“I can only say I am 1,000% happy with the end result”: Seymour Duncan and Eric Gales team up for a pickup set to give your S-style a “perfect balance of vintage warmth and modern clarity”

Seymour Duncan Eric Gales Signature Pickup Set
(Image credit: Seymour Duncan / YouTube)

Eric Gales, the virtuoso whom Joe Bonamassa – and many others – consider the best blues-rock guitarist in the world, has teamed up with electric guitar pickup specialist Seymour Duncan for a signature set of single-coils that could give your Stratocaster or S-style in your life a new lease of life.

Gales joins the likes of Bonamassa, Slash, Cory Wong, Jared James Nichols and Lari Basilio on the Seymour Duncan artist roster – and not before time. 

By the sounds of it, Seymour Duncan’s custom shop pickup guru Maricela “MJ” Jaurez, who oversaw the development of Gales' set, has been wanting to wind him a signature pickup for a while now.

Juarez has worked with Eddie Van Halen, Billy Gibbons, Steve Miller, David Gilmour, Peter Frampton, Slash, Angus Young and more in her time at Seymour Duncan, so it’s fair to see she knows a good guitar player when she sees one – and what sorts of sounds they are after in their guitars.

Seymour Duncan Eric Gales Signature Pickup Set

(Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

Gales of course does not play a Fender Strat, using his Magneto signature guitar range exclusively, but his tone profile comes from the lineage of the Strat’s greatest blues-rock players, players such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Johnson and Robin Trower.

“The three single-coil Strat configuration came to be what I felt comfortability with,” he says. “For one, a lot of the influences I was listening to, that’s what they were playing, your Stevie Rays, your Robin Trowers, and I was wanting to do everything that I saw them do.”

Seymour Duncan Eric Gales Signature Pickup Set

(Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

And some of them are wanting to do everything that Gales is doing, too. When Gales met with SRV and played Riviera Paradise together, back when Gales was first putting together demos for his first record, the appreciation was mutual. Speaking to MusicRadar in 2022, Gales said it was mind-blowing that Vaughan knew who he was. After all, he was just a teenager.

“I told him my name was Eric Gales and he said, ‘I’m very aware of who you are because the industry has been buzzing about you!’ So we sat down and played, and he said to me, ‘Dude, you are an awesome player!’ I was 15 years old at the time. Again, it was really intense, man. There were two acoustic guitars and we just had fun playing Riviera Paradise together.

“It all came full circle that day. It wasn’t about asking a whole lot of questions. I was just in awe of one of my heroes as we played together and he was nice enough to say ‘Yo, you got it!’ when we finished.”

Gales new Seymour Duncans should be of interest to any Strat-wrangler with similar ambitions. They have Alnico IV magnets and have been slightly overwound, and offer “a perfect balance of vintage warmth and modern clarity”. 

Players can buy these aftermarket pickups individually for $125 or $375 for a set. There are some finish options, too. Choose from White, Black, Cream and Parchment colours, with or without the Seymour Duncan logo, with or without Eric Gales signature graphic.

Each pickup has been hooked up with cloth push-back wire. DCR readings are as follows: Bridge 7.8k, Middle 7.5k, Neck 7.3k. For more details check out the demo video above or head on over to Seymour Duncan.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.