Seymour Duncan brings the funk with standalone release of Cory Wong signature Clean Machine pickups

Cory Wong holds his signature Stratocaster (left), Cory Wong's Seymour Duncan signature Clean Machine pickups
(Image credit: Galen Higgins, Seymour Duncan)

Back in 2021, Fender teamed up with funk guitar master Cory Wong to create a new signature Stratocaster

Unique in its beautiful Sapphire Blue transparent lacquer finish, the signature guitar also stands out sonically, with its trio of Seymour Duncan Cory Wong Clean Machine electric guitar pickups.

The Clean Machines have proven to be popular enough since the guitar's release that Seymour Duncan has now made the pickups available as a standalone set. You can hear Wong show off their sonic capabilities below.

Based on Seymour Duncan's Antiquity Surf units, the Clean Machines are designed to provide the squeaky-clean funk rhythm guitar tones that made Wong famous, coupled with "singing" lead tones. 

Wong liked the Antiquity Surf single-coils, but felt he needed a bit more oomf from the set's bridge pickup. At the same time though, Wong loved the classic look of the single-coil trio on his Stratocaster, and didn't want to transform the guitar into an HSS model. 

So, with Seymour Duncan, Wong created a high-output, hum-cancelling stack bridge pickup with an Alnico V magnet. The middle and neck single-coils, meanwhile, feature Alnico IVs. 

Seymour Duncan's new Cory Wong signature Clean Machine pickups

(Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

"I just like the look of an SSS Strat, rather than an HSS, but I like the thickness and sound of that humbucker in the bridge," Wong explains in the video above. "The single-coil in the bridge doesn't quite have enough body to it – it sometimes feels like it empties out – so we decided to try an Alnico IV magnet in the neck and middle, and a hum-cancelling, stacked Alnico V in the bridge.

"We wound them a little hotter," Wong went on. "It gives a really nice, spanky tone. It handles overdrives and distortions a lot better than the softer-wound one. It captures that spanky, clean thing, but as soon as you hit the overdrive, it still has the nice, warm thing and it pushes the drive in a really pleasing way."

Seymour Duncan's Cory Wong signature Clean Machine pickups are available now. The neck and middle pickups ring up at $99, while the higher-output bridge pickup will set you back $119. The full set, meanwhile, costs $317.

For more info on the pickups, visit Seymour Duncan.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.