat through a Line 6 POD xt set to clean with just a hair of breakup. He starts with 30 seconds of bluesy stuff with the neck pickup alone, then at 0:30, he switches to the SL59-1 combined with the middle pickup. 1:36 shows the return of the neck pickup by itself, and he plays my favorite stuff at 1:44. Great tone and feel.


This is the same guy and guitar as the last video, but this time we get a nice higher gain lead sound. He plays some nice Bloomfield-esque blues with just the SL59-1 for quite a while, with my favorite stuff happening at 1:04. At 1:58, he switches to the SL59-1 combined with the middle pickup, and plays with the slector in that position until the end. Great sounding pickup for blues, with a nice low mid bump.




I'm impressed by several things in this video. First of all, it has three sections: one where we hear the clean sound of the stock bridge pickup in a Fender American Standard Strat, played through an Orange Micro Terror driving a Randall 4 x 12 cabinet juxtaposed against the SL59-1 in the same guitar with exactly the same settings; a second section where we hear almost the same riffs this time played with the Micro Terror's gain maxed; and third, a section where we hear the single coil buzz of the amp that is eliminated when the SL59-1 is installed. Section one starts at 0:27, section two starts at 1:08, and the eye-opening third section starts at 2:00. This is the reason humbucking pickups were invented!



Here's another one featuring the SL59-1 in the neck position, this time in a Fender Squier Bullet Strat, played with a clean sound. He starts with the SL59-1 alone, playing some nice soulful stuff over a standard. At 1:00, he puts the pickup selector into the in between position, and we hear the SL59-1 combined with the SDBR-1 Duckbucker, and he plays with the selctor in that position for the remainder of the video. I like the stuff at 0:25. Show you how a very inexpensive guitar can be made to sound good with the right pickups and player.


The SL59-1 in this video is in a 1991 Eric Clapton Signature Strat, and is being played through the SimulAnalog Guitar Suite in the Marshall JCM900 preset. I find this demo super intersting because the SL59-1 doesn't actually sound like a humbucker in this video at all, which makes me think that whoever wired it either wired it in parallel or accidentally shorted out one of the coils. At any rate, it's an interesting example of the tonal possiblities the SL59-1 provides! The clean sound starts at 2:02, and he engages the Fulltone GT-500 at 3:41 for some distortion. Interesting sounds!


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