One of the best things about single-coil pickups is that you don’t have to buy a new guitar to obtain a different sound from your guitar. All you have to do is replace your pickups if you want to improve or vary the sound your instrument produces. Electric guitar and electric bass guitars frequently use single coil pickups.
Humbuckers and single coils are the two types of guitars that have an amplified system. Single-coil types provide sharp, bright, expressive sounds, whilst humbuckers produce rich, heavy, less articulate sounds. Single coil pickups are most commonly linked with Fender Stratocaster guitars, although they’ve also been used in a variety of other guitars and musical genres.
Today, we’re going to speak about the greatest single-coil pickups on the market right now. While there are dozens of various models on the market, we put up this list to highlight some of the best-performing single coils in terms of pricing.
EMG SA Active Single Coil Guitar Pickup Set
- Combines the attributes of the early Strat sounds with added midrange response and higher output
- This gives the pickup "bell-like" harmonics and increased sustain
- This active single coil set, loaded with Alnico V bar magnets, sounds bright and airy with a rich bottom end
The EMG-SA single-coils are active pickups that give you a more powerful electric guitar. This, in turn, offers your sound a natural boost, resulting in a rounder, more projective tone. Keep in mind that active pickups run on 9v batteries, so you’ll need a lot of them for guitar pickups.
The EMG-SA has a vintage Stratocaster vibe about it, with a bright tone and a deep bass end. Because of its creamy mid-range, these pickups are also popular among blues guitarists. This causes it to have a character that is both warm and strong. These single-coil pickups are almost noiseless thanks to internal shielding. This is a significant benefit, as single-coils are notorious for causing hum. Its Alnico V magnet bar ensures that the overall output is consistent, allowing for excellent articulation and expression.
EMG-SA pickups are preferred by players like Steve Lukather and David Gilmour, so they must be doing something right. In comparison to other single-coils, I really like the fullness and warmth of these pickups. Very conducive to a bluesy, David Gilmour-style sound guitar tone. This is the Best Single Coil Pickups in 2023.
Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Pickups
- Set of 3 single-coil pickups designed in collaboration with world renowned guitarist Eric Johnson
- Hotter output bridge pickup than vintage-style pickups
- Highly dynamic, and balanced output for maximum versatility of creative expression
Eric Johnson, a legendary American guitarist, collaborated with Fender to create his distinctive single-coils. This results in a pickup that is a terrific mix of old Fender tone and Eric Johnson’s contemporary tone. These are among the best deals in pickup types available.
The tone of the neck pickup is close to that of a ’54 Stratocaster, while the tone of the middle pickup is similar to that of a ’63 Strat. They’re both made of Alnico III magnets. The bridge pickup, on the other hand, features an Alnico V magnet and a larger output without sacrificing the lovely top end.
The Fender Eric Johnson Signature Single-Coils provide a lot of expression and articulation, as well as a well-balanced output that provides you with everything you need for a lovely tone. This is the Best Single Coil Pickup in 2023.
Seymour Duncan APTL-3JD Jerry Donahue Model Tele Bridge Pickup
- Single Coil Telecaster Lead (Bridge) Pickup
- High Output, Increased Sustain
- Alnico 2 Rod Magnets
Jerry Donahue, a Telecaster virtuoso, sought a pickup that would duplicate the sound of his beloved ’52 Telecaster on all of his traveling guitars. You may not own a 1952 Telecaster, but if you’re seeking for a single-coil to add some searing vintage lead tones to your contemporary model, Seymour Duncan’s APTL-3JD is a fantastic place to start.
This single-coil, designed for the bridge, produces a warm but balanced tone that’s ideal for everything from country to classic rock, regardless of gain settings. When compared to stock pickups, the APTL-3JD offers high output, long sustain, and clarity, as well as a very good bass response, thanks to Alnico II rod magnets and a custom coil wind.
DiMarzio DP419 Area ’67 Hum Canceling Strat Pickup White
- Tone Guide Treble: 9.5 Mid: 4 Bass: 3
- The DiMarzio DP419 Area '67 is a hum canceling pickup that has the chime of '60s pickups, and its 2 and 4 positions are light, bright and quack-happy
- The Monterey Pop Festival of 1967 was a watershed event in American music
When Jimi Hendrix performed at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, the world saw (and heard!) the Stratocaster in a whole new light. The DiMarzio DP419 Area 67 is a tribute to the tight, bright, and crisp single-coil pickup sounds of the Summer of Love. The sound of this low-cost contemporary single-coil is quite natural and crisp, with a strong focus on the treble. Unlike the originals, though, DiMarzio pickup manufacturers has designed this to be completely silent in terms of background hum — and they succeed.
The middle or neck placements are ideal. It has a very plain appearance, with no branding and just a white or black plastic cover like a humbucker pickup. Just make sure you don’t light your instrument on fire by leaving these pickups in!
Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickup Set
- Produces the characteristics of a vintage-style Stratocaster.
- Offers increased output.
- Alnico V magnets with Polysol-coated magnet wire.
Fender’s Tex-Mex Strat Pickups are a great way to bring a 1960s flair to your Strat at an inexpensive price. The three single-coil pickups featured in this pack have a classic, straightforward design, with aged-white vinyl covers that add a vintage vibe to any Strat. Alnico V magnets wrapped in Formvar wire are found beneath the covers, and the bridge pickup is overwound for even more power. This all adds up to a bright, balanced, and focused tone that is unmistakably Strat.
They have a lovely clean sound to them, with a little of Texas crunch. Everything you’ll need to put this trio together is provided, and since you’re getting three pickups, this package is an excellent deal.
Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90 Dog Ear Pickup – Bridge
- Dog Ear P-90 Single-coil Bridge Pickup with Aged Look Tone
The Antiquity P-90 Dog Ear is a re-creation of the late 1950s Gibson sound. More specifically, they created these pickups to sound like the ES-330 pickups. They have a very pleasant, warm, and antique sound, with a current Gibson growl. Two highly calibrated Alnico II magnets are used in these Alnico II pickups, which operate well in both the neck and bridge positions. This P-90 has a rich, rounded, and sweet tone in the neck position, while it has more midrange at the bridge position. The Antiquity P-90 Dog Ear is a well-balanced pickup that works well with any form of music, making it one of the most versatile pickups on the market.