5 Best Jazz Guitar Pickups for Nailing the Funkiest Genre

As a guitarist or musician, it goes without saying that you need to invest a sizable amount of time in making sure your guitar is producing the exact sounds that you want it to create. After all, there are plenty of customizable elements to a guitar, each one holding the ability to be tweaked to audio perfection.

For example, if you want to play a specific genre, the factory settings and components of your guitar may not provide the depth of sound or the warmth of the sound you’re looking for. For example, if you want to play jazz music, not only will you need the right tuneage and string setup, but also a jazz-suitable pickup.

Of course, a pick is the part of your guitar that converts the vibrations of your strings and turns them into signals which transfer to your speaker which converts them into sound; making it easy to see why it’s essential when it comes to making the sound you want to make.

Today, we’re combining both these aspects to help discover the best guitar pickups available today that can help you to create a jazz sound with your guitar.

We’ve taken everything into consideration, including the price, quality of the sound, and any extra features they may have, ensuring you’ll be able to find the model that’s right for you.

DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup

DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup

To start off this list, we’ve opted for a stunning jazz pickup set from DiMarzio. This set comes with two individual pickups, which means you’ll be able to upgrade your whole guitar, or just the neck or the bridge, making it the ideal choice when it comes to flexibility.

What makes these pickups great for jazz music is the fact that they come with a soft, slightly lessened magnetic field. This means you’ll be able to enjoy absolute clarity with your sound, all while the notes retain their warm and inviting feeling.

However, the magnetic field isn’t weak enough that you can’t enjoy an impressive pick attack if that’s how you want to play. With the ability to manage quick-change clean and distorted sounds, this is one multi-functional pickup.

What’s more, this pickup set is easily one of the most affordable pickups on the market, replicating and celebrating over 36 years of PAF-styled pickups, and easily one of the cleanest products out there, these pickups make a great choice for any guitarist or musician.

PROS
  • Special design celebrating over 36 years of PAF-styled pickups
  • 2-wire coil and soft magnetic field for warm and inviting jazz sounds
  • Two pickups per set, perfect for bridge, neck, or entire guitar upgrade
  • Can excel in both clean and distorted sounds
CONS
  • None!

Seymour Duncan SH-1n’59 Model Humbucker Pickup

Seymour Duncan SH-1n’59 Model Humbucker Pickup

Next up, we’ve of course chosen a pickup from Seymour Duncan, one of the most popular and most in-demand modern-day pickup manufactures in the world. Seymour Duncan never fails to impress with their audio products, and these pickups are no exception.

Coming in with an affordable to high-end price tag, this particular model has been designed and based on the ’59 PAF style humbucker neck pickup, which ensures you’ll be able to recreate the jazzy sounds of the late ‘50s.

This pickup is also produced using 4 conductor cable, complete with a special, highly functional Alnico V Bar magnet for an outstanding response time, and a crystal-clear sound produced. All this leading technology is then encased within a premium-quality nickel cover to ensure it’s highly durable and provides a long lifespan.

As the title suggests, this pickup is designed to help you recreate those Gibson Les Paul sounds from the late 50’s, ideal for creating jazz sounds which is what the guitars were commonly used for. Since these pickups are made by Seymour Duncan as well, you can be sure that every aspect of quality will be exceptional.

PROS
  • Produced by a leading audio pickup manufacturer; Seymour Duncan
  • Uses a special Alnico V bar Magnet for an incredible response time
  • Highly-durable nickel cover for protection and long lifespan
  • Used to create the jazz sounds of the late ‘50s
CONS
  • None!

Kent Armstrong Stealth 90 - Noiseless P90 Neck Pickup

Kent Armstrong Stealth 90 – Noiseless P90 Neck Pickup

If you’re in need of a premium-quality pickup that can help you to replicate those awesome jazz sounds that you’ve been looking for, the Kent Armstrong manufacturers may have the solution you’ve been looking for.

With an impressive resistance of 17.2K, this particular model is designed to be effortlessly installed into the neck of your guitar, creating a warm and satisfying sound, while remaining inviting with an ultra-fast response time to ensure the maximum and most beneficial level of quality.

