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What pickups have knocked your socks off?

Noise Under The Floor

Platinum Supporting Member
PRS 57/08 and 59/09 models. However that was solely in comparison to their own past pickups. Those models are such a vast improvement over what PRS was offering as far as pickups before, with the exception of the McCarty’s. My opinion of course YMMV.


Silver Supporting Member
for vintage Stratocaster my favorites are
I really like the 61’ and 62’
For warm classic Strat tones.
And the 67’ and 69’ for a Jimi thing

Yer Blues

When I first swapped pickups out almost 20 years ago there weren't a ton of options. I'd imagine you guys had even last options before that. Now there's so many if you're looking to make a swap that it's almost impossible to narrow it down.


Fishman Fluence Moderns. I was sooooo against actives for so long, EMGs left a bad taste in my mouth.
My fishmans make me turn down guitars I would otherwise love just because I know a Fishman wouldnt fit the route.
Just soooo articulate. So much clarity and this almost "spring to life" feeling when you pluck the string.
My experience with Fishmans too. And the difference with clean tones is what really blew me away. I freaking love the cleans. My christmas gift to myself is to upgrade my #1 and #2 to Fluences.


Silver Supporting Member
BG Pups Pickups HellaBucker Brian Mason Model are killer and the black hardware is nice too.These are fat,aggressive,and badass.


Gold Supporting Member
The only pickups that have truly rocked my world were originals in early 60s Fenders, and a certain '64 ES-335 I got to play. They had a warm and detailed response I haven't heard in any new pickups.

But the new ones that have made the biggest impression were the ones in my Charvel Guthrie Govan. Best coil taps I have ever heard. They also have power, clarity and character, and can do about any musical style very well.


Silver Supporting Member
Suhr Classic T Telecaster pickups have been great. Nice balance between a full tone and clarity with strong output and not harsh.

Suhr Thornbuckers are also really nice...great clarity again without being harsh.

Bareknuckle Mules were a surprise, in my PRS they added a nice low end push and really nice neck pickup tone.

Still looking for a Goldilocks Strat pickup set...


I'll add the following

Tonerider rebel 90s. Great price. It is a p90/single coil tone depending on knob settings. Boosting with a rat set low is super close to my humbucker guitars. I get a wide range of sounds in my ibby semi.

Yamaha p90s. Really good for stock pickups. I have no need to change them.

Dimarzio 36th neck. You all know about this one.

Dimarzio air norton s. Sounds great in parallel as well. It makes my rg3xxv sound as fat as my ltd ec401v in the neck position.

Harmonic design vintage plus neck pickup. I love the set, but LOVE the neck pickup. It is the best single coil neck sound I have come across.

Lastly, I wanna give a shout out to the clapton midboost circuit. Teamed with the right pickups, there is not much you can't do with some singles and it.


Not new and boutique. The Seymour Duncan Jazz neck pickup probably the overall the best pickup I ever used. The sound is so sweet and the price is so cheap.


Silver Supporting Member
1)1963 Gibson Pat # w/`50's Long Bar magnet .... Jeff Beck Blow by Blow Tone ... lost my job had to sell them...I took a bath
1A) OTPG PAFs equal to Original Pat or even a good PAF set...yup lost $$$
1B) `50's Gibson P90's...Bare Knuckles make the best P90's!
1) JM Rolph `56 & `58 Strat Pickups...incredible
1) JM Rolph `51 Tele Pickups..Incredible
2) Stephens Design PAFs ..the guy is out there but his pickups are fantastic, I have these in my #1 Burst...but I would rather support Wizz
2A) Wizz...his PAFS are just are excellent..had them in 3 replicas that were sold off
3) JM Rolph PAFS `59 w/Alnico V...very strident and strong...but to my ear I like sweet PAF tone
3A) Thorne Staple Pickups, Alnico V...excellent
3B) Custom Wound Rickenbacker Pickups...I got these off of Facebook , way better than stock Rickenbacker pickups
4)Holmes PAFs...very good
5) Shepptones, original A2 great bang for your buck
6) Peter Florence PAFs...good

Looking back on my `78 Gibson Les Paul Standard...that was a great sounding set too

Don't forget you're judging pickups against: type of amp, how it is set up: digital or tube, your choice of power & pre amp tubes, then your speakers. All of that makes your tone. Another thing don't get sucked in on spending ridiculous money on pickups.... Never again. Side note...a guy I know spent big money on a quad of pre-rola Celestion G12H30's...he got 18 months and the speakers died...now he has recones ... choose wisely.


Still breathing
Platinum Supporting Member
Rolph '64 Strat set is atomically perfect for that sound (which I dig). Made many monies playing those pups in a bastardized '64 Strat.
Shed Peter Green set is so good, I splashed it over many recordings and sessions. I need to dig that guitar back outta the vault...
The original Pat#s in my '74 ES335TD (in my avatar, I think) suit that axe so well and also have paid for the guitar over and over.
Tom Jones neckbucker is a sweet ride. My Chapin Slowburn Hawk sports this and (ding ding ding) also has paid for itself, as has this great guitar.

Still seeking a truly great overwound pup. Greatly preferring less winds plus a booster when I need the muscle. But I surely wish not too.

TP Parter

I also bought what was afaik the first pair of pickups designed to split to either coil with mismatched coils. One coil built and wound to sound like a P90, the other wound to sound like a Strat style A5 pickup. The were custom built by Steve Kersting for my '71 LP Standard, and he then started offering them as his Dual Tone II humbuckers. This predated the Duncan P-Rails by a cpl years.

They are awesome pickups, and do exactly as promised. Both coils on both pickups sound spectacular, and the guitar can cover a huge sonic spectrum.

Outside of those and the Lace Sensors, I am pretty much a traditionalist, I love vintage to vintage hot wound single coils, Gibson P90's and Staples, Dearmonds/Dynasonics, some Filtertron types, PAF or overwound PAF types (love the 490R/498T combo, cut the mud with 500K pots and roll back the volume to open up their flexibility greatly).


Cavalier pickups. Great selection, great service, quality product, great advice, quick shipping US made and inexpensive. Absolutely recommended.

Paul Conway

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...
They are great pickups. Although I'm looking to swap the neck VH I have for the vintage wind.

There's a broadness to the tone which makes them much versatile than a regular s/c imho.
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