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Top 10 Best Humbucker Pickups For All Budgets 2020 Review

When it comes to the sound of an electric guitar, there is nothing more distinct than a humbucker pickup.

They were designed as an alternative to the single-coil and P90 pickups that were used on the first electric guitars in the 1950s. Their main advantage was hum cancellation. Hence, the name “humbucker”. They essentially buck off the hum.

Smooth as silk…

Humbucker pickups also offer a distinctly warm, fat, and detailed tone. Where the single-coil pickups were noisy and had lots of bite, humbuckers were a more smoothed out sound.

With the introduction of humbucker pickups, the world of electric guitar, and hollow body archtops were changed forever.

The problem is choosing the right humbucker pickup for your guitar. But, luckily for you, we have put together a list of the best humbucker pickups that are currently on the market.

So, let’s go through them and find the perfect humbucker for you…

Best Humbucker Pickups

Top 10 Best Humbucker Pickups On The Market Reviews


1 EMG 85 Active Guitar Humbucker Bridge/Neck Pickup, Black – Best Humbucker Pickup for Metal

Starting off, we have a humbucker pickup that can be used in the neck or bridge position. And a slightly more talented version of the EMG 81.

Tough growl with smooth leads…

This pickup features Alnico V magnets, which work to provide you with excellent tone and versatility. From mellow blues rhythms to over-the-top-metal riffs, this pickup delivers a detailed sound for any musical style.

Additionally, the close aperture coils help provide clarity and dynamic response. As a result, you get a more natural tone.

Likewise, magnet and coil combinations provide you with a hefty low-end and a thick top-end. This makes it a great pickup for blues and rhythm. It got plenty of output without getting muddy.

Solderless installation…

This pick can be used in either the neck or bridge position. With EMG’s solderless installation, it is very easy to swap your pickups at home.

This pickup can be paired with any other kind of humbucker, most often an EMG 85. It’s also more versatile than most humbuckers, so depending on your style, you’ll need to decide if you want it in the neck or bridge position.

Metal monster…

In fact, Ozzy sideman and Black Label Society frontman, Zakk Wylde, uses the EMG 85 as a bridge pickup in combination with an 81 in the neck.

EMG 85 Active Guitar Humbucker Bridge/Neck Pickup, Black
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Alnico V magnets.
  • Close aperture coils.
  • Beefy and thick.
  • Can be used in either the neck or bridge position.
  • Solderless installation.
  • Great for rhythm and blues styles.

Cons

  • Tends to overpower other humbucker pickups.

2 Gibson ’57 Classic Plus Humbucker Pickup, Nickel – Best Humbucker Pickups for Les Paul

Next up, we have a recreation of the legendary 1957 classic humbucker pickup.

The perfect bridge position pickup…

Modeled on the pickup that started a revolution, this humbucker oozes vintage tones. With a few extra turns of the wire, the output is higher. However, there is no loss of tone quality and overall richness.

Furthermore, the extra wiring works to level-out the overdrive on tube preamps. This, in turn, allows for great oversaturation without being overpowering.

A classic, smooth, natural tone…

This humbucker features special Alnico II magnets. It also uses nickel-plated pole pieces and nickel slugs. Additionally, it uses maple spacers, which help to maintain a smooth, natural classic tone.

This humbucker pickup is available with gold-plated covers, nickel-plated covers, and open coils.

It is an absolutely fantastic pickup for rock and roll styles, as well as blues rhythms. And is easily the best replacement humbucker pickup for a Gibson Les Paul if you’re looking for that classic sound.

Gibson ’57 Classic Plus Humbucker Pickup, Nickel
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Recreation of the classic 1957 Gibson humbucker pickup.
  • Special Alnico II magnets.
  • Enamel-coated wiring.
  • Sweet overdriven tone and sound.
  • Maple spacers.
  • Nickel-plated poles.

Cons

  • A little bit pricey.
  • Installation can be tricky.

3 Kmise Zebra Faced Humbucker Double Coil Pickups For Electric Guitar Pickup (Black & Cream) – Best Value for the Money Humbucker Pickup

Now we have a very affordable humbucker pickup, that can be used in either the bridge or neck position.

Sweet sounds, super value…

This humbucker set is surprisingly powerful and clear. However, the best part is the price. For a fraction of the cost of most pickups, you can have an amazing tone and clarity.

The poles are solid nickel. This helps to maintain a smooth and detailed signal tone. They also feature fully waxed pots and sealing. These humbuckers also use ceramic magnets. As a result, they provide you with a very bright and clear tone. However, they still offer smooth and beefy low-ends along with detailed mid-range tones.

Classic Zebra design…

They are open-faced and feature black and cream colors. And will fit most guitars. And with their smooth tone, they might be considered the best humbucker pickups for blues on a budget.

Overall, these humbuckers are causing quite a stir with their level of performance at such a low price.

Kmise Zebra Faced Humbucker Double Coil Pickups For Electric Guitar Pickup (Black & Cream)
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Amazing clarity and power.
  • A set of bridge and neck humbucker pickups.
  • Double coil.
  • Ceramic magnets.
  • Solid nickel poles.
  • Great value for your money.

