We're already a good 23 years (or 24, depending on how you count them) into the 21st century, but even though most of us carry the equivalent of a supercomputer in our pockets, the electric guitars that we play are like driving a 1955 Chevy in a world full of Lucids, Polestars and Teslas.
That is to say, electric guitar technology is still about as primitive and basic as it gets. The new Seymour Duncan HyperSwitch is a radical technological advancement that brings the humble electric guitar into the 21st century without sacrificing its classic appeal.
It’s a pickup selector switch, but not as we know it, Jim, offering the ability to instantly assign a comprehensive variety of wiring configurations (series, parallel, split, reverse, out of phase, etc.) to passive humbucker and/or single-coil pickups via a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone with the HyperSwitch app.
The HyperSwitch looks like a standard five-position blade switch with a microprocessor-equipped circuit board attached to it, and it’s designed to be a quick and easy replacement for any Stratocaster- or Tele-style blade switch.
The extra electronics allow wireless Bluetooth communication with a smartphone via the HyperSwitch app. While the technology may seem complicated to tech-phobic guitarists, installation is surprisingly easy.
Use of a soldering iron is only required for removing pickup and certain control wires. All switch wiring connections to the HyperSwitch – pickup, volume, tone and ground – are made with screw terminals. The installation instructions are very clearly written and helpful, but if you’re DIY-averse any guitar tech could perform the installation quickly and cheaply.
With the HyperSwitch installed in your guitar and the app on your phone set to the proper pickup configuration settings, connection is made instantly by touching the app’s connect button and toggling the selector to different settings.
Once the connection is made, a graphic display of the guitar’s pickup configuration appears. Changing wiring is now a simple matter of tapping the setting you want. For example, a humbucking pickup provides full (both), north coil and south coil settings along with standard (series), reverse, RP (out of phase parallel), PRP (out of phase parallel reversed) and off.
Note that any pickup or pickups can be assigned to any of the HyperSwitch’s five positions. In essence, the switch provides five fully programmable presets for your pickup wiring configurations.
HyperSwitch opens up a vast world of tonal exploration possibilities for guitarists who have never ventured beyond traditional pickup wiring configurations. A three-humbucker setup provides literally more than a hundred different options.
The Bluetooth connection is so quick and reliable that players could even change a guitar’s pickup wiring in seconds between songs. If you’ve wanted to explore parallel sounds or add split coil tones to your guitar without the hassle of switch or push/pull pot installations, HyperSwitch offers an easy and painless solution. Bravo!
- PRICE: $159 / £199
- TYPE: 5-way programmable pickup selector
- FEATURES: Compatible with most passive pickups, presets configurable via smartphone, Bluetooth
- CONTACT: Seymour Duncan