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Product Description

The ’78 started life as a PAF rewind for a scrappy young player that all of us owe some thanks to.

The recipe for the pickup itself is traditional, but the special coil wind with 42 gauge plain enamel wire, hand-calibrated Alnico 2 magnet, and strict output tolerance makes sure that each one sounds like the original.


DC Resistance: 9k

Application: Standard HB Route 

Click here to learn what goes into each and every Custom Shop pickup. 




We are passionate about quality so we ask for your patience while we craft your pickup. Depending on the nature of your order, it may take up to 6-8 weeks for delivery.

'78 Model

The original late ‘70s Brown Sound.

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Product Reviews

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  1. THE BEST for CLASSIC ROCK 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 15th Jul 2019

    MJ hand-wired this little beast for me to hot-rod an old Squier strat i had not been happy with the humbucker. (The single coils in the neck and middle had already been upgraded). I've set it up a half step down and truly have the VH II sound from '78. Unbelievable pick-up! Takes all the work away from your amp and pedals. Great harmonics and no noise. Truly well thought out, researched, and done right. Great job!

  2. I bought 2 more 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 29th Aug 2018

    I liked my original bridge only pickup enough that I bought a matching neck and bridge pickup to install in an EVH Wolfgang Special red/white/black striped guitar. I cut the guitar, so these would fit. I have no regrets about it. Plus, getting these made in red and white with black nickel screws was for a great match. I love the tone these create. I'm a big harmonics guy, and these work great for clear harmonics.

  3. Awesome sounding pickups for classic Van Halen, Great White, Scorpions ect... 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 19th Aug 2018

    You won't be disappointed with these pickups, they compliment each other well. I play primarily Gibson's and Fender's and was searching for an alternative '70's rocking tone for a custom guitar that I own and boy oh boy do these pickups deliver!!!

  4. Best Pickup I Own 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 12th Mar 2017

    I am a huge EVH fan. I have near 30 of his guitars to include Ernie Ball, Peavey and Fender made. I even have his Star Guitar. I am not a huge Zebra color fan so I have swapped out most of the Zebras with USA EVH all blacks. On 5 of the guitars, I had the EVH Frankenstein pickups installed in the bridge. Although I am a huge Seymour Duncan fan (Pearly Gates, Custom, JB, Custom Custom) I thought it was a crime to switch out any EVH pickup with anything but another EVH pickup and frowned when I saw others do it on guitars I purchased on Ebay. However after reading how the 78 pickup was what EVH used at one time as well as having recently purchased a set of antiquities from the custom shop for my Gibson, I thought I would give it a try. Best decision I made. I put them in my patent pending Peavey, one with FR and one HT. They blend perfectly with the EVH neck pickup, have better harmonics, warmth, fatness and most important, note clarity. I play it through the EVH 100W, EVH 100W Steath, EVH 50 W, Marshal JCM 800, and Marshal DSL 40C. Very versatile and again, in my opinion, plays better than the stock EVH pick up and after market Frankenstein. I am leaving the EBMM stock but I have a grey stealth that I am going to put it in next. Can't wait.

  5. Bridge is good. Neck is too hot. 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 29th Jan 2017

    I set 78pickups for Ibanez RG320.
    Bridge is good sound.but neck is too hot.
    I want low power for neck.

  6. Truly Awesome Tone 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 26th Oct 2016

    I've been searching for a replacement pickup for my HSS Deluxe Strat for literally years...tried everything from Dimarzio high outputs to boutique Lollar Imperials and even other SD models like the JB and Custom Custom...and I still wasn't happy. The '78 model is just what I was searching for. Very percussive pickup and still has the fatness combined with my 70's Marshall JMPs. Not too hot so it blends well with my Antiquity single coils. Completely happy with this pickup!!

  7. Amazing sound 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 10th Oct 2016

    This is an awesome pickup. Just put it in a swamp ash strat body with a roasted maple neck and fretboard. If you want a single bridge pickup guitar that does that late 70's/ early 80's chimes, harmonics and finger tapping thing. This is absolutely THE PICKUP. I can't say enough about it. It just blows me away.

  8. The best pickup 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 22nd Sep 2016

    I installed this in a mij Kramer focus 1000 and it sounds as good as I hoped it would. Nails the evh tone. Great harmonics. Sort of sounds like the jb imo but not quite as hot. I use a marshall dsl5c and it sounds great through it. I'm really happy with it.

