best humbucker pickups for blues

7 Best Humbucker Pickups For Blues Guitarists

Seymour Duncan Vintage Blues Humbucker Pickup Set

If you’re looking for the traditional sound of a true, vintage blues guitar, then Seymour Duncan’s Vintage Blues Humbucker Pickup Set is what you need. This great pickup set has been designed to reproduce the sound of the original PAF humbuckers, which is the classic sound associated with the best blues guitarists from the 1950s and 1960s. The set features Alnico 2 bar magnets and a custom four-conductor lead wire for a superior, old-school tone.

This pickup set is a faithful reproduction of an original PAF humbucker, complete with detailed construction and winding specs. The Vintage Blues Humbucker is made of nickel-silver magnet wire and 35% Alnico 5 bar magnets. Like the original PAF humbucker, it offers rich, warm tone with clear treble and a well-defined midrange. It’s smooth, yet punchy and bitey when needed. You won’t be disappointed!

If you’re looking for the classic blues sound from an authentic, traditional pickup set, the Seymour Duncan’s Vintage Blues Humbucker Pickup Set should be at the top of your list.  These are an excellent humbucker pickup to install in a Strat.

Seymour Duncan SH-1 ’59 Vintage

The Seymour Duncan SH-1 ’59 Vintage is a faithful reproduction of the vintage humbucker found in 1959 Les Pauls. The tone has a deep, warm and smooth voice that has stood the test of time.

The SH1 ’59 Vintage has the same dual-coil configuration as its inspiration but the two Alnico magnets are slightly larger and have a higher pole piece height for increased string contact area. The coils have been wound with more than twice the former number of turns on each coil winding resulting in a higher output for greater dynamic range and clarity. The result is a vintage model that does not compromise tone for increased output.

The SH1 Vintage ’59 is the go-to value humbucker for many players that are looking for a vintage PAF-style single coil tone from their Les Paul, SG or Stratocaster pickups.

Tommy Bolin is known as one of the most influential guitarists of his time. His playing was a blend of bluesy-rock, funk and jazz. He was a true artist on the guitar, and this unique tone can be attributed to using the Seymour Duncan SH-1 ’59 Vintage humbucker.

Gibson Burstbucker

The Gibson Burstbucker is a set of humbucking pickups designed by Gibson and Bill Lawrence. It’s their modern-day interpretation of the classic vintage pickup that Buddy Holly, James Burton and Duane Allman played on their guitars. The Pickups are constructed using a wound coil measuring approximately 42AWG. The guitar pickup wound coil is then surrounded by a “magnetic jacket” of about 1800 strands of copper wire. This is what gives the Burstbucker it’s unique look and feel.

The Gibson Burstbucker Pickups feature 4-conductor wiring and come with a pair of push-back braids to help reduce noise during cable tone transfer (the braids will not significantly improve the pickups’ tone).

Natural and “Hot Out-of-the-Box” Burstbucker pickups are also available. The Hot out-of-the box pickups are designed for specifically for use in a recording environment, where it is most important to have a pickup that smells like a guitar, but most importantly still produces the characteristic tone of a drop cap humbucker.

Seymour Duncan SHPG1 Pearly Gates Humbucker

Seymour Duncan’s Pearly Gates Humbucker is designed with an open-coil construction and a hefty ceramic magnet. It produces a clear and balanced tone with enough power for any style of music but especially blues. These are sold as a matched pair and are perfect for warmer sounding instruments.

They have a very wide tonal spectrum. They start out with a slightly darker sound than the stock single coils and then proceed to get brighter as you crank up the volume. At the end this pearly tone becomes more chimey and clear, almost like a Telecaster humbucker or P90 sound, but without being muddy or airy sounding.

The Pearly Gates humbuckers are very dynamic. They can handle clean, dirty, crunchy, blues, and rock tones with ease. They’re an extremely versatile pickup that is great for any style of music beyond blues as well.

DiMarzio DP155 Tone Zone

Want to have a sound that’s as versatile, tasty and impressive as you are? Get yourself the Tone Zone. You’ll be able to create sounds from everything from Santana-esque thick, smooth lead tones to heavy distortion. With the Tone Zone, you’ll be able to get every sound you want, and then some.

Designed with a unique asymmetrical core, the Tone Zone is capable of great sustain and harmonics, as well as a consistent string-to-string output. The presence control allows you to scoop out some or all of this tone, while the bass control provides a quick boost for those old school rock sounds. If you’re looking for a way to effortlessly get every tone that your music demands, the Tone Zone can do it all in one simple unit.

Seymour Duncan APH-2b Alnico II

The Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickup was designed to provide increased power and much smoother mids than the traditional square type humbucker. These pickups are not only great for jazz, blues or any kind of “clean” music but also for heavy overdriven music.

The Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups are designed to work nicely with high gain amplifiers and they are great for all clean sounds of rock, jazz and blues. If you want to make your solos stand out, this is a great pickup that will make your leads louder than ever with a sweet smooth tone. You will be able to get some nice clean tones at lower volume if needed while the pickups have an amazing sensitivity and dynamic response range.

The Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups are good for many different sounds and styles. They are designed to bring out the best in your instrument’s tone and they will make sure that your sound is powerful, clear and loud even with heavy distortion. When paired with a high gain amplifier, these pickups will deliver that powerful, almost crunchy sound that guitarists love when playing blues or rock.

EMG H4 Passive

It’s loud, it’s proud and it holds its own in any situation. The passive EMG H4 pickup has replaced the previous EMG H2, with more power and a brighter tone that cuts through the mix. The tone is hotter, fatter and thicker than the H2. Whether you use it in a high-gain metal stack or a clean blues rig, the EMG H4 will take you where you want to go with its rock solid output and superior clarity.

It’s loud, it’s proud and it holds its own in any situation. The passive EMG H4 pickup has replaced the previous EMG H2, with more power and a brighter tone that cuts through the mix. The tone is hotter, fatter and thicker than the H2. Whether you use it in a high-gain metal stack or a clean blues rig, the EMG H4 will take you where you want to go with its rock solid output and excellent clarity.

Our Top Blues Humbucker Conclusion

So these above recommendations on humbucking pickups for blues guitarists should help in making your selection process slightly easier. Now all you need to do is figure out if you need a neck or a bridge configuration.

Looking for something different?  Take a look at these metal guitar pickups.

There are still plenty of other options out there, but these 7 pickups are some of the best the market has to offer right now. If you’re new to the blues scene or just want an upgrade, then definitely check them out because not only would they be perfect for blues guitarists, they’ll suit so many other musicians too.

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