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Seymour Duncan is an American company best known for manufacturing guitar and bass pickups. They also manufacture effects pedals which are designed and assembled in America. Guitarist and luthier Seymour W. Duncan and Cathy Carter Duncan founded the company in 1976, in Santa Barbara, California. Dena Sklar was one of the original employees.
Seymour Duncan company
|Industry||Pickups and effects pedals|
|Founder||Seymour W. Duncan and Cathy Carter Duncan|
|Headquarters||Goleta, California, United States|
Number of employees
Seymour W. Duncan became interested in guitars at a young age. After lending his guitar to a friend who accidentally broke the pickup, Duncan decided to re-wind the pickup. He used a record player turntable to hold the pickup in place and rotate it while spooling wire around the pickup bobbin. Seymour was then inspired by how the guitar's tone improved, inspiring him to learn more about pickups from Les Paul - guitarist/inventor - and later mentor, Seth Lover: inventor of the humbucker. After developing considerable skill working on guitars, Duncan gained employment at London’s Fender Soundhouse.
After moving to California he met and married Cathy Carter and decided to start a pickup rewinding service. With demand for his services growing, Duncan and Carter started offering custom Stratocaster, Telecaster, and humbucking pickups. Within two decades they were manufacturing an assortment of electric, bass, and acoustic guitar pickups; as well as electric guitar accessories. In 2012, Seymour Duncan was inducted into the Vintage Guitar Hall of Fame for contributions to the music industry.
From the 1980s until 2013, Seymour Duncan made bass pickups under the Basslines brand name, before rebranding them under Seymour Duncan; without redesigning the pickups.
Seymour continues to create pickups in the Seymour Duncan's Santa Barbara factory; California.
Seymour Duncan produces a large range of pickups for guitars in several formats including Humbucker, Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar, Jazzmaster, P90, Filtertron, Mini Humbucker, and Acoustic; as well as effects pedals and bass pickups.
Some of their most popular guitar pickups include the '59 Model, the JB (bridge) and Jazz (neck) set, Duncan Distortion set, and the Pearly Gates set.
For almost every kind of pickup, Seymour Duncan manufactures a vintage, modern, and high output version, and an antiquity model based on the vintage version but with an aged appearance. As of 2013, the company has moved into the 7 and 8 string guitar pickup market. They also produce a line of active pickups.
Seymour Duncan also produces a line of Korean-made "Duncan Designed" pickups for OEM use on mid-level guitars and basses; $300 - $800. The Duncan Designed pickups are based on Seymour Duncan’s most popular pickups and are in addition to their standard American-made product line.  Duncan Designed pickups are, however, different from their Seymour Duncan roots. While Seymour Duncan sets voice the neck and bridge pickups differently to optimise tone, Duncan Designed pickups produce one pickup to be used in either the neck or bridge position. For example, The HB-102 is based on the USA-made SH-4 JB (bridge) and SH-2n Jazz Model (neck) set. Homogenising the design reduces cost, produces a slightly different tone, but does not produce a lower quality tone.
They also manufacture a range of effects pedals, although these remain less popular than their pickups.
Seymour Duncan produced a small line of guitar amplifiers during the 1980s and 1990s. Although the effort was short-lived due to the company's lack of reputation as an amp builder, Seymour Duncan amplifiers are well respected and sought after today.
- "Duncan Designed". Seymour Duncan. Archived from the original on 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
-  Archived January 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Paul Marossy. "The Seymour Duncan Convertible 100 1x12 Tube Amp". Diyguitarist.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16.