If you're thinking of switching to Mini-Humbuckers, or upgrading what you have, here's 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.
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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.
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Both the DP168 and DP198 are pretty cool pickups. But naturally, the DP198 is quite a bit hotter. The difference between the sound in parallel and series modes 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 : – )