NAMM 2023: Seymour Duncan has unveiled the HyperSwitch – a potentially game-changing active pickup selector switch that does away with the need for laborious rewiring and instead uses Bluetooth to give players access to a huge range of pickup wiring configurations.
In other words, the HyperSwitch works alongside a dedicated app that can be used to fundamentally alter the wiring of most passive single-coil and humbucker pickup sets, opening up the possibility of harnessing nuanced configurations with the tap of a screen.
At first glance, it looks to be a remarkable step forward in guitar design, with the HyperSwitch app serving to split coils, reverse polarity, assign pickups to any position on the five-way selector, and more without having to rip apart the internal wiring.
Instead, the HyperSwitch is paired to the app via Bluetooth by some warmup switches – and comprehensively configured via the settings – with the app then presenting a range of custom options. For single coils, Standard, Reverse and Off modes are available – as the names imply, these offer regular, reverse-coil or bypassed options.
Even more wiring options are available for humbuckers and stacked pickups, which can be arranged in an assortment of coil-splitting options – either coil can be bypassed or selected – reverse-wound modes, and parallel and reverse parallel setups.
As well as the wiring of the pickups, the wider control layout can be altered. As mentioned above, pickups can be assigned to any position on the HyperSwitch, while Tone controls can also be either completely bypassed or altered to have different tapers.
Better yet, the two only need to be connected when custom configurations are being established – once your desired wiring is set up, the app can be disconnected and the HyperSwitch will remember the configuration.
Multiple pickup configurations can be stored and saved, and later recalled when the HyperSwitch is connected to the guitar.
Since it features active circuitry, Seymour Duncan’s HyperSwitch runs on a 9V battery, and must be above 60 percent power in order to reliably connect to the app. Any lower than that, according to the company, and you might have some connection issues, but the HyperSwitch will continue to manipulate your pickups as required until it's all out of juice.
In the age of the smart guitar and greater guitar/smartphone integration, the HyperSwitch looks to be a powerful addition to the movement, even if saying the unit works with "most passive pickups" might need some clarification.
The HyperSwitch is available now for $149.
For more information, head over to Seymour Duncan.