(SOLD) Seymour Duncan Seymourized DJ-1-R-M Candy Apple Red 1983
Duncan 'Seymourized' JB-style, made in Japan 1983, candy apple red. The eighties was a wacky time. Legendary pickup wizards Seymour Duncan were bridging out, making some really tidy valve amps in California, and... guitars and basses across the pacific in Japan. From the mid 90s until 2004, SD partnered with Japanese builders ESP to offer their 'Traditional' and 'Professional' series instruments, mostly Fender-flavoured in design, which you can find a little bit about online if you dig around. They were basically sold only in Japan and don't get a mention in the ESP catalog, but they were Navigator-style offerings with Duncan pickups on board from factory. This one, however, dates by serial to 1983, so it was blessed with the 'Duncan Seymourized' logo on the headstock. There's talk that this model has a one piece body and a proper nitro finish, although I can't easily verify either of those specs. Ironically, it no longer has Duncan pickups: a previous owner has dropped in a set of Alembic pickups with a pre-amp to match. Now, Alembic make guitars and basses that start at $9500usd, and their pickups and pre-amps are pretty bourgeoisie too. Here's what I can verify: this feels and sounds stupendous. The body is a lightweight and very resonant piece of ash, paired with a gorgeous tightly grained slim maple neck. It has that certain integrity in the hands you get from instruments that are built with a lot of care and precision. The tone on deck is equally impressive. It's punchy and thick, with a clarity and sweetness on the top end that outlines every note in brilliant detail. If you're into all that 70s and 80s era funk and slap stuff, this will knock it out of the park, but it'll cover rock and punk stuff very happily too. Plus, I've always appreciated the tort-on-candy-apple aesthetic... classy.
Model: Seymour Duncan 'Vintage Series' Seymourized DJ-1-R-M
Year: Japan, ESP factory, 1983 (serial 01311)
Finish: candy apple red, 3-ply tort guard
Neck: 1-piece maple, 34" scale, 7.25" radius, 38mm nut, C shape
Mods: pickups and wiring replaced with Alembic set, no routing required
Pickup: Alembic J-style single coil x2, active preamp w/ 9v battery
Case: basic non-original gig bag
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has some scuffs and minro bald patches on the end and bottom edge, as well as some dimples on the front near the A tuner post and a minor chip int he lacquer on the back near the E tuner. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, minor dimples and rub wear on the back and a few scuffs and marks around the edge of the board only. The back has minor scuffs around the whole body and a patch of more concentrated buckle rash next to the belly carve in the middle. The sides have some light scuffs on the top horn, dimples in the elbow area, some dents and scuffs near the jack and some dimples on the bottom horn. The front has some dimples near the knobs, in the elbow area and up from the neck pickup, as well as some standard play wear on the guard and horns. Overall: very good condition (7.5/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly. The frets have minor wear but are pretty even with no major buzz issues, 7/10 for fret life left. Set up with fresh 45/105 Moonshiners strings.