Favourite Small/Underrated Pickup Brands

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Guy Corbin, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. Guy Corbin

    Guy Corbin SS.org Regular

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    Hi Y'all, just wondering what some of your favourite smaller pickup brands are, ones that some may not know about, maybe even some of your models from smaller companies.
    avoid mentioning: Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio, EMG, Fishman, Bareknuckle, Lace and Lundgren.
    Brands I think of as small or underrated - Guitarmory Pickups, Mojotone, Arcane, Beta Blocker, Oil City Pickups, Lollar, Fralin, Suhr and Zead Labs.
    if you mention a specific model, let me know the guitar it is in, what tuning you use it in and what you use it for.
     
  2. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Vineham pickups out of Eastern Canada.
     
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  3. manu80

    manu80 Jackson for life !

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    From what i've tried; i guitar that came and went.
    SP custom from France, the Creamery in UK, Kent Armstrong, Lundgren...
    Irongear from axetec and Roswell pups from musicstore are very good for the price. Axesrus pups too are good.
     
  4. ChrispyFinch

    ChrispyFinch SS.org Regular

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    Instrumental Pickups
     
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  5. Pat

    Pat SS.org Regular

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    Cameron Cooper uses Pariah pickups on YouTube, they sound very nice (though, granted, his playthroughs always sound pretty much the same regardless of guitar)
     
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  6. Blytheryn

    Blytheryn Musical Adam West

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    Are Zead labs still a thing? I had a Zead Scorpio for a while. It was pretty interesting, although ultimately not my thing.

    I’d love to try a an instrumental SFTY. Those spiked fucking poles look GNARLY.
     
  7. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles Sweeps & Mops

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    Iconix - local pickups here in Detroit. They use an alnico 8 in most of their stuff so they sound unlike most other pickups. Pretty neat.
     
  8. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    I've liked the Vintage Vibe pickups I have had in a few guitars but probably not the ones the generaly demographic of this forum is looking for.

    IMO once you get to the Seymour Duncan level stuff it's just variations on the same stuff and the only thing you truly get from the smaller brands is personal service and customization options. I have Suhr, Kiesel, G&L, Fender, Bareknuckle, Vintage Vibe, Seymour Duncan and Mastertone pickups in my guitars and they are all good.
     
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  9. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    I always liked the Fralin pickups in the older PRS EG's, plus it didn't hurt that he was local to the area I grew up in.
     
  10. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire \[T]/

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    Motor City Pickups. Jerry Cantrell used their afwayu for years and it's one of my favorite pickups. Super gnarly/grindy tone.

    Dominger pickups. Pretty small brand but the owner is super willing to go above and beyond for sales. Highly recommend. The Rider was a great pickup ime.

    Elysian pickups. Everyone on here knows I love adam's pickups, because they're damn good pickups and tend to do something pretty different than the run of the mill PAF clones and such. Plus Adam is willing to do custom slants/bobbin tops etc and his prices are super competitive.
    I have elysians in multiple guitars. One is a 28.6" baritone in BEADF#B (trident I set) and the other is an 28-26.5" 8 string (Goliath set). I also have HP90s from elysian that I'm putting into a 25.5" cabronita tele build for D standard.

    Oil City pickups. Ash was super helpful and the Blackbird has a super unique voicing/vibe that I've never really heard with other pickups.

    Instrumental pickups. I have both the sfty3 and sfty4 sets. Sfty3 is in a 28-26.5" 8 string in F#BEADGBE and the SFTY4 is in a 25.5" scale jackson gus g star in D standard. I had the sfty3 set in 2 other 8 strings for a while too (one was 28" scale tuned to Drop E and the other was 28-26.5" tuned to DGDGCFAD).



    I've used basically all of the pickups above in a 27.7" scale baritone tuned to BEADF#B (sometimes AEAF#DB or F#EADF#B). If anyone is curious I have demos/clips of all of them in my 6 string and 8 string shootout threads.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  11. Guy Corbin

    Guy Corbin SS.org Regular

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    Super awesome response dude, I’m just going through my spreadsheet and am looking to get some more unconventional pickups for some of my instruments.
     
  12. pahulkster

    pahulkster SS.org Regular

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    Really want to check out the Lollar DB. Definitely pricey and there isn't too much out there about them (from what I've seen). The pickups in my PRS S2 single are ok but not quite there for some of what I do. Thought they would be a good match and a bonus of looking killer.
     
  13. John

    John New album out now: https://goo.gl/PdPVYh

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    PRS made some good pickups for modern applications such as the Dragon 1, the \m/ pickups, and the 250's (the latter is close to the Tremonti pickups and their thousands of yasseahs, but I digress).
    A pity that they've swept quite a bit of that under the rug in favor of the more vintage sounding stuff, though.

    I've yet to try Darkmoon and Elysian, but from an aesthetic standpoint at the very least, those are cool.
     
  14. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    Tom Anderson and the Schecter custom shop make the best "traditional" humbuckers that money can buy.
    Change my mind.
     
  15. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    The Dragon 1's were and are still some of my favorites.
     
  16. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Colorless green ideas sleep furiously Contributor

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    Ditto. Schecter CS pickups are awesome.

    Also, not small but underrated around these parts are Railhammer pickups by Joe Naylor. Anvil and their P90s are punchy with nice midrange, dont have shrill highs, and have a tight low end. I also have Naylor designed pickups in my Reverend Eastsider T90. The neck P90 is awesome albeit a bit too dark on the top end ( unless you dial amp in for the neck - then its perfect). The bridge sounds like a LP HB and is awesome. (Cant say enough about that guitar too!)

    https://railhammer.com/
     
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  17. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    I'm a Dimarzio fan boi...
    But when I worked in a Boutique guitar shop, every guitar that came through that had Lollar's in it grabbed my ear big time.

    Don't sleep on John Suhr's stuff.
    The one's I've tried sound amazing, and are priced reasonably imo.

    And I still praise the GFS 'Mean 90's'.
    Fantastic in an LP.

    I don't have 'ThroBak' type money anymore, but I'd like to try his take on the P.A.F. someday.
     
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  18. Guy Corbin

    Guy Corbin SS.org Regular

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    I’m going to put some DBs in my Aristides 060 I’ll post when I finally can be bother to do it.
     
  19. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire \[T]/

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    Yeah, railhammer and Schecter CS have some awesome pickups.
    I really liked the huevos hp90 I tested. Same with the Chisel.
    The schecter apocalypse set is killer for metal imo. I just wish they came in a color other than red dammit
     
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  20. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

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    I took a few of my guitars in for stainless refrets to a local tech/luthier and got to play some of his personal builds. All of them had Porter pickups in them and for vintage tones they were pretty good. He had a few tele and jazzmaster builds that sounded great through an old fender amp. Can't say I had a chance to see how versatile they were in different setups, but I was impressed with what I heard.
     

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