Seymour Duncan Vs EMG Pickups: Which Are Best? | Pro Sound HQ (2023)

Seymour Duncan and EMG are incredibly popular guitar pickup brands, but which one makes the best designs? In this article, I'll compare Seymour Duncan and EMG signature tones, along with the different models offered in the lineup and the price point, to help you decide which is the best option for your guitar.

at a glance

Seymour Duncan pickups have a more vintage tone compared to EMG pickups which sound more modern. Seymour Duncan makes a wide range of passive pickups and makes a limited range of active pickups, while EMG specializes more in active pickups and makes fewer passive options.


This article is quite long because I wanted to go as deep as possible to help you make your decision about which pickups are best for you, so I've divided it into the following sections:

  • brand overview
  • tone comparison
  • ranges and options
  • Which one should you choose?
Seymour Duncan Vs EMG Pickups: Which Are Best? | Pro Sound HQ (1)

brand overview

Before we compare the two brands, I thought it would be a good idea to briefly outline and summarize the EMG and Seymour Duncan lines so that you can understand what types of pickups are offered. If you're already an expert and just want to see the comparisons, feel free to skip to the next section.

Seymour Duncan

Seymour Duncan primarily manufactures passive pickups in humbucker, single coil and P90 varieties. They also make a limited range of active humbucker pickups. Their range is absolutely massive, and I'll go into more detail about that later in the article when comparing it to the EMG range, so for now, here's a quick rundown.


The range is divided as follows:

  • Crop (bottom exit): ‘59 Model, Slash, Pearly Gates, Jazz Model, Antiquity Humbucker, Seth Lover, Whole Lotta Humbucker, Alnico II Pro HB, Vintage Blues, Saturday Night Special, Phat Cat, Antiquity Jazz HB.
  • Average output: '59 Custom Hybrid, Custom 5, Screamin’ Demon, Full Shred, P-Rails, Custom Custom, Benedetto, Jason Becker Perpetual Burn, Parallel Axis Blue Saraceno.
  • high output:JB Model, Hot Rodded, Mark Holcomb, Invader, Duncan Distortion, Black Winter, Nazgul, Mayhem, Duncan Custom, Dimebucker, Sentient, Pegasus, Dimebag, Alternative 8, Jupiter Rails, Dave Mustaine Thrash Factor, Parallel Axis Distortion.
  • Active:Mick Thomson Blackouts, Jeff Loomis Blackouts, Dave Mustaine, Retribution, Blackouts HB.

Stratocaster Single Coils

The range is divided into true single coil and silent models:

  • True single coil:Custom Flat/ Staggered, Vintage Flat/ Staggered, Antiquity Texas Hot, Quarter Pound Flat/ Staggered, Antiquity II, Hot, Jimi Hendrix, Vintage Flat, Alnico Pro II Flat/ Staggered, Lipstick Tube, Five-Two.
  • Silent: Hot Rails, Classic Stack, Everything Axe, YJM Fury, Little ’59, JB Jr, Duckbuckers, Vintage Rails, Cool Rails, Vintage Hot, Red Devil, Hot Sack, Custom Stack Plus.

Telecaster Single Coils

The range is divided into true single coil and silent models:

  • True single coil:Vintage Broadcaster, Quarter Pound, Hot, Alnico II Pro, Vintage, Vintage '54, Five-Two, Jerry Donahue Lead, Brad Paisley La Bra, Antiquity, Antiquity II, Antiquity '55.
  • Silent:Hot Rails, Little '59, Hot Stack, Vintage Stack.


Here is a breakdown of the Seymour Duncan P90 selection:

  • Vintage (saída inferior): Antiquity P90, Antiquity P90 Dog Ear, Vintage P90.
  • Average Output: P90 Stack, P-Rails.
  • High Output: Hot P90, Custom P90.

offset guitars

Seymour Duncan also manufactures pickups for Jaguar, including the following: Antiquity, Antiquity II, Vintage and Duo-Sonic.

Here are some images (all link to Amazon) to showcase some of the more popular designs.

