Guitar Pickups

Along with wood, size, and type of construction, a guitar's pickups contribute significantly to a guitar's tone. A Les Paul with P90 pickups will sound much different than a Les Paul with active humbuckers. Similarly, a Telecaster with humbucking pickups will have a completely different vibe than a Tele with single coils. Given the relative ease of transplant, installing different pickups is one quick way to experiment with different tones without changing instruments.

However, just because guitar pickups are easy to swap out doesn't mean the selection process is simple. Numerous variables go into making a guitar pickup unique, from the size and type of the magnet to the number of turns of copper and the shape of the coils themselves. Even the same make and model of pickup will have slight variations in sound. The best strategy for choosing replacement pickups, if needed, is to listen to as many sound samples as possible, especially with a setup that is close to your own. If possible, try to play various guitars with the pickups you want so you can hear how they sound in different instruments.

In the end, the large array of choices available make it likely that you will find a pickup or pickups that will work for you.