NAMM 2023: Create custom pickup configurations on your phone and mod your guitar in real time with the Seymour Duncan HyperSwitch

Seymour Duncan Hyperswitch
(Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

NAMM 2023: As a leading manufacturer of electric guitar pickups Seymour Duncan has already got a lot of the aftermarket modding market sewn up. What more worlds are there to conquer? 

We might be forgiven for thinking product development would follow a similar pattern to that of the 20th century – all magnets, wires, windings. But then Seymour Duncan just go ahead and release a Bluetooth enabled pickup selector switch that lets you program different pickup configurations on your electric guitar.

That’s right, the HyperSwitch, a world’s first according to the company, connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and allows players to play around with their pickup configuration without having to plug a soldering iron in at the wall. No mess, no fuss… No way, right? Surely this is an April Fools.

But it’s not. The date reads 11 April on the release and the HyperSwitch is very much a thing you can buy to turn your regular old guitar with passive pickups into something you can mod in real time, on your phone, storing presets for easy recall of your favourite sounds.

(Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

This is basically rewiring your guitar via your phone. Now, there is a downside for anyone who is looking to reduce their screen time, but then that time is no doubt offset by the quick and easy mods you can make to your guitar.

Say, if you wanted to wire your bridge and neck pickups together out of phase, well, as the saying goes, there’s an app for that, and it’ll connect with your HyperSwitch and do the necessary.

Seymour Duncan Hyperswitch

(Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

The HyperSwitch is powered by a 9V battery, is compatible with most passive pickups, and aesthetically speaking it will suit any model that will suit a blade-style selector switch. Indeed, it doesn’t look so different from a regular passive switch, and yet it offers potentially 100s of different wiring options.

Out of phase, split-coils, parallel wiring, all are achievable and more. And your signal path remains 100 per cent analogue – the digital bit lies in how your smartphone communicates this information to the guitar. 

Right now, this all looks like an act of voodoo, but those videos are mighty convincing, and while many of us enjoy nothing more than whiling away a weekend swapping pickups in and out, the opportunity to switch out wiring options on the fly is nonetheless tantalising

Time will tell whether the HyperSwitch will revolutionise how we mod our guitars and think about things such as pickup selection, or whether it will go the way of the notorious Gibson Robot Guitar, but it where the latter failed because it was the solution to a problem that never really existed, the HyperSwitch is offering something altogether new. And it’s available now, priced £209 / $149. 

For more details, pop 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.