The 7 Main Types of Guitar Pickups and Which Ones You Should Buy

Posted on November 02 2022

Before digging into the types of guitar pickups and which is best for you, it's important to make sure you know: What is a guitar pickup? A guitar pickup is a transducer that converts the vibration of a string into an electrical signal. The most common type of pickup is a magnetic pickup, which uses a coil of wire to detect the string's vibrations. However, Piezo pickups, which use microscopic crystals, are also popular, and they are often used in combination with magnetic pickups to provide a wider range of tones. 

Guitar pickups can be passive or active and can be mounted on the body or the neck of the guitar. Active pickups require a battery, but they offer higher output and a clearer sound. No matter what guitar you have, choosing the right pickups can make a big difference in your tone.

History of Guitar Pickups

The history of the guitar pickup is long and winding, full of trial and error as musicians sought to amplify their instrument's sound. The modern guitar pickup is a far cry from the early electrics used in the 1930s. These early pickups were little more than large magnets that produced a weak signal. The first real improvement came in the form of the coils that were used to wrap around the magnets. This helped increase the signal's strength, but it also created a new problem. The coils pick up the string vibrations and any ambient noise in the room. 

Manufacturers began to encase the coils in metal covers to reduce the amount of ambient noise picked up by the device and improve the quality of the sound produced. To get the best of both worlds, manufacturers began to use multiple coils which could be individually shielded. This allowed for a much clearer sound while still reducing noise.

Over the years, there have been many variations on the basic design of the pickup. These variations all work to amplify the guitar's sound without introducing unwanted noise. Today's guitar pickups are a vast improvement over their early counterparts. Plus, they continue to evolve as manufacturers find new ways to improve the sound output produced.


Humbucker pickups are one of the many types of guitar pickup out there. It uses two coils to cancel out the interference that can occur with a single-coil pickup. Humbucker pickups were invented in the 1950s by Seth Lover, and they quickly became popular with guitarists looking for a fuller, more consistent sound. Humbucker pickups are typically used in jazz and rock music, but they can be used in any genre where a clear, clean sound is desired. Humbuckers are available in various sizes and styles, so it's easy to find one that will suit your needs. Whether you're looking for a vintage-sounding pickup or something with a modern attitude, there's a humbucker that's perfect for you.


P-90s guitar pickups are a type of single coil pickup. They were first introduced by Gibson in 1946 and were originally designed to replace the Gibson Super 400 guitar's pickups. Of all the types of guitar pickups, P-90s have a wider frequency response than other single coil pickups, making them well suited for blues, rock, and metal styles of music. They are also available in both neck and bridge positions, making them a versatile option. In addition, p-90s are known for their thick, powerful sound and are often used in conjunction with humbucker pickups to create a more versatile guitar tone.


There are few things as iconic in the world of electric guitars as the Stratocaster pickup. First introduced in 1954, Strat pickups have been used by countless iconic guitarists over the years, helping to shape the sound of trendy music. Strat pickups are known for their bright, clear tone and ability to cut through a mix. They can be used for various styles, from country to metal. Strat pickups are typically single-coil pickups, meaning they have a distinct sound. When combined with the right amplifier and pedals, Strat pickups can help you create virtually any guitar sound you can imagine. So if you're looking for that classic Stratocaster sound, there's no better place to start than with a set of Strat pickups.


The Telecaster pickup is a great choice for those who want to add a bit of twang to their music. This pickup is typically used in country and blues music, and it can help to give your guitar playing a unique flavour. If you're looking for a Telecaster pickup that will add a little oomph to your sound, you'll want to check out the Seymour Duncan Hot Rail Telecaster pickup. This high-output pickup is great for those who want to crank up the volume on their Telecaster. Finally, if you're looking for a more vintage-sounding Telecaster pickup, you'll want to check out the Fender Vintage Noiseless Telecaster pickups. These pickups are perfect for those who want to add a touch of classic sound to their playing. No matter what kind of Telecaster pickup you're looking for, there's sure to be one perfect for your needs.

