Legendary pickup builder Seymour Duncan is celebrating his namesake business’ 35th Anniversary with a very exclusive run of 35 numbered and signed hand-made guitars. These are based on a vintage modified design that Seymour has been kicking around since he was a young man, and we will be getting one of them at The Zoo. Follow the jump for more info and pics.
From Seymour Duncan:
Inspired by Seymour’s personal guitar which is an evolution of the well-known “TeleGib” he built for Jeff Beck when Seymour lived in London in the early 1970s, the Seymour Duncan 35 updates, upgrades, and modernizes where appropriate the slab-bodied, bolt-on neck plus double-humbucker sound that Seymour made part of the guitar lexicon of tones. A collaborative project between Seymour W. Duncan, Seymour Duncan’s resident luthier and Vice President of Products Frank Falbo, and the revered guitar builders at Larrivee, the Seymour Duncan 35 combines the simplicity of its forebear with the high precision, premier materials and finish of contemporary handcrafted lutherie. Woods are hand-selected from Jean Larrivee’s choicest inventory. Fretting, nut work and final set-up are performed by Frank Falbo.
The one-piece swamp ash body’s shape is a direct trace from a 1953 Blackguard Fender Telecaster® from the collection of Nacho Banos (Author of the book “The Blackguard”). This body shape differs dramatically from the shape of the modern Tele®. The humbucker cavities are routed on top of the traditional Telecaster cavities, in precisely the same position and fashion as Seymour’s guitar. The neck pocket is deeper than the current spec and matches the original spec from 1950 to 1955. The grain on the body has been carefully stained to match the darkening that naturally occurred from age on Seymour’s instrument. Amber varnish on the body has been color matched to perfectly replicate the original. A few instruments will be finished in an alternate varnish dyed wine red. The pickguard on the instrument is true fiber core phenolic, varnished to an ultra-high gloss and crafted from a direct trace of a 1950 Broadcaster. Additional unnecessary but important modification-correct details were included on the body including the addition of string ferrules and bridge screw holes. The tummy cut and side profile of the instrument are careful recreations from Seymour’s instrument.
The neck on the Seymour Duncan 35 features a 1 3/4″ nut width, as well as neck width measurements matching Seymour’s guitar. The neck is crafted from quarter-sawn rock maple, and utilizes a traditional anchored truss rod design but with a CNC machined walnut skunk stripe for a stronger, closer fit to the truss than normally found in necks of this style. We chose to use Tahitian black Mother of Pearl for the fretboard dot markers. The nut is handmade from 35,000-year-old fossilized mastodon ivory. Hardware on the Seymour Duncan 35 is not only vintage accurate, but is the best available. The bridge is machined from a medium-carbon stainless steel billet by Callaham guitars and features enlarged studs. The tailpiece is the standard TonePros model. The knobs, extra-thick-neckplate and screws are manufactured by Glendale. The pots are not vintage correct, but are Seymour’s favorite “blue-box” pots by Bourns. The tone capacitor is hand-made by Luxe Capacitors and is a vintage paper-in-oil replica from a 1956 Tele. Tuners are hand engraved custom “single-line” Kluson. All screws on the instrument are traditional flat-head screws.
We are supplying the Seymour Duncan 35 with both vintage-inspired and modern exotic pickups. Seymour Duncan’s new Custom Shop JB & Jazz “Concept” Humbuckers are installed in the guitar. The “Concept” pickups are reproductions of the prototype pickups Seymour wound for Jeff Beck’s guitar, well before there was a Seymour Duncan Company. These pickups later became the basis for further development of the Seymour Duncan JB & Jazz production models, after formation of the company. Additionally, a set of Seymour Duncan Zephyr™ Silver premium pickups will be supplied in the case. The guitar is equipped with Seymour Duncan’s Liberator™ Quick Pickup Change System for easy swapping of both sets of pickups. Whether with vintage-style pickups or new tone-drenched silver, players will find the sound of the Seymour Duncan 35 to be extraordinary. The Zephyr Silver pickups combine silver wire, bi-metallic pole pieces, nylon glass fiberfill bobbins and cryogenic treatment for a wide-open, tone-dense, explosively dynamic sound and super-responsive feel. The installed Liberator volume potentiometer is 250kΩ. A spare control plate with a 500kΩ Liberator volume potentiometer is included in the supplied tweed case.
The Seymour Duncan 35 is an unusually responsive, toneful guitar rooted in the history of Seymour W. Duncan’s friendship with Jeff Beck. It will be a prized voice in any owner’s guitar collection and is designed to be put to work on stage or in studio with enviable results.
Seymour Duncan 35 Technical Summary
- Inspired by the guitar Seymour built for himself as a refinement of the modified guitar he built for Jeff Beck in the early 1970s
- 1-piece hand-selected swamp ash body
- 1-piece rock maple neck, quarter-sawn, with walnut skunk stripe CNC profiled for maximum glue surface and close fit to truss rod
- 1 3/4″ nut width
- Precision neck angle, cut after finish to ensure maximum wood-to-wood contact
- Warmoth 6105 nickel-silver “medium-tall” frets
- Truss rod access from the headstock
- Tahitian Black Pearl dot neck inlay
- 35th logo inlay at 12th fret in New Zealand White Mother-of-Pearl
- TonePros Locking Stop Tailpiece
- Callaham medium-carbon milled stainless steel ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic style bridge
- Authentic “abandoned” Telecaster string-through holes with ferrules, consistent with the original guitar modification
- Body routed for dual Humbuckers
- Nut crafted from 35,000 year-old fossilized mastodon ivory
- Seymour Duncan Original JB & Jazz “Concept” copper-wound pickups installed
- Seymour Duncan Liberator Solderless Pickup Change System installed (250kΩ)
- Seymour Duncan Zephyr Silver humbucker set supplied for optional installation
- Seymour Duncan Liberator Solderless Pickup Change System installed in a spare control plate (500kΩ)
- Forearm contour to Seymour’s preference
- Belly cut on back to Seymour’s preference
- Custom neck profile to Seymour’s preference (combines best characteristics of vintage Telecaster necks)
- Kluson nickel-plated enclosed tuners
- String tree on 1st & 2nd strings, uniquely placed to allow behind-the-nut bends
- Strung with .010—.046 gauge strings
- Ultra-thin, fine instrument-grade high-gloss varnish finish, amber-tint, for maximum resonance and tone
- Varnished phenolic black pickguard, identical to 1950s era black pickguards
- LP-style jack-plate
- Nickel hardware
- Dimensional references: 1953 “Blackguard” Fender Telecaster, and Seymour W. Duncan’s personal guitar
- Modern upgrades approved by Seymour W. Duncan
- Individually signed by Seymour W. Duncan
- Tweed case
- Signed Certificate of Authenticity
- Individually Numbered, 1 — 35 only
- Strictly limited production
- Limited Lifetime Warranty to original retail purchaser; details in case and on web site