Seymour Duncan Vs EMG Pickups: Which Are Best? | Pro Sound HQ (2)

Duncan's distortion

(Video) Pickup Comparison : Duncan Blackout AHB-1 vs EMG 85/81 ( Line 6 HD pro ,no post production)

Seymour Duncan Vs EMG Pickups: Which Are Best? | Pro Sound HQ (4)

Vintage Strat

Seymour Duncan Vs EMG Pickups: Which Are Best? | Pro Sound HQ (5)



EMG produces active and passive pickups in single coil, humbucker and P90 designs. They specialize primarily in active humbuckers, and these models make up the bulk of the lineup, which is why they are often associated with modern metal.

active humbuckers

EMG's range of active humbuckers is divided into the modern series (57, 58, 60, 66, 81, 85 and 89) and the retroactive series (Fat 55, Hot 70, Super 77).

(Video) EMG 707 VS Seymour Duncan Nazgul Sentient Comparison

They use both alnico and ceramic pickups, and most modern series pickups are designed to go in the bridge or neck position. However, there are some pickups that are considered more balanced and work well in any position, and even pickups that are designed to go in the bridge can also work very well in the neck and vice versa.

Most numbers also have different variants, for example X or TW. Here's what they mean:

  • A = alnico magnets (not all pickups with alnico magnets have the A)
  • TW = dual-mode (humbucker and single coil tones using coil splitting)
  • X = X-series preamp offering better clarity
  • R = single coil inverted placement

The active retro series comes in black and zebra color options and has an open coil design, while the modern series offers some open coil options but most are fully coated and available in multiple colors.

passive humbuckers

EMG has a range of passive humbuckers made up of the following models:H1, H2, H3, H4.With each model you can also get a variant that has alnico magnets instead of ceramic, and these are distinguished by the letter “A”, for example H1A.

Single Coils

EMG makes a wide variety of single coil pickups, and many of them are voiced specifically for Stratocaster or Telecaster. They are usually designed for specific positions and use both alnico and ceramic magnets.The active range comprises the following models: Crossroads, FT/ RT, Maverick, S. The passive range comprises the S1, S2, S3 and S4 models.


EMG has divided its P90 line into models designed for the neck position and models designed for the bridge position. However, as with the humbucker range, you can experiment with different placements.

  • Arm P90s: P60, P60A, P92HZ
  • Bridge P90s: P81, P85, P91HZ

All pickups are active except the P91HZ and P92HZ models.

The EMG range is huge and it can be very difficult to select the right pickup for your guitar. I made onecomplete guide to EMG pickup rangewhich includes all models and how they differ, socheck hereif you want to learn more.

Here are some images (all linked to Amazon) of some of the most popular EMG pickup designs. Most models are available in a few different colors.

Seymour Duncan Vs EMG Pickups: Which Are Best? | Pro Sound HQ (6)

Humbucker EMG 85

(Video) Seymour Duncan - Mark Holcomb Compares the Alpha/Omega and Scarlet/Scourge Signature Pickup Sets

Seymour Duncan Vs EMG Pickups: Which Are Best? | Pro Sound HQ (7)

Humbucker EMG 57

Seymour Duncan Vs EMG Pickups: Which Are Best? | Pro Sound HQ (8)

EMG Super 77 Set

Seymour Duncan Vs EMG Pickups: Which Are Best? | Pro Sound HQ (9)

EMG S Single Coils

tone comparison

Comparing the tones of two entire brands of pickups is quite difficult and really runs the risk of oversimplifying. However, that's what you can do here, so I'll do my best to decipher the brands' signature tones.

FromSeymour Duncan specializes primarily in passive pickups and EMG in active pickups., this allows us to identify the first major differences.

  • Active pickups have a higher output and better clarity when using high gain amp settings. They also produce less hum and background noise.
  • Passive pickups have a more vintage tone in comparison and a wider dynamic range.

This means thatSeymour Duncan pickups tend to sound a little more natural and modern, while EMG pickups sound more modern and compressed.

While you can play a variety of musical styles with any brand's pickups, EMG pickups are more commonly associated with heavy metal, while Seymour Duncan pickups are a little more versatile.

(Video) Fishman Fluence Modern Alnico vs EMG 81

Look thiscomparison between active and passive pickups

It is also important to consider the material of the magnet, as it has a big impactpact in the sound of the pickups. Both brands use ceramic and alnico magnets.Ceramics have a higher output and tighter bass, while alnico magnets produce a more rounded tone. Thus, with each brand, it is possible to choose the type of magnet that most appeals to you, making it once again difficult to identify concrete differences between the tone of the brands.