Stratocaster vs Telecaster

When it comes to musical instruments, there is a lot of debate about which is better. There are two main contenders in the world of guitars: the Telecaster and the Stratocaster. Both have their unique benefits and drawbacks. For example, the Telecaster is much more versatile, whereas the Stratocaster offers a broader palette of tones. Telecasters are also easier to play and tune. One unique feature of the Telecaster is that it has one piece that extends right below the bridge pickup. This feature allows telecaster players to get a wider range of sounds. It comes down to personal preference when deciding which guitar is better. While both have their advantages and disadvantages, they are both great instruments that any musician would be happy to own.


The Jazzmaster pickup is a type of guitar pickup most commonly used on jazz guitars. Unlike other pickups, the Jazzmaster pickup produces a warm, mellow sound. Jazzmasters are typically made from Alnico V magnets, giving the pickup a distinctive tone. Jazzmaster pickups are known for their excellent dynamics and articulate midrange response. Many of today's top jazz guitarists use Jazzmaster pickups to get their signature sound.


The Firebird pickup is a great addition to any guitar. It provides a warm, rich sound that is perfect for blues and rock. It is also very easy to install, and it comes with all the necessary hardware. The Firebird pickup is a specific type of humbucker. It is named after the Firebird guitar, which was the first guitar to feature this type of pickup. The firebird pickup uses two "rail" style bar magnets, one of which is placed in the centre of each bobbin that the coils are wound around. The firebird design does not use steel posts because the rail magnets are able to pick up the string vibrations. The firebird pickup is known for its clear sound and its ability to reduce feedback.


Bass guitars are an essential part of any great band. They provide the low-end essential for giving the music depth and feeling. Without a bass, the music would lack punch and power. Just as important as the bass itself is the bass pickup. This crucial piece of equipment allows the bass to be amplified so that it can be heard over the other instruments. There are many different types of bass pickups on the market, each with its own unique sound. The type of bass pickup you choose will have a big impact on your overall sound. As such, it is important to choose wisely and find the bass pickup that is right for you and your style of music. With so many great bass pickups available, there is sure to be a bass pickup out there that is perfect for you.

A Guitar Pickup For You

Now that you understand better what is a guitar pickup, you can more easily make a decision on the best for you. There are a few different types of guitar pickups to choose from, and each one will give you a different tone. If you're not sure what kind of tone you want, it can be helpful to start by thinking about the type of music you want to play. 

For example, if you're looking for a heavy metal sound, you'll want to consider pickups with high output and lots of distortion. On the contrary, if you're searching for a more mellow sound, you should consider pickups with lower output and less distortion. Once you have an idea of the tone you're going for, you can start narrowing down your options. There are many great pickups, so it's important to do your research before making a purchase. 

When looking for new guitar pickups, it's a good idea to consider reviews and popularity. Keep in mind that there are a lot of reviews and information out there. Focus on finding reputable reviews from other guitarists. See what they have to say about a particular pickup before deciding. Taking reviews and comments from other musicians into account can help you find the sound that you want. 

Also, take note of which pickups are popular among professional guitarists. If many well-known players use a pickup, it's probably a great option. By researching, you can avoid being swayed by marketing gimmicks and find the best pickups for your needs.

The newest model isn't always the best when it comes to guitar pickups. Sure, it may have the latest features and the coolest design, but it hasn't had a chance to prove itself yet. There were numerous times a new pickup has been hyped up, only to be forgotten a few years later. Rather than hopping onto the bandwagon, it's important to do your research. Look into reviews of pickups and see if people are still happy with them. Investing in a pickup that has stood the test of time and is still considered one of the best can save you stress, frustration, and money in the long run.

Some pickups become popular and remain in demand for years, while others quickly fall by the wayside. If you're looking for a pickup that will still be popular in five to ten years, it's best to stick with one that has already proven its longevity. Buying a brand new pickup is always a gamble, and it's often better to stick with a tried-and-true model.

Any guitar player knows that pickups are essential to getting the right sound. Depending on the type and the style of music you're playing, you'll want a different type of pickup to get the desired effect. If you're just starting out, it is understandable how it can be tempting to buy the latest and greatest model on the market. However, there's no assurance that it will be any good. That's why you should look into the various types of guitar pickups and see which one is the right one for you.


Now that you know what a guitar pickup does, how it can affect your music, and some of the various types of guitar pickups, it's time to dig in. We offer a variety of fantastic pickups, with a wide selection of classic and trendy options. Not sure which pickup is right for you? Our knowledgeable staff is always happy to help you make the best choice. Contact us today with any questions you have, and we'll be happy to help!

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