obviously i have no idea about buying pick-ups, really all i know is that they amplify the sound from your strings on the amp. What i'm wondering is mostly the difference from single and double coil, the better brands and that kinda stuff
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do some wikipedia-ing. but basically:
1.- single coils=they are like the strat pickups. they are very brigh, but they produce a lot of hum (60 cycle hum)
2.- Humbuckers=like the pickups on a lespaul. these ones are like 2 single coils. Because of the dual magnets, the 60 cycle hum is negated, and they are silent, but the tone is different.
3.- mini humbuckers=they are similar to humbuckers, but in a smaller casing. they were used on a few gibson models. they supposedly sound like in between SC and HB
4.- lipstic= originally made by danelectro. they are liek single coils with peculiar amgnets. IDK about their tone
5.- stacked single coils: these are humbuckers in a single coil casing. some examples are the seymour duncan hot rails, and they sound like a humbucker. there are other pickups designed to sound more like a single coil, like the dimarzio YJM.
6.- Active humbuckers. they use less powerful magnets, but they have a preamp, wich boosts the signal so they can make up for the magnet. Or something like that. i dont really remember.

there are some other more unique PU's like Lace sensors (theya re single coils with a unique noise canceling solution), P-90's (big single coils made by gibson, with a unique soud) and some weird ones, made byu different manufacturers (Z-coil pickups in G&L's, Fender wide range, etc) but i'm too sleepy now, so :/

Some big name brands are Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan. Out of those two I prefer Dimarzio.