NAMM 2024: “A high output humbucker with a sizzly bite”: Seymour Duncan and Brandon Ellis unleash the Dyad, a “high-detailed” bridge humbucker that’s flipped upside-down

Seymour Duncan Dyad Humbucker
(Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

Seymour Duncan has unveiled the Dyad, its latest signature pickup ahead of NAMM 2024. The company has worked closely with The Black Dahlia Murder lead guitarist, Brandon Ellis, for a “high-detailed, three-dimensional” version of its Parallel Axis humbucker.

The Jackson signature artist joined The Black Dahlia Murder in 2016, replacing the departing Ryan Knight, and has since dazzled with his smooth lead playing in amongst the band’s melodeath assault. Ellis got hands-on with his involvement in the pickup’s design, ultimately concocting a hybrid of two Parallel Axis models.

It blends coils from a Crazy 8 and the hotter tonalities of a Parallel Axis Trembucker Distortion. The pair is bolstered by an Alnico II magnet taken from an RTM.

“As we made records [with The Black Dahlia Murder], more trust was placed in me and on Verminous, I played the role of producer," says Ellis. "As an audio engineer, I got really scientific and meticulous about my tones, which got me concerned about how pickups work. I started opening them up to see what was inside and swapping magnets to see which I liked the best and how I could manipulate them.

“I had a few pickups that I liked the sound of, but I wanted to merge them to get the best sound of each,” he continues. “The two pickups were the '59 custom hybrid Parallel Axis version, which I liked the brightness of and an RTM, which had an Alnico 2 magnet which gave me a great dynamic of lead playing.”

Ellis has been playing Parallel Axis pickups for several years. They’re defined by two slotted pole pieces per string, designed to remove distortion from the string’s vibrations for more distinguished note separation and extended sustain.

“I found that a lot of pickups that were geared towards metal were too compressed," Ellis continues. "The lower you tune and the thicker the strings get, the darker your tone gets, so I wanted a pickup that was bright enough to get that blooming sound that you want out of lead guitar. The dyad really has all the dynamics that you're looking for.”  

The Dyad ultimately offers “a high output humbucker with a sizzly bite and a super articulate pick attack” minutely tailored to Ellis’ needs. Notably, Ellis’ custom Jackson – a 27-fret Gold Crackle Kelly that pushed the company's Master Builders to the limit – comes loaded with a single humbucker, found in the bridge, with a single coil nestled next to the neck. That means the Dyad doesn’t have a neck configuration.

Seymour Duncan Dyad Humbucker

(Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

The pickup is actually flipped upside down. According to Ellis, this change “offers a chewier, mid-range focused sound for guitarists looking for more body out of their instrument in standard tunings.

“It took a lot of versions and prototyping to find the exact combination of specs for this pickup, that high-detail; three-dimensional sound and we finally nailed it,” he continues. “I'm really excited to be able to share that sound with you.”

The Dyad is available in humbucker and trembucker spacing. There are two colour options – gold and nickel – for both the pole pieces and logo color, and players can choose from a single or double logo option.  

To keep up to date with all the latest gear releases - and there are many - head over to our guide to the latest NAMM 2024 news.

For more information about the pickup, head to Seymour Duncan.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.