If I had to distill it down to a few points, this is what I would say:

  • Seymour Duncan pickups sound more rounded and fuller, with a wider dynamic range and more mid-range frequencies than EMG pickups.
  • EMG pickups sound a little hollowed out in the midrange by comparison, making them sound a little thinner than Seymour Duncan pickups. This is most evident when using clean tones.
  • The EMG pickups have accurate bass and very crisp highs that cut very well when using distortion.
  • Seymour Duncan pickups have a warmer, more natural tone than EMG pickups, which sound more artificial.

Personally, I prefer the clean tones of Seymour Duncan pickups due to their open, rich tone, while EMG pickups sound better when using distortion due to the sharpness and high output of the active technology.

Of course, this is a generalization, and brands make such wide ranges of pickups that you can easily find an EMG that sounds fuller than a Duncan and vice versa.

If you're into metal, check out this video below to hear the EMG 81 and Seymour Duncan Distortion SH-6 in action. These two pickups represent the metal tones that both brands offer very well.

ranges and options

In this next section, I'd like to compare the full ranges of EMG and Seymour Duncan pickups so you can see what they specialize in. Prices are all from Seymour Duncan and EMG websites at time of writing and are subject to change.

Considering the size of each brand's ranges, the tables are huge. I just created them to help provide you with a summary so you can see what options are available to you at your price point. All tables are ordered from lowest to highest price and are divided into the following collection types:

  • passive humbuckers
  • active humbuckers
  • P90 Pickups
  • Stratocaster Single Coils
  • Telecaster Single Coils

If you're not interested in this section, keep scrolling because there are some additional sections after all the tables.

Guitar Center has a wide variety of pickups at great prices, so be sure to check them out if you're looking for some. here is onelink to take you directly to the Guitar Center pickup trackso you can check current offers.

passive humbuckers

  • Seymour Duncan has a much wider range of passive humbuckers than EMG.
  • Seymour Duncan caters to the 7 and 8 string market more than EMG for passive humbuckers.
  • Most Seymour Duncan pickups are voiced specifically for the neck or the bridge but have the same name, while the EMG are usually voiced specific models for different positions, although they can still be used in both.
To chooseMagneticPositionropesPrice
Model SD '59Alnico VAny6, 7$ 79
Model SD JBAlnico VPonte6, 7$ 79
Model SD JazzAlnico VAny6, 7$ 79
Duncan SD DistortionpotteryAny6, 7, 8$ 79
SD Duncan custompotteryPonte6, 7$ 79
custom SD 5Alnico VPonte6, 7$ 79
SD Alnico II Proalnico IIAny6$ 89
SD InvaderpotteryAny6, 7, 8$ 89
SD Black WinterpotteryAny6, 7, 8$ 99
SD Phat Catalnico IIAny6$ 89
SD Complete FragmentAlnico VAny6, 7, 8$ 89
custom custom sdalnico II6Ponte$ 89
SD NazgulpotteryPonte6, 7, 8$ 99
SD SentientalnicoNeck6, 7, 8$ 99
SD '59 Custom HybridAlnico VPonte6$ 99
SD PegasusAlnico VPonte6, 7, 8$ 99
SD P-RailsAlnico VAny6$ 99
SD Alternative 8Alnico VIIIPonte6$ 99
EMG H1potteryAny6$ 99
EMG H1AalnicoAny6$ 99
EMG H2potteryAny6$ 99
EMG H2AalnicoAny6$ 99
EMG H3potteryAny6$ 99
EMG H3AalnicoAny6$ 99
EMG H4potteryAny6$ 99
EMG H4AalnicoAny6$ 99
SD Baralnico IIAny6$ 109
SD Pearly Gatesalnico IIAny6$ 109
SD Whole Lotta HumbuckerAlnico VAny6$ 109
SD DimebuckerpotteryPonte6$ 109
SD Saturday Night SpecialAlnico IVAny6$ 109
SD Screamin' DemonAlnico VPonte6$ 109
SD Jason Becker Perpetual BurningAlnico VPonte6$ 109
SD Dave Mustaine Fator ThrashAlnico VAny6$ 109
SD Seth Loveralnico IIAny6$ 119
SD BenedettoAlnico VAny6$ 119
SD Mark HolcombpotteryAny6, 7, 8$ 129
SD Jupiter RailspotteryAny6$ 129
SD Antiquityalnico IIAny6$ 139
SD Ducan Distortion Active MountpotteryAny7, 8$ 139
SD Nazgul Active MountpotteryPonte7, 8$ 139
SD Sentient Active MountAlnico VNeck7, 8$ 139
SD Psyclone Filter'TronAlnico VAny6$ 139
SD Hot GivenAlnico VBoth6$149 (set)
SD MayhempotteryBoth6$149 (set)
SD Vintage BluesAlnico VBoth6$149 (set)
SD DimebagpotteryBoth6$199 (set)
Disparo Triplo SD P-RailsAlnico VBoth6$259 (set)