With your purchase, you’ll receive the single pickup which is designed to universal sizes, meaning that it should be able to fit into the vast majority of guitars without having to make slight modifications to the body.

You’ll also find four conductor wires, giving you everything you need to make sure the pickup is installed properly. Kent Armstrong produces a large array of popular pickups, and this golden model is no exception, making this the ideal choice for a musician of any skill level.

PROS
  • Gold-plated design for maximum durability
  • 17.2K resistance when installed into the neck
  • Universal sizes for easy installation
  • Creates a lovely jazz-styled sound
CONS
  • May not sound as ‘jazzy’ as other pickups on this list

Gibson 57 Classic Plus Humbucker Nickel Cover

Gibson 57 Classic Plus Humbucker Nickel Cover

Of course, a list of guitar components wouldn’t be complete without a mention from Gibson, one of the pioneering audio specialists that have maintained this rank for the last few decades. With this humbucker pickup, you’ll have everything you need to create that iconic jazz sound.

In fact, this pickup is designed to replicate, using traditional methods, the sound that the ’57 humbucker Gibson’s created, which is ideal for jazz, since this is the sort of guitar jazz artists used during this famous era.

The pickups are produced using high-quality special Alnico II magnets which have then been wound with a vintage
enamel-coated wire. This production technique and design mean you’ll be able to benefit from super-fast response times, a beautiful crisp sound, and stunning clarity with every note and chord you play.

These also happen to be one of the most high-quality pickups thanks to their nickel build. This includes a nickel cover to protect your pickup and to stop dust and dirt from ruining the interior, as well as nickel-plated pole pieces for a secure installation and nickel slugs. There’s also maple spacers to continue this level of quality.

While these may be the most expensive pickups on this list, and there’s only one pickup per purchase, these highly-rated, and hugely popular models are ideal for professional musicians, or those who want the best when it comes to performing and finding the sound they want to create.

PROS
  • Uses special Alnico II magnets with vintage enamel-coated wire for ultimate sound production
  • Highly rated and insanely popular with musicians of all skill level
  • Recreates the famous Gibson ’57 humbucker sound
  • Nickel-plated and incorporated design for a quality, long-lasting build
CONS
  • The premium price tag
  • One comes with one pickup per purchase

Seymour Duncan SJB-2 Hot Jazz Bass Neck Pickup

Seymour Duncan SJB-2 Hot Jazz Bass Neck Pickup

To finish off our list, we’ve opted for this awesome little jazz bass pickup which is designed by the legends of Seymour Duncan to fit effortlessly into the neck of your guitar, ensuring that you’ll be able to create the jazz sounds that you’re looking for.

This is an incredibly affordable pickup, guaranteeing that it’s suitable for all price ranges, budgets, and musicians of any skill and dedication level. Of course, this particular pickup is designed originally for your bass guitar, providing you with all you need for the best sound.

The sound generated comes from the ultra-fast response times, a single internal coil, and is designed in such a way that it will add a tremendous amount of warmth and punch to your performance; aka. Perfect for jazz sets.

This particular model has been professionally crafted from a hand-ground 5-rod Alnico magnet to provide this quality level of performance yet maintains its custom coil design to ensure that the bass still sounds fat and deep. It even provides a bit of a growl to your mid-section.

With hum-canceling technology and the ability to drop right into your guitar without having to make any adjustments to your body, this is the ideal choice for guitarists who are looking to bring a bit of life into their sets.

PROS
  • Perfect jazz option for bass guitars
  • Crafted using hand-ground 5-rod Alnico magnets
  • Custom coil design for a unique sound and playing experience
  • Incredible affordable and easy installation
CONS
  • Only suitable for bass guitars

Summary

When it comes to choosing the right pickup for you to create the jazz sounds you’ve been looking for, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot on offer and it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed.

However, any of the five pickups we’ve listed above are sure to make the ideal choice and help you achieve your audio aspirations.

Leave a Comment