Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

HH Budget Pickup Suggestions

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Dan Spiffy Neuman, May 17, 2018 at 12:41 AM.

  1. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Meister

    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    Looking for suggestions for a set of low budget humbucker pickups for a PRS or LP style guitar.

    - Bright is good. Not looking for mellow, I have hollowbodies for that.
    - Low output doesnt matter. In fact, since my rig is designed for single coils, it's kind of a plus.
    - Something that sounds markedly different than normal is also a plus. In addition to the hollowbodies I also have a Les Paul, a PRS copy, an HH strat copy, and an HHH strat copy, so something that WOULDNT make this guitar sound like any of them (or my strats and teles) is good.

    The pickups that are in there currently are mellow and dont sound different enough from my hollowbodies.

  2. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Meister

    Feb 11, 2006
    What's "low budget" to you?

    GFS has several good choices. Their gold foil-ish ones would be a good choice if you want bright and low output.

    Guitar Madness on eBay also has some decent choices as well, maybe their P94 clone if you want something different.

    Even lower than that, on eBay and Amazon, you can get inexpensive Artec pickups direct from Chinese sellers as well as some even cheaper.
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.

  3. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Holic

    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    Guitar Madness' Dirty Digits are awesome. Available on eBay for less than $30 a set!

    On my epi, I put in the Dirty Digits high output bridge for gnarly gains and the humbucker sized P94 on the neck for dreamy cleans.

    Thisvis my sample of the gainy Dirty Digits bridge and clean P-94 neck towards the end.

    They have lots of other options to choose from at a very affordable price that you can try a bunch and toss or save for later!

    The owner is very knowledgeable too.

    I do not work for them. But, I have their rail humbucker which is really good too!
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.

  4. SamIV

    SamIV Tele-Meister

    May 14, 2011
    South Louisiana
    I bought a set of Guitar Madness 57’s I think they are called. A little bright sounding in the guitar I put them in, low output and Alnico II’s. Sound quite nice for under thirty.

  5. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I don't miss the days of having to spend $60-$70 for a decent pickup.

  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    I swap out the usual suspects for these pickups -- this Tele of mine had a Seymour Duncan 'upgrade' when I got it. Generally $15 a pair on ebay in red/black zebra, cream/black zebra, all black, or silver covered. They are unmarked and several sellers who buy in bulk batches sell them but sellers change so any links are fleeting.

    I find these pickups have half the internal capacitance of the usual ones, as if they are hand-wound instead of machine wound.

    However, you can do a few mods on your guitar and keep the production pickups.

    Neck pickup raise the screw poles in a Strat stagger pattern and lower the whole pickup the same amount, you'll get hum relief but more of a single coil tone. I do the same but keep the screw poles even across when raised and more of a Tele/P90 bridge tone.

    A series 0.047uF capacitor on the hot lead of a muddy pickup will cut the internal capacitance and operate more like a hand scatter-wound pickup.

    Higher measured kohm volume pot than what may be in there (it may say 500k but factory tolerance is 20% range around that).

    Go with a 0.033uF tone cap instead of the stock 0.047uF you may have (and then reserve that 0.047uF for the series mod).


  7. J-fish

    J-fish Tele-Meister

    Jan 1, 2014
    Tuscany, Italy
    Following the description of the pickups you did in your post, I would suggest a pair of Dimarzio EJ custom. Low output, bright humbucker, and I mean bright, not jangly but a true step farther from mellow jazzy humbuckers.
    The Dimarzio Super 2 should be very bright, too, but also high output.
    When I had the EJ pickups in a Les Paul, a friend of mine once said, "it doesn't sound like a Les Paul no more, but the tone is to die for, especially the neck".
    Obviously tastes are tastes... I hear that Donlis humbuckers sound fantastic and that their low output PAF versions are quite bright, but I haven't played with those, yet.
    Jakedog likes this.

  8. TheOneFatGuy

    TheOneFatGuy Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 28, 2012
    I had a guitar with IronGear pickups for a while - cheap but British made and sounded great. They have sound clips on their site - maybe they’ll have something to suit you

  9. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    Tonerider ,i suggest Rocksongs ,superb ,very high quality but reasonable price.Fender use their singles under their own name in Classic Vibes .
    Shango66 and dankilling like this.

  10. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2015
    I do. Pickups that used to be $60 are now $150-200.
    But I'm pretty happy with this cavalier pickup for $60, do maybe happy days are here again.

  11. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    If you want really different, try mini-humbuckers. If you have full-sized pickup rings you can find adapters on
    bgmacaw likes this.

  12. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2015

    A non-specific suggestion: what about hb sized single coils?
    I'd like to try one of Eastwood's Supro/national/valco style pickups. I've not used them, but I love the originals.
    Its a sound you don't have.

  13. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    The last "brand name" humbucker I ever purchased was a Seymour Duncan for my old Les Paul. It sounded great, but cost about $70 (1997 or 1998). A few years ago I bought three DiMarzio HS strat pickups (the ones Malmsteen used to use), at about $30 each, used. These days it's rare that I would spend over $20 for a new pickup.

  14. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

  15. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Meister

    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    I had no idea pickups were so cheap now. My idea of budget was $100 for the set or less, but now I see you can get sets on eBay for $20-30. For that I can try a few!

    I want to try a couple Guitar Madness based on your recommendations. Maybe a set of P90s and something else. The Dirty Digits, based on the resistance, will be too hot. What do they have that's more vintage?

  16. reactor99

    reactor99 TDPRI Member

    Jan 1, 2017
    Georgia, USA
    You might consider the Wilde L-90. I think they meet your criteria, and they're the best priced US made humbuckers you can find. I enjoy mine; they're so versatile.
    Edit: *almost* the lowest price US bucker
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 2:55 PM
    Derek Kiernan likes this.

  17. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Meister

    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    Actually at $60 each they're just over my max budget of $100. But I do love the WBL pickups I've tried.

  18. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

    Look into Toneriders -- they are great value for $. Artec also has some nice sets (many are very close to GFS items as they manufacture for GFS).

  19. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Meister

    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    Yeah I've been looking into Artec and Guitar Madness on eBay

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