Poll. Best Pickup Builder / Brands? Price No Object.Your Favorite Five?

The Five Best Sounding, Highest Quality Pickup Builders / Brands Available?

  • Fender

  • Gibson

  • Ibanez

  • Reverend

  • Suhr

  • Rickenbacker

  • Seymour Duncan

  • DiMarzio

  • Bare Knuckle

  • Fralin

  • Porter

  • Lollar

  • Tom Anderson

  • ThroBak

  • Klein

  • Van Zandt

  • Cecca

  • Fishman

  • Coils Boutique

  • Tom Hatch

  • Revel

  • Creamery

  • Vaughn Skow

  • O. C. Duff

  • Kinman

  • Amalfitano

  • Lace

  • House of Tone

  • Soul Tone

  • Jim Wagner (JWP)

  • Nick Silver

  • Rio Grande

  • Dark Moon

  • Tone Specific

  • Tom Holmes

  • Curtis Novak

  • T V Jones

  • Wolfetone

  • GFS

  • PRS

  • Lambertone

  • Lundgren

  • DeArmond

  • other

  • Don Mare

  • Cavalier

  • Bootstrap

  • Lawrence

  • Q

  • Vineham

  • Haeussel

  • Wilde

  • Danelectro

  • Epiphone

  • Ron Ellis

Results are only viewable after voting.


Friend of Leo's
Platinum Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
O'Fallon, MO
Choose the five pickup builders / brands that, in your opinion, build the finest sounding, highest quality pickups available for purchase. Price is no object. Whether you can afford them or not. Not necessarily what you own. Maybe pickups you aspire to one day own. If a friend was going to build the finest guitar possible ........ what five pickup builders / brands would you recommend? I beg you excuse me if your favorites aren't listed. There are just so many options. If yours isn't listed please use the "other" selection and name it in your reply. Oh. Yes. You can change your votes down the road should your opinion change. Please check out all the options before picking your five favorites. If you want to view the results you need to vote.

Si G X

Friend of Leo's
Dec 8, 2019
Why? What's wrong with a personal choice of five favorites?

So it's changed to our personal favourites?

rather than "the finest sounding, highest quality pickups available" ... "Not necessarily what you own" which is pretty much impossible to answer. I don't really have an opinion on the quality of pickups I've never owned.

Rickenbacker make the best Rickenbacker pickups though, so should I chose them or not?

Also a company like Duncan make such a wide range of pickups, some of them I would really like and others I would probably really dislike, so how does that fit into the 'personal favourites' or 'finest sounding'

If I give you answers they will literally just be what I think are companies that make a cool sounding pickup that I like and that is probably most of them.

...also popularity contests usually have very little to do with what is actually 'good' or 'high quality'


Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
Manassas Park, VA
I could vote only on the pickups I've actually used, and liked. ( a pretty small sampling as I've not tried many)

-Fender ( Fat '50's in my Strat)
-Lollar ( P-90's)
-Fralin ( Vintage Hot. P-90's)
and, other:
- the Epiphone Alnico Pro humbuckers in my SG - quite a surprise!
- the lipstick pickups in my Danelectro

Cali Dude

May 20, 2020
Lollar pickups have been a real eye opener for me. I put a set into a Hamer years ago. They have spoiled me for any other humbucker maker.


Friend of Leo's
Platinum Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
O'Fallon, MO
Si G X,
Many players are exposed to pickups that they don't actually own. Band mates sometimes swap guitars. Friends borrow friends guitars. Some studios rent guitars. Maybe you've demoed the same guitar a half dozen times because you loved the pickups but just couldn't get around the look or shape of the instrument. Over the years I've been exposed to hundreds of models from dozens of builders / brands but have probably owned less than 1 in 5 of them and now own less than 10 different brands in total. Tonal quality. Build quality. Hardware quality. Does the brand offer a lifetime warranty. You don't have to own or currently play a brand of pickups to have an opinion of them.

I've added the brands mentioned by others. Anyone who sees their choice become listed can change their vote from "other" to the added brand.

Polls are meant to be informative, (with a grain of salt as is any list found on the internet), and fun. They expose people to brands they haven't looked into yet. Debating the pros and cons in a friendly manner. Telling a story of how you stumbled on this or that one. Maybe which guitar did you find these pickups in. Do any guitar brands use them as stock. Collings uses certain pickup brands pretty consistently as does Heritage, Ibanez and many others. I wouldn't want to recommend something for a friends special build that doesn't meet my own criteria for a similar project. I'd want it to be built to last forever and sound wonderful to my ears. I'd want to give a dependable recommendation.

I too don't like lists of the Best 100 or Top 10 of this or that because often times it's just some "ones" opinion and who knows what the motives behind the list are. Were they paid to create this list? Are they promoting rather than listing? Who knows. I like polls taken among people I've come to trust. Forums that have shown a quality of opinion on specific subjects. While I've never met any of our members in person I've come to trust many of their opinions whether I'd agreed with them or not. Sometimes I've learned from investigating their take on the subject. Plus, polls are a compilation of many true members opinions rather than a list by a handful of writers and editors working on who knows what agenda. Here it's members trying to help members. Having fun. Enjoying the exchange.


Friend of Leo's
Jun 22, 2021
Well I can only speak to what I know. And price is a factor lol. But I’ve always liked Seymour Duncan’s. Their Jerry Donahue bridge is one of my favorites. But I was blown away by the set of Bootstrap pickups I got.