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What pickups have knocked your socks off?


Having the right magnet in the dedicated position is equally as important.

In fact, that is what pickup manufactures do; by branding pickups that are identical in spec, that were given different names because of the magnet.
Also, it suggested by the manufacturer where it can or could be used.


AVRI Jazzmaster and Jaguar pickups
DeArmond hershey bar pickups
Gretsch Dynasonics
Great Lakes Pickups Firebird pickups
Q-Pickups Pbass pickup

R Weaver FX

Most everything Mark Foley does! His most recent 50’s and 60’s Strat PreCBS sets are phenomenal!!!
This x100! Mark has unlocked the secret to a great sounding Pre CBS pickup. I’ve got two sets of the 60’s that turned my Strats into tone monsters and now I’m gassing for a set of the 50’s to go into a maple necked build I want to do. Just outstanding.


Rio Grande Muy Macho Strat pickups. Cures the weak single coil pickup syndrome while keeping the strat voicing in tact.
I struggle to believe anyone could make better pickups than the hand-wound fender custom shop "mischief maker" mixed set in my CS 63 strat
The 69 neck pickup is so good it is likely wound with the mane of a unicorn that lives in a rainbow !! LOL


Going back and forth between an overwound single coil and a humbucker in the bridge of my strat...
I decided to get a Chopper the other day. 'Tis exactly what I wanted. The right amount of mids, bottom and snap. Lean and mean.


Silver Supporting Member
The original Gibson T-Tops in my '79 Silverburst. These have destroyed every other pickup I've owned (Bare Knuckles, Duncans, Wizz, WCR, other Gibson Models, Suhr etc etc.) So musical and clear while being raunchy all at the same time.


Definitely agree with a lot of the Lollar and Suhr fans. Particularly any of the Lollar Tele pickups as well as the Imperials. I haven't personally played a lot of Suhr pickups, but the SSVs are amazing.

Haven't seen Lambertones or McNelly's mentioned yet. The Lambertones Crema's and the Ristretto's are my current favorite pickups.


I built a partscaster with Bare Knuckle Slow Hands and I don't know if my socks were knocked off but they're definitely cool enough that I'm surprised I don't see more people talking about them, or even BK Strat pickups in general. Super cool vintage Strat tones with warmer mids and slightly higher output, but on this site they're never mentioned. Weird!


The original Gibson T-Tops in my '79 Silverburst. These have destroyed every other pickup I've owned (Bare Knuckles, Duncans, Wizz, WCR, other Gibson Models, Suhr etc etc.) So musical and clear while being raunchy all at the same time.
T-Tops are why I will never get rid of my 78 The Paul (aka The Walnut Wonder).

The old classic: Seymour Duncan JB. The most consistent bridge pickup ever made.
My goto bridge pup. It just has THE SOUND. :cool:

i dunno about that, i stuck a super distortion in a squier that cost almost half as much and it enhanced the tone exponentially
Yeah, I'd phrase it more "A guitar is only as good as the pickups you put into it.":D


Gold Supporting Member
Digging Throbaks in my Collings I35 and CL and JG BM and BM Semi. Throbaks replaced the Lollars in the Collings, to me more responsive and more of the instrument's wood/acoustic qualities are present.

Also dig the OX4s in the Bartlett Retrospec; Tom tries out a few pickups in each finished Retrospec to select the best match between wood and pick ups.

Have 6 Gibsons with vintage PAFs as reference points.


Harmonic Design Vintage + Tele in an Esquire.
NEVER sounds like an ice-pick.

Railhammers...just about all of them.
I like CLEAR, and these have it in spades.


Silver Supporting Member
Seymour Duncan Joe Bonamassa pups. Best I’ve had, ever. Full. Open. No mud (I find CustomBuckers somewhat muddy). No ice pick.
I have these in a 2012 ‘57 RI LP Goldtop. Stellar.


These guys right here.. not only are they great pickups for that nice clear woody tone... but... beyond amazing customer service
So... heres a story about amazing customer service... virgil arlo strat pickups

I sold a pair of my pickups on reverb, they sold in a matter of 1.5 hrs. For 370. The customer received them and for some reason the neck pickup didn't work. When they worked fine in my (fender) strat just before shipping. I would never sell something that was defective like that. The customer emailed me that the neck pick was bad. I corresponded with him and Virgil Arlo the manufacturer over the last 10 hrs. (Originally got the email last night at 10 pm) virgil arlo responded at 7 am this morning, and by 12 the issue had been resolved.
They had a possible fix which was to resolder the points on the pickup just to make sure the connection didn't go bad.
The customer tried that solution (hes and electrical something or other) so his soldering skills are good.(I assume lol) anyways that didn't resolve the ol voltmeter reading.
These pickups are going on 2.5 years old now, well out of any normal warranty most any company has.
Virgil Arlo are now sending them a brand new full set no questions asked. Sending them straight to the used buyer and also will cover any issues they have in the future like they bought them directly from them. That to me is unreal customer service and something that blows me away. I fully expected to have to at least buy a new neck pickup from them. But no they are covering everything including shipping. That's good customer service. I can't say enough good things about this company. All my dealings with them have simply been amazing.

I'm not sure any of the pickup companies mentioned would do such a thing. Not saying they wouldn't but I'd have to experience it to believe it.


Gold Supporting Member
Original zexcoil SV5 (neck) and SVO5 (middle).
I literally tried close to a hundred pups for that
neck position over the years, pure and noiseless.

I did stop looking at other pups after that,
though I'm still searching for my left sock...

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