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


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telemnemonics

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New issue. Could someone tell me why the poll won't accept any more selections? We have 55 so far and there are still requests being made for pickup builders / brands to be added to the poll. I'd very much like to continue doing so. Is there an admin or mod who could help with this? Please?
Rick
Just speculating but there is a 24 hour editing period on posts after which no edits are accepted.
Or it may be the page space or number of options is maxed?
Some brands are obscure enough that I never saw the name and zero members like them, maybe try editing the obscure unloved brands out and replacing them with requests?
 

telemnemonics

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More like Fano vs Novo, or Dean vs Dean Zelinsky, I think.
Right, I guess lots of brands lost the creator, like MXR that was great and Dunlop turned mediocre while (MXR founder designer) Whirlwind started up again making great pedals but everybody kept buying the Dunlop.

Personally I prefer Leo era Fender but it took a while for CBS to screw up the pickups, and now Fender pickups are great again, if you know which ones to buy that suit you.

IDK Fano vs Novo.
 

Bruxist

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Right, I guess lots of brands lost the creator, like MXR that was great and Dunlop turned mediocre while (MXR founder designer) Whirlwind started up again making great pedals but everybody kept buying the Dunlop.

Personally I prefer Leo era Fender but it took a while for CBS to screw up the pickups, and now Fender pickups are great again, if you know which ones to buy that suit you.

IDK Fano vs Novo.

I have had 2 sets of Fender alnico tele pickups (from the era where they used the same model number for Mex and US) and I am amazed how good they sound. A little lower output for my personal preferences, but excellent all the same.

IIRC, Dennis Fano founded Fano Guitars, sold them, then started Novo Guitars.
 

effzee

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Other — because these are the only non-stock pickups I've used:


Super Paul Bunyans in my Hwy1 Texas Tele (did away with the grease bucket wiring) sound great, although I'm looking into ways to mellow them down a bit because I'm playing different music now than when I bought them
 

Humbuckers

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Other — because these are the only non-stock pickups I've used:


Super Paul Bunyans in my Hwy1 Texas Tele (did away with the grease bucket wiring) sound great, although I'm looking into ways to mellow them down a bit because I'm playing different music now than when I bought them

How do the Super Paul Bunyans compare to the original high output pickups that came with the Texas Tele?
 

effzee

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How do the Super Paul Bunyans compare to the original high output pickups that came with the Texas Tele?
Youch, it's been ten years and I swapped the pick-ups almost immediately after getting the guitar. They drive the amp harder, which is what I wanted at the time. I had an H&K EL84 amp and wanted more overdriven sound. The original Hot Vintage pickups are really well balanced and I can remember thinking they sounded a lot better on the clean channel but didn't push the overdrive the way I wanted.

I might just put them back in the guitar though. I use a 100W Boss Katana now and I'm not happy with the basic tone in getting.
 

Lou Tencodpees

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Haven't tried them all but went with the 5 that come to mind, in no particular order. (Just realize I've got 6 and can't remember who I excluded).

Fender (I think their Nocaster pickups are really good).

Gibson (the stock P90's in my 50's Trib haven't been equaled yet)

Fralin (Real 54's are my #1 favorite pickup of all time)

Wilde (best Noisefree pickups I've tried)

Lollar (I can't remember if it was the Vintage T or Special T but in hindsight they squeaked out most everyone else)

Other: Rumplestiltskin. Custom wind in my Tele and ain't goin' nowhere. Custom A5s in a Strat and also staying put. I'm honored to have Aaron's work in my guitars. I really should've had him wind me some A3's and see how they compare to Fralin Real 54's.

Honorable mention: Stewmac Parson Street humbuckers. I have an A2 neck/A5 bridge in a Partscaster and love em.

Stewmac Golden Age Strat pickups. Don't know if it's the pickups or their host but they sound dandy and warm-ish.

Kent Armstrong Stealth 90's. As close as you can get to real P90'S without the noise.

GFS Lil Puncher. Not been a fan of the previous pickups I've tried but it pairs really well with a Kent Armstrong Stealth 90.

Bootstrap. Fine pickups at an inexplicable price. Their lack of communication is equally inexplicable.
 

