Most Underrated Pickups

red_bull

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2013
Messages
517
Reaction score
231
Ibanez V1/V2 get my vote.
No one talks about them and they can be had dirt cheap online.
But they're probably my all time favorite...not too overpowering like their more famous super 70 brethen.
Really excellent blend of compressed rock sound with excellent range and expression when you need and want it.
Loaded with harmonics for a passive.
I think they were supposed to be Ibanez answer to DiMarzio Super Distortion, which I also like. But the latter are higher output, and don't have the range.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

VictorB

Formerly LZF
Super Mod
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
37,451
Reaction score
86,109
Tom Short pickups. He doesn’t wind anymore, and they are extremely hard to find.

His Marc Ford humbuckers are incredible, there’s nothing like them being made anywhere.
 

flamesarewicked

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
1,520
Reaction score
2,147
I’d say for more affordable guitars I also vote for the Epiphone pro buckers.. I’m sure they could benefit from good pots and wiring and really shine. Most don’t bother and replace it all.

I’ve had some real nice higher end pickups.. Wizz, OX4, and Custom Shop Duncans and they sound great. for well under $200 a pair, Dimarzio makes some great affordable PAF options that I’ve noticed people overlook.
 

LtKojak

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
4,158
Reaction score
3,001
Duncan Designed HB101 set and the HB102N and HB103N (it's the same p'up with a different magnet).

If you change the Polepieces and Slugs with some of known metallurgy, the tonefootprint gets way past the "decent" attrubute.They also gracefully take magnet changes. The neck models sound great with A3, A2 and A4 magnets. The HB101B sounds great with A2, A4, A6 and A8 magnets.

OTOH, I'm not a fan of the HB102B and HB103B models (here too is the same p'up with a different magnet). They're a one-trick-pony, geared towards heavy music. Not my cup of tea.
 

dc007

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
1,373
Reaction score
2,447
Brandonwound pickups. Bang for the buck winner for me
 

bad565ss

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
820
Reaction score
1,279
Several Dimarzio pickups come to mind and I once used a set of A2 Tonerider pickups
that were really good and really cheap.
 

Leumas

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
13,496
Reaction score
14,746
Epiphone Probuckers.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with them, but everyone who buys a new Epiphone assumes they are crap and buys a new set.
My answer is almost identical...490r and 498t. I like them. They were stock for so long in so many guitars that people just rip them out. I swapped out pickups four or five times in my number one and eventually just put the original set back in because I loved how it sounded.
 

red_bull

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2013
Messages
517
Reaction score
231
Epiphone Probuckers.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with them, but everyone who buys a new Epiphone assumes they are crap and buys a new set.
Truth is Gibson burstbuckers and classic 57s are pretty poor imo. It's like they're trying to sound enhanced but in a mass produced way can't pull it off. Wouldn't surprise me at all if the the simpler Epiphone pups (which aren't trying to sound like something else) are actually better sounding pickups. I had a.gibson SG remake that played wonderfully but I decided to sell it all stock with the original classic 57s rather than modify with better pups and lower the value.
 
Last edited:

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
13,812
Reaction score
9,760
The stock ceramic singlecoils in MIM Tele's from a few years back.

They were loud and beefy, but not harsh. The ideal Tele singlecoil for a humbucker guy really. Even the neck wasn't too bad, which is usually a lowpoint for the Tele.
 

Stinky Kitty

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
8,001
Reaction score
11,511
Heritage HRW pickups.

Not cheap, if you can find them, and practically unknown even within the group of Heritage aficionados.
 

efstop

Premium Member
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
7,683
Reaction score
19,730
The stock ceramic singlecoils in MIM Tele's from a few years back.

They were loud and beefy, but not harsh. The ideal Tele singlecoil for a humbucker guy really. Even the neck wasn't too bad, which is usually a lowpoint for the Tele.
I have a '15 Standard Tele. I wonder if it has the pickups you speak of. I know it sounds good to me.
 

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
13,812
Reaction score
9,760
I have a '15 Standard Tele. I wonder if it has the pickups you speak of. I know it sounds good to me.
That was pretty close to the time-period that the loaded body came from.....so could well be!!
 

freefrog

Senior Member
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
777
The stock ceramic singlecoils in MIM Tele's from a few years back.

They were loud and beefy, but not harsh. The ideal Tele singlecoil for a humbucker guy really. Even the neck wasn't too bad, which is usually a lowpoint for the Tele.
A few Fender ceramic mags for single coils have been tested with our local lab meter. They were way less magnetized than some Epiphone ceramic bars took for reference and on par with the stock ceramic bar of a Duncan Custom.
IOW: these Fender mags had been properly charged.

So and although a pickup can't be reduced to its mag(s), I'm not surprised by your testimonial. :)

The coils of such PU's give useable dummy coils, too.
 

northernguitarguy

SWeAT hOg
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
35,028
Reaction score
61,838
My answer is almost identical...490r and 498t. I like them. They were stock for so long in so many guitars that people just rip them out. I swapped out pickups four or five times in my number one and eventually just put the original set back in because I loved how it sounded.
Yeah, around these parts, folks love to trumpet how much they dislike them. I think they sound great for Hard Rock, some Metal, Classic Rock, '90's Alternative, etc. However, I know a few killer players who don't even think about these things and make their guitars sing with these pups.
 




Top