Best Guitar Pickups For Blues – 2020 Reviews

Guitar pickups are what make an electric guitar what it is and what gives it its sounds.

A pickup gives an electric guitar its character. They are available in different styles and different setups and can be used for many types of music.

Today, we are only concerned with those that are suitable for the blues genre.

Comparison Chart of the Best Guitar Pickups For Blues

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Strat Pickups

  • Best guitar pickups for blues overall
  • These pickups are easy to use and to install on your guitar.
  • It is overwound calibrated to give you a better scorching output.
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Fender Custom Shop 1969 Strat Pickup Set

  • Fiber bobbins are used to get a firmer fit for your pickups
  • These pickups are constructed using cloth-covered lead wires
  • All these extra features ensure a microphonics-free guitar pickup
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Seymour Duncan APH-2s Alnico II Pro Slash Humbucker Electric Guitar Pickup

  • Best for the Money
  • Alnico 2 Bar magnets are used for boosted output
  • These pickups are designed to replicate that authentic slash tone
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Lace Sensor Blue-Silver-Red 3-Pack S-S-S Pickup

  • The three pickups give you a nice variety
  • A min data CD is included to provide schematics for your pickups
  • You get a slightly increased output with the warmer humbucker sound
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Seymour Duncan Phat Cat Pickup Set

  • The Alnico 2 Bar magnets are used for a softer attack
  • The neck pickup is in reverse-polarity for less noise
  • You can transform any low price guitar into a high-end guitar with these pickups
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Can Any Guitar Pickup Be Used For Blues?

The blues music style is a very adaptable and flexible genre and can be played on any type of guitar. As long as the guitar you are playing has enough range and fullness, it can play the blues.

There are certain pickups that are specifically made to be more suitable than other pickups for playing blues music. Those pickups are used for their richness of tone and the fullness of the sound they transfer to the amplifier.

You can play blues on any guitar you can lay your hands on, but it sounds better with certain pickups.

What Should I Look For When Buying a Guitar Pickup For Blues?

When buying a pickup for playing blues, there are a few things you need to consider. Some of these things that you need to consider can be very technical, and you may need some help with these topics.

Not all of us are technically inclined or tech-savvy, but there are ways you can get the information you need. Let us take a close look at what it is you need to know when shopping for the right blues pickups.

Sound

You need to look for a pickup that will produce that mellow blues sound for any general type of blues music. If you are looking to recreate the classic blues tones, you will need to find a pickup that will imitate that specific sound.

Size

Another very practical thing to look for is the size of the pickup and the size of the holes in your guitar body. Most Stratocaster and all other clones out there use the same size pickups for the single-coil pickups. There is also a standard size for your humbucker style pickups, so most of them will fit on any Stratocaster or clone. Many blues players prefer the noise that comes with single-coil pickups.

Budget

There are so many pickups available, ranging in price from a couple of dollars to hundreds of dollars. Be aware of what you want and how much you are prepared to spend. Buy the best pickups that your budget allows, but do not overspend, especially if you are just starting out.

Review of the Best Guitar Pickups For Blues

This review will help you find the pickup that will suit you best for playing blues on your guitar.

PROS

  • You get a much-improved sound quality
  • You get a nice blues tone from the pickups
  • Three pickups are included to cover the whole spectrum
  • The Middle pickup is in reverse polarity for hum elimination
  • Alnico 5 Bar magnets are used for better dynamics and sound
  • Durable, enamel-coated magnet wire is used with these pickups

CONS

  • The pickups are very fragile to handle
  • It is too bright a tone without the low noise level
  • The output volume of these pickups is substantially lower than the standard stock

What Recent Buyers Report 

The tone is very authentic, and there is very little noise with these pickups. Plus, you get the Strat tone. These pickups are able to handle many different styles of music but are especially good for the blues. The pickups are very silent, and they are very suitable for recording.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

With the reverse-winding of the middle pickup, a lot of the hum is eliminated from the sound. The durable, enamel-coated wire helps give you that warm, vintage Strat sound you are looking for. You have three pickups in this set to give you full-spectrum sound from the guitar. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This is the standard blues setup for those blues and jazz jammers who want to sound authentic. It is also the perfect set of pickups for the beginner to have the real sound of a classic blues guitar. It is also good for anyone else who wants to get into blues music.

Bottom Line 

As far as the price goes, you get reasonable value for your money and an overall good quality piece of gear. The sound output of these pickups is a little low, and you have to crank up your amplifier. The warm blues tone you get out of them will make up for the negatives, though.

PROS

  • It is very easy to use these pickups on your guitar
  • The pickups are wax potted to prevent microphonics
  • With these pickups, you get that authentic Strat sound
  • These pickups are of good quality and quite strongly made
  • You get a pickup for all three positions to cover the whole spectrum

CONS

  • It is a bit difficult to install
  • The middle pickup is a little noisy
  • No hum reducing pickup is included

What Recent Buyers Report 

These are the pickups to use if you want that vintage Strat sound with your guitar. This set offers great tonal improvement over the standard pickups that come with the Stratocaster guitar. These pickups seem to be the best noiseless pickups available for a wide range of music styles.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With all the pickup positions covered, this set of three pickups allows for full-spectrum sound quality. The original, authentic 1969 Strat sound you get with these pickups makes it perfect for blues guitar playing. You have a variety of rich tones to select with these pickups.

Who Will Use This Most

To be sure, anybody can get these pickups installed in their guitar, and they will become better blues players. It is also a perfect set of pickups for the vintage blues players out there. This set of pickups will eliminate those unnecessary microphonics from the unique, overall vintage sound.  

