Best Les Paul Pickups for Classic Rock

As a classic rock lover, if you need the top, rich, full sound on your guitar, you need to get the best Les Paul pickups for classic rock. Every guitar player detests the annoying hums that overshadow or interferes with the sound produced while they are playing, yet many have not found a worthy solution to overcoming this problem. If you have been battling with such issues or related ones, then this review will come as a relief for you. Modern guitar for playing rock and metal require pickups that are made from high-quality materials.

Getting the best Les Paul pickup for classic rock in the market is not an easy task; in fact, the chances of making the wrong decision are high. Pay attention to the details we will be delivering in this review, they are designed to help you lay your hands on the best product, and also ensure that you get the right sound you crave for. Pay careful attention to the criteria and tips that will help you reach the best sound on your guitar while playing classic rock.

Criteria for Selecting Best Les Paul Pickups for Classic Rock

Picking the best Les Paul pickups for classic rock is not an arduous task, yet there are several factors that must be considered if you will make the right decision. Focus on four of the essential features to watch out for when making your decision, and how each of these factors influences how good the pickup you are selecting is. 

Circuitry

One of the most important decisions you have to make is to get either an active or passive pickup. There are two ways pickups generate their voltage. The passive, which makes use of magnets, and active, which makes use of magnets and is boosted by a preamp. Originally, pickups were made with passive pickup, but technology improves over time, this led to the birth of active pickups. Active pickups give more tonal clarity, consistency at varying volumes, and stronger overdrives. Passive pickups sound better, making it a popular option. 

Coil type

You also need to be specific on the coil type. Guitar pickups are delivered in two basic designs, will you be going for a single coil or humbucker (double coil)? Double coil came into the picture when it was noticed that noise can be canceled out with the signals still remaining intact when two single coils are joined together. Les Paul is popular for their use of humbucker as it comes with more sustain, Less noise, and stronger output. Single coils, on the other hand, are also brighter and deliver crisper sound compared to the warm and dark tone produced by humbuckers. The single-coil works well with clean sounds, unlike humbucker, that works with distorted sounds. 

Output

You also need to pick between high or moderate output. When making use of passive pickups, you can increase the output, when you add more winds of copper wire. Active pickups deliver more even without adding winds of copper wire. Going for higher output will help you drive your amp to distortion but comes with Lesser dynamic range. Lower output, on the other hand, produces clear sound with a high dynamic range, but your amp sound won’t be sufficiently driven. 

Magnet

The pickup output is affected by the magnet features. This includes the material and the layout of the magnet. Your layout options include the individual magnetic poles, steel poles extending from a magnetic bar, or blade style layout. The most popular material used for making pickups is a metal alloy that blends aluminum, nickel, and cobalt together, leading to the popular Alnico in short form.

Read: Best Passive Pickups For Metalcore

5 Best Les Paul Pickups for Classic Rock

Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker Alnico & Ceramic Pickups Set, Black Nickel

For the best Les Paul pickups for classic rock, this is one excellent option you have. This device carries unique power that makes it easier for you to make music the right way. It carries full chords and fluid solos, which is accompanied by a full, rich voice you have not heard before in a humbucker. The pickup features a cutting ceramic attack that helps improve the quality of sound produced. It also features brutal active aggression and passive punch, which are packed to help you enjoy playing the right way. One good thing about this pickup is that you can pair it with an alnico neck. It features multiple voices, so you can set it to your desired voice, or switch between different voices when playing. This pick up is professionally designed to replace standard humbucker pickups. They are rechargeable when on your guitar, or you can make use of the lithium-ion battery that offers you the opportunity to play for countless numbers of hours.

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EMG LF-DMF Lars Frederiksen Signature Passive Humbucker Guitar Pickup Set

This is another excellent design that ranks high as the best Les Paul pickups for classic rock. It carries a unique and exceptional old school classic design in a new and more modern outlook. This pickup comes with a ceramic magnet humbucker bridge pickup; this leads to a clean, articulate high. The Alnico 5 humbucker neck pickup also helps in delivering a rhythmic mid-ranger and power. These are all essential for playing classic rock. The pickup comes with double rows of adjustable pole pieces, and custom windings, which makes sure that noise rejection is guaranteed, especially when playing on passive guitar pickups. Without the noise rejection feature, you will definitely not enjoy playing. This package comes with EMG’s exclusive solderless install system.

EMG LF-DMF Lars Frederiksen Signature Passive Humbucker Guitar Pickup Set

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Seymour Duncan Seth Lover Set Nickel Electric Guitar Electronics

These calibrated pickups are often considered as one of the best and most faithful PAF’s in the market. Top of its features includes its ability to deliver sweet and smooth tones when you are playing. It is the best Les Paul pickups for classic rock, jazz, blues, and other playing styles. If you wish to transform your semi-hollow or solid body into a classic rock machine, this pickup set is the right option for you. To produce a smooth and perfect tone for your playing pleasure, the pickup professionally balances warm, full low end, and exceptional sweet treble. Thanks to the alnico 2 bar magnet, a smooth high-end response is guaranteed. The rich harmonic content of the pickup is brought forward clearly by the vintage output coil. This pickup delivers the warm, open, and airy tone you crave while playing on your guitar.

