Let’s discuss the Seymour Duncan SM2 and show you how to install it into your guitar.
The Seymour Duncan SM2
The Seymour Duncan SM2 is a mini-humbucker, which means it uses two miniature coils in its design. The two coils allow the pickup to function as a full-size humbucker and cancel noise before it reaches your amp, but it’s physically smaller and takes up less real estate in your guitar.
Mini-humbuckers create a sound somewhere between a single-coil and a standard humbucker. Smaller coils create a brighter sound, but the proximity of the two coils to each other still causes some phase cancellation to occur, which makes the tone slightly warmer.
The Seymour Duncan SM2 is the second in a family of SM pickups. The SM1 is an original Gibson Firebird replacement. The SM2 is a little hotter and more versatile. The SM2 is perfect for everything from classic rock to metal. It uses a ceramic bar magnet to help create punchy mid-range frequencies that help keep the notes clear. The SM3 is the hottest model and is used for heavy overdrive.
The Seymour Duncan SM2 Wiring Code
To install any pickup in your guitar, you only need to know which wire is the Hot, and which wire is the Ground. Single coil pickups often have two wires, so if you are not sure, either wire has a 50% chance of being Hot.
Most humbuckers have four colored wires and one bare wire. Each coil has two colored wires, just like the single-coil pickup. The bare wire grounds the entire pickup.
In practice, we connect two of the colored wires, so one coil flows into the next, which technically gives us one long coil. The start of the long coil is the Hot, and the end is the Ground. Knowing which wires are which is understanding the wiring code and figuring it out can be challenging in some cases.
Fortunately, we already know the wiring code.
Seymour Duncan likes to keep things simple by always using the same wiring code for all of their pickups. Once you have it, installing any Seymour Duncan pickup is a breeze.
- Black = HOT
- Red and White = Tied together
- Green and Bare = Tied together; Ground
Example 1 demonstrates the Seymour Duncan SM2 wiring code.
The Seymour Duncan SM2 Wiring
Now that you have the Hot and the Ground wires, you can easily install the pickup into your guitar. If you’re like most, you’ll be installing the Seymour Duncan SM2 to replace another pickup, so you can install it the same way. The Ground wire will go to the back of the volume pot, and the Hot will go to either the switch or your volume pot. Example 2 shows what it might look like going to the volume control.
As you can see, it’s not very difficult to change the pickups in your guitar. All you need to do is pay attention to where the Hot and Ground wires go when you’re taking out your old pickup, and put the Hot and Ground for the new one in the same place. The Seymour Duncan SM2 is especially easy because Seymour Duncan always uses the same wiring code.
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