Best Bass Guitar Pickups

Bass guitars have become an essential part of music, with their low-frequency notes providing the backbone of many genres. Getting the perfect tone out of your bass guitar can be challenging, especially when selecting the right pickups.

The pickup is critical in defining the sound; it’s like having a microphone built into your guitar, amplifying the sound and delivering it to an amplifier. For the best tone from your bass guitar, it’s essential to understand all the types of pickups available and pick one that suits your style.

In this article, we’ll look at the various types of bass pickups and offer advice on choosing the right one.

What are Bass Pickups & Their Role?

Bass pickups are electromagnetic transducers that capture the sound from your strings and convert it into an electrical signal. They have magnets, either single-coil or dual-coils (humbuckers), and a coil of wire wrapped around them. When the string vibrates against the magnet, an electrical current is amplified and sent to the bass guitar’s amplifier. The type of pickup and the number of magnets you choose will determine the tone and sound you get.

Bass pickups are essential in defining your overall bass guitar sound, as they can provide clarity and character to your notes and chords. Single-coil pickups typically have a bright, twangy sound best suited for funk, reggae, and jazz music; while humbucker pickups have a warmer and more saturated sound ideal for blues, rock, and metal. Knowing the differences between these two bass pickups will help you choose the one that best suits your style.

There are many other factors to consider when choosing a bass pickup, such as the pickup’s sensitivity and output level. If you want a heavy, distorted sound, look for pickups with higher outputs; if you need more clarity and presence, look for models with lower outputs. The size of your strings will also impact the tone, so consider that when selecting a pickup.

Short History of Bass Pickups

Bass pickups have been around since the introduction of electric bass guitars in the 1950s. The design has changed over the years, but their primary purpose remains: to capture and amplify a stringed instrument’s sound. In the early days, Fender used single-coil pickups on its Precision Bass model, while Gibson used humbucker pickups on its Les Paul model. Today, many different types of bass pickups are available, each offering a unique sound and characteristics.

These days, you can find all sorts of custom-designed bass pickups that offer specific tonal qualities tailored to the individual player’s needs. Whether it’s a vintage-voiced single-coil or a modern humbucker, there will surely be the perfect pickup for every bass player.

How Magnets Affect Pickup’s Output and Tone

Magnets are responsible for one of the essential elements of any bass pickup: its tone and output. The type of magnet used in a pickup will determine how much output it has and what kind of tone it produces.

Alnico magnets are some of the most common bass pickups. Alnico is made from an alloy of aluminum, nickel and cobalt, which makes for a strong magnet material with good clarity and definition in the upper frequencies.

Ceramic magnets are typically used in more modern designs, producing a bright, aggressive tone with higher output than their vintage counterparts.

Neodymium magnets are the most vital type of magnet you can get with pickups, and they can provide plenty of power for serious bass tones. Neodymium magnets will give your pickup plenty of punch and clarity, but they tend to sound on the brighter side.

You can mix and match different types of magnets with pickups to achieve a variety of tones. Mixing alnico and ceramic, for example, will give you more upper midrange presence and output than either alone.

Bass Pickup Placement: Bridge vs Neck

When Pickup is Closer to the Bridge?

The placement of your pickups will also affect your tone. If you have a pickup closer to the bridge of your bass guitar, it will create a brighter and thinner sