Meet Your Builders

120712-088-2-.jpgMaricela Juarez - “MJ” has become a legend within the community of guitar players seeking to change their tone. For over 30 years she has been winding pickups at Seymour Duncan,  and has created pickups for almost any artist you can think of. But the Custom Shop isn't just for famous players: we can make pickups for anyone, and MJ's ability to take a description of the tone you’re wanting and create a pickup that matches it exactly is known far and wide.

"If you dream it, we can build it" - Maricela Juarez


13-04-22-119.jpgDerek Duncan - The son of Seymour and Cathy, Derek recently took over as manager of the Custom Shop and has the experience and technical know-how to create truly one of a kind pickups. One of the  hardest pickups to create and design is the Charlie Christian which is modeled after one of the first electric guitar pickups ever used, but Derek has now made hundreds of them. Having spent his whole life in the Custom Shop since a young boy, creating pickups is deeply ingrained into how he thinks and he enjoys helping customers get their perfect tone.

“I enjoy building things but I greatly appreciate helping players get things that they couldn’t get otherwise. Most companies as they grow will only focus on the big stuff – kinda like walking into a Ford dealership and asking them to build your car out of a bunch of different vintage parts. I love that we are still focused on letting customers choose.”  - Derek Duncan. 

sey.jpgSeymour W. Duncan - The legend, Seymour W. Duncan has been winding pickups since the ‘60s and has created pickups for artists from Jimi Hendrix to Slash and everyone in between. Over the decades he has studied and kept detailed notes on thousands of pickups, and even spent time as a fly on the wall in Kalamazoo learning about all the materials and processes used to produce the vintage Gibson PAF’s. He was personally mentored by Seth Lover (the inventor of the humbucker) and Les Paul and has amassed a pickup information library that encompasses thousands of pages. 

"Bobbin shape, magnet wire diameter and insulation, magnet material and gauss, number of turns, coil pitch, coil tension – these are some of the many critical parameters that develop the tone of a pickup. Making pickups for me is helping the player achieve his unique tone that other guitar players of the future will want to achieve." - Seymour W. Duncan