Which humbucker you need for your Les Paul will vary depending on the version of your Les Paul, as well as playing style. Which music do you play on your Les Paul? Is it Jazz, Blues, Rock, Metal, or something else? If you want to select a humbucker for metal and rock, get a model with Alnico 3 or 5 magnets, and a well-bladed design.
You will need that extra power and crunch on the low ends, as well as more sustain on the midranges and after notes. Take note of the noise shielding on your humbucker, and the overall build quality. More windings are suited for bridge placement, while lesser windings (lesser resistance) is more suited to neck placement. Four chord pickups allow you to split the pickup.
Below, we have listed some of the most amazing humbuckers currently available for Les Paul guitars.
Recommended Humbucker Pickups for Les Paul Guitars
Our Pick: Seymour Duncan SH1n ’59 Model Electric Guitar Humbucker Pickup
What’s good: Vintage sound and design, single-conductor thickly braided wire, standard spacing
Not so good: May not be the best choice for guitars that use lightweight and highly resonant wood
Seymour Duncan has never disappointed and no matter what pickup they make, it just sounds exactly the way it was intended to.
The SH1n’59 passive pickup packs some of the thickest and most immaculately wound coil stacks that we have ever seen, and the pole pieces are optimized for delivering tons of grunge and distortion which is perfect for playing rock and metal.
The wire is thickly braided and the overall tone of these humbuckers is geared towards the classic 50’s sounds which were a lot more natural, fuller, and full of dark, distorted tunes.
Gibson ’57 Classic Plus Humbucker Pickup
What’s good: Solid all-metal construction, braided wire, solid punch in low-mid ranges
Not so good: We expected slightly more output from a pickup of this price
Gibson’s Classic 57 requires no introduction as it is one of the industry mainstays as far as humbuckers are concerned.
It has been around since ages and the sound it makes is reminiscent of the good old ’50s and early ’60s when British rock was really popular and people were drifting towards darker, more distorted notes.
The output seems slightly gimped since the superb magnets and heavy winding on this beast is definitely capable of pumping out more than it does by default.
However, the mids and lows are very balanced with lots of depth and you can even add in distortion with some fiddling.
DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary
What’s good: Balanced warmth and clarity, capable of playing both clean as well as distorted
Not so good: Not recommended for mahogany guitars
Do you love warm and full sounds? Want something that is slightly dark, but not too flat? Then get the DiMarzio PAF DP103 humbucker.
These complement the natural resonance characteristics of a Les Paul guitar perfectly, and they are more than capable of playing both types of sound- clean as well as distorted.
However, we definitely wouldn’t recommend these for mahogany guitars since the inherently flat and dark nature of mahogany guitars will make these humbuckers sound really suppressed and damp.
Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates Set
What’s good: Well defined midrange, Vintage sound
Not so good: Price
The Pearly Gates are some of the finest pickups out there that can replicate the original character of Billy Gibbons 1959 Les Paul.
With the polished nickel covers on these pickups, you will never run into any sort of distortion problems ever again, and the shell is completely vibration as well as resonance proof.
The vintage sound is obtained by implementing excellent noise shielding and pole pieces. The lows and mids sound crunchy with lots of room for expansion, while the highs seem clean and free from coloration
Foxnovo Professional Sealed Humbucker Pickups for Les Pauls
What’s good: Made of copper and thick plastic, more crunch for the punch, warm lows
Not so good: No markings to differentiate between the bridge pickup, and the neck pickup
These humbuckers carry a “PROFESSIONAL” tag in their name, however, do these really sound all that professional? Well, the answer is both yes and no.
Here’s why- The lows are VERY warm and carry tons of crunch that is absolutely amazing for rock and metal. You can easily play around with the pickup switches and add tons of distortion to them, and they can also sound clean if you want.
So why don’t they qualify for an actual “professional” grade experience? Well, to begin with, the output on the bridge pickup just feels lacking.
Maybe it is the magnets, maybe it is the coils. Also, the highs tend to distort and the mids seem a little flat on certain types of guitars. But hey, as long as you use Les Paul’s you should be fine.
Kmise 1set Humbucker Pickup Gold for Gibson Les Paul Replacement
What’s good: 16K bridge pickup, gold cover, more crunch on low ends
Not so good: No wiring diagram is provided
Actually, the Kmise comes in two separate versions- GOLD and BLACK. Is there any difference between the two other than the fact that the GOLD edition comes with a gold-covered base?
Well, to be honest, they don’t really sound all that different at first and are even priced quite close to each other, with the GOLD edition obviously costing that slight bit more.
Aside from its flashy looks though, this passive pickup does an excellent job of delivering that extra crunch on lows, while the mids are definitely a slight bit fuller than they were on the BLACKS. Whether this is because of the change in shielding or different winding patterns, we don’t know.
What’s good: Compatible with Gibson LP EPIPHONE guitars, pickup comes with height adjusting springs and screws
Not so good: Don’t deliver the cleanest tones, may carry some distortion
If you want a good replacement pickup on the budget, then this humbucker might interest you. The YMC is not at all special in terms of audio quality, however, the lows are clean and punchy, while the mids are full and warm.
Highs tend to get a little distorted, but you should know that the frequency range at which these tend to break is way beyond what you would normally achieve with typical metal or rock songs.
Unless you’re really into bright and percussive sounds, these should work just fine for you, also the construction is pretty solid too.