Seymour Duncan APS1 Replacement Pickups
The pickups on review are passive, single-coil models developed to simulate the original Strat sound. They are designed as direct replacements for use in Strat (or Strat copy) guitars and have the same mounting arrangement.
As no covers are supplied, the original plastic covers may be used or, alternatively, the windings may be left exposed.
The main difference between these pickups and the originals is the use of Alnico magnets, which produces a marginally less 'brittle' tone. Like the originals, the Seymour Duncans have fixed pole-pieces and heights are staggered to accommodate the change in levels between the wound and straight wire strings. A three-pickup set comes with the middle pickup wound out-of-phase with the two outer ones and with reversed magnetic polarities. This allows the pickups to work like humbuckers when they are used in pairs, though the susceptibility to interference when the pickups are used singly is little different to the originals.
The review set was fitted to a rather nice Fenix guitar kindly provided for the purpose by Sound Technology. Compared with a Fender Strat, the tone was very similar but with slightly less edge and perhaps a hint more warmth. The tone was still distinctly Strat-like, though on the test guitar with the strings fitted, I felt the second string was slightly weak. On any two-pickup setting, the humbucking properties come into play and the drop in interference levels is significant. Again, these vital combination positions still produced the classic Strat sound, and in the studio, the virtual elimination of interference noise on these settings is more than welcome.
I feel that many owners of genuine Strats might not want to change to these pickups simply because the tonal difference is relatively small. For a more radical change, alternative Seymour Duncan models are available, but for the owner of a good copy guitar that's being let down by the pickups, the set reviewed would make ideal replacements.
APS1 pickups £44.95 including VAT.
Aria (UK) Ltd, (Contact Details).
Review by Paul White
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