Electric guitar pickups are one of the key factors that determine how your guitar will sound. Yes, there are a lot of other factors as well, but the pickup stands as the prime concern of guitarists to date.
Electric guitar pickups can be of several types. There are single-coil pickups that offer a bright and crispy tone and perfect for playing jazz and blues. On the contrary, humbuckers have a thicker tone and more appropriate for playing heavier genres. There are special types of pickup as well. For example, the Sustainiac pickups can sustain the plucked notes for virtually an indefinite amount of time.
So, in this article, we will take a look at 10 of the best pickups to buy in 2021. Let’s get at it!
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Top 10 Best Electric Guitar Pickups In 2021
10. Seymour Duncan ‘59
Product Description: The versatility of this pickup made it as famous as it is today. It is designed after the PAF pickups and has similar long sustain, clear and bright output.
Product Design and Quality: The low ends of this pickup are tweaked to the max so that you get a high sustain. The mids are cut off a little, which gives more clarity to the tones, So, each note can be heard clearly.
- High sustain,
- Tone clarity.
9. DiMarzio Area ’67
Product Description: Single coil pickups had a lot of hum back in the days. The DiMarzio Area ‘67 pickups have been designed to give you the same feeling but without the hum. The magnet pull has also been reduced for more sustain.
Product Design and Quality: Recommended especially for the neck and middle positions, these pickups come with 4 conductors. They have an Alnico 2 magnet. Paul Gilbert himself is a big fan of this pickup.
- Clean and bright sound,
- No hum
- High sustain.
8. Fishman Fluence Classic
Product Description: The Fishman Fluence Classic humbucker pickups come packed with three amazing characters – A hot-rodded tone, a vintage single-coil, and a strong calibrated PAF.
Product Design and Quality: This pickup has an Alnico V as the magnet. The pickups are rechargeable with the guitar. But if you want, you can get a lithium-ion battery that can last up to 200 hours.
- Three voices in one guitar,
- Rechargeable li-ion battery.
7. DiMarzio DP100
Product Description: Now, we will look at the pickup that started the sound revolution. It is the first humbucker pickup that could boost a total overdrive into a tube amp. If you want a pickup with boosted mids, lows and a slacked off high, this is the one for you.
Product Design and Quality: This guitar is suitable for solid body guitars only. Using them with hollow-body guitars will not be a good idea. It performs best in the bridge position.
- Blend of powerful and clear tones,
- Four conductors make it versatile.
6. Fender Vintage Noiseless
Product Description: With the Vintage Noiseless Tele, you can keep your guitar noiseless as well as iconic. These hum-free single coils will give you the vintage twang you are looking for your telecaster.
Product Design and Quality: The Vintage Noiseless Tele features an Alnico 2 magnet and wires coated with enamel.
- Vintage tone,
- Alnico 2 magnets for less aggressive mids,
- Enamel-coated wires.
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5. EMG ZW Zakk Wylde Signature
Product Description: Zakk Wylde is known as one of the best musicians in the world. And the EMG ZW signature of his come with the infamous 81/85 EMG pickups for a low, crunchy tone, packing a lot of sustain.
Product Design and Quality: This set has an Alnico 81 pickup and an 85 humbucker. It will blow your audience away at an overdrive.
- High sustain,
- Active pickups,
- Amazing sound in overdrive,
- No need to solder to install.
4. EMG James Hetfield Het Set
Product Description: These pickups were crafted by the most experienced sound engineers of EMG when Hetfield had challenged them to make a passive pickup that packs all the power and clarity of any modern-day active pickup.
Product Design and Quality: The pickup has a minimalistic look. The JH-B bridge pickup has a steel pole for better low sounds, metal and hard rock, and the JH-N pickup for neck has an increased sustain for playing better metal solos.
- Passive pickups with active feel,
- No need to solder.
3. Gibson ’57
Product Description: The Gibson ‘57 classic humbucker pickups pack the quintessential smooth, velvety tone of Gibson. They offer a sweet vintage tone and their components are similar to the original PAF but have a few modifications.
Product Design and Quality: Each of these pickups come with enamel-coated wiring and Alnico 2 magnets. There are also maple spacers as the original PAF. They have two-conductor braided wiring.
- Alnico 2 magnet,
- Bridge pickup,
- Two conductors.
2. EMG H4
Product Description: The EMG H4 combines the power of a passive PAF with an active 81. Thus, the pickup gives off deep low ends, lucid mids, and amazing highs.
Product Design and Quality: If you want to get everything out of this pickup, place it in the bridge position. If you want to play cutting lead tones and pinch harmonics, this is a great pick!
- Combination of active 81 and passive PAF,
- Shielded ceramic magnets,
- Balanced tones for metal and rock.
1. Seymour Duncan Blackouts
Product Description: The Blackouts humbuckers are amazing electric guitar pickups. The ones for the neck positions provide fluid lead sound with getting pick sensitivity.
Product Design and Quality: If you want responsiveness and genuine tonal power to cut through the mix, the Seymour Duncan Blackouts humbuckers are perfect for you. You can shred through your guitar and still hear every note.
- Great for playing pinch harmonics, high-speed riffs,
- One of the best for metal genres,
- Amazing price to performance ratio.
Electric guitar pickups have their unique set of characteristics. Technically, there is no “best pickup”. You can simply choose the one that will suit your play-style the best, and you’re good to go!