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10 Best Pickups For Les Paul (Rock, Metal)

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If you’re searching for the best pickups for Les Paul to play some rock and metal music, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place! In today’s article, I’m going to highlight 10 of the best and most affordable pickups available on the market right now.

Finding new humbuckers for your LP-style is not that easy. There are just too many of them out there! Whether you’re looking for a new bridge or neck pickup, things can get really confusing. Nevertheless, once you figure out which brands make the best pickups, everything becomes much easier.

I know how difficult it all can be, so I decided to create a list of 10 best pickups for Les Paul guitars. All of these pickups are designed for punchy riffs and fast, melodic solos. Surely, all fans of rock and metal will be satisfied with that selection!

10 Best Pickups For Les Paul – List

Seymour Duncan APH-2SSee on Amazon
EMG James Hetfield SignatureSee on Amazon
Seymour Duncan Distortion MayhemSee on Amazon
Fishman Fluence ClassicSee on Amazon
Seymour Duncan Alpha & OmegaSee on Amazon
DiMarzio Air NortonSee on Amazon
Seymour Duncan Vintage BluesSee on Amazon
EMG Super 77 Retro Active (My Favorite!)See on Amazon
Seymour Duncan AntiquitySee on Amazon
DiMarzio DP100 Super DistortionSee on Amazon

1. Seymour Duncan APH-2S

Seymour Duncan APH-2S Best Pickups For Les Paul Rock Metal

Seymour Duncan APH-2s Alnico II Pro Slash is one of the coolest humbucker sets available on the market right now. Whether you like Guns N’ Roses or not, you’ll definitely enjoy playing on a Les Paul equipped with these pickups.

In my opinion, these are one of the best pickups that you can potentially add to your LP-style guitar. They are perfect for heavier tones, but at the same time they offer an amazing clarity in the highs.

The only disadvantage of these pickups is that they tend to be quite expensive. Still, they’re totally worth the money!

Here’s the sound demo.

2. EMG James Hetfield Signature Set

EMG James Hetfield Signature Set Best Pickups For Les Paul

EMG James Hetfield Signature Set is an ideal choice for all fans of rock and metal. Both of these active humbuckers create a stunning and powerful sound that will be loved by the most demanding guitarists out there.

What’s important, these pickups also offer the Solderless Installation System, so adding them to your Les Paul shouldn’t be a problem – even if you’re a beginner.

Overall, if you’re thinking about adding a lot of punch and clarity to your guitar tone, these pickups won’t disappoint you. They tend to be quite expensive, but they’re worth every cent. That’s for sure!

Here’s the sound demo.

3. Seymour Duncan Distortion Mayhem

Seymour Duncan Distortion Mayhem Best Pickups For Les Paul

Seymour Duncan Distortion Mayhem is an another excellent humbucker set suitable for all lovers of rock and metal. These pickups are slightly less expensive than two previous sets, so they definitely deserve a lot of attention.

What makes them so special? Well, they sound amazing! Once you add them to your LP-style guitar, you’ll immediately hear the difference. Whether you’re a rhythm or lead guitarist, you’re going to absolutely love them. It’s like having a completely different instrument.

Undoubtedly, these are one of the best pickups for Les Paul that you can find on the market right now. I highly recommend checking this set out.

Here’s a quick video review.

4. Fishman Fluence Classic

Fishman Fluence Classic Best Pickups For Les Paul

Fishman Fluence Classic is an another popular high-quality humbucker set. These pickups offer a really nice, warm and vintage tone, so they’re perfect for all lovers of oldschool rock music. If you like that kind of vibe, this humbucking set is designed for you!

What’s interesting, each of these pickups offers different voicings:

  • Bridge: vintage PAF, hot-rodded humbucker, and slightly overwound single-coil
  • Neck: vintage PAF, wide-range humbucker, and warm single-coil

As you can imagine, that gives you access to a really wide range of different tones that can be used in a lot of different styles of music. The versatility of these humbuckers is simply amazing.

When it comes to pricing, it’s not a cheap set. But considering how good and versatile it is, it’s definitely worth every cent.

Here’s a quick demo.

5. Seymour Duncan Alpha & Omega

Seymour Duncan Alpha Omega Best Pickups For Les Paul

Seymour Duncan Mark Holcomb Alpha & Omega Humbucker Set is designed for the most demanding metal guitarists out there. These pickups are perfect for shredding! What’s interesting, they’re available in 6, 7 and 8-string versions.

Undoubtedly, these humbuckers will drastically improve the sound of your Les Paul guitar. Whether you’re into death metal or progressive djent, you will be totally satisfied with the quality of these pickups. In my opinion, this is one of the best humbucking sets for metal that you can’t on the market.

