Seymour Duncan Pickups — The Ultimate Installation Guide

Seymour Duncan Pickups — The Ultimate Installation Guide

This Seymour Duncan installation guide will help you install any model Seymour Duncan pickup into your guitar. Seymour Duncan pickups are time-tested and have a large selection that fits any style or genre. Artists that use Seymour Duncan pickups include Slash, Jennifer Batten, Jason Becker, Joe Bonamassa, Dimebag Darrell, Steve Harris, Yngwie Malmsteen, and many more.

Single-Coil Pickups

Seymour Duncan has a huge selection of single-coil pickups, including the Antiquity, Antiquity 2, Quarter Pound, Little ’59, and more. These pickups have two wires, and the wiring code is as follows.

Wiring Code

  • White = Hot
  • Black = Ground

Example 1



P90 Pickups

Seymour Duncan also provides a large selection of P90 pickups, including the Phat Cat, the Antiquity P90 Dogear, and the Vintage P90. P90 is a Gibson version of the well known Fender single-coil P90 pickups usually have a single wire encased in a braided covering or shield. The wiring for P90 pickups is as follows.

Wiring Code

  • Black = Hot
  • Shield = Ground

Example 2



Telecaster Pickups

Seymour Duncan even makes pickups to replace Fender Telecaster pickups. Some of the replacement pickups they provide include the Five-Two, Jerry Donahue Lead, and the Brad Paisley La Brea. Seymour Duncan likes to use a yellow wire instead of white for single-coil pickups. Telecaster Pickups with four colored wires use the same wiring code as humbuckers.

Wiring Code

  • Yellow = Hot
  • Black = Ground

Example 3



Humbucker Pickups (4 Wire)

Seymour Duncan makes a wide range of humbuckers as well, and these include full-size humbuckers as well as mini-humbuckers. Examples of some of these humbucker pickup models are the Pearly Gates, Custom 5, and Jupiter Rails. These pickups have four colored wires and one bare wire. Because there are two coils in these pickups, and each coil gets two wires. The wiring code for the humbuckers is as follows.

Wiring Code

  • Black = Hot
  • Red and white = Twisted together and taped
  • Green and Bare = Twisted together; Ground

Example 4



Humbucker Coil-Splitting

Coil splitting is a simple modification you can do to turn off one of the two coils in the humbucker and get the sound of a single-coil. You will need to convert your standard tone control into a push-pull pot, but the modification is very simple otherwise. Here’s a quick diagram, but we have many more in-depth articles on coil-splitting at Humbucker Soup.

Example 5



Humbucker Pickups (1 Wire)

One more type of pickup that Seymour Duncan makes is the single conductor humbucker. These pickups are similar to the P90s in that they use a single conductor. Single conductor means there is one colored wire inside a braided metal sleeve; this was common with vintage humbuckers. The Mayhem and the JB Model are examples of this type of wiring and it is common on vintage-style humbuckers from many brands. The single wire is usually black or white and is the Hot. The braided shield wire is the Ground.

Wiring Code

  • White = Hot
  • Shield = Ground

Example 6



Summary

Seymour Duncan sticks to the same wiring code for almost all of its pickups, and once you know it, you can install these pickups with confidence. After a few swaps, you won’t need a diagram and you’ll be able to look at the circuit and know where the wires go. For any pickup, you only need the Hot and the Ground to install it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this guide. If we’ve helped you understand wiring codes a little better and were able to help you get your pickups working, please feel free to share this information on Facebook and Twitter. For more articles on guitar electronics, visit humbuckersoup.com.

Ed Malaker Our resident electronics wizard came by his skills honestly — first as an apprentice in his father’s repair shop, later as a working musician and (most recently) as a sound designer for film. His passion for guitar led him to Humbucker Soup, where he continues to decode the wonders of wiring and the vicissitudes of voltage. Ed has never taken his guitar to a shop — he already knows how to fix it.