Gibson are the undisputed humbucker kings, while Fender’s legendary Telecaster and Stratocaster are synonymous with single-coils. They created the renowned P-90 in 1946, before going on to create the first two-coil humbucker in 1955, which truly revolutionized the guitar pickup. The PAF (‘Patent Applied For’) was the name given to this invention, which forever changed the face of music. They didn’t rest on their laurels, though, and went on to create humbuckers in a variety of forms, sizes, and tones.
Although there are some names that go hand in hand with the brand and its tone, many guitarists have played Gibson guitars and their excellent pickups. Les Paul (of course…), Jimmy Page, Slash, Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde, Frank Zappa, Derek Trucks, Tony Iommi, and Angus Young are just a few of the legendary Gibson players.
If you buy a high-end Gibson, you’re probably not going to want to alter the pickups because they’ll already sound great. A new set of Gibson pickups, on the other hand, may bring any guitar to life, even whether it’s an entry-level or mid-range model, or if the musician simply wants a change.
Gibson Gear P-94R Humbucker Sized P-90 Single Coil
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This great P-90 kicks off our list, and it’s perfect for anyone looking for a growly vintage single-coil tone. Gibson’s P94R neck pickup, on the other hand, doesn’t necessitate a total electrical overhaul or any alterations to your beloved guitar, and it fits snugly into any humbucker slot.
The P94R is a stylish pickup with an Alnico V magnet wrapped in enamel-coated vintage wire that produces a real P-90 sound — rich and warm, with classic treble bite and single-coil sparkle.
Only a little extra noise is required as a trade-off. Overall, it’s a fantastic bluesy lead pickup that pairs well with the matching P94T bridge pickup. For a guitar with a lot of versatility, pair it with a hot humbucker. This is the Best Gibson Pickup in 2022.
Gibson ’57 Classic Plus Humbucker Pickup
- Special Alnico II magnet
- Vintage enamel-coated wire
- Nickel-plated pole pieces
When it comes to Gibson pickups, the ’57 Classic Plus is a veritable legend, and can be found on many high-end Gibson guitars. The ’57 isn’t the cheapest pickup on this list, but it’s a flexible humbucker that can truly rock, with full vintage tones that sound just like the original PAFs from the 1950s.
Although the aim of this pickup is on delivering true-to-the-time sounds, it features a special Alnico II magnet that’s slightly overwound with vintage enamel-coated wire to give it a pretty high output.
The ’57 remains smooth when played cleanly or with high gain, and can produce a deliciously saturated crunch, regardless of your amp settings. This humbucker is available in a variety of styles, both covered and exposed. This is the Best Gibson Pickups in 2022.
Gibson Gear 500T Super Ceramic Humbucker
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The legendary Gibson 500T humbucker is a sensible choice for aggressive led guitarists looking for scorching hot lead tones, albeit with a bit less intensity than the Dirty Fingers we feature below.
The 500T, which is made with a ceramic magnet, has been the go-to pick for rock guitarists for decades, thanks to its extraordinarily powerful output, diamond-like clarity, and long sustain.
While the 500T cleans up nicely, it’s with a large dose of gain that it really shines, making it the ideal tool for hard rock and metal – both classic and current – with a boosted low-end and soaring highs. It’s also worth matching with its neck brother, the 496R, for a Gibson tonefest all-around.
Seymour Duncan SPH90-1N Phat Cat Humbucker Neck Pickup
- Authentic p-90 sound in a humbucker retrofit size pickup
- Recommended for country, jazz, blues, rockabilly, classic rock and heavy rock
- Metal covers provide more shielding and noise reduction than standard soapbar covers
This fantastic PhatCat from Seymour Duncan is proof that you can have a great Gibson-targeted pickup that isn’t built by Gibson. It’s a popular P-90 that sounds great in both the bridge and neck positions and has a vintage rumble to it.
The soap bar pickup, with a nickel or gold cover and Alnico II magnets, is handcrafted in California and produces crisp cleans with lots of attitude when the gain is cranked up.
It’s adaptable for both lead and rhythm playing since the chords ring true and it cuts through the mix well with tremendous sustain. It’s still a single-coil, so it’ll be a little noisier than some of the others on this list, but it’s wax-potted so there won’t be any feedback. Let’s hear the roar of the Phat Cat
Gibson Dirty Finger Humbucker
Loud? Aggressive? Dirty Fingers, of course! This renowned humbucker is back (due in part to Blink 182’s Tom DeLonge, who uses them on his signature Gibson ES-333) after a brief sabbatical after its original airing in the 1980s.
And it’s just as hot as it’s always been. Dirty Fingers has an overwound ceramic magnet for the bridge only, which provides incredible output, biting crunch, and fantastic sustain that’s necessary for heavier musical styles, while remaining surprisingly clear even at high volumes.
While the cleans are fine, the high-gain mode is where this pickup really shines, and it can convert even the most basic axe into a rock monster. With all of the high-volume playing you’ll be doing, Dirty Fingers is wax-potted to keep squeals to a minimum.
Seymour Duncan SM1-N Vintage Mini Humbucker Electric Guitar Pickup
- For balanced and warm instruments
- Works especially well with soft wood bodies (e.g., mahogany and swamp ash) and rosewood fingerboards
- Single conducter hookup cable
The Seymour Duncan SM1-N tiny humbucker is an excellent method to acquire true original Gibson Firebird tones in a budget-friendly guitar. This small humbucker has a well-balanced sound when both clean and distorted, with a sparkling bite and a tight low-end that you’d expect from a full-sized humbucker.
This small humbucker’s best-of-both-worlds tonal output makes it a very adaptable pickup, and it’s great for blues playing. It fits comfortably into the neck position and pairs well with an SM1-B in the bridge, thanks to its Alnico V magnet and chrome cover. While installation isn’t the simplest on this list, the SM1-N represents excellent value for the money.