Seymour Duncan Antiquity Texas Hot Pickups Review: Hot Vintage Strat Tones from SD

Whether you just bought a vintage Strat or want to upgrade the sound of your axe, there are certain mods you might consider to take your guitar tone to the next level.

Grabbing a new set of upgraded Strat pickups is never a bad idea – and the Seymour Duncan Antiquity Texas Hot pickups are definitely among the top contenders.

Carefully designed to recreate the timeless sound of an old Stratocaster, aged to perfection to fit any vintage or vintage-looking guitar, these series of single-coil pickups offer everything a guitarist needs to enhance the vintage tones and raw energy of a Stratocaster.

In this article, we’ll review these exceptional guitar pickups, analyze who they’re best suited for, and explain why you should get them right now if you're looking to coax iconic vintage tones from your favorite Stratocaster.

Product Overview

Seymour Duncan Antiquity Texas Hot Pickups

Average Overall Rating: 4.7/5


  • Type: Single-coil (Set)
  • Active/Passive: Passive
  • Configuration: SSS Set
  • Magnet Material: Alnico II

Why I Like It

  • Everything you could possibly want for a vintage Stratocaster tone
  • They look as good as they sound.
  • Increased versatility
  • Ideal for rock, hard rock, and heavy metal.

What I Think Could Be Improved

  • Tone could be too dark for some
  • Single-coil pickups are notoriously prone to feedback.
  • Great for the genres they’re designed for, but hard to tame for anything softer.

A testament to Seymour Duncan’s dedication to their pickups' quality and authenticity, the Antiquity Texas Hot series is a phenomenal set of three single-coil pickups for Stratocaster, designed to give a timeless vintage sound and look to your guitar. If that’s the sound signature you’re looking for, you’ll definitely fall in love with these pickups!

The set includes the Antiquity Texas Hot neck, middle, and custom bridge, each with its own unique sound signature and hand-built to match the original character of vintage Strats. They also feature scatter-winding and specially degaussed alnico 2-rod poles, which results in less string pull and brings to life that distinctive Stratocaster tone every rock guitarist is familiar with.

You can really see SD's attention to detail here. The pickups are aged magnificently, which makes them fit seamlessly with old Strats and enhances the beauty of newer guitars. They’re designed to look exactly like the original Strat pickups, lacquered in lamp black paraffin wax, with covers aged naturally that’ll add a sense of authority to your guitar.

All in all, these are pickups that’ll magnify the '70s rock sound of your guitar in all its glory and give you the versatility you need to perform across various genres, from hard blues to heavy metal and anything in between.

Features & Benefits

Clean Sound 4/5

What I love about the Seymour Duncan Antiquity Texas Hot pickups is that they effortlessly replicate the warm, bell-like chime of vintage Stratocaster guitars, something you can hear clearly when you play them without distortion or effects.

The sound signature is articulate and rich, perfect for quieter moments and evocative chords, much like the Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90 pickup. The pickups feel natural and responsive, making the most of your guitar’s natural tonality and texture even when you're not using effects.

Distortion 5/5

The Antiquity Texas Hot pickups bring to life a harmonically rich distortion, with the expressive dynamics and nuanced textures you should look for when playing genres that require power and sonic depth.

The custom-aged alnico 2-rod magnets create a tone that feels both robust and articulate, with the spanky Stratocaster tone and the warmth that makes Seymour Duncan’s pickups iconic. Whether soloing or accompanying vocals, the distortion with the Texas Hot feels powerful and galvanizing.

Bridge Pickup 4.5/5

Wound hotter than the neck and middle pickups and with an increased output, the bridge pickup has a punchy tone with just enough midrange to help your tone cut through.

The Bridge pickup feels extremely responsive and vibrant: single notes sound robust and clear, and chords are rich with a slightly softened treble attack. Being more balanced and versatile than the neck and neck and middle versions, this is the pickup to use whenever you want your guitar solos to take center stage in the performance, giving you all the power and expressiveness you need to make your songs unique.

Middle Pickup 5/5

The middle pickup is reverse-wound/reverse-polarity (RW/RP) to replicate humbuckers when your Strat's 5-way switch is in the 2nd and 4th positions, which is a great feature that mitigates hum and interference.

Naturally, the middle position is the most balanced of the series, offering a useful compromise when you need a sound that blends with the rest of the soundstage or for evocative, not too ostentatious solos.

Neck Pickup 5/5

RW/RP just like the bridge pickup, the neck pickup offers an impressive array of vintage-sounding tones. It feels extremely responsive, and its punchiness perfectly counterbalances the darker tones of the other two pickups.

Whether you use it for your guitar-hero moments or funky riffs, this neck bridge will take your sound’s articulation to the next level.

Things to Consider Before Buying

Seymour Duncan Antiquity Texas Hot Pickups

Choosing pickups to upgrade your guitar is hard, unless you know exactly the kind of sound you’re looking for. And even then, there’s your budget to take into account, and whether the natural tonal characteristics of your guitar will work well with the distinctive sound of the pickups you chose.

