What Are The Best Mini Humbucker Guitar Pickups?

What Are The Best Mini Humbucker Guitar Pickups?
Gibson Mini-Humbuckers

If you are thinking of switching to Mini-Humbuckers, or upgrading to them, here is a rundown of the best ones out there.

Mini Humbucker pickups offer you the best of both worlds; they are humbucking (i.e. no 60-cycle hum), they are capable of great chime and clarity when you play clean, and when you use a lot of drive, they sound fantiastic. They will never sound quite the same as a full-sized humbucker, but they have a fullness and grit all their own. You really have to experiment with Mini Humbucker pickups and find the ones that are best for you, but it is worth the effort.

Seymour Duncan

Vintage Mini-Humbucker SM-1

This is a pretty faithful reproduction of a Firebird pickup.  Duncan kinda ruins it by sticking their friggin’ logo on it, but that’s just me. Great single coil / humbucker hybrid sound and drops right into place.

Custom Mini-Humbucker SM-2

This is a great mini humbucker for more driven tones. The clarity is pretty good on this pickup and it does clean tones well.

Seymourized Mini-Humbucker SM-3

The most aggressive of the three, this pickup offers a high output with strong mids and great clarity.

Seymour Duncan Product Page


Both the DP168 and DP198 are pretty cool pickups. Naturally, the DP198 is quite a bit hotter. The difference between the sound in parallel and series mode is pretty drastic. In series mode this is the thickest mini humbucker I know of. It may be a bit too much for some, but the lower mids are pretty off the hook. In parallel mode these are a bit on the bright side, but plenty of snap crackle and pop.


Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Mini Humbucker Reissue

This thing just sounds great. If you are a big fan of the Les Paul Deluxe, this pickup pretty much nails that sound.

Summary: Mini Humbuckerguitar pickups are wonderful inventions. They offer plenty of girth and bite when you want a full humbucking sound. Yet, when you want the sweet bell-like tone of a single coil, they can handle that very well. These days, it seems like just about every after-market company offers at least one Mini Humbucker pickup. Vintage, Noiseless, take your pick(up).. pun intended : – )

What Are The Best Telecaster Neck Pickups?

Telecaster Neck Pickup
What are the best Telecaster Neck pickups?

Nowadays, between digital modeling and overall great engineering, you can make virtually any guitar sound like just about any other guitar. Except, you cannot make any guitar really sound like a Telecaster. You can try, but it will never really quite smell right. If you are looking to upgrade your Telecaster neck pickup, you are in good luck. Many great sounding models are out there that offer not only a high-quality tone but they do so at a pretty reasonable price.

Noiseless / Hum-Canceling

Dimarzio Area T™ Neck DP417

Designed to retain warmth and clarity even when using high levels of distortion or overdrive. Chrome cover is included but does not interfere with the sound.

Seymour Duncan Hot Rails™ for Tele STHR-1n

Very high output, very strong mids, best for more aggressive styles.

Seymour Duncan Hot Rails STHR-1n Product Page

Vintage Style (non hum-canceling)

Lindy Fralin Stock Tele® Replacement Style Neck

Plain Enamel wire is used to wind these for a 7k output, with an option for an additional 2% more output.

Lindy Fralin Stock Tele Neck Product Page

Lindy Fralin High Output Tele® Style Neck

8k output, staggered magnets.

Lindy Fralin High Output Neck Product Page

Lindy Fralin Steel Poled Tele® Style Neck

Adjustable pole pieces and the option for 10% more output (7k) or 15% more output (9k).

Lindy Fralin Steel Poled Tele Neck Product Page

Dimarzio True Velvet™ T DP177

Designed to provide more clarity in the low wound strings and smooth out the highs. Double wax-potted to minimize squealing.

Dimarzio True Velvet Product Page

Dimarzio Twang King™ T DP172

Designed to provide more clarity in the low wound strings and smooth out the highs. Double wax-potted to minimize squealing.

Dimarzio Twang King DP172 Product Page

Seymour Duncan Vintage Rhythm STR-1

A faithful reproduction of 1950s Telecaster neck pickup.

Seymour Duncan Vintage Rhythm STR-1 Product Page