As any guitar player will already be very aware of, the pickup you use will determine outright what kind of sound and tones you and your guitar are producing. If you’ve chosen a weak and poorly designed pick up, this is going to result in a weak sound, a sound that’s overflowing with distortion and other unwanted noise.
However, if you make the right choice and choose a pickup that’s a superior quality, this result you’ll be able to enjoy is out of this world. Of course, there are a lot of superb choices out there for you to make your selection from, but when it comes to upgrading your Les Paul model guitar, there are a few things you’re going to want to be aware of.
To start with, you’re going to want to choose a pickup that can fit effortlessly into your existing Gibson guitar.
After all, you’re not going to want to be making any modifications to the pickup or cutting up the body of your guitar. In short, Les Paul guitars use single-coil humbucker-sized pickups that fall between the P-90 guidelines.
You’ll also want to think about the style of sound that’s going to be produced; that’s in addition to the overall quality. Are you looking for your Les Paul to sound like the traditional 50s or 60s sounds, or are you looking for something more modern?
Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve gone out of our way to help you find the best of the best Les Paul pickups that you’re going to love. In fact, we’ve managed to narrow them down to just four, making your final purchasing decision effortless. Let’s jump straight in!
#1 – Seymour Duncan Sh1n’59 Model Electric Guitar Humbucker Pickup
To start off this list, we’re chosen one of the most outstanding P-90 pickups which could easily be voted as one of the best Les Paul pickups by guitarists all over the world. This classic Humbucker pickup is ideal for the neck position on a Les Paul guitar and is produced using the standard spacing you would expect, ensuring that your string tones are picked up perfectly.
What we love about this Les Paul pickup is the fact that it’s been designed to sound like the traditional Les Paul sound. This means if you’re looking for that vintage sound that the traditional and first-ever Les Paul guitars made, this is quite possibly the closest you’ll come to it, especially if you’re playing with a modern guitar.
There are flexible tonal options available, whether you want to choose a black or white style to suit the current visual tones of your guitar, or perhaps even if you’re looking for a unique contrast effect!
As you would expect from a Humbucker pickup such as this, there is a single-coil on the inside which is perfect for creating clean and warm tones, just as Les Paul’s were intended to make.
Finally, when you’re referring to the details that this pickup provides, such as the squeal and distortion-free performance, scooped mid sounds and the beautiful plain enamel wire that all comes together to create these gorgeous and harmonious pickups that you won’t know what you did without them!
- Perfect fit for Les Paul guitars (no modifications needed)
- Vintage style of sound and tones
- Gorgeous black and white tones available
- Squeal and distortion-free quality
- Single-coil design
#2 – Wolfetone Dr. Vintage Humbucker Pickups Nickle Covers for Les Paul
If you’re looking for what the majority of guitarists would call their absolute best pickups for their Les Paul’s, the chances are they would go with these pickups from Wolfetone. These are the most premium pickups on the market and while some of the most expensive, you really do get all the bang for your buck.
Despite the lucrative price tag, here, quality is of the paramount. These USA-made humbucker coils have been custom-wound by the Wolfetone creators, giving you a sound that’s out of this world and unlike the sound you’ll hear from any other pickups.
The quality is pristine, and the sound is heavenly. Mixed with the Vintage Braided Conductor, this pickup set will give you the traditional Les Paul 50’s sound you’ve been looking for.
What’s more, just one look at these beautiful pickups and you’ll fall in love. The polished nickel covers add to the quality and jaw-dropping style that these pickups ooze, ones that are sure to captivate both you and your audience. The sound you’ll receive from these is both light and welcoming, with the bridge generating 8.05K and 7.5K on the neck, this is only pickup set you’ll need!
- Beautiful nickel-plated covers
- Aligned Alnico-2 magnets for optimal sound pickup
- Custom wound humbucker coils
- Integrated vintage braided conductor
- Premium price tag
#3 – Seymour Duncan SL591 Little 59 White Bridge Strat Pickup
Heading back over to the market-leading Seymour Duncan brand, if you’re looking for a mid-range pickup that comes with an affordable price tag to suit any budget, yet the powerful pickup features that give you that perfect 60’s sound that we all used to love on the original Les Paul’s.
Firstly, you’ll be happy to know that this is a direct replacement for your Les Paul pickup and will slot right in without any fitting or modifications needed to take place. In fact, it doesn’t even matter what guitar model you have; this single-coil pickup will drop right in, as well as providing you with the benefits that come with adjustable poles pieces, allowing you to line everything up perfectly.
However, what really sets this set apart is the customization opportunities you’ll have with these. Use a full set of them, and you’ll be able to enjoy an incredibly rich and satisfying sound that resembles the 59’s version of the Les Paul.
Replace the bridge and the middle and you’ll be able to enjoy a mixture of the ‘59 and the beautiful ‘57 Strat, two of the most renowned and beautiful sounds and range of tones in the musical world, now at your fingertips.
Whether you’re playing country, jazz, funk, blues, heavy rock, classic rock or anything in between, this is the single-coil humbucker pickup that can help you to achieve it all and promises to bring music to your ears.
- Drop-in installation, no modifications needed
- Works on both maple and rosewood fingerboards
- Perfect for all genres of music
- Adjustable poles for perfect compatibility with all Les Paul models
- Beautiful sound from ’59 or the ’57 Strat
#4 – Seymour Duncan Vintage Blues Humbucker Pickup Set
Finally, to conclude our list which includes some of the best Les Paul pickups, we’ve chosen another Seymour Duncan pickup set because they’re simply that perfect when it comes to Les Paul pickups. While these mid-range pickups are slightly higher than you might like to pay, there are two pickups in each set, so you can customize your style of play as much or as little as you like.
With this set, you’ll be able to play all kinds of genres on your guitar, including jazz, blues, and classic rock, giving you more than enough room to experiment with the sound that you want to make. Al you need to do is put one pickup in your bridge and one in the neck in your bridge or one and not the other, and you’ll be able to customize your style of play completely.
Furthermore, all the coils produced by Seymour Duncan are wound up using their traditional Leesona winder. This was the winder that was used in the original Gibson factory that was located in Kalamazoo, MI. This means you can guarantee that you’ll be able to enjoy and experience that traditional Gibson Les Paul sound, that classic ’59 sound that you simply can’t find with modern-day guitars and pickups.
Finally, these Californian-made pickups come with all equipment and pieces you need to install them effortlessly, as well as all the wiring parts and mounting hardware, meaning you can simply drop them into place.
- Effortlessly installation with all the hardware and mounting equipment you need
- Pickups are wound using traditional Gibson Leesona winding equipment
- No logo, crisp, clean and attractive design
- Ideal pickups for blues, jazz and country music
- You may not find it easy to play with braided coils (personal preference)
- Unable to split coils
When it comes to finding that classic Les Paul sound, there are so many pickups to choose from that it’s safe to say that you really are spoiled for choice. However, all the pickups we’ve listed above are guaranteed to be the best Les Paul pickups you’ll find on today’s market and promise to give you that classic sound that you’ve been looking for.
So, whether you’re playing blues, jazz, country, rock, heavy rock, or any other genre that stems from the classic ‘50s and ‘60s era, these are the pickups that are going to take you back and ensure your audience will be hanging off every note and chord.