active humbuckers

  • EMG makes a much wider range of active humbuckers than Seymour Duncan.
  • Most Seymour Duncan pickups are voiced specifically for the neck or the bridge but have the same name, while the EMG are usually voiced specific models for different positions, although they can still be used in both.
To chooseMagneticPositionropesPrice
Pacote de bobina SD Blackouts HBpotteryAny6$ 79
EMG 58alnicoAny6$ 99
EMG 60potteryNeck6, 7, 8$ 99
EMG 60AalnicoNeck6$ 99
EMG 81potteryPonte6, 7, 8$ 99
EMG 85alnicoNeck6, 7 ,8$ 99
EMG HpotteryAny6$ 99
EMG HAalnicoAny6$ 99
SD Blackouts HBpotteryAny6, 7$ 99
EMG 707alnicoAny7$ 109
EMG 58XalnicoAny6$ 109
EMG 60AXalnicoNeck6$ 109
EMG 60XalnicoNeck6, 7, 8$ 109
EMG 81XpotteryPonte6, 7 ,8$ 109
EMG 85XalnicoNeck6, 7, 8$ 109
EMG HXpotteryAny6$ 109
EMG HAXalnicoAny6$ 109
EMG 707XalnicoAny7$ 109
EMG 808alnicoAny8$ 119
EMG 81TWpotteryPonte6$ 119
EMG 57alnicoPonte6, 7, 8$ 119
EMG 66Alnico/CeramicsNeck6, 7, 8$ 119
EMG 89alnicoPonte6$ 119
EMG 89RalnicoPonte6$ 119
SD Mick ThomsonpotteryAny6, 7$ 119
SD RetributionpotteryAny7, 8$ 125
EMG 707TW/707TWRalnicoAny7$ 129
EMG 808XalnicoAny8$ 129
EMG 909alnicoAny9$ 129
EMG 81TWXpotteryAny6$ 129
EMG 89XalnicoPonte6$ 129
EMG 89XRalnicoPonte6$ 129
SD Jeff Loomis BlackoutsalnicoAny7$ 129
EMG 909XalnicoAny9$ 139
EMG 66TWAlnico/CeramicsNeck6$ 139
EMG 707TWX/ 707TWX-RalnicoAny7$ 139
fat EMG 55alnicoAny6, 7$199 (for set)
Ponte EMG Hot 70potteryPonte6, 7$199 (for set)
Neck EMG Hot 70alnicoNeck6, 7$199 (for set)
EMG Super 77potteryBoth6$199 (for set)
SD Dave MustainAlnico VBoth6$209 (for set)

P90 Pickups

  • EMG makes active and passive P90 pickups.
  • Seymour Duncan only makes passive P90 pickups.
  • Most Seymour Duncan pickups are voiced specifically for the neck or the bridge but have the same name, while the EMG are usually voiced specific models for different positions, although they can still be used in both.
To chooseTypemagnetsPositionPrice
SD Phat CatPassivealnico IIAny$ 89
SD Vintage P90Passivealnico IIAny$ 99
SD P-RailsPassiveAlnico VAny$ 99
Hot SD P90PassivepotteryAny$ 99
SD Custom P90PassivepotteryAny$ 99
EMG P60ActivepotteryNeck$ 99
EMG P60AActiveAlnico VNeck$ 99
EMG P81ActivepotteryPonte$ 99
EMG P85ActiveAlnico VPonte$ 99
EMG P91HZPassivepotteryPonte$ 99
EMG P92HZPassiveAlnico VNeck$ 99
SD Antiquity P90 Ear of DogPassivealnico IIAny$ 109
SD Antiquity P90Passivealnico IIAny$ 119
P90 SD batteryPassiveAlnico VAny$ 119