Seymour Duncan Seth Lover Set Nickel Electric Guitar Electronics

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FLEOR Electric Guitar Humbucker Pickups Double Coil Guitar Bridge Pickup & Neck Pickups Set – Black

As long as your guitar is compatible with pickups, this is the best Les Paul pickups for classic rock you can get. This ceramic humbucker pickup features six non-adjusted slug poles and six adjustable screw holes. The neck resistance pick is 7 – 8K, and the bridge resistance pick is 14 – 15K. This pickup is fully waxed and sealed to ensure that unnecessary feedback and noise are actively eliminated. If you want your sound unique and clear when playing, this pickup is the right option for you. Unlike other pickups that are hard to install, this one can be installed quite easily. The pickup has a picking pole spacing of 50mm in the neck and 52mm in the bridge. The pickup comes with a black ABS bobbing.

FLEOR Electric Guitar Humbucker Pickups Double Coil Guitar Bridge Pickup & Neck Pickups Set - Black

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EMG JH James Hetfield Signature Guitar Pickup Set, Black Chrome

This is another stealth looking set that delivers all the quality you need. As one of the best Les Paul pickups for classic rock, it features active tones that are delivered with much clarity and punch of passive pickups. Additionally, the pickup features a tight attack, which comes with Less inductance resulting in a cleaner low end. This pickup is also very easy to install; it is a solderless install pickup. This pickup carries the power and clarity you desire, making all play sessions more interesting. This JH set features a JH-N neck, which comes with individual ceramic poles and bobbins featuring a bigger core and is as tall as 60. It also features the JH-B bridge, which makes use of the same type of core, although they are made from steel poles.

EMG JH James Hetfield Signature Guitar Pickup Set, Black Chrome

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Read: Best Passive Speakers for Turntable 

Getting the Best Out of Your Best Les Paul Pickups for Classic Rock

The goal of everyone searching for the best Les Paul pickups for classic rock is to play and get the sound they desire. While we have delivered criteria that will help you make the right selection, there are more important things needed if you want to deliver the sort of sound needed. Focus on the following points, as we discuss ways to make the pickup deliver the top rich sound you desire. 

Identify your preference

It is hard to get a guitar pickup that is designed solely for classic rocks, or other styles of music. Yet understanding what you want to play helps you narrow down the options available. As such, you need to focus on your output level; this will make a pickup suitable for playing classic rock or not. You should go for higher outputs if your goal is to play classic rock. The feature of this playing style requires something heavy, which is delivered in higher output designs. 

What are the external tonal influences?

One basic truth is, your guitar tone is influenced by several factors. The pickup is not the only factor influencing the sound of the guitar. You are also expected to pay attention to the other features and factors that affect the sound. One of them is the pedals and amps. You should also pay attention to the sort of strings you are using, the volume knobs of the guitar, the type of wood used, and the style of the neck. 

What fits you best?

While there are several factors to consider when making your selection, your goal should be finding pickups that fit you and your playing style well. More importantly, the sort of pickup presently inside the cavity plays a major role. You may need to get a pickup that will exactly fit into the already cut body inside the guitar. Changing from a single coil to a humbucker is also simple, but switching always comes with some problems. You may have to cut new holes in your guitar; another alternative is to use single coils that are shaped like humbuckers. 

Humbucker for single-coil cavities features three options 

  • Reverse wound single coil: this design wounds the pickup in the opposite direction, as such, noise can easily be canceled when you combine it with neck or bridge pickups. 
  • Rail humbuckers: this dual-coils design sits easily beside humbuckers, but fits well into a single-coil slot since they are half in size. They also function like a humbucker, both in sound and in their noise cancellation properties. 
  • Stacks: also, dual-coil and tacked from top to bottom, unlike humbuckers. Their sound is also very similar to the single-coil design and comes with noise cancellation features. Yet, they are not exactly like single-coils. 

Changing your pickups

It is important that you take good care of your pickups, changing it every now and then is not the best option. Pickups are very easy to change, especially when you don’t need to solder them to your guitar. For such ones, you can easily fix it yourself. If you are getting one that requires soldering, on the other hand, taking it to a guitar expert will be better. You can damage the guitar if you don’t get the soldering well.

Read: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Les Paul

Conclusion

So far, we have extensively talked about the best Les Paul pickups for classic rock. I do hope you have a better picture of what it takes to get a good one. We have considered some of the essential factors that should influence your decision and how these factors can be combined to produce a clear sound. We have also talked about some of the essential tips required if your pickup will deliver the sort of sound you desire, and the best way to handle the pickup. This review has also provided five of the best Les Paul pickups for classic rocks, identifying their unique features, and why you should consider buying them. Making the right decision when making your selection will help you enjoy every moment you spend playing sounds on your guitar.

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