Active Guitar Pickups

Crisp, direct, and in most cases, aggressively high output. Active battery-powered pickups are the choice for many modern players.

Active Guitar Pickups

Active pickups have flourished over the past 30 years of their existence. Known for their high-fidelity and minimal output interference, they produce cutting edge tones, even when drenched in high gain. You’ll find most active pickups applied to rock and metal music because of their attack and tight control. But that doesn’t mean they’re at all lacking in the clean tone department. Active pickups can be made in humbucker, single coil or P-90 configurations.

They rely on a 9V battery to power the internal preamp you’ll need installed in your guitar. If you’re shopping for active pickups, it’s most likely that you already have actives in your current guitar. If that’s the case then switching your pickups will be a breeze.

The producers of active pickups are EMG, Fishman and Seymour Duncan. The former are complete specialists in active pickups – they make more of these than the standard passive variation. EMGs were the first to popularise the active trend and players such as James Hetfield and David Gilmour have used them for years. Fishman are the latest big thing. Their unique Fluence design lets you modify the voicing of your tone. Tosin Abasi, Devin Townsend and Greg Koch are just some of the players championing their great pickups.