Here’s a list of quality electric guitar pickups manufacturers. Be careful what you buy. Some of these pickups are loud and will blast your head off. Now, go get some magnets.
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Bare Knuckle is an electric guitar pickup company located in the UK who makes humbuckers, P90s, single coil pickups and even bass pickups. Their pickups are hand-wound using traditional techniques. Gutarist Magazine has given them their Gold Award for the Apache (vintage Stratocaster single coil pickup) and Mule (vintage humbucker pickup).
Dimarzio is one of the bigger names in the electric guitar pickups industry. They make everything…humbuckers, single coils for Strats and Teles, minibuckers, soapbar pickups, acoustic pickups, pickups for 7 and 8 string guitars, etc. They are know for their high output humbuckers, first and foremost. Jerry Garcia, of the Grateful Dead, used Dimarzio pickups in some of his custom-made electric guitars.
Fender not only makes some of the finest electric guitars and amplifiers, but they also make their own electric guitar pickups for their Stratocasters, Telecasters and other guitar models. Popular models include the Texas Special, ’69 Stratocaster single coil, Fat ’50s single coil, Custom ’54 single coil, N3 and Hot Noiseless single coils and more.
Gibson makes one of the most commonly used humbucker pickups in the world…the ’57 Classic Humbucker. These pickups are equipped in most of their guitars that use humbuckers. Other popular pickups include the Burstbucker Pro, Dirty Fingers, Mini-Humbucker and their P-90 pickups are very fine as well.
Harmonic Design makes one of the most unique electric guitar pickups in the world…the Z90, which is a P90 pickup that comes in the size of a humbucer. We use this pickup at SSS and think it offers an incredible, piano-like sonic range. This wide frequency response makes it great for everything from jazz to rock to country. Their Vintage Tele pickups are also raved about by Telecaster players. They also make some fantastic vintage PAF humbuckers.
Joe Barden is known for his Telecaster-style single coil pickups. Guitarists like Danny Gatton, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Joe Walsh, Robert Cray, John Abercrombie, Jim Weider, Lou Reed and Ron Wood all use Joe Barden pickups for their incredible vintage-flavored tone. Models include the Danny Gatton T-style pickup, Nashville T-Style set, Modern T-Style Bridge pickup and Modern T-Style set.
Lace Pickups are revered by hard rock and metal players like Bill Kelliher, Athon and more. They have a number of electric guitar pickup series, including: Alumitones, Sensors, Finger Burners, Holy Grails, Hemis, PS900 Soapbars and more.
Lindy Fralin is known for their noiseless Stratocaster pickups, first and foremost. These electric guitar pickups became all the rage with Strate players in the 90s and are still revered today. Their website offers a handy tool for helping you choose the right Lindy Fralin pickup for your tonal needs. They also make pickups for Telecasters, Fender Mustangs, Fender Jazzmasters, humbuckers, P90s and more. These are some of the best electric guitar pickups being made today
Voodoo Pickups, owned and operated by Peter Florance, is known for making incredibly high quality, vintage-style humbuckers and P90 pickups. They offer 3 different vintage-flavored humbucker pickups: the ’57, the ’59 and the ’60 Humbucker. They also make a wide range of electric guitar pickups for Stratocasters and Telecasters. Brad Paisley is one of the better-known artists to play with Voodoo Pickups, and it has been heard that John Scofield has used Voodoo Pickups in his Ibanez Artstar guitar as well.
Rio Grande is known for making powerful Texas-flavored electric guitar pickups in both single coil and humbucker models. They also make P90s, acoustic guitar, minibucker, Jazzmaster and 7-string electric guitar pickups. These became really hot in the early 2000s and are still very popular today. Some popular guitarists who use Rio Grande pickups include Luther Dickinson (Rio Grande Twangbuckers), Dave Grohl (Texas BBQ Humbuckers) and Billy Gibbons (Muy Grande Tele bridge pickup).
Schaller Pickups is one of the older companies to make and sell their electric guitar pickups in the Stewart McDonald catalog. They make a lot of guitar parts, not just pickups. One of the more popular guitarists to use Schaller Pickups is Trey Anastasio, of Phish, who has been known to use Shchaller Golden ’50s in his custom Languedoc guitars.
Seymour Duncan is one of the most well known electric guitar pickup companies in the world. They make every kind of electric guitar pickup you could imagine. Their Antiquity Humbuckers are modern legends. Of particular interest is their Phat Cat P90 pickup that is retrofitted to a humbucker size. This pickup is hot and offers incredible midrange for creating raunchy, punchy electric guitar tones. We’ve used these and loved them for what they do…rock!
Suhr Guitars not only makes some of the world’s finest electric guitars, they also make incredible electric guitar pickups…primarily standard single coils and humbuckers. Their guitar pickups use proprietary pickup winding techniques and ultra high grade components like Alnico V magnets.
Van Zandt Pickups are hand-wound, Texas-style electric guitar pickups that are hotter than a mojo. Their pickup models include the True Vintage, Vintage Plus, Blues Pickup, Rock Pickup, True Bucker, TrueBucker Coil Tap and more.