Budget vs Name Brand pickups?
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Thread: Budget vs Name Brand pickups?

  1. #1


    Join Date: Oct 2016
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    Budget vs Name Brand pickups?

    After grabbing an Entwistle pickup recently and really liking it, I'm interested in checking out other budget/no-name pickups. In doing research, it seems almost everywhere I go people are split down the middle of the "They're just as good" vs "You are worthless scum for buying anything other than Name Brand/Boutique pickups".

    I dug around here and couldn't find a good thread with resources, vid links, samples and anecdotal evidence to back either opinion, so thought it might be interesting to start a thread, get y'all's feedback and maybe pin it to the top of the forum.

    Right now, I'm considering buying some Dragonfire pickups. I can get a Crusader (Invader clone) and a Screamer (Super Distortion clone) for $50 shipped (yes that's two pickups for $50) versus either of the real things for bare minimum $100/each.

    Where do you land on this? What's your experience with different pickups? Love Iron Gear, Entwistle, GFS, Altec, Dragonfire or some other no-name? Or, are you only into SDs, Dimarzios, Bare Knuckles, etc.?
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  3. #2


    Join Date: Apr 2015
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    They are all made of wire, magnet, polepieces and plastic bobbin.

    Just get one you think sounds good to your desires and stick with that.

    I don't believe in "good" or "bad" in pickups. They are all just different.

    Some absolute trash pickup can be faulty and break, but as long as they WORK, it's all just different sounds.


    I can get usable sounds out of a Jackson JS level guitar stock pickup. People rank pickups by the price, many times. I don't get that.

  4. #3


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocka_Rollas View Post
    I don't believe in "good" or "bad" in pickups. They are all just different.
    You haven't played any Gibson pickups.
    Noodles

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  6. #4


    Join Date: Apr 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by noodles View Post
    You haven't played any Gibson pickups.
    Yes I have. I like the 500T!

  7. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Meh, don't agree with Ced. Maybe they all sound different, but IMO, there's definitely something that makes pickups made with better components sound better. Especially by a company dedicated to pickups. If cheap pickups (ex. GFS) would sound as good / the same as Duncan, Dimarzio or Bare Knuckles, everyone would buy them, no? Millions of guitar players trying pickups in decades kinda speak for itself. Also, if stock pickups were that good, nobody would swap them ever. Yet, they're still made of wire, magnet, etc.
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  8. #6


    Join Date: Apr 2015
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    "Better" or "worse" in sound is highly subjective...

    However nobody wants an unstable neck or a plastic nut that makes your strings stick, or a cheapo Floyd Rose where the knife edges wears out and ruins tuning stability.
    Those are objectively bad things.


    Should I challenge you with a BLIND TEST??

    I can record a few riffs with all my guitars and you try to pick out which one is the stock dirt cheap Jackson JS11
    Then I have Dimarzios and Duncans.
    Nothing wrong with the Jackson stock pickup. Exactly what I want? No, but maybe for somebody else

  9. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Pickups are highly subjective. I typically don't hear much of a difference on a recording, but I can absolutely tell when I'm playing a guitar with a pickup that I don't like.

  10. #8


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocka_Rollas View Post

    Should I challenge you with a BLIND TEST??


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