Best Guitar Pickups


The Top Ten

1 Seymour Duncan

You want pro sound? HiFi in a pick up? That's Seymour Duncan for you. I have the Blackout AHB-3 and its natural accurate pick up is what I wanted for death metal

Great tone, sustain, and harmonic. Perfect blend of bass and treble. Handmade ensures quality control of an already great product.

They look swish have a great sound producing a good clean tone and harmonic. Produces a range of styles from the Vintage fifties gig to a thrashing metal sound. This pick up is great for all styles. I definitely wouldn't trade this for anything else. It works well with all guitar types. It may be fairly expensive but it is worth every penny.
Great great great pickup!

I have an invader sh8 bridge on my les paul and it sounds very good, very high gain but still get the clarity

V 33 Comments

brutal, yet gentle. They are quiet and smooth,, everything you need for your own tone,, the name says it all, EMG

I love this pickup..
kirk hammett's use this brands..
aind I like to modify my pickup with this brand pickup...
the sound so good and clean...

There's a reason the emg pickups are the most popular brand out there, they're awesome! You'll get as much distortion as you'll ever want!

I'm really torn between EMG and SD but EMG have a clarity to them because they are active and SD active pickups just aren't as good. As a whole I think SD is better but I'm a metal guy and these pickups give fantasic sound even through tons of distortion and effects. They sound really nice clean as well as with crazy gain but over all my favorite pickup combos are the EMG 85/81 and the SD 59/JB.

V 24 Comments
3 DiMarzio

I been using manny pickups, like: Seymoour, Fender, Gibson, Lacer, Emg and Di marzio, this ones, never lay me down, from jazz to rock, they have taste, color and tone, for anything, I uses the Breed set, paf pro and and one of the firts super distorsion pick, the I find in a Les Paul standart, in the 80ths, and boys, sound great yet.

I have a pair of D-Activators in my SG Mahogany neck through and they are amazing. Max the volume and tone on the bridge and you'll cut through any mix. Roll the tone back and you get a dark sound that is still defined. Go to the neck and keep the tone down you can get a wicked overdriven sound or a subtle clean, roll the necks tone up and get a defined cutting lead tone and glassy clean. Rolling the volume back clean up even on high gain, and with the volume off you can achieve the twang bang even! On a 2 Volume 2 Tone setup, there really isn't many sounds I can't achieve. Very versatile. Best thing I ever did to a guitar was add these pickups.

By a long way these pups were the worst investment I ever made in tone and sustain. They were placed in a solid mahogany body and were humbuckers. The neck on the guitar was also mahogany and it was a hardback, no tremelo. The original pups from the manufacturer were better and stronger but not by much, so I put them back in and sold the DiMarzio's. I then went to a 2nd hand shop some time later and found a Japanese copy of a black beauty - the pups in that guitar were amazing, so I swapped them to my mahogany bodied guitar and lo and behold. Needless to say I have had the same experience with DiMarzio strings. I would never buy anything from DiMarzio again. If I was to buy a set of expensive pups I would go for Lindy Fralin's.

The best

V 18 Comments
4 Bareknuckle

Bareknuckle is the best pickup brand ever made. Try one. They're worth the price. 10 billion times better than SD in my opinion. - ananikangel

There's a reason they're hard to find. They don't release them until they're perfect. Great pickup company, never heard a poor one. Also, another reason they don't come stock in many guitars. Gotta pay for the top boutique quality, but that's what you get out of BareKnuckles.

Best vintage telecaster pickups I have ever heard...high quality build and made by a company that cares.

Very high quality.

V 7 Comments
5 Gibson P90

My Les Paul special has these and they are amazing. The beautiful thing about these is when I'm playing through my les Paul I can still get some similar tones to my Strat too. You can really play any song with p90s and have it sound amazing.

P-90 have always been the best Blues Pick-up.

6 Lindy Fralin

I just discovered these pickups in as another guy was playing his strat thru my old Fender amp. He has the 43 steele pole pickups that are really hot. We ended up doing switches of my strat and his. Mine has Dimarzio 409/404/403 single coil humbuckers. I ordered a set of the fralin pickups the next day. This guy also says the capacitor on the tone circuit of the guitar can be switched to an old style rolled copper I think-but that it makes significant difference and takes out harshness. FYI

I love Lindy Fralin pickups they are some of the best out there in my humble opinion

Use Fralin pickups on my custom Epiphone Wildkat and it sound fantastic!