Cons

  • Installation can be a bit tricky.
  • There are some concerns over quality control, but they are very inexpensive.

4 Seymour Duncan 11205-02 SHR-1b Hot Rails Strat Guitar Pickup Bridge Black – Best Humbucker Pickup for Strats

Need a humbucker with a fantastic output, that has been designed to fit in single-coil slots? Then the Seymour Duncan 11205-02 SHR-1b could well be the one for you.

Blade design…

The Hot Rails features a blade design. This allows it to be used in single coil slots. And it has been specifically designed for use as a bridge pickup for Stratocasters. This means you won’t have to cut a bigger hole in your guitar. Plus, when used with a single-coil neck pickup, you can coax some unique tones.

The two thin blades feature coil windings that deliver superb sustain and a thick sound. Therefore, it is ideal for heavier rock styles.

Maximum output…

Furthermore, this pickup offers one of the highest outputs from any Seymour Duncan pickup. The response is incredible, and even the slightest movement is captured with detailed clarity.

When used with a single-coil neck pickup, there is noticeable noise and hum elimination, which is always a bonus. It is not incorrect to say it is easily one of the best humbucker pickups for strat you can buy. In fact, this pickup can bring new life to your Strat!

Seymour Duncan 11205-02 SHR-1b Hot Rails Strat Guitar Pickup Bridge Black
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Fits into single-coil slots.
  • Very high output.
  • Incredibly responsive.
  • A lot of sustain.
  • Thick and detailed sound.
  • Works to eliminate noise and hums.

Cons

  • Only works with Stratocasters or other single-coil guitars.
  • Expensive.

5 Seymour Duncan SH13 Dimebucker Dimebag Darrell Pickup – (New) – Best Humbucker Pickup for Thrash

A signature humbucker pickup. Designed to recreate the sound made famous by Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell.

The perfect metal pickup…

This specialty humbucker pickup boasts hard and heavy crunch. It is an aggressive, high-output pickup with plenty of high-end bite.

However, it also offers awesome clarity and response, and will deliver a punchy low-end coupled with incredible dynamics.

Secret schematics…

This humbucker owes its tone and attitude to its design. It uses a ceramic magnet paired with stainless steel blades.

The key to recreating the undeniable Dimebag sound is a small piece of metal in the core. As a result, this pickup offers high DC resistance and a high resonance peak.

Superb for aggressive chugging…

Handmade in California, it includes a custom mounting ring and detailed instructions. Along with the EMG 85, this could be the best humbucker pickup for metal.

For the true metal lover, this is one humbucker not to be missed.

Seymour Duncan SH13 Dimebucker Dimebag Darrell Pickup - (New)
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Built to recreate the sound of Dimebag Darrell.
  • High-output and awesome clarity.
  • Punchy and full of bite.
  • Made for heavy rock and metal musical styles.
  • Handmade in the US.

Cons

  • Not ideal for blues or funk musical styles.
  • Installation can be difficult.

6 DiMarzio {FEEDTITLE} Electric Guitar Gig Bag (DP100FBK) – Best Classic Humbucker Pickup

Next, in our round-up of the Best Humbucking Pickups, we have one of the first replacement pickups ever made. Modeled on the original from the 1970s, this humbucker is built for overdrive.

Power and tone…

This humbucker pickup is designed to push a tube amp into pure overdriven bliss. It delivers balanced tones in a classic fashion. Thick lows, gnarly highs, and a boosted midrange will fill the room.

Furthermore, this humbucker is the standard for all other high-out pickups. It continues to lead the competition for unbridled overdrive tones and sounds.

The pickup choice of guitar legends…

In fact, this pickup has been used by Ace Frehley and Paul Gilbert. As well as having a long history as one of the go-to choices for a number of other great artists.

Being suitable for a number of different styles, this is easily one of the best humbucker pickups for classic rock.

DiMarzio {FEEDTITLE} Electric Guitar Gig Bag (DP100FBK)
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Built to be overdriven on tube amps.
  • Classic tone and sounds.
  • Well-balanced and versatile.
  • Split and series-parallel modes.
  • Four conductor wiring.

Cons

  • Does not include mounting screws.

7 Seymour Duncan SH8 Invader Humbucker Bridge Pickup – Most Powerful Humbucker Pickup

A humbucker pickup that has a sound to match its looks.

Hot and powerful…

This humbucker features three large ceramic magnets. This means it has some added juice. The three magnets work to create a wider electromagnetic field. This, in turn, provides you with greater amounts of power and responsiveness.

Additionally, this humbucker pickup uses hot coils. As a result, you are getting more punch sent to your amp. The overall effect is to deliver a distinct sound and brightness in clarity.

Versatile and practical…

Despite its power, this humbucker still cancels-out any hum or noise. Plus, it can be used in either the bridge or neck position.

Along with the twelve black oxide screw caps, this is one mean looking and sounding humbucker.

Seymour Duncan SH8 Invader Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Three ceramic magnets.
  • Hot coils.
  • Wider electromagnetic field.
  • Powerful and punchy.
  • Clear and bright.
  • Can be used in either neck or bridge position.
  • Hum canceling.

