Best electric guitar pickups: upgrade your tone with single-coils, P90s, humbuckers, and more

Closeup of a Seymour Duncan JB humbucker
(Image credit: Future)

One of the crucial components from which your tone is generated, the best electric guitar pickups ensure that your playing has the best platform to shine from. Alongside your amp, there are few parts of your guitar that are as important as the pickups. They define its signature sound so whether you’re a fan of single coils, humbuckers, or P-90s ensuring you have the best possible configuration is key to finding your sound.

Upgrading your guitar pickups is also a great way to elevate that beginner or intermediate-level instrument without dropping loads of cash on a brand-new instrument. With the cost of living these days, going for a fresh set of pickups is a great way to save yourself some money, whilst still getting that tone upgrade you want.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

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