6 Best Telecaster Pickups 2020

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Owning a Fender Telecaster is something to be proud of. This prestigious guitar is one of the most world-renowned guitars ever created and deserves to be treated right. Choosing to customize a Telecaster is a big step to take because you want to ensure that the pickups that you install don’t take away any of the overall value of the guitar.

Original Telecaster pickups are great for country music, blues, rock and other styles, but you may want to bring your Telecaster to a totally different genre. Changing the pickups gives you more freedom to transition your Telecaster into other music genres. It can also be done to use your Telecaster in these popular music genres, while creating a guitar that has its own unique tone. Here is a list of the best Telecaster pickups that you can install on your Fender Telecaster.

Top 6 Telecaster Pickups Ranking

PictureNameNumber of PickupsPriceRating (1-5)
Number of Pickups
Rating (1-5)
1. Seymour Duncan STR-2 Hot Rhythm Telecaster Neck Pickup1$4.8
2. Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Telecaster Pickups2$$$4.7
3. Seymour Duncan ST591 Little 59 Lead Telecaster Pickup1$$4.7
4. Fender Custom Shop Nocaster Pickups2$$$4.6
5. Fender Vintage Reissue Telecaster Pickups2$$4.6
6. DiMarzio Area T - Chrome2$$4.5

How to Find Good Telecaster Pickups

Shopping for Telecaster pickups is an exciting moment for any Telecaster owner. However, changing the pickups on your Telecaster will have a major impact on the resulting sound and tone, making it crucial for you to pick the best Telecaster pickups for your needs. While you could easily swap them out again if you don’t like the pickups you install, it’s a hassle of time and money.

Knowing what to look for is crucial in order to avoid having to replace your new pickups once they are already installed. There are various types of Telecaster pickups available on the market and each one of them has different options, features and perks. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing pickups for your Fender Telecaster.

  • Single Coil. Telecasters most commonly use single coil pickups. Make sure you don’t purchase humbucker pickups, because the hole for the pickup won’t be large enough. Keep in mind that it’s possible to install humbucker pickups on a Telecaster, but it requires making major modifications to the body of your guitar. However, there are some humbucker pickups on the market that are the size of single coil pickups and those are suitable for Telecasters.
  • Quality Wiring. Since most guitars have to deal with a lot of movement, quality wiring is crucial. You want to make sure that everything is soldered properly and that the wiring is going to withstand the heavy use that your Telecaster will undergo for the next few years.
  • Tone for Your Music Genre. It’s incredibly important for you to be well-informed about the pickups that you’re purchasing. Every pickup will have its own unique specialty. Not all Telecaster pickups are made for country. If you want to install a new pickup on your guitar to achieve a unique country tone and you end up buying a pickup that was made for heavy rock, you won’t end up getting the desired tone.

Professional Installation

Once you’ve finally received your new pickups, it’s important for you to leave them in the box and bring them directly to a reputable music store along with your Telecaster. They will install them for you for a small fee. The Installation of new pickups normally takes about an hour or two. Unless you have previously installed many pickups and know very well what you’re doing, a professional installation is well worth it.

Installing new guitar pickups requires you to solder the wires into place and due to the restricted working area within the body of the guitar, this requires precision and experience. A Telecaster is a prestigious guitar; avoid damaging the electronics and get the new pickups installed by pros.

Top 3 Best Telecaster Pickups Reviews

1. Seymour Duncan STR-2 Hot Rhythm

At the top of our list is the Seymour Duncan STR-2 Hot Rhythm Telecaster Neck Pickup. This neck pickup is featured with a chrome plated brass cover, creating a superb look that suits any Telecaster to perfection. This hot true single coil pickup creates fat tones that are perfect for playing country, blues, classic rock and many more genres.

Benefit from a full clear sound when installing this pickup on your Telecaster. The increased output and sustain will make a huge difference when compared to the stock pickups that came with your guitar. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to upgrade your Telecaster pickups, you’ll love the Seymour Duncan STR-2 Hot Rhythm Telecaster Neck Pickup.

2. Fender Custom Shop Texas Special

Another great option for upgrading your pickups on a Telecaster guitar are the Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Telecaster Pickups. These pickups are sold in a complete set, so you get a neck and a bridge pickup.

As true custom shop Fender pickups, these pickups are an official upgrade to the original pickups that came on your Telecaster. If you want to retain the original tones of your Telecaster, while slightly upgrading the sustain and overall tone, you’ll love the Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Telecaster Pickups.

3. Seymour Duncan ST591 Little 59

The Seymour Duncan ST591 Little 59 Lead Telecaster Pickup is another amazing option for those seeking a different tone. This humbucker pickup is the exact size of a single coil, allowing you to enjoy the thick humbucker tones on your Telecaster.

Perfect for country, blue, classic rock and even heavy rock, this pickup is an amazing addition to any Telecaster. Experience a huge difference in sound without losing the original tone by adding the Seymour Duncan ST591 Little 59 Lead Telecaster Pickup to the bridge pickup spot on your Telecaster.