  9. The Grail Sound 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 2nd Jun 2016

    Short and sweet- this pickup is exactly what I was looking for to round out my quest for the Brown Sound. Couldn't recommend it more highly for anyone looking for the same. Seymour Duncan delivered it very quickly, and their customer service is excellent!

  10. Best Van Halen/Classic rock Pup 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 5th Mar 2016

    Love this pickup. Lets your amps tone come through without any color. Pulled a dimarzio mo joe and seapped the '78 major difference. I've also used a evh frankenstien in another strat also a good one and duncan made I believe. Cheers

  11. Perfect match on Alder body 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 4th Jan 2016

    Where the EVH, Frankenstein pickups failed in my Charvel Snake Skin Warren deMartini the '78 did it. It has the percussive attributes of the Screamin Demon with that alnico II smoothness. This beats me that a 14K Frankenstein on a somewhat non resonnant Alder body has less punch that a 9k '78. You would assue otherwise but it is the reality. Seems like what experts keep on telling us is true "resistance is not a proxy for power"; and I'm starting to believe it. MJ was very usefull in guiding me based on my needs. Thanks CS guys, you are awesome.

  12. Exactly what I wanted! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th Oct 2015

    I ordered this pickup to achieve a clear, crisp, yet distorted tone as heard from some bands coming out of Pasadena during the late 70s - early 80s. Wow!! This is it and completely versatile across many musical genres. The install was extremely simple into a Fender Strat and only took 15 minutes. After that, I was plugged into an amp and sounding better than I could have imagined. Awesome pickup. I would definitely purchase again and recommend to anyone wanting to get the "brown sound."

  13. '78 Model is a BEAST! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 16th Jul 2015

    I have purchased a bunch of Seymour Duncan humbuckers over the years, and the '78 Model is my latest purchase and thus far is my favorite pickup EVER! The tone is to die for, and it makes my Bray 4550 Deluxe plexi style amp sing! Harmonics really jump out of this pickup, and it cleans up very nicely when I roll the volume down. This pickup oozes chewy brown tone goodness that makes you want to keep playing into the wee hours of the morning. It will definitely make the wife jealous! LOL

  14. Phenomenal Humbucker Tone 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 20th Apr 2015

    Articulate, zero mud, power with clarity. I don't know how else to describe this pickup, but it was worth every penny and then some. Does it give me the vintage browny sound I was looking for? Absolutely, but it does so much more. The way it cleans up with the volume knob is sublime. This is a perfect bridge pickup for rock and blues. I can only speak to its capabilities in an S-style instrument, but it beat out a bunch of others to become the one and only pickup in my custom build. For the record, mine is single conductor and potted. While I usually favor the Antiquity line, another '78 is certainly in my future.

  15. Versatile and articulate! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 20th Apr 2015

    This pup does it all...

    I play in a covers band which goes from Elvis to Metallica
    and all points in between.
    Clean sound is warm and sweet and it dirties up perfectly.
    No 'ice pick' highs, awesome midrange, not muddy when driven hard.

    I don't use dirt pedals, so I can't say how it sounds there,
    but when I kick in the amp's overdrive, it roars! (6L6 valves/toobs).

    As stated in my heading, Versatile and articulate.
    Thank you, Seymour and Maricela for making this ripper p'up for me.
    I couldn't be happier.

  16. Open-sounding pickups 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 17th Apr 2015

    I grew tired of the sound of the pickups in my EVH Wolfgang Stealth Special. They have a great high output, but I felt some of the actual tone of the guitar got lost. Maybe I would have needed a 5150/6505 to match the guitar.

    Anyway, since I am also a blues guy I wanted to see what the 78 model pickups could bring me in that area, in addition to early VH-type of tones. Do I sound like Eddie did in his early days now? No. Do i have a more open sound and is the neck pickup now more usuable for different styles? Definitely!

  17. Pistons Pop'n! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 17th Apr 2015

    To my ears, this little engine delivers a chord in a way that is pleasing and warm, yet it has this clipping at the top end, like a well tuned engine sounds when you put the peddle down. Role off the volume and it retains it's warm character and articulation, a simple attitude adjustment. I love this formula Seymour!

  18. The definitive debut album tone 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 16th Apr 2015

    I stuck this pickup in a 1979 Schecter; curly maple body, 1 p'up, no pickguard, 1 volume, traditional trem, solid brass, Kluson style tuners. If your looking for that articulate tone from the early years, THIS IS IT!!!

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