First Impressions: Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Telecaster Bridge Pickup

I recently picked up another Antiquity pickup, to go into my other Squier Esquire. The guitar’s now back from the shop … so what do I think? Is this another great mod?

Read on to find out.

What Did You Buy?

I bought a Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Telecaster bridge pickup. The Antiquity II is their reproduction of the mid-60s Telecaster tone.

Why Did You Buy It?

The only reason I got this was because I absolutely love the sound of the Antiquity pickup that I recently put into The Squirrel. Seriously: the Antiquity I bridge pickup suits that guitar to perfection.

Hedgehog (my 60’s-styled Squire Esquire) was going into the shop anyway to have locking tuners fitted, so I decided to take a punt on putting in a matching Antiquity II into the guitar at the same time.

What Is Your Signal Chain?

To test this pickup, I’m using:

  • Squier FSR Classic Vibe 60’s Custom Squier, fitted with the Antiquity II
  • into either a Ramble FX Marvel Drive 3 or an Analogman King of Tone
  • into a pair of Neunaber Slate pedals providing digital tape echo and spring reverb
  • out into a Marshall DSL20HR
  • and into a pair of Victory 1×12 cabs, fitted with Celestion Alnico Blue and A-Type speakers

All of the pedals are in separate loops on my old Gigrig G2, so that I can take a pedal completely out of the circuit when I’m not using it. That way, unused pedals cannot colour the sound in any way.

How Does It Sound?

It’s bright. Really, really bright. And the low-end that I convinced me to bring Hedgehog home in the first place? It’s completely gone 😢

If you’re got a Telecaster that’s not twangy enough for you, then you should definitely give one of these pickups a try.

For me, it’s possibly too bright, too twangy. The lack of low end from this pickup is a bit of a shock, to be honest. (Well, more than a bit!) I love my low mids, and I’m really struggling to adjust to having none at all.

Another (related) consequence is that this pickup sounds pretty thin through my rig. The Antiquity II just doesn’t have the mids to suit how my signal chain is voiced.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to pickup changes, it’s always a gamble. It doesn’t matter how good the pickup itself is. There’s simply no guarantee that pickup + guitar will deliver the result you want.

Within 5 minutes, I was seriously thinking about taking the guitar back to the shop to have the original pickup put back in. I still am.

However, I think it’s too soon to make that decision. I need to give it time – and try this pickup with a wider range of gear – to see if this pickup gives me an option that I’ll find a use for.

I can always swap the pickup out next year.

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