Seymour Duncan Hot Stack Plus

Here are details of a brand new single-coil from Seymour Duncan.

For Stratocaster players, it´s the challenge of the ages: keep the tone, but ditch the annoying single coil hum. A few years ago, Santa Barbara-based pickup giant Seymour Duncan released their patented Classic Stack Plus pickup that addressed answered the call. But what about those players who want a Strat tone that´s bigger, beefier, ballsier, and brasher than vintage? For them, Duncan is happy to announce the release of the Hot Stack Plus, their latest advancement in the quest for hum-free Strat tone.

Like Duncan's Classic Stack Plus pickup, the Hot Stack Plus uses a top coil that is significantly larger than the bottom coil-it´s almost the same size as a traditional Strat pickup coil. This, together with the staggered, sand-cast, Alnico 5 pole pieces, and the custom wound, high-output coil, delivers a hot and thick Strat tone. Use a Hot Stack Plus in the bridge position together with two Classics in the neck and middle for a versatile setup that covers all tones from vintage to high-output.

The top coil is shielded with a ‘flux transfer plate´ which attracts hum and ‘injects´ it into the much smaller bottom coil, whose sole purpose is to eliminate the hum. The top coil gets the tone. The bottom coil kills the hum. In addition to the unique design, Duncan uses a device seldom seen outside a physics laboratory called a Helmholtz coil, to calibrate each individual Hot Stack Plus pickup for maximum hum cancellation.

The Helmholtz coil generates an extremely uniform magnetic field that allows our engineers to accurately simulate, on the test bench, the noise conditions found in a typical performance environment. This type of testing and calibration, in addition to the unique magnetic structure of the Hot Stack Plus system, allows it to achieve extraordinarily low levels of 60-cycle hum.

For most Strat guitars, the Hot Stack Plus is a direct retrofit. The Stack Plus is .995-inch (25.27mm) tall, which makes it .175 (4.45mm) taller than a vintage pickup for Strat guitars. Each Stack Plus is built and tuned, by hand, in Duncan's Santa Barbara, California workshop and includes mounting hardware and detailed wiring instructions. Recommended for bridge position.

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Simon Bradley is a guitar and especially rock guitar expert who worked for Guitarist magazine and has in the past contributed to world-leading music and guitar titles like MusicRadar (obviously), Guitarist, Guitar World and Louder. What he doesn't know about Brian May's playing and, especially, the Red Special, isn't worth knowing.