Stratocaster Single Coils

  • EMG manufactures both active and passive single coils, while Seymour Duncan only manufactures passive versions.
  • Most Seymour Duncan pickups are voiced specifically for the neck, middle and bridge positions but have the same name, while EMG pickups are usually voiced specific models for different positions, although they can still be used in either position. .
To chooseTypeMagneticPositionPrice
SD Custom Staggered StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 59
SD Vintage Staggered StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 59
SD Quarter Pound StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 59
SD scaled quarter pounderPassiveAlnico VAny$ 59
SD Hot StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 59
SD Vintage Flat StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 59
SD Custom Flat StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 59
SD Alnico II Pro Flat StratPassivealnico IIAny$ 69
SD Alnico II Pro tieredPassivealnico IIAny$ 69
SD Hot Stack StratPassivepotteryAny$ 79
Batom SD Strat TubePassiveAlnico VAny$ 85
SD Vintage Hot Plus StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 89
SD Cool Rails StratPassivepotteryAny$ 89
SD Vintage Rails StratPassivepotteryAny$ 89
SD DuckbuckersPassivepotteryAny$ 89
SD JB Jr StratPassivepotteryAny$ 89
SD Little '59 StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 89
SD Antiquity Strat Texas HotPassivealnico IIAny$ 89
SD Antiquity II Surfer StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 89
SD Classic Stack Plus StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 89
SD Custom Stack Plus StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 89
SD Hot Rails StratPassivepotteryAny$ 89
SD Five-TwoPassiveAlnico II+VAny$ 89
crossroads EMGActivealnico IIAny$ 89
EMG Maverick VActiveAlnico VAny$ 89
EMG SActivepotteryPonte$ 89
EMG S1PassiveAlnico VAny$ 89
EMG S2PassiveAlnico VAny$ 89
EMG S3PassiveAlnico VAny$ 89
EMG S4PassivepotteryAny$ 89
EMG SAActiveAlnico VAny$ 89
SAV EMGActiveAlnico VAny$ 89
EMG SLVActiveAlnico VAny$ 89
EMG SVActiveAlnico VAny$ 89
SD YJM Fury StratPassiveAlnico VAny$ 99
EMG SAVXActiveAlnico VAny$ 99
EMG SAXActiveAlnico VAny$ 99
EMG SLVXActiveAlnico VAny$ 99
EMG SXActivepotteryAny$ 99
SD Red DevilPassiveAlnico VAny$ 109

Telecaster Single Coils

  • EMG makes active single coils, while Seymour Duncan only makes passive versions.
  • The EMG Tele range is divided into those suitable for the neck and others suitable for the bridge position. Most Seymour Duncan pickups are also split this way, but some models include both neck and bridge varieties.
To chooseTypeMagneticPositionPrice
SD Vintage '54 TelePassiveAlnico VPonte$ 65
SD Vintage BroadcasterPassiveAlnico VAny$ 69
SD Quarter Pound TelePassiveAlnico VAny$ 69
SD Hot TelePassiveAlnico VAny$ 69
SD Vintage TelePassiveAlnico VNeck$ 69
SD Alnico II Pro TelePassivealnico IIAny$ 79
SD leader Jerry DonahuePassivealnico IIPonte$ 79
SD Hot Stack TelePassiveAlnico VPonte$ 79
SD Hot Rails TelePassivepotteryAny$ 89
SD Little '59 TelePassivepotteryPonte$ 89
EMG FTActiveAlnico VNeck$ 89
FTC EMGActivepotteryNeck$ 89
EMG RTActiveAlnico VPonte$ 89
EMG RTCActivepotteryPonte$ 89
SD Five-Two TelePassiveAlnico II+VAny$ 99
EMG FTCXActivepotteryNeck$ 99
EMG FTXActiveAlnico VNeck$ 99
EMG RTCXActivepotteryPonte$ 99
EMG RTXActiveAlnico VPonte$ 99

Which ones are the best?