Just like all the previous pickups on today’s list, these humbuckers are not that cheap. But on the other hand, considering how good they actually are, they’re definitely overpriced. That’s why I highly encourage you to check them out!

Here’s the official demo.

6. DiMarzio Air Norton & Tone Zone

DiMarzio Air Norton Best Pickups For Les Paul

DiMarzio Air Norton and Tone Zone is an another popular humbucker set suitable for all guitarists out there. These pickups are really versatile, so they can be used in a lot of different styles of music – from blues and rock to grunge and metal.

Undoubtedly, these humbuckers will significantly improve your guitar tone. If you’re thinking about upgrading the pickups in your Les Paul guitar, this combination won’t disappoint you.

What’s important, they’re significantly less expensive than some of the other pickups mentioned on today’s list. Considering their relatively low price and a really high quality, they’re definitely worth the money!

Here’s the demo.

7. Seymour Duncan Vintage Blues

Seymour Duncan Vintage Blues Best Pickups For Les Paul

Seymour Duncan Vintage Blues Humbucking Set is an another excellent option for a lot of guitar players out there. You may think that they’re mainly designed for blues, but the truth is that they’re great for a bit heavier genres as well.

Who are these pickups for? Well, if you’re looking for a lot of versatility and you like to experiment with your tone, this set of humbuckers will be ideal for you. As long as you’re not searching for really powerful pickups for death metal, the Vintage Blues set will do just fine.

It is also worth mentioning that this is also a really popular set of pickups. Many guitarists all around the world appreciate the high quality and versatility of these humbuckers, so that’s a big advantage as well! They’re not too expensive either.

Here’s the demo.

8. EMG Super 77 Retro Active

EMG Super 77 Retro Active

EMG Super 77 Retro Active is an another fantastic humbucking set suitable for all-level guitar players out there. I have to admit that this is my favorite set of pickups mentioned on today’s list!

What makes it so cool? Well, they’re extremely versatile. Whether you’re searching for good cleans, crunchy tones or screaming distortion, these pickups by EMG won’t let you down. They feature a really long-lasting sustain and they have a very cool, warm, old-school tone. It’s really tough not to fall in love with that sound!

In my opinion, these are some of the best pickups for Les Paul guitars that you can possibly find on the market right now. I have no hesitation in recommending them to all guitarists who are searching for great sounding and reliable humbuckers for rock and metal.

Here’s the demo.

9. Seymour Duncan Antiquity

Seymour Duncan Antiquity

Seymour Duncan Antiquity are one of the most expensive humbuckers on today’s list. They feature a really exceptional quality, so they’re suitable for the most demanding guitar players out there.

Who are they for? Well, if you’re a lover of oldschool guitar tones straight from the ’60s and ’70s, you’ll most definitely enjoy using these pickups. They sound very rich, clear, open and airy. Undoubtedly, they will definitely improve the sound of your Les Paul guitar.

The only disadvantage of this set is the price – it’s quite expensive. Nevertheless, I think that they’re totally worth that amount money. That’s for sure!

Here’s the official demo.

10. DiMarzio DP100 Super Distortion

DiMarzio DP100 Super Distortion

Dimarzio DP100 Super Distortion is an another excellent and great sounding pickup suitable for all rock lovers out there.

This particular model offers a really clear articulation, a fantastic sustain and a very cool crunch. They’re perfect for ’80s rock, so if you like such bands as AC/DC or Guns N’ Roses, you will definitely benefit from getting these pickups.

Surely, this is one of the best pickups for Les Paul guitars that you can possibly find on the market right now. If you decide to add it to your guitar, I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed!

Here’s the demo.

FAQ

How many pickups does a Les Paul have?

The vast majority of Les Paul pickups have two pickups – usually humbuckers – positioned on by the bridge and by the neck.

What is better – P90 or humbucker?

It all depends on what you’re looking for. While P90 pickups sound bright and twangy, humbuckers are usually warmer, richer and fuller.

Is a Les Paul good for a beginner?

Yes, a Les Paul is a great guitar for any beginner! It’s actually one of the most popular guitar types that amateurs choose to start with.

Are humbuckers better than single-coil pickups?

It’s really tough to answer if humbuckers are actually better than single-coil pickups – it all depends on what you’re searching for. Single coils are really bright and crispy, but humbuckers have a bit thicker, warmer and fuller tone.

Summary

I have no hesitation that the vast majority of guitarists who play on Les Paul guitars will be satisfied with all the pickups mentioned on today’s list. This is the best and most affordable gear that you can possibly find, so no matter which humuckers you decide to choose, you won’t be disappointed.

What pickups are you using in your Les Paul guitar? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for checking out today’s guide, hopefully it was helpful! If you’re looking for more recommendations, you may also like: