#1
I wanted to start this thread to see what people are thinking about brands of guitar pickups. Who's out there other than the well know brands like Dimarzio, Duncan, EMG etc...? I want to upgrade some of mine and thought about the GFS line but am having 2nd thoughts. What if any are some good alternative choices to the main brands & may be at a lesser price point for budget minded musicians like me?

I look forward to people's replies!
Last edited by stm113 at Jan 23, 2012,
#2
BG, Bareknuckle, Lollar, Arcane, Wolfetone, Leosounds, Kloppmann, ...

There are plenty of other brands, but many of them are more expensive than regular EMGs, Duncans and Dimarzios. Therefore those are handwound and tend to sound better.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#3
fralins are pretty great, at least the single coils i havent used the humbuckers
Fender Strat Deluxe
Fender MexiStrat
Epiphone Sheritan
Ibanez Artcore
Fender Twin Reverb silverface
Roland JC120
Pedals

Quote by CaptainAmerican
I would recommend the marshal MG100

Very versatile and quality sound. It should treat you well
#4
GFS are cheap replicas of common pickups, made in China. They don't sound bad, but they aren't a major improvement to replace some Fender or Gibson stock pickups by GFS. Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, Lindy Fralin, Bareknukles are so much better. And Wilkinson Pro Series too (don't make the confusion between Pro and Platinum Series: Pro are the best).
#5
I have used several GFS pickups and some are better than there Dimarzio/Duncan counterparts, but some fall short. The Fat Pat I have I like better than the SH-4 or Dimarzio SD that I own. The VEH is a good pickup, but I have deff heard better. The Lil' Puncher set in a tele build I did is pretty damn good. I have also used there Mean 90 which is a nice P-90, but I know of much better.

If I had to say from my experience, the Fat Pat is probably the best I have tried.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#6
Rio Grande
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#7
I started this thread because I have 3 guitars that I want new pick ups for & I'd like to keep the cost around $50 per pickup. 1 is a Epi Les Paul standard (2 is an Epi Les Paul that's a 1960 50th anniversary edition with Burstbuckers(that are too low output & too bright for me) 3 is a Washburn Steve Stevens sig w/maple neck & floyd.

I want all 3 guitars to have coil splitting capabilities. On the Epi Standard I do want a more moden Les Paul tone, on the 50th anniversary Epi I want a very vintage LP tone with higher output & a little warmer & on the Steve Stevens I want a very modern high out put charvel type tone with no fenderish twang unless I tap the coils.

Any one have any suggestions of a manufacturer that might suit those needs?
#8
Your amp is?
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#9
I am using a Fractal Axe FX II and a peavey 5150 head for power amp (I will eventually be changing power amps though).
#10
What are you looking to achieve with a pickup swap?
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Highway One Telecaster
Dean Evo
Mesa F-50
Laney GH50L
Vox AC30 C2
Ampeg V2
pedals
#11
Quote by stm113
I started this thread because I have 3 guitars that I want new pick ups for & I'd like to keep the cost around $50 per pickup. 1 is a Epi Les Paul standard (2 is an Epi Les Paul that's a 1960 50th anniversary edition with Burstbuckers(that are too low output & too bright for me) 3 is a Washburn Steve Stevens sig w/maple neck & floyd.

I want all 3 guitars to have coil splitting capabilities. On the Epi Standard I do want a more moden Les Paul tone, on the 50th anniversary Epi I want a very vintage LP tone with higher output & a little warmer & on the Steve Stevens I want a very modern high out put charvel type tone with no fenderish twang unless I tap the coils.

Any one have any suggestions of a manufacturer that might suit those needs?



Basically that...
#12
Just get SDs or DiMarzios on ebay if you're trying to save money.
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Ibanez RGA42E
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#13
Modern LP tone? Something high output in the bridge like a Duncan Distortion. Vintagey LP tone=PAFs of some sort. For the Washburn if you're going for an 80s metal/hard rock type thing I would go for a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Highway One Telecaster
Dean Evo
Mesa F-50
Laney GH50L
Vox AC30 C2
Ampeg V2
pedals
#14
Gibson Pickups, Seymour Duncan Zephyr Silver series (1100$ pair of pickups) and etc. are very expensive, and high quality pickups. But if you want some cheap stuff, Artec, wilkinson etc. has nice pickups, for really cheap prices. Fender pickups are cheaper then Dimarzio and Seymour duncan. Schaller seems to be expensive, but yeah Wilkinson really makes great pickups for nice prices.
#15
Not really sure how much you are looking to spend, but maybe take a look at BG pickups. Pretty reasonable price for hand wound pickups.
#16
For $50 you will have to look on Ebay and Craigslist for used pickups, and there will be plenty. For what you describe, either a Duncan Distortion, or Duncan Custom (SH-5) will be good if you want to go mainstream, but if you want something a little different, look for Tom Anderson pickups. I replaced Dimarzio and Duncan pickups on my guitars with these because they sound so good. The H3 is a great high output bridge pickup, or H3+ for even more output. The H1 is a great PAF type of neck pickup, and Andersons coil split very well too if you wire them to have that option.
#17
Where would a JB fall tone wise do ya think? I have one sitting around that I had forgotten about
#18
Aero Instrument Pickups
http://www.aeroinstrument.com/pickups.html

Amalfitano Pickups
www.amalfitanopickups.com

Angeltone Electronic
www.angeltone.com

Bare Knuckles
http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/
*
Bartolini Pickups
http://www.bartolini.net/

