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Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Hand Scatter-Wound SSL-1C DG Pickup Information

We get a lot of questions about our two Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Hand Scatter-Wound SSL-1C DG pickups.  So we thought it would be a good idea to run through the details about these two pickups and why our pickups are being made the way they are.

We are having two versions of this true single coil Strat pickup custom manufactured for us by MJ in the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop, she signs each of these pickups that she has personally wound for us.

Our first version is the SSL-1C DG (Original).
Our second version is the SSL-1C DG Rw/Rp (Reverse Wind / Reverse Polarity).

Both of these pickups are hand scatter-wound (traversed), vintage staggered height and beveled Alnico 5 pole pieces, cloth tape wrapped coil with a target DC resistance of 12.9k.

There are a few factors we considered when having these custom pickups built.  First thing we took into consideration is that predominantly these two SSL-1C DG pickups are destined to be installed with two of the Fender Custom Shop pickups, the Custom ‘69 in the middle position and the Fat 50 in the neck position.  And with Fender and Seymour Duncan’s “normal” wind direction of their single coil pickups are the opposite of one-another, however they orientate the pole pieces the same direction we set out to make sure both of our custom wound SSL-1C DG pickups are 100% compatible with Fenders Custom Shop pickups winding direction and pole piece polarity orientation.  This is to prevent a pickup from having to be installed with its hook-up leads reversed in order to prevent phasing issues when a Seymour Duncan single coil pickup and Fender pickups are selected together. 

Seymour Duncan SSL-1C DGOur first version, the SSL-1C DG (Original) pickup is reverse wound in reference to how Seymour Duncan normally winds their single coil pickups (Clock-Wise), but it is wound the same direction as Fender’s Custom Shop pickups (Not their Rw/Rp). The pole piece polarity orientation of the SSL-1C DG is the same as Fender’s with South up.





Seymour Duncan SSL-1C DG Rw/Rp (Reverse Wind / Reverse Polarity)Our second version, the SSL-1C DG Rw/Rp (Reverse Wind / Reverse Polarity) pickup is wound the same direction as how Seymour Duncan normally winds their single coil pickups (Counter Clock-Wise), but it has the pole pieces orientated with North up which is a reverse polarity to Seymour Duncan’s normal single coil pickup construction. This creates a Reverse Wound / Reverse Polarity pickup in reference to Fender’s Custom Shop pickups (Not their Rw/Rp). 




For a point of reference. A standard Seymour Duncan SSL-5 is wound the opposite direction as a Fender Custom Shop Custom ‘69 and a Fat 50 (not their Rw/Rp) but has the same pole piece polarity orientation, so when a SSL-5 is installed with a Fender Custom Shop Custom ‘69 and Fat 50 you must reverse the hook-up leads on the SSL-5 in order to prevent phasing issues when it is selected with the Custom ‘69 or Fat 50.  Reversing the leads means you have to hook up the black lead to the selector switch and the white lead to the ground. By reversing the leads solves the phasing problem when two pickups are selected together but can create another issue.  This other issue is caused by how these single coil pickups are wound. There is no insulation or bobbin material in-between the winding wire and the metal surfaces of the pole pieces, the coil winding wire winds directly around the pole pieces, the only barrier between the copper winding wire and the pole pieces is the enamel insulation on the winding wire, however sometimes this enamel insulation is not sufficient enough or breaks down and causes the copper winding wire to make contact with the pole pieces and if the pickups hook-up leads are reversed the pole pieces can be energized since the start of the winding of a single coil pickup is connected to the black wire but now with the reversed leads it is now connected as the hot lead.  This will become noticeable when a guitar string is pressed down into the pole piece of the pickup and it acts as a kill switch, completely shuts down the audio signal. This is because the guitar string is connected to ground and the now energized pole piece is hot.  This is obviously a bad occurrence, that is why we have our SSL-1C DG pickups both wound the correct direction so that when combined with Fender Custom Shop Pickups both of our SSL-1C DG pickups will always have their black (or start winding hook-up lead) wire connected to ground.

Since these two versions of the SSL-1C DG pickups are assembled or built different, the question always comes up will they sound different?  The answer is no.  They are essentially the same pickup, it is only the winding direction and pole piece polarity orientation that is different, this does not effect output, tonality, harmonics or sustain.  The only thing that is different is that when the SSL-1C DG Rw/Rp pickup is installed with a Fender Custom Shop Custom ‘69 in the middle pickup position and the Fat 50 in the neck pickup position you will gain two pickup selection positions of hum cancelling.  When the bridge and middle pickup are selected together in selector switch position #2 you achieve hum cancelling, also when the bridge and neck pickups are selected together via the recessed mini-toggle switch you also achieve hum cancelling.


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