Bass Guitar Pickup Price – What to Look For in a Bass Guitar Pickup

Harry DeArmond first introduced magnetic bass guitar pickups, which convert string vibrations to electrical signals, into electrical signals in the 1930s. Since then, many different bass pickup styles have emerged to meet today’s musical demands.

Single coil bass pickups deliver a clear sound ideal for blues and country music. Early rockers favored J pickups while modern players of modern styles such as slap and pop appreciated P-90 pickups more.

Single Coil

Single coil bass pickups have the longest legacy among any electric guitar pickup. First developed and still popular today, single coil pickups feature one magnet wrapped many times with thin copper wire to form a magnetic field that can create tones of different kinds; each magnet and winding combination creates its own tonality; some provide greater output while others may offer higher sensitivity – nowadays Fender bass guitars primarily utilize these pickups as part of their sound.

Single-coil bass guitar pickups are known for being sensitive to touch and providing full tones, making them the preferred choice of many blues and jazz players. Overdriving is easy thanks to single coil pickups; passive pickups have less power compared to active bass pickups so may need an amplifier in order for you to hear them properly.

Dual-coil humbucking bass guitar pickups are quieter than single-coil designs and produce richer tones with many overtones, making them popular choices for heavy rock as well as adding vintage tone to your bass guitar. Available as individual units or in sets, dual-coil pickups come in various sizes that should ensure they fit your bass perfectly.

The Gibson P-90 bass pickup is an iconic humbucking bass pickup with an expressive sound perfect for blues, jazz, and country styles. They can be found in Fender basses as well as other brands of electric guitar.

There have been an array of other bass pickup options that have gained more traction over time, including the Music Man Stingray bass with its stacked humbucker design, as well as Nordstrand Big BladeMan and DiMarzio Will Power stacked humbuckers – these options provide a range of tones that can be combined with P-Bass or J-Bass pickups to produce an individual sound.

Ovation Palathetic and Takamine Palathetic II pickups provide some excellent options for acoustic bass guitarists looking for natural tone. They work by turning vibrations of an acoustic bass into electric signals; you can use these alone or combine with traditional pickups like piezo transducers for even greater tone depth. Other such pickups include Fishman Acoustic Acoustic Bass and LR Baggs ToneBone models.


Sweetwater offers an impressive selection of bass replacement pickups to upgrade the sound of your instrument, including both humbucker and single coil styles for passive and active electronics. Tinkering with your amplified tone can have a dramatic impact on overall tone quality; Sweetwater makes this easy.

Single-coil bass pickups typically provide an open and organic sound that ranges from classic to modern depending on their manufacturer. They tend to produce highly dynamic overtones but may be susceptible to noise and interference issues from noise-creating environments like clubs. Jazz players appreciate them for their warmth while metal and hard rock bassists appreciate them as amplifiers into distortion are driven more effectively with them.

Dual-coil pickups use two single-coil pickups wired together to cancel out magnetic hum, an inherent characteristic of most electric guitars. Commonly referred to as humbuckers, dual-coil pickups are often found on vintage-style bass guitars such as Fender Precision basses but they can also be found elsewhere such as Music Man Stingray basses.

Many bass humbuckers are designed to fit easily into P and J bass routings, making installation straightforward in existing basses. One popular option is Nordstrand Big SplitMan which combines two Big Splits side by side to produce old-school humbucker sound without altering your instrument’s mounting cavity.

Stacked bass humbuckers offer the best of both single-coil and dual-coil pickups, with increased dynamic response, wider frequency response, higher output levels, smooth midrange tone and distinct high end qualities that many bassists desire.

Many humbuckers are designed to work in conjunction with an active preamp, providing more control and tones from your bass’s tone. If you want to take your playing to the next level, consider upgrading to one from an established brand such as Seymour Duncan or Lollar humbuckers; these legendary pickups power some of the world’s most famous basses while giving your instrument its own individual sound.


The tone of a bass or electric guitar depends heavily on its pickup type, such as passive or active pickups. These options each come with their own advantages and disadvantages; one major distinction between passive and active pickups is that passive ones need batteries while active ones don’t. Passive pickups tend to be cheaper and more commonly found on most basses while active bass pickups provide greater gain and tone control options. If you want extra gain for more versatile playing experiences or for changing up your tone this could be your perfect solution!

Active bass pickups come equipped with a preamp that amplifies their signal to boost it more powerfully, which allows them to produce greater output and cut through loud mixes more easily. They also feature smaller magnets that pick up less external noise or interference and they tend to sound brighter and snappier than passive ones; but be mindful that active models drain batteries more rapidly so keep extras handy at all times!

Passive pickups have been the go-to pickups since the creation of electric guitar. Not only are they inexpensive, but their wide array of sounds makes them suitable for beginners. Passive equalizers often accompanies them for optimal tone control. Passive pickups make an excellent first pick up choice and can often be found on beginner bass guitars.

There is an array of bass pickups on the market today, from single-coil to humbucking models and everything in between. Additionally, they can be combined together into hybrid designs that combine the best features from each. P and J sizes ensure compatibility with most bass guitar models.

Humbucking pickups are designed to reduce the hum that can occur in some bass guitars, by employing two coils wired in reverse polarity to cancel out ambient hum. Single-coil pickups tend to pick up mains hum, noise induced by electrical devices like power cables, fluorescent light ballasts and video monitors – although humbucking pickups can also be combined with single-coils in order to create balanced humbucking pickups.


One of the primary factors when purchasing a bass guitar should be its pickups. These components determine its tone, and can drastically change whether a guitar sounds passively or actively. Other considerations should also be made such as what genre of music you play and which wood and hardware is chosen.

Passive bass pickups can be found on most acoustic basses and are the preferred choice of beginners. A passive pickup consists of copper wires coiled around magnetic poles; when played, these magnets magnify string vibration to produce sound; most bass players prefer passive pickups because it’s easy to install without altering its natural tone.

However, for increased control over your bass’s sound, consider opting for an active pickup. These feature an internal pre-amp that runs off battery power; this allows you to cut or boost frequencies to tailor its tone even without plugging it in to an amp. Plus, an active pickup allows for different tones than when connected via amp – giving you greater creative freedom!

Active pickups are ideal for metal music or any genre requiring high output, as their more powerful nature enables them to easily cut through dense mixes. Furthermore, these pickups are much more dynamic and offer either clean or overdriven tones depending on your personal preferences.

Active pickups require batteries in order to function and can become unresponsive if one dies unexpectedly, so it’s wise to bring spares with you and always use fresh ones when going to gigs. In addition, be mindful when playing and do not leave active pickups plugged in for too long as this could cause overheating and possibly breakage of the instrument.