6 Best Guitar Pickups 2020
Buying guitar pickups can be a real nightmare for even the most experienced and accomplished of musician, so don’t feel bad if you’re overwhelmed by the wealth of choices on the market.
Anyway, we’ve taken the hard work out of finding the best guitar pickups for you by compiling this comprehensive guide to everything you need to consider before buying any of the top guitar pickups currently available for purchase. You can just sit back and relax.
Things to Consider When Buying Guitar Pickups
What should you take into consideration before purchasing guitar pickups? In our opinion, these are the most important things:
- A new pickup (which is essentially a magnet wrapped in wire) can breathe new life into an old guitar so it’s crucial to make your purchase wisely as the pickup you choose could save you a lot of cash in the short term at least. Plus, they’re often the first piece of equipment people think of when they want to improve or alter the sound quality of their trusty guitar.
- Pickups are available for both acoustic and electric guitars, so make sure you select the right one for your guitar. We’ve only included one acoustic pickup on this guide.
Top 6 Guitar Pickups Table
|1. K&K Pure Mini Acoustic Guitar Pickup||Acoustic||$$$||4.6|
|2. Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickups||Electric, single coil||$$||4.5|
|3. Musiclily Dual Hot Rail Blaster Humbucker Guitar Pickups for Fender Strat Stratocaster Squier Electric Guitar||Electric, humbucker||$||4.3|
|4. Guitar bass pickup/EQ/ Potentiometer set of 2 Zebra Faced Humbucker Double Coil Pickups||Electric, not named brand but should be compatible with many models, humbucker||$||4.2|
|5. lotmusic zxuy Humbucker-Pickup-Chrome Humbucker Pickup Chrome for Gibson Les Paul Replacement||Electric, designed for Gibson Les Paul guitars or similar, humbucker||$||4.1|
|6. Fender Vintage Noiseless Tele Pickups||Electric, single coil size humbucker||$$$$||4.1|
- Active or Passive? This refers to the way in which the pickup operates and can have a big impact on the sound quality of the music produced.
An active guitar pickup could be one of the best guitar pickups for you if you like the ‘plucky’ sound of the guitar. They work in conjunction with battery to create the necessary electric field and are great if you want sound clarity above all else.
A passive guitar pickup, on the other hand, uses a magnet situated underneath each guitar string, which then picks up the strings vibration, creates an electronic field and is then converted into sound. If you choose a passive pickup, it’s key that you consider what magnet it uses.
- Passive Pickup Magnets. There are plenty of options on the market for passive pickup magnets, the most common of which is a steel magnet. These tend to offer a lower quality kind of sound, however, which might not be what more experienced players are looking for.
On the other hand, you can get AlNiCo magnets, which are far better and smoother sounding and come in various different levels. If neither of these seems right, a ceramic magnet could also be a good option although the smoothness of sound does usually suffer.
- What is Humbucker? Most pickups nowadays are humbuckers. This basically means that they use two coils wrapped round the central magnet instead of one for a greater clarity of sound and lower chance of interference when playing.
Humbuckers tend to sound warmer than single coil pickups, but if you really want sharpness in your playing then a single coil pickup might be a good option for you. Basically, if you play country music go for a single coil, but if you favor jazz, rock or metal then the humbucker will be your best friend.
Top 3 Best Guitar Pickups Reviews
It’s the only acoustic pickup on our guide, yet this mini treat takes the top spot on our guide to the best guitar pickups. For those musicians who want to add a little extra to their sound, this model is compatible with steel string guitars, and comes pre-wired for ease. As far as performance goes, it can help you produce a full and clear sound that will take your playing to the next level.
Fender is a big name in the guitar world and this is no different when it comes to pickups. Their so-called Tex-Mex pickups are ideal for electric guitar players, especially those you have Fender models.
Their single coil setup helps them provide the trademark clarity of tone and makes them ideal for versatile players.
Single coil sized but humbucker in performance, the Musiclily pickup is ideal for those players who want the best of both worlds without paying through the nose.
While the one downside is that installing them can be a bit fiddly, the sound they create is phenomenal.