Choose your best pickup guitar

Susan Fernandez May 05 2022

Guitar pickups are one of the most important factors in getting the best sound out of your guitar. There are many different types of pickups available on the market, and each has its own unique sound. In this article, we will be discussing the best pickups for electric guitars.

Why does your guitar need pickups?

Pickups are essentially magnets that are wrapped in a coil of wire. They are used to pick up the vibrations of the strings and convert them into an electrical signal. This signal can then be amplified through an amplifier to produce sound.

There are many different types of pickups available on the market, each with its own unique sound. The most common types of pickups are single-coil and humbucker.

Single-coil pickups are typically brighter sounding and have more defined highs. They are also more susceptible to interference from other electronic equipment. Humbucker pickups are darker sounding and have more defined lows. They are less susceptible to interference, but may not be as articulate as single-coils. Each of these types of pickups has its own unique sound, so it is important to choose the right one for your guitar and your style of playing.

Which pickup configuration is considered to be the best?

Unfiltered bass is the result of distortion. As a result, the ideal choice for you would be a two-humbucker configuration. Typically, two humbuckers are enough, but if you want even more power, consider a three-humbucker setup. For metal, you will want to look for high-output pickups. These pickups are designed to handle the high levels of distortion that are common in metal music. Some of the best pickups for metal include the EMG 81/85 set, the Seymour Duncan JB/59 set, and the DiMarzio Super Distortion set.

If you don`t play metal but still want a high-output pickup, the Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB is a great choice. This pickup is designed for hard rock and heavy metal, but can also be used for other styles of music. It has a very powerful sound that is perfect for guitarists who want to be able to play with a lot of distortion.

For a more classic rock sound, you will want to look for pickups that have a lower output. A good choice for this style of music would be the Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Slash set. These pickups are designed to produce a vintage sound that is perfect for classic rock and blues. Another good choice would be the DiMarzio PAF set. These pickups are based on the original PAF pickups that were used in the 1959 Gibson Les Paul.

If you are looking for a more vintage sound, you might also want to consider a single-coil pickup. Single-coils are typically brighter sounding and have more defined highs. They are also more susceptible to interference from other electronic equipment. A good choice for this style of music would be the Fender Vintage Noiseless set. These pickups are designed to produce a vintage sound without the unwanted noise that is often associated with single coils.

What are pickups for electric guitars?

The best pickups for electric guitars are those that suit your style of playing and the type of sound you are looking for. If you are looking for a brighter-sounding pickup, then a single-coil may be the best option for you. If you are looking for a darker-sounding pickup, then a humbucker may be the best option for you.

It is also important to consider the output of the pickup when choosing the best pickups for electric guitars. The output is measured in millivolts (mV) and is a measure of the strength of the signal that the pickup produces. The higher the output, the stronger the signal and the louder the sound.

What are pickups for acoustic guitars?

There are many different types of pickups available for acoustic guitars, each with its own unique sound. The most common type of pickup is the piezo pickup, which uses piezoelectric crystals to pick up the vibrations of the strings.

Other popular types of acoustic guitar pickups include magnetic pickups and microphone-based pickups. Magnetic pickups are typically used in jazz and rock styles of playing, while microphone-based pickups are typically used in country and folk styles of playing.

When choosing the best pickups for acoustic guitars, it is important to consider the type of music you will be playing and the style of your guitar. Different pickups will produce different sounds, so it is important to choose the right one for your needs.

Active and passive pickups - what does it mean?

As you start looking for your first guitar, or your next guitar, you might come across the terms ‘active’ or ‘passive’ pickups. But what does it mean? Pickups are essentially magnets wrapped in a coil of wire. When the strings vibrate, it disturbs the magnetic field and this disturbance is captured by the coils and turned into an electrical signal. This signal is then sent to an amplifier where it’s boosted so we can hear it.

The main difference between active and passive pickups is that active pickups have a battery-powered preamplifier built into them, while passive pickups don’t. Active pickups are generally louder than passive pickups because of this preamplifier. They also tend to have more ‘ midrange growl’ and less high-end sparkle.

Passive pickups are the most common type of pickup you’ll find on guitars. They’re simple, robust, and don’t require a battery to operate. Many guitarists prefer the sound of passive pickups because they believe it to be more ‘natural’ sounding.

So, which is better? It really comes down to personal preference. If you like the sound of active pickups, go for it! If you prefer passive pickups, that’s fine too. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether your pickups are active or passive, as long as they help you make the music you want to make.

Is HH or HSS better?

The HHH configuration offers greater warmth in the neck position and will be better for high gain than the HSS configuration. The single coils of the HSS configuration, on the other hand, make it more versatile because of its greater dynamic range (the difference between warm and bright tones). HHH pickups would be good for metal and rock, while HSS pickups would be good for blues and jazz.