This is always a difficult question to answer because tone is very subjective and what sounds good to me might not sound good to you. However, I would like to draw some conclusions to help you make your decisions:

  • If you want very high output active pickups for modern metal, go for EMGs.
  • If you want versatile pickups that have a balanced tone, choose Seymour Duncan pickups.
  • If you want passive pickups, Seymour Duncan offers a wider selection.

The Seymour Duncan pickups do a great job of producing a vintage, classic tone that works for just about every genre, and when using both clean and distorted amp settings. The EMG pickups are perfect for players looking to achieve a more modern high-gain tone, and while their clean tones sound bright and crisp, they're a little more love-or-hate than Duncan pickups.

If I were building an all-metal machine I wouldn't think twice about using EMGs, but for pretty much everything else I prefer the Seymour Duncan tone.

Here are some more articles you might find helpful:

(Video) Bridge Pickup: DIRTY FINGERS vs EMG 81 (W/ESP Explorer + Kemper) Hetfield Metallica By Vin GRAHAM

  • Captadores EMG vs Fishman Fluence
  • Guide to EMG Pickups


Seymour Duncan Vs EMG Pickups: Which Are Best? | Pro Sound HQ? ›

Seymour Duncan pickups have a more vintage tone compared to EMG pickups which sound more modern. Seymour Duncan make a wide range of passive pickups and make a limited range of active pickups, whilst EMG specialise more in active pickups, and make fewer passive options.

Is Seymour Duncan better than EMG? ›

Seymour Duncan pickups have a more vintage tone compared to EMG pickups which sound more modern. Seymour Duncan make a wide range of passive pickups and make a limited range of active pickups, whilst EMG specialise more in active pickups, and make fewer passive options.

Do EMG pickups sound good? ›

EMGs can do well in the rock category as they are designed for distorted guitar tones ideal for dirty rock rhythm and mid-gain solos for a sweet rock lead tone. EMG pickups also have a flat frequency response and are excellent at taming feedback and hum.

What makes Seymour Duncan pickups so good? ›

Seymour Duncan pickups have a clearer tone than Duncan Designed pickups, which can sound a bit muddy when using a lot of distortion. Duncan Designed pickups tend to have more low-end causing them to sound warmer than Seymour Duncan pickups.

Which is better Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio humbuckers? ›

The Quick Answer. Seymour Duncan pickups usually have a more balanced tone and wider dynamic range than DiMarzio pickups. Seymour Duncan pickups are well known for their versatility, and many players prefer their vintage output tones. DiMarzio pickups are often associated with their high output and modern tones.

What EMG did Metallica use? ›

Hetfield has been a major endorser of ESP guitars since the 1980s, and is best known for playing custom-made Explorer-style guitars with the EMG-81 inthe bridge and the EMG-60 in the neck and most recently collaborated with EMG founder Rob Turner on his signature EMG-JH Set.

What EMG pickups did Prince use? ›

Prince's guitar has EMG 85 in the bridge and EMG SA in the neck.

Why are EMG pickups popular? ›

EMG's products, for example, feature far less wire coils than most passive pickups. This means that their natural output is actually very low, resulting in a much quieter and almost noise-free sound.

What artists use EMG pickups? ›

Their active pickups are most popular among hard rock and metal artists such as Metallica, Slayer, Zakk Wylde, Sepultura, Judas Priest, Exodus, Emperor, Cannibal Corpse, Children of Bodom, Death Angel, Cryptopsy, Malevolent Creation and Primus but also used by others such as Prince, Vince Gill, Kyle Sokol, Steve ...

What EMG pickups does David Gilmour use? ›

David Gilmour is recognized the world over for his revolutionary and incomparable sound which he has used to great effect both with Pink Floyd and as a solo artist. When you hear the tones coming out of his red Strat® you are hearing him play his signature EMG Pro Series system, the EMG-DG20.

Did Eddie Van Halen use DiMarzio pickups? ›

The closest sounding pickups that DiMarzio offers to the Van Halen set are the Air Norton™ for the neck position and either the The Tone Zone® or the DiMarzio® AT-1™ for the bridge position. 2) The reddish color neck position single coil in Eddie's Frankenstrat is a DiMarzio Fat Strat, later renamed the FS-1™.

What pickups did Eric Clapton use? ›

Using the '56 Strat's alder body with its black lacquer finish and the one-piece maple neck with its hard “V” shape from a '57, Jones began piecing together Clapton's dream mongrel. The pickups were all standard Strat pickups; two were original from the mid-50s, and a third was from 1970.