Cons

  • A little pricey.
  • Can tend to get muddy with high gain and overdrive tones.

8 EVH Frankenstein Humbucker Pickup – Best Signature Humbucker Pickup

Next, we have a homage to the legendary sound created by Eddie Van Halen.

Frankenstein lives…

This particular pickup is wound in the same way as Eddie’s first Frankenstein humbucker pickup. And it has been built to fit any humbucker pickup style guitar.

Ideally, this pickup should be used in the bridge position. Although, it does include a ceramic magnet so it can be used in the neck position if you prefer? However, it is not ideal in the neck position if used on single-coil pickup style guitars, such as a Stratocaster.

Stunning harmonics…

Being an EVH style pickup, it delivers a rich and detailed sound. It can get pretty lively and accentuates the natural harmonics.

This humbucker has all the chops for 80s heavy rock and metal styles. It gives you bright and crispy leads with heavy chugging rhythm riffs.

EVH Frankenstein Humbucker Pickup
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • An exact recreation of the original Frankenstein pickup.
  • Excellent response and sustain.
  • Accentuates natural harmonics.
  • Great for heavy rock and metal musical styles.

Cons

  • A little bit overpriced.
  • Only works in humbucker pickup style guitars.

9 Benedetto S-6 Jazz/Archtop Alnico 5 Humbucker Guitar Pickup, Black – Best Jazz Humbucker Pickup

Now we have a change of pace away from stadium rock to a humbucker pickup designed especially for hollow body archtop guitars.

Natural voicing…

With this humbucker, you are going to get the most natural tone from your hollow body. And it is meant to amplify an acoustic, more than making your guitar electric. As a result, the tone and sound of this humbucker are mellow and organic. It works to coax the natural tones from the wood of your guitar.

You can expect a balanced, rich, and warm tone. The true essence of your archtop will shine through.

Smooth and elegant…

It features an Alnico 5 bar magnet and single conductor coaxial wiring. It also comes with a black ebonova cover for an elegant appearance.

Handmade in the US, this floating humbucker is the perfect archtop companion.

Benedetto S-6 Jazz/Archtop Alnico 5 Humbucker Guitar Pickup, Black
Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros

  • Natural voicing.
  • Enhances the tone of the wood of the guitar.
  • Mellow, warm, and bright tones.
  • Alnico 5 bar magnet.
  • Easy to install.
  • Made in the US.

Cons

  • Only for use with archtop hollow-body guitars.

10 FOXNOVO Professional Sealed Humbucker Pickups Set for Gibson Epiphone Les Paul Guitars (Black) – Best Budget Humbucker Pickup

And finally, we have a set of humbucker pickups made for Gibson and Epiphone Les Paul guitars.

Affordable replacement humbuckers…

This pair of humbucker pickups works to recreate the classic, warm sound of early Gibson humbuckers. However, they have just a little bit more output. This means you are going to have a bit more punch and crunch.

These pickups do a great job of reducing and eliminating hum and noise. They have been triple waxed and vacuum sealed. The result is a clear and clean signal that is detailed.

FOXNOVO Professional Sealed Humbucker Pickups Set for Gibson Epiphone Les Paul Guitars (Black)
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • The warm sound of classic Gibson humbuckers.
  • Added output for greater punch.
  • Hum-cancelling.
  • Very inexpensive.

Cons

  • Only for use with Les Paul style guitars.
  • Housing is plastic.

Best Humbucker Pickups Buyer’s Guide

Best Humbucker Pickups

Replacing or upgrading your humbucker pickups doesn’t have to be a hassle. Now that you know all about the best humbucker pickup, we have a few things to add.

Always check if the humbucker you choose will actually fit your guitar. There is nothing worse than realizing you need to cut a bigger slot or drill some extra mounting holes. By comparing the specs of the pickup with your guitar, you can save time and money.

Another thing to consider is the position you are replacing. Some humbucker pickups are made only for the bridge position and others only for the neck position. Be sure to get the correct one for your guitar. Otherwise, you could compromise the sound you’re going for.

Looking for more great pickup options?

If so, check out our reviews of the Best Single Coil Pickups, the Best Telecaster Guitar Pickups, the Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups, the Best Stratocaster Pickups, as well as the Best P 90 Pickups you can buy.

Or if you also play the bass, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Precision Bass Pickups or the Best Jazz Bass Pickups currently available in 2020.

So, what are the Best Humbucker Pickups?

Now that we have had a chance to look at the best humbuckers you can buy, we need to pick a clear winner.

And, in our opinion, that is the…

DiMarzio DP-100

It’s a humbucker that has a long history of high performance, and it has become a standard in the music industry for good reason.

It is powerful and detailed. The tones are rich, and this pickup offers great responsiveness. Additionally, it is ideal when overdriven with tube amps. And honestly, there are not many better uses for a humbucker than with an overdriven tube amp.

Along with high-quality components and a fair price, it is truly the best humbucker pickup around.

We hope this information has been helpful. We are certain you’ll find your new humbucker pickup will bring new life to your guitar.

Happy strumming.

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