TOP-8 most effective pickup guitar

Fender Fat ’50s Stratocaster Custom Shop Pickups

This is a pickup made of alnico 5 magnets. They are wound with 44-gauge enameled wire. The output of the bridge pickup is 6.2k and the neck and middle pickups are 5.9k. This gives them a bright, yet vintage sound. These pickups have more powerful output and richer bass response than traditional strat pickup, making them ideal for blues and rock players who want to really push their amplifier's input.

Lindy Fralin Vintage Hot

Another great single-coil option of guitar pickups is the Lindy Fralin Vintage Hot. These pickups are made of alnico 5 magnets and are wound with 42-gauge enameled wire. The bridge pickup has an output of 7.2k and the neck and middle pickups have an output of 6.8k. So, if you like vintage sounds but want a bit more power, these might be the pickups for you.

DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Strat

If you like the sound of vintage pickups but want a modern twist, then the DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Strat is a great option. You will like this variant because of its patented technology that gives it a vintage sound without the noise. These pickups are made of alnico 2 magnets and are wound with 42-gauge enameled wire. The bridge pickup has an output of 6.8k while the neck and middle pickups have an output of 5.8k. These pickups would be perfect for players who want the best of both worlds – vintage and modern.

Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 Guitar Pickup

This humbucker pickup is made of ceramic magnets and is wound with 43-gauge enameled wire. The output of the bridge pickup is 14.1k while the neck pickup is 12.9k. This gives the JB SH-4 a very high output, making it great for players who want a really ‘hot’ sound. These pickups are also great for players who want to reduce feedback when playing at high volumes. Musicians with a heavier touch will also appreciate the JB SH-4’s tight bass response.

EMG 81/85

The EMG 81 is a great guitar pickup for players who want a really aggressive sound. It’s often used in heavy metal and hard rock because of its high output and low noise level. This pickup is made of ceramic magnets and is wound with 28-gauge enameled wire. The output of the bridge pickup is 13k while the neck pickup is 10k. If you’re looking for a powerful guitar pickup that can really drive your amplifier, the EMG 81 is a great option.

EMG 81 Humbucking Active Guitar Pickup

Finally, if you want an EMG pickup but want a bit more output, then the EMG 81 Humbucking is a great option. It’s basically two EMG 81 pickups in one, giving you even more power and aggression. This pickup is made of ceramic magnets and is wound with 28-gauge enameled wire. The output of the bridge pickup is 18k while the neck pickup is 15k. So, if you’re looking for a really ‘hot’ sound, the EMG 81 Humbucking is a great choice.

Mojotone ’56 Quiet Coil P-90 Soapbar Pickup

This P-90 pickup is made of alnico 5 magnets and is wound with 42-gauge plain enameled wire. The output of the bridge pickup is 8.2k while the neck pickup is 7.8k. This gives the Mojotone ’56 Quiet Coil P-90 a bit more output than a standard P-90, making it great for players who want a bit more power from their pickups. These pickups are also great for players who want to reduce hum and noise when playing at high volumes.

Bare Knuckle Nantucket P90 Bridge Pickup Soapbar Cream

One more option for those guitarists who prefer P-90 pickups is the Bare Knuckle Nantucket. These pickups are made of alnico 2 magnets and are wound with 42-gauge plain enameled wire. The output of the bridge pickup is 7.5k while the neck pickup is 6.9k. So, if you’re looking for a P-90 pickup with a bit less output, the Bare Knuckle Nantucket might be a good option for you.

How do I choose guitar pickups?

With all that variety of guitar pickups, how do you choose the right one for you and your guitar? Here are a few things to consider:

  • The type of music you play. If you play heavy metal, you’ll probably want a high-output pickup like the EMG 81. If you play jazz, you might prefer a lower-output pickup like the DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Strat.
  • The style of your guitar. If you have a vintage-style guitar, you might want to get pickups that will give it a vintage sound. If you have a modern guitar, you might want to get pickups that will give it a modern sound.
  • Your playing style. If you have a lighter touch, you might want a pickup with tight bass response. If you have a heavier touch, you might want a pickup with less output.
  • The amp you use. If you use a high-gain amplifier, you might want to get pickups with less output. If you use a clean amplifier, you might want to get pickups with more output.

So, those are a few things to consider when choosing guitar pickups. There are many great options out there, so it’s really up to you to find the right ones for your guitar and your playing style.

Final words

There are many great guitar pickups on the market, so it’s really up to you to find the right ones for your guitar and your playing style. If you’re looking for a really ‘hot’ sound, the EMG 81 Humbucking is a great choice. If you’re looking for a P-90 pickup with a bit less output, the Bare Knuckle Nantucket might be a good option for you. So, take some time to experiment and find the right pickups for your guitar and your playing style.