“Take your guitar to the center of the earth!” with the Seymour Duncan Nazgûl: A pickup so badass that it had to be named after a Tolkien character. (In case you’re not a Lord of the Rings fan, I did not make that up.) Let’s see if this $99 pickup can actually live up to it’s name…


– Ceramic Magnet

– Passive

– Available in black only

– 4 Conductor Shielded Cabling

– 13.6 DCR

– Available in F-Spacing or Standard Spacing

– Also Available in 7 and 8 String Models


Originally only designed for 7 and 8-string players, the Seymour Duncan Nazgûl is advertised as being made for “the deepest of metal tunings”, and that’s perfectly accurate.

Made using a large Ceramic magnet and with DC resistance of 13.6, it’s very hot for a passive pickup. These features make for a pickup that boasts a huge harmonic range and an aggressive high-gain sound.

(Learn more about pickup magnets and how they affect tone here.)

Mostly due to it’s hot nature, the high gain created by this pickup really isn’t the best choice for clean sounds at all. So, I’m just going to focus on distorted tones.

For having such a huge bottom end, the Nazgûl is actually quite balanced. The mid-range is nice and thick, and the highs happily cut through the mix without being too harsh. The bass can get to be a bit much, but it’s not a big problem after a little tweaking on the amp side.

The clarity is not there for playing big, jazzy chords. Anything more than a few notes tend to get a bit muddy. That’s okay, because where this pickup shines is playing single note runs, power chords, and super low-tuned chugging.

The most stand-out feature of the Nazgûl pickup is it’s ability to remain totally controllable under extreme-gain and low-tuning. This makes it a great choice for death metal and other “chug-heavy” styles. (Ola Englund has the Nazgûl in some of his guitars)

Pickup choice isn’t the only thing that affects clarity when tuning low though! Check out our article on 5 Ways to Quickly Improve Low Tuned Tone.

Final Verdict:

If you’re looking for something versatile that does lower gain as well as metal, then this isn’t the best choice.

The Seymour Duncan Nazgûl was designed for a single purpose in mind; intense, chug-heavy riffing with loads of distortion. The good news is that it does this extremely well!

While clarity for big chords and versatility are some of the most important things I look for in a pickup, the Nazgûl is extremely fun to play, and it offers loads of control when playing super low “djenty” or death metal styles!

This pickup is probably one of the angriest sounding pickups I’ve ever heard…

I’d say it lives up to the name Nazgûl!

Tone – 4/5

Build Quality – 5/5

Features – 3/5

Don’t forget we are Seymour Duncan authorized dealers. If you need our guidance in finding the right pickup for you, check out our custom order option, and we can get you the tone you’re after!

If you liked this article, check out our other reviews here!

This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana.

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