Endless Mike

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The only maker I've ever stuck with has been Cavalier. Aside from that, there's a Canadian winder/maker, Pickup Wizard, who is the only brand I've ever liked nearly as much as Cavalier. Notice I said "nearly"
 

arlum

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Wow. So far it seems my own pickup choices are either very unpopular or "not well known". At least the favorite I've been associated with for the longest time, Rio Grande, (Stratocaster type single coils in this case), pulled in 10% of the vote. My current favorite, for all Telecaster and Stratocaster single coil pickups, Klein, is at 3.8%. Wow. I really love Klein pickups. My favorite humbuckers for use with high gain tube amps, using only the tube amps internal pre and post gain, (No gain pedals in the signal chain), Wolftone, is also sitting at 3.8%. :rolleyes: I don't own or use Tone Specific pickups but I've borrowed and played guitars with this brand loaded in them and they impressed me enough that I included them in my choices. They never sounded "Me", but they really sounded like pickups many folks would consider excellent. Maybe I was wrong. They're sitting at 2.5%. Lastly, the maker of my very very favorite humbucker for Les Paul guitars, the Godwood built by Jim Wagner, (JWP), sits at 1.3%. Just my vote all by itself. I thought to put up a sad face but then got to thinking ..... This is the pickup set I've always wanted for my personal signature Les Paul. I would be proud to have a signature Les Paul sporting a set of pickups than are tonally different, (and better in my opinion), than any others available for this build type. In my own small way I did this by purchasing a Les Paul Traditional, (zero weight relief / true solid body), with a hand selected quilt maple top from Wildwood Guitars and then installing the Jim Wagner Godwood set http://www.jimwagnerpickups.com/godwood_set followed by a very special wiring harness from ThroBak. https://www.throbak.com/wiring-harnesses.html . Perfection.

I don't want folks to think I don't like some of the more popular brands or lesser priced brands. I've owned / still own guitars sporting DiMarzio, Breed (original version of the with alnico V magnets rather than the ceramics that came in later versions), Fred, (designed for the bridge but I use it in the neck position for unreal harmonics), Evo 2 bridge, Super 3 bridge, Red Velvet strat type single coil for a middle position on an H-S-H configured 1989 RG, and a Blue Velvet strat type middle pickup for the same purpose in a 2002 Ibanez JEM DBK. I use a pair of Seymour Duncan pickups in another Ibanze model. The Alnico II Pro in the neck and the Custom Custom in the bridge. My Rickenbacker 12 String, of course, uses the stock "toaster" pickups that came with it and I would never change them out. My Gibson Custom Shop CS-336 from Wildwood Guitars came with a set of Wildwood spec. Gibson CS pickups that, again, I would never swap out. Not because it might lesson the value. I don't give a darn about resale value. I just think they're the best Gibson made humbuckers I've ever owned. Prior to discovering the Jim Wagner Godwood my favorite humbucker was the Lollar Imperial, (low wind). I've kept the original 3 single coil Suhr pickups in my Suhr Custom T and the original pickups in both of my Melancon T-style guitars. Lastly, I've used Fralin pickups in Telecasters I know longer own. The were much better than what came stock and I really enjoyed them a lot until I discovered Klein. For me .... Klein now owns this spot.
 

ReverendRevolver

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In a traditional single coil for a Fender, I can't see how any are better quality than Bootstrap.

Well. ... Bootstrap doesn't make 'tron style pickups.

That's it. Lace and a few Duncans (p-rails, blades) also have offerings Bootstrap doesn't. They focus on thier less "out there" stuff. So for ANYTHING you'd want from a snake oil and unobtainium style boutique maker for a large sum of money, there's no reason to choose anything other than Bootstrap.
Other companies seem more "exotic ", but pound for pound, the Bootstraps sound better. I can't justify spending more money to sound less good, so Bootstrap on anything they offer. I've not dealt with thier whole range, but if my Duncan is broke-broke in my Mustang, it's getting replaced by one of thier HB-90s. They don't do mustang pickups, but I got mine from Buddha before the stopped making pickups. But all regular fender or gibson pickups, other than 'stang or dynasonic, they do better than other places.
 




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