Bottom Line

You get an easy to use set of pickups that allow you to pick from a wide range of unique tones. This will improve your overall music skills and give you that authentic blues music performance. Overall, this is a high-quality, well-balanced set of guitar pickups. 

PROS

  • It can handle a wide range of tones
  • This pickup will fit all humbucker-style electric guitars
  • The low-end distortion of this set of pickups is crystal clear
  • These pickups are affordable for most players at a low price
  • A nice and accurate recreation of slash tone can be achieved
  • You will find it works very well in any humbucker-equipped guitar

CONS

  • It is a bit difficult to install
  • Alnico 2 Bar magnets are used with these pickups
  • The set is not compatible with the coil tap system

What Recent Buyers Report

This set of humbucker pickups sounds great and is well-suited for the Les Paul Standard. You get awesome results with these Seymour Duncan humbucker pickups for the classical blues sound you are looking for. This is a top-notch set of pickups, and it is quite versatile with a great pick response.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With this set of pickups in your guitar, you will be able to recreate that slash tone very accurately. This will bring new life to your guitar and add some diversity at the same time. It is very affordable and can be obtained by most players to give a new dimension.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a perfect set of pickups for any type of electric guitar that is humbucker-equipped. It is also very suitable for the Les Paul standard guitars, as well. Everybody will be able to use their electric guitars to recreate classic tones and the authentic blues sounds.

Bottom Line

At a great price, you get real, classic blues sounds, as well as authentic recreation of some of the best sounds. For any entry-level blues guitar player, it is a good addition to their repertoire and adds excellent experience. It is also for the experienced blues player, who loves the nostalgia.

PROS

  • It is very easy to install this pickup set
  • These pickups are hum-free and quite noiseless
  • Three pickups are included with this set of Lace pickups
  • You get a nice, mellow blues sound from this set of pickups
  • There is a nice variation of a more round tone on the middle coil

CONS

  • There is a high price tag attached
  • These pickups do not sound like Strat at all
  • You get mediocre quality on the pickup box

What Recent Buyers Report 

This is great for the guitar player who is not looking for that Strat sound but still need the authentic blues. With these pickups, you get a nice, round tone that sounds very good for blues and the overdrive effect. You get a smooth, mellow blues sound with these pickups. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

If you still need that Strat feel but do not like the sound, then this is the perfect set of pickups to go for. You will get rid of the classic Strat sound but keep a nice, mellow blues tone. The pickups are quiet and hum-free and give a crystal clear sound.

Who Will Use This Most 

All classic blues players should benefit from these pickups that will help keep your music in style. If you are not one of those Strat sound fans but love the feel of the guitar, this set is for you. Of course, it is also for everyone else that loves the blues.

Bottom Line 

These Lace pickups are good quality, and you will get a well-balanced blues sound out of them. The three pickups are designed to keep you in touch with classical blues and kindle the genre fire in your music. This is a good set of pickups for everyone who loves the blues.

PROS

  • A very low price tag is attached to these pickups
  • It fits nicely into any humbucker-equipped guitar
  • This is an original and great single-coil P90 pickup
  • It will transform any electric guitar into a blues guitar
  • You get a nice, single-coil, springy sound from the neck pickup

CONS

  • It is not a hum-free pickup
  • These pickups are difficult to install
  • Alnico 2 Bar magnets are used in this pickup

What Recent Buyers Report 

With these P90 pickups, you will only be able to tell a significant difference in tone through a high-quality amplifier. This sounds great up and down the fretboard with light distortion on the pedal. This set offers great value for your money.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This set of P90 pickups will give your guitar that classic blues sound you need from your guitar. With the neck pickup in reverse-polarity, you have much less noise from the pickups for a much clearer sound. These pickups give that classical P90 blues sound to your guitar.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the perfect set of pickups for the experienced blues player who totally loves that P90, vintage, soap bar, Gibson sound. It is also great for the entry-level blues guitar player who wants to go into the classic blues music genre. It is a functional and versatile guitar for the blues player.

Bottom Line

For the price you pay for these pickups, you get an excellent quality set of pickups that offer great value for your money. As mentioned before, you will transfer any low-value guitar into a high-end guitar with these P90 pickups. With this set, you get great quality and performance for less money.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Guitar Pickups

There are two basic types of pickups for the electric guitar. They are the common passive pickups and active pickups. Both these types of pickups work the same way, with magnetic induction that sends a signal to the amplifier

Passive pickups are the type that nearly every electric guitar comes out with, and they are powered by the sound waves. Active pickups have a battery-powered pre-amp and act as an amplifier before sending the signal to the actual amplifier.

Let us have a look at the standard type of pickup, namely the passive pickup we all are familiar with. There are two basic types of these pickups, as well - the single-coil pickup and the humbucker style pickup.

Single-Coil Pickup

Pros

  • It offers a better high-frequency response
  • You will get much greater clarity with the single-coil pickups
  • It is best for use with time effect pedals
  • It is better to use single-coil pickups for modulation effects

Cons

  • The single-coil pickups will pick up electromagnetic interference or noise
  • You get a much lower output signal from the single-coil pickups

Humbucker Style Pickups

Pros

  • All interfering sound is canceled out with the reverse-polarity of one of the pickups
  • You get a fuller sound with the humbucker style pickup

Cons

  • The choice of an amplifier is crucial

Conclusion

Now, you have all the information you need to make an informed choice for the right pickup. You will find that you need to make a choice between single-coil pickups and humbucker style pickups for your blues music. Just remember to keep in mind what type of blues you want to play.