Seymour Duncan Antiquity Surfer Strat Set

The Antiquity Surfer is a set added to the Seymour Duncan menu in the early 2000s. The intention is to replicate the look and the tone of a 1964 single coil pickup. We should remember that Seymour worked in Fender Soundhouse in London in the late 1960s. He’s the guy that would know firsthand what’s going on with 60s Fender pickups.

The Antiquity series has been discussed here a few times. The Antiquity Humbucker set, the Antiquity JB/Jazz set, and the Antiquity Texas Hot Strat set. I even recently commissioned an Antiquity AH1B (aka Allan Holdsworth) from the Custom Shop. The point is that you should know the routine if you are a regular reader. HaHa!

However, the short version is that this series is meant to replicate the look, the feel, and the sound of an old pickup. In the case of the Surfer Strat set, it would be as if you found some original pickups out of an old 1964 Fender Stratocaster.

Here is Seymour talking a little bit about his motivation for this series of pickups:

Antiquity Pickups | Seymour’s Studio

Did you catch the first set of demos in that video? If so, you have a good primer for the similarities and differences between the Antiquity Texas Hot and the Antiquity Surfer. From an appearance perspective, the flatwork is the most significant difference. The Texas Hot is black vulcanized fiber, where the Surfer is gray.

If you are looking at these as a complete set, the Surfer set comes with a Custom Bridge version. Similar to the way the Texas Hot does. This is an overwound, hotter wind to give more punch in the bridge position. For something a little more period correct, you can grab another regular Surfer for the bridge. As I have been working through different single coil sets, I do think that is actually a little more workable to my ears as a full set. For now, the Antiquity single coils, when sold as a set, include the Custom Bridge version.

Seymour Duncan Antiquity Surfer Set
Seymour Duncan Antiquity Surfer Set

These Antiquity Surfer single coils go in to my 1990 American Standard Stratocaster with a maple neck and board. I am using the Mojotone Solderless Strat Blender Harness, so install is a snap. This harness lets me blend in some neck to positions 1 and 2, and some bridge into positions 4 and 5. The Surfer pickups work very well with those switching and blending options.

When thinking of “surf rock”, one tends to imagine a particularly bright and snappy voice. I’m finding the Surfer set to be a little rounder and fuller than the expectation. Other Surfer users have told me the same.

The lows are deep with lots of dimension, with a rich midrange and a bold high end. Full and woody, so to speak. This makes the Surfer set really versatile for most playing styles. There is plenty of chime and quack, just a little richer. Almost as if there’s a little broader resonant peak going on. They are a little sensitive, so taking some time to really tweak in your height adjustment will pay off for you.

Maybe I can put it to you in terms of Clapton. If the Texas Hot set has the 50s vibe of Brownie, the Surfer set would be closer to Blackie.

Here’s a demo that will detail the Surfer’s character:

Antiquity II Surfer

I don’t know about you, but I’m really digging what the 2 and 4 positions are bringing to the table.

Let’s look at some specs:

Antiquity Surfer Bridge
Resistance – 9.509 K
Inductance – 3.328 H
Magnet – Alnico 5
Magnet Polarity – South

Antiquity Surfer Middle (RWRP)
Resistance – 6.363 K
Inductance – 2.42 H
Magnet – Alnico 5
Magnet Polarity – South

Antiquity Surfer Neck
Resistance – 6.263 K
Inductance – 2.49 H
Magnet – Alnico 5
Magnet Polarity – South

It’s my take that the Surfer set will work great in brighter guitars to add depth and even-out a bigger vintage tone. Ash, alder, or maple bodies with maple necks, for example. The Surfer set will be good for Blues, Funk, Indie, Pop, Garage, Punk, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Country, Jazz, Reggae, Finger-style, and… wait for it… Surf. LOL!

For reference, this Seymour Duncan Antiquity Surfer Strat pickup set evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller.  Real cabs in use are Marshall 1960BMojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.

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