Installing a set of replacement pickups is a great way to alter your instrument's tone so that it better reflects your own personal taste and style. While most of today's stock pickups tend to offer superb construction and high quality tone, there's nothing wrong with wanting something a little different! Today, we want to take a look at a few quality humbuckers that specialize in recreating vintage dual-coil tones that pair perfectly with the signature sound of blues and rock.
Those looking for something definitely out of the ordinary will love what the SHPR-1s can bring to the table. These hybrid pickups will ensure that your guitar's tone is as versatile as it gets, taking several popular features of different pickups and putting them into a great, solid package. These pickups give you the vintage feel of the P-90s as well as the tone balance and flavor of a bluesy Stratocaster, something that normally would require three separate guitars to attain. Besides the blend of sought after specs, the entire product gives you a very sparkling and sustained sound when played clean and a nice fat tone when a bit of bass and gain is applied. For those of you a that love the sound of a humbucker that combines vintage tone with some modern character, Seymour Duncan’s SHPR-1 Hot Rails are just what you are looking for.
The SH-1 '59 is a versatile P.A.F. style humbucker that is a popular choice for country, jazz, blues, funk, classic rock and heavy rock. This neck humbucker boasts a vintage-correct Late '50s sound that offers plenty of warm, crystalline clean tones but can easily get full, bright and dirty when distorted. It also boasts a particularly smooth, natural sustain. Classic trimmings include plain enamel wire, long legged bottom plate, vintage single conductor cable and no logo. Perfect for players looking for a classic sound with modern versatility. They're Seymour Duncan's best selling pickup for a reason!
The PBF guitar pickup line is built to offer smooth, vintage humbucker tone that was born from a collaborative effort from Bill Bartolini and Ed Reynolds. The Vintage Pair the PBF-49 neck and PBF-51 bridge combination is intended for those players who seek the earlier vintage humbucker tonalities that come from windings near 7.5K-ohm for the neck pickup and just over 8K-ohm for the bridge pickup. The 49 and 51 provide much more focused and defined lows while retaining and improving the sweetness of the high end. The tone of the PBF series pickups is simply Bartolin's distillation of the best features of Vintage Humbucker tone. All PBF series pickups are cast in epoxy to remove unwanted feedback and microphonics.
If you're looking for authentic vintage humbucker tones, the Suhr DSV is just what the doctor ordered. Used by top pros who need to duplicate the classic sounds of an unforgettable era, the DSV humbucker has a broad sonic aperture with very little compression artifacts that typically afflict high-output pickups. The DSV is best known for its smoother highs and overall vintage feel. And with 30 years of research and development by John Suhr, you can be sure that the DSV humbucker offers the quality and workmanship that Suhr is known for. DSV Bridge pickups are available in both Fender-Style Trem Spacing (53mm) and Gibson-Style Spacing (50mm).
While EMG is better known for their high-gain centric active pickups, their H2 vintage passive humbucker is a great example of the company's versatility. The H2 employs modern technology without sacrificing the presence and open sound of the best vintage humbucker. This is EMG's "hot-rodded" passive model and is a favorite because it has the power of ceramic magnets in a vintage design. Solid clean tones, full distorted tones, and buttery highs define this versatile pickup. In the Bridge position you’ll get defined high gain lead sounds from the H2-B with no effort. This truly is the hot-rod of the HZ line and will make any guitar sing.
The Van Zandt Tru Bucker Vintage 4 Conductor humbucker pickup was built to capture the sound of a vintage Les Paul, 335 and other guitars that are famous for their use of the PAF pickup. These humbuckers offer a unique vintage sound with just a little more output than the originals, perfect for higher gain tones. Expect lots of top end shine with a thick bottom and plenty of attack. A great choice for rock, classic rock, blues, country and rock-a-billy. If you've never experienced the tone and craftsmanship that Van Zandt pickups are known for, the the Tru Bucker is an excellent place to start!
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