Here’s a list of factors you should consider when buying new pickups for your Strat, starting from what I believe is the most crucial one: 

Choose the Tone

Chances are pickups will drastically change the tonal characteristics of your guitar, so choosing carefully is paramount.

Pickups can enhance (or mitigate) the warmth, brightness, clarity, and sonic balance of your guitar. They can create a vintage vibe or a more modern tone. They can be ideal for certain genres, but that doesn't mean you can't use them to experiment in different sonic territories.

Part of the journey of every guitarist is to personalize their guitar and effects to create a defined sound signature, and pickups are definitely a crucial component in the search for a personal guitar sound.

Pickup Type and Configuration

Stratocasters typically feature single-coil pickups, but that’s not a rule.

You can install humbuckers or stacked single coils. You can mix and match different pickups through various configurations, such as HSS (humbucker, single-coil, single-coil) or HSH (humbucker, single-coil, humbucker).

Each option has its pros and cons. A single coil pickup set is the traditional setup, ideal for those who want to recreate a timeless rock sound. Humbuckers are great for mitigating resonance and distortion, whereas HSS or HSH sets offer an interesting blend that can help you personalize your sound.


It’s not just about how much you can spend, but also how much a new pickup set will change your sound, and if the cost-benefit ratio makes sense to you.

Personal story here. Many moons ago, I had a Squier Affinity, my first electric guitar, to which I added a pair of Texas Specials. They critically improved the sound of my guitar, to the point that I still use it today for rehearsals and home practice.

I admit that I did out of affection towards my first electric instrument, but I think sometimes it’s just better to save up some more and invest in a better guitar before revolutionizing an instrument that might not be worth it.

That said, good-quality pickups for your Stratocaster should cost anywhere between $200 and $500, but sometimes you can get great pickups for less. Make sure you do your research beforehand, and don’t just get the most recommended options, or you might end up with a nice, but rather generic, sound signature.


There are quite a few alternatives to the Antiquity Texas Hot pickup set for anyone wanting to bring great tones to life with their Strat. Before you purchase this great set, allow me to recommend a few valid options that might work well, or even better, with your guitar.

Antiquity Texas Hot vs. Fender Texas Specials

Fender Texas Specials

Similarly priced, these two sets of pickups by SD and Fender offer quite a different tonal character. The Texas Hots feel more balanced and darker, whereas the Texas Specials are brighter and have a gritty edge you won’t find in the Texas Hot. To me, the Texas Hot set feels more versatile, but the Specials might be better for powerful solos.

In the end, it all comes down to taste. Both sets produce an exceptional vintage sound, so it's all about choosing between a darker or more sparkling sound.

Antiquity Texas Hot vs. Fender Original '57/'62 Stratocaster Set

Fender Original '57/'62 Stratocaster Set

The '57/'62 Stratocaster Set is for those looking for an uncompromising Strat tone: bright, clear, and powerful. They bring to life the sweet tonal character you heard in countless rock records, with just the right amount of a chimey sound that makes this guitar legendary. Considering the whole pickup set costs less than $200, they’re definitely worth a try.

In terms of sound character, both sets offer a genuine vintage sound, versatile and dynamic enough to cover a wide array of genres, although the '57/'62 might be better with gentler genres, as opposed to the Texas Hot's darker natural tonality.

Don't miss our full review of the Fender Original '57/'62 pickups if you'd like to learn more.

Antiquity Texas Hot vs. Antiquity II Surfer

Antiquity II Surfer

The Surfer pickups offer a more captivating tone with a brighter and sharper sound, inspired by (you guessed it) '60s surf rock but excellent for rock guitarists across subgenres.

When compared to the Texas Hot, the Surfer bridge pickup feels more in line with the traditional Strat bridge pickups but doesn’t offer the sonic versatility of the Texas Hot.

Antiquity Texas Hot vs. Fender Deluxe Drive

Fender Deluxe Drive

The Fender Deluxe Drive is a reasonably-priced set you should consider if your budget is limited. They provide a modern sound signature designed for a high-gain setup, with a punchy (but a bit too noisy) character that works well with heavy genres.

If you can’t spend more than $100, definitely take the Fender Deluxe Drive into account. Read our full Fender Deluxe Drive pickups review for more details.


Seymour Duncan Antiquity Texas Hot Pickups

All in all, if you’re after a timeless hard rock sound, the Antiquity Texas Hots are a must-have. They give rock guitarists the flexibility and tonal character necessary to create unforgettable melodies and solos.

While looking and sounding excellent, there are alternatives out there that might be more in line with your sonic needs, especially if you're looking for brighter tones or for more budget-friendly options.

The Fender Deluxe Drive pickups are a great option if you’re on a budget but still want to enhance the vintage tones of your axe. On the other hand, the Fender Original '57/'62 Stratocaster Set gets extremely close to the legendary sound of the 60s and 70s and amplifies the warmth and character of your Stratocaster.

The Antiquity II Surfer pickups are an excellent option if you're looking for a more pop-rock-oriented vibe, gentler and more dynamic in nature. Finally, the Fender Texas Specials have a better overall balance and a brighter sound, which makes them an interesting alternative if you're more into bluesy genres.

Have fun!

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