What Humbucker did Eddie Van Halen use? ›

Eddie installed a PAF humbucker from his ES-335 and cannibalized the tremolo unit from his Strat. (The Floyd Rose unit was added later.) The pickup was installed at a slight angle to compensate for the differing string spacings of the Fender tremolo and the Gibson humbucker.

Are Seymour Duncan pickups worth it? ›

Duncan's pickups are great pickups too, they're known and are pretty basic flavors for the most part. They do custom winds but Duncan custom shop pickups are expensive like any custom wound pickup.

Why is the Seymour Duncan JB so popular? ›

“Many of England's top guitarists sought out Seymour's JB model for their humbucker-equipped guitars [as a result of the success of Blow By Blow],” said Evan. “They found that the JB gave increased output (16.4kohms) without sounding harsh or dark like other high-output pickups of the mid-70s.

What makes expensive pickups better? ›

Expensive ones are usually built with better materials, more work and effort is evolved and the manufacturer has the higher skill and quality requirements. To someone who's either starting out or who's just not that familiar with different types of pickups, it might feel that they're too expensive.

Does Kirk Hammett use EMGs? ›

Kirk Hammett has been ripping up solos for Metallica for over 30 years. Riffs on Ride the Lighting, Master of Puppets, and the Black Album are a must learn for all rock guitarists. For Kirk, his tone starts with EMG pickups.

What pickups did Dave Mustaine use? ›

For many years – until he developed his signature Dave Mustaine LW-MUST Livewire pickups with us – Dave used the JB and Jazz humbuckers (otherwise known as the Hot Rodded Humbucker Set).

What EMG does Jim Root use? ›

Jim Root, a long time user of the EMG 81/60 combo, began the process of developing a signature set well over three years ago.

Which is better EMG or Fishman pickups? ›

Generally, Fishman Fluence pickups sound a bit crisper and clearer than EMG pickups. EMG pickups tend to sound a bit warmer with more bass, but less treble and mid-range than Fluence's. This makes Fishman Fluence pickups very suitable for lead playing and EMG pickups well suited to rhythm guitar.

How can I make my EMG pickups sound better? ›

If you find that the output level of your EMG pickup is too hot to get clean tones, the easiest fix is to reduce the gain on your amp (if it has pre-amp/master volume controls). If that doesn't do the trick, then try turning down the volume control on your guitar.

How long do EMG pickups last? ›

How long do EMG pickups last? A typical 9V battery will last around 3000 hours in an active pickup before the voltage drops enough for the signal to cut out. If you have two active pickups in your guitar, you can expect this to drop to around 1500 hours.

What pickups did Led Zeppelin use? ›

Handwound '58 Single-coil Pickups

Jimmy Page started his career playing a '59 Fender Telecaster, which he used in the early Led Zeppelin days, and the first album, Led Zeppelin I, in 1969. The guitar had hand-wound '58 single-coil pickups, which were popular in the 1950s for their warm tone without much high-end.

Do EMG pickups hum? ›

Generally (if installed properly) EMGs don't hum, period. Only under very, very bad conditions (lots of stage lights at close range) did I ever notice a slight hum, if any and that was rarely the case. And I have been using EMG pickups for a long time.

What kind of pickups did Stevie Ray Vaughan use in his Stratocaster? ›

Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster
BridgeLeft-handed American vintage synchronized tremolo
Pickup(s)Three Texas Special single-coils
Colors available
11 more rows

What pickups does Stevie Ray Vaughan use? ›

Danelectro Lipstick Single-Coil Pickups

These were Danelectro pickups, the so-called lipstick single-coils. And, of course, this was the only guitar that had these pickups. You can hear them on Stevie's “Life Without You.” Here's how these pickups sounded live.

What EMG pickups did James Hetfield use? ›

Hetfield always used EMG pickups back in the day, usually EMG 81/60 pickups, but managed to get his own custom pickups – the Het Set – which was released in 2009. He now uses these more or less exclusively with Metallica.

Does James Hetfield use EMG pickups? ›

Hetfield always used EMG pickups back in the day, usually EMG 81/60 pickups, but managed to get his own custom pickups – the Het Set – which was released in 2009. He now uses these more or less exclusively with Metallica.


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