Best single coil pickups: from trailblazing designs to vintage traditionalists

Close up of Fender Telecaster pickup
(Image credit: Future)

There are many different reasons you might be considering a new set of single coils for your guitar: maybe you want to breathe new life into your guitar's tone? Perhaps you appreciate a single coil’s note articulation but need a bit more punch, or it could be that you’re looking for the best single coil pickups to hot rod that project guitar.  

Either way, you’ll be happy to hear that there is a massive selection of aftermarket single coils to suit all kinds of player. If you’re a vintage-tone seeker, heavy metal chugger or a shoegazing alternate tuner, brands like Bare Knuckle, DiMarzio and Fishman have an overwhelming number of options that will get you closer to the tone in your head.

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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Ross Holder

Ross has been a music lover and guitar player since the age of 8. He has spent the five years since graduating from university working in music retail, selling guitars, amps and more. Ross is particularly interested in electric guitars, pedals and amplifiers and his current rig includes a trusty 2009 American Standard Stratocaster and Vox AC30S1 with a few Walrus Audio and Way Huge pedals in between.