BG Pickups
http://www.norcalguitars.com
http://www.bg-pups.com/

Brandon Wound Pickups
http://www.brandonwoundpickups.com/

Bulldog Pickups
http://www.bulldogpickups.com/
*
Chandler Guitars
http://www.chandlerguitars.com/*

Copperhead Pickups
http://www.copperheadpickups.com

The Creamery
http://www.at-the-creamery.co.uk/

Curtis Novak Guitars and Pickups
http://www.curtisnovak.com

DeArmond pickups
www.dearmondguitars.com/pickups.html
Don Mare Pickups
http://www.donmarepickups.com/
*
DragonFire Guitars
http://www.dragonfireguitars.com/*

Fralin Pickups
http://www.fralinpickups.com/
Gadow Hand Wound Pickups
http://www.gadowguitars.com/gadow-hand-wound-pickups.html

GFS Pickups
http://store.guitarfetish.com/pickups.html

Guitarforce Pickups
http://www.guitarforcepickups.com

Harmonic Design
http://www.harmonicdesign.net/

Hanson Pickups
http://www.hansonpickups.com/

Haeussel Pickups
http://www.haeussel.com/
*
High Order Pickups
http://www.highorderpickups.com/

Iron Gear
http://www.irongear.co.uk/

James Reed Pickups
http://reedjamescustom.com/

Juicy Pickups
http://www.juicypickups.com

Joe Barden Engineering
http://www.joebarden.com

J. M. Rolph*
http://www.jmrolph.com/

J S Morre Pickups
http://www.tonefordays.com/

Kinman
http://www.kinman.com

Kloppmann Electrics
http://www.kloppmann-electrics.de/index_en.php

Klein Pickups
http://www.kleinpickups.com/
*
Lollar Guitar Pickups
http://www.lollarguitars.com/

Lundgren Guitar Pickups
http://www.lundgren.se/

Manlius Guitar Pickups
http://www.manliusguitar.com/

Mojo Pickups
http://www.mojomusicalsupply.com/pickups.asp?id=65960&s=Custom%20Wound

Motor City Pickups
http://motorcitypickups.com/

O.C. Duff Pickups
http://www.ocduffpickups.com/

Patrick McDonald Handwound Pickups
http://www.pmpickups.com/
Pure Tone Pickups
http://www.pure-tone.com

Raw Vintage
http://www.rawvintage.com

Rio Grande Pickups
http://www.riograndepickups.com/

Rock Monkey
http://www.rockmonkeyguitars.com/

Rockfield Pickups
http://www.rockfieldpickups.com/

Rocketfire Pickups
http://www.1stgearmusic.com/rocketfirescatterwoundvintagesinglecoilstratpickups.aspx

Rose Pickups
http://www.rosepickups.com/

Rumpelstiltskin Pickups
http://www.rumpelpickups.com/

S.K. Guitar Specialities
http://www.skguitar.com

Sheptone
http://www.sheptone.com/hum.htm

Shed Pickups
http://www.shedpickups.com

Skatterbrane
https://www.skatterbrane.com

Sky Pickups
http://www.guitarparts.com

Sidewynder Pickups
http://www.sidewynder.co.uk

Smit's Hand Wound Pickups
http://www.smitspickups.com/

SP Custom
http://www.spcustompickups.com

Stan Hinesley Handwound Pickups
http://www.stanhinesleypickups.com/

Stephen Design
http://www.sdpickups.com/

Suhr Pickups
http://www.suhrguitars.com/pickups.aspx#Hums
Swineshead Pickups
http://www.swinesheadpickups.co.uk/

Throbak Electronics & Pickups
www.gundrymedia.typepad.com/
*
Timpson Music
http://www.timpsonmusic.com/html/tdm_pickups.html***

Toneworks Custom Pickups
http://www.toneworks.co.uk/

Toneriders
http://www.tonerider.com/

Torres Engineering
http://www.torresamps.com/pickups.htm

TV Jones Guitars & Pickups
http://www.tvjones.com/

Voodoo Pickups
http://www.voodoopickups.com/
WB Custom Pickups
http://www.wbpickups.com/
*
WCR
http://www.wcrguitar.com/

Witkowski Guitars
http://www.witkowskiguitars.com

Wizard Pickups Ltd
http://www.wizardpickups.co.uk

Wolfe Tone
http://www.wolfetone.com

Zhangbucker Pickups
http://www.zhangbucker.com
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#20
If you look for cheap wilkinson is good for vintage strat and les paul replacements but they can't replace high grade gibson and fender pickups.
#23
I'd just get some used ones off ebay if you're looking to save money - it's not like pickups will go off, they're not milk

There's no moving parts and nothing to "wear out" so there's functionally no difference between a used pickup and a new one, it's just that we as a society place great value in being the first person to own an item. That also means used pickups don't lose a lot of value but they should still be at least 30% cheaper. For coil splitting just make sure you get 4 conductor models, not 2.

Duncan Custom 5/59 set in the LP standard
Duncan Pearly Gates set in the 50th Anniversary

For the Steve Stevens I'd say either a JB/Full Shred in the bridge with a Full Shred in the neck, or go Dimarzio with a Tone Zone in the bridge and a Breed in the neck.

[Edit] didn't see that you had a JB lying around, might as well throw it in there and give it a go, should be about right for what you want.
Actually called Mark!

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#24
For single-coils, my first choice would probably be Kinman (their Traditional MK-III AVn-56/AVn-56/AVn-62 pickup set are some of the best single-coils I've heard), and my second choice would be Lace Sensor Golds.