Choosing The Right Guitar Pickups


If you're on the lookout for single coil pickups, you've come to the right place! Below, we take a look at things you should think about before choosing the right set of single coils.

Single-Coil Humbuckers

There is no shortage of aftermarket single coil replacement pickups, but there are a few things you should know when shopping for single coil replacements. Many of these are true single coil pickups, but there are also pickups that are designed to be noise-cancelling, similar to a humbucker. These pickups have been designed to have the functionality of a humbucker but to fit into the cavity of a guitar that only fits single coils.

There are two types of single coil sized noise-cancelling pickups: Stacks and Single-Coil Sized Humbuckers. Stacks are single coils that sound just like regular single coils, but that cancel out the electric hum. A single-coil sized humbucker is designed to SOUND like a humbucker, not a single coil, and also has the function of canceling the electric hum.


stk-6s classic stacks

STK-S6B Custom Stack Plus @ $85.00. A noiseless version of the popular SSL-5 Custom Staggered for Strat pickup, the Custom Stack Plus will give you all of the extra output and drive without losing that unique Stratocaster voice. The low notes are tight and snappy but the high end is focused without being overly bright, and the midrange has a slight vocal quality that adds an extra layer of expression to your sound. And it's dead quiet. This pickup is designed to look like a traditional Strat single coil, and it works great in the neck, middle, or bridge positions, or you can pair it with the Classic Stack Plus Strat in the neck and middle positions.

Click here for more single-coil stacks!



High Output vs Vintage Pickups

Determining the level of pickup output you need is dependent upon your playing style, and the tone you are searching for.

High output pickups distort easily, whereas Vintage pickups can be played louder without distorting. By sending a stronger signal to the amp, less effort is required to create distortion with a high-output pickup.

What this means, is that with the same amp, on the same settings, a hotter (higher output) pickup will distort, whereas a vintage pickup may still sound clean. In fact, depending on your amp, your vintage pickups may not distort at all.

You can get any pickups to sound distorted, by using effects pedals and cranking your amp past the clean level. On the other hand, you can also get high-output pickups to produce super clean sounds by pairing them with an amp that is designed to stay clean and not produce distortion.


Final Thoughts ...

As with the other elements of pickup construction, what you choose depends on what you want out of your sound. If you play softly or fingerpick, but still want a ton of sound, then a high-output pickup could be perfect for you. But, if you like to vary your attack on the strings and want to have dynamic control over your volume and tone depending on how hard or soft you play, then a vintage pickup would work better.



Your Turn to Sound Off!

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