Guitar Pickups

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About Guitar Pickups

Guitar pickups are available from guitarguitar in a wide variety of models and designs. We keep stock of pickups for electric guitars, basses, acoustic guitars and also pickups suitable for folk instruments.

Upgrading pickups from 'stock' models to higher quality units can hugely improve the sound and response of a guitar. Pickups are one of the most significant factors in the production of tone: it can be both surprising and rewarding to note just what a difference a pickup change can make!

We stock pickups by all of the major manufacturers including Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, EMG and Bare Knuckle. We also stock more bespoke brands such as Bare Knuckle and Suhr. Acoustic brands include Fishman and LR Baggs.

Guitar pickups are usually either single coil or humbucker but there is more to it than that. Active pickups are popular these days and they use a power source (usually a 9v PP3 battery) in conjunction with special circuits and controls to provide specifically different tonal characteristics. Regular pickups are also known as 'passive' pickups since they need no additional power.

Browse our wide selection of guitar pickups here online or head to your nearest store to check them out.

Frequently Asked Questions about Guitar Pickups

Hum cancelling single coil pickups are pickups which retain the sound and look of single coil pickups but remove the associated hum of a 'true' single coil pickup.
The most popular bridge position humbucker is unquestionably the Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB. There is a good reason for this: for any style requiring any amount of overdrive, the Seymour Duncan JB sounds simply exceptional.
PAF pickups refer to late-fifties and early sixties humbuckers designed by Seth Lover and made by Gibson. PAF stands for Patent Applied For (it was later granted but habits persist and so the name remains). They are seen as some of the sweetest sounding pickups ever made. Tone is a subjective thing of course. Not everyone loves a PAF sound but in truth, most guitar players agree to the inherent quality of a vintage PAF sound. As such, many companies seek to emulate it, not least Gibson themselves. A good PAF sound has lots of bite and sustain with what we call note bloom where a picked note behaves in a certain way that is very pleasing to the ear. PAF pickups are known for having low levels of copper coil windings, as opposed to modern high output pickups which have significantly more output (volume.gain, it's the same thing in this context) due to the much higher number of coil windings. There is more to it, but the root of it is a sweet, sustaining pickup that sings and crunches with equal levels of authority. Actual PAF pickups cost more than cars these days so we recommend going for modern recreations, Check out the Gibson 57 Classic, the DiMarzio DP223F PAF, The Bare Knuckle Stormy Monday set and the Seymour Duncan Joe Bonamassa set & '59 set.
Yes. Kirk Hammett plays Metallica songs on tour using Peter Green's priceless '59 Les Paul Standard. The pickups in that guitar are the very definition of PAF pickups. He sounds monstrously heavy therefore yes you can!