Guitar pickups have a huge effect on the sound of the instrument. If you’re building a custom guitar, or just choosing the pickups on a brand name instrument, it’s essential to think carefully about which pickups to get. This section provides guitar pickup reviews from a variety of different brands.
Before you choose a pickup it’s a good idea to understand the basics of how a guitar works. When you play a guitar the string vibrates to produce sound. This sound isn’t very loud, however, hence the need for a chamber in acoustic guitars. Electric guitars solve the problem of quiet acoustics by using pickups.
The price of a guitar pickup varies depending on its quality. Higher quality pickups tend to produce better quality sound, but also cost more. The best guitar pickups for your guitar should balance cost against sound quality. This goes for electric, acoustic and bass guitar pickups.
Single Coil Pickups
The first pickups invented were single soil pickups. The benefit of a single coil pickup is that they produce a clear tone. The downside is that they are more likely to be affected by magnetic fields and produce audible humming. Many famous players have used single coil pickups, and they are standard on most Fender guitars.
Double Coil Pickups
These are also known as humbucker pickups. As the name suggests, they come with two coils – basically two single coil pickups placed next to each other. The pickups are wired in such a way that they cancel out any hum. In general, dual coil pickups tend to have a warmer tone than single coil.
Some guitarists who’ve used double coil pickups include John Lennon and Jimmy Page.
A piezo pickup produces a much weaker signal than other types, which means the sound has to be pre amped before reaching the amp. For this reason, guitars with piezo pickups have electronics to preamp the signal.
How To Choose Guitar Pickups
There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing the type of pickup you want. You may want to choose based on the pickups your favorite guitarist uses. In general, if you like a sharp and crisp sound then go for single coil, while if you prefer warm and mellow guitar sounds go for dual coil.