Pure PAF, nothing else like it

7 Ibanez

Best pickups ever.

Sound Very Clearly... Awesome for FingreStyle

Infinity's in my RG sound pretty darn good in my opinion.

Ibz pickups are one ofmthe best stock PU

V 2 Comments
8 Fender

All Fender pickups sound great. Outstanding sustain, clarity, and tone. They're also very versatile.

What?! Fender pickups are the real deal pickup shop, and nobody has voted for them... This is insanity!

All my fenders have the factory pick 88 tele 52 R.I. sounds 79 strat with my old super and a tube screamer is Gods Land...

Hot Noiseless PUPs Rock my world...

V 7 Comments
9 Lollar

The Charlie Christian pickup is highly warm and dynamic. It's not too high or too low in frequency, and gives off a horn like resonance. These are the pickups of the future.

Best all-around no-nonsense originals and replicas.

Lollar's CC pickup is the exact replica of the pickup that guitar legend Charlie Christian used in his Gibson ES-150 in 1936. It is the best neck pickup for Telecaster-type guitars in my humble opinion. I can highly recommend them.

The best

V 5 Comments
10 Ron Ellis

I put a set in my frankin Strat. Unlike any Strat l've ever heard. Very tight base smooth mids and highs. Cello like sound. Lots of air around the notes. Pricy but worth it to me.

The Contenders

11 Bill Lawrence

These pickups start where most blade pickups leave off they have crisper highs than most and have focused mids and tight bass

Have a set of keystones in my tele and my friend is always impressed when I put the switch to out of phaze and play Metal rhythms. Versatile would be an understatement.

L500 humbuckers rock. The ones from late seventies and early eighties...

V 2 Comments
12 Gibson T500

Fantastic in my Les Paul junior and melody maker. Kicks butt. Have vintage Dimarzio suoer distortion from 1978 and the 500T smokes it. Great for melodic metal and classic rock. Great over tones. Ceramic are legends.

13 Q-tuner

They don't add or subtract anything from what your guitar normally sounds like. Best example: put your ear up to the body of your guitar and play, that's what they're gonna sound like. Personally though, I think they're a brilliant product!

Q-tuners produce hands down the brightest sound on the planet. Neodymium rules.

Q-tuners are the world's first guitar and bass pickups being powered by neodymium magnets. The ultimate Hi-Fi sound.

If You mount Q-tuners on Your guitar all the other pickups seem lo-fi Chinese toys.
Expensive but worth every penny!

V 1 Comment
14 Golden Age

Great pickups - underrated to say the least

15 Lace

Lace should be way higher on this list! Their pickups sound fantastic, come in a variety of styles, and are affordable. Guitarists who use these awesome pickups include guys from Mastodon, High on Fire, Red Fang, King Crimson, Dimmu Borgir, EYEHATEGOD, Neurosis, and many more... enough said.

Red, Silver, Blue set in my strat. Compare the clarity and tone head to head with any pickups. And for a good price too. Boom.

Second only to fender. I have these on a strata and love em.

Lace has the best heavy metal tones, ground-breaking tech and looks. even better than EMG but without the batteries!

V 2 Comments
16 Rockfield

These get a very meaty sound and seem to be well constructed with even a bit of felt dampening on the rear of them.

I had a set of Rockfield Fat Ass in a Dean V. The quality of the tones were pretty close to what was coming out of a 1988 Gibson SG with EMG 81/85 active set. They are all I use now.

17 Harmonic Design
18 Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson all the way. Have them in my Strat and they sound the best out of the 10 or so electrics I own.

To KNOW them is to love them...

A notch above the rest

I have two T.A. split coils in a 9.8 lbs.:-o mexican tele and they are stellar! I get a wide variation in tones using the pickup switch and split coil switches. It's allowed me to carry only the tele as my electric on gigs.

19 Häussel

Big fan of his P90

20 Tesla

Excellent pickups, good value too!

The best ever I know for the powerful combinaion between dynamic actions.

V 1 Comment
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List Stats

1,000 votes
48 listings
9 years, 315 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Lindy Fralin
2. Bareknuckle
3. Lollar
1. Lace
2. Bareknuckle
3. Seymour Duncan
1. Ron Ellis
2. Seymour Duncan
3. Gibson P90

View All 4


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