Open main menu

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.

Seymour Duncan
IndustryPickups and effects pedals
Founded1976; 43 years ago (1976)
FounderSeymour W. Duncan and Cathy Carter Duncan
HeadquartersGoleta, California, United States
effects pedals
Number of employees


Seymour Duncan and Cathy Carter Duncan

Seymour W. Duncan became interested in guitars at a young age, and after lending his guitar to a friend who accidentally broke the pickup. Duncan decided to re-wind the pickup, using 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 the Fender Soundhouse in London. After having moved 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 a to 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. Seymour continues to create pickups in the Seymour Duncan's Santa Barbara factory; California.


The company produces a large range of pickups for guitars in several formats including Humbucker, Stratocaster, Telecaster and Acoustic; as well as effects pedals and bass pickups. Some of their most popular guitar pickups include the '59 Model, the JB Model, and the Pearly Gates Model. As of 2013, the company has moved into the 7 and 8 string guitar pickup market. They also produce a line of active pickups.

In addition to their standard American-made product line, Seymour Duncan also produces a line of Korean-made "Duncan Designed" pickups intended for OEM use on mid-level guitars and basses.[1]

The Dirty Deed distortion pedal, released in late 2013.

Seymour Duncan produced a small line of guitar amplifiers during the 1980s and 1990s.[2] 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.[3]


  1. ^ "Duncan Designed". Seymour Duncan. Archived from the original on 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  2. ^ [1] Archived January 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Paul Marossy. "The Seymour Duncan Convertible 100 1x12 Tube Amp". Retrieved 2014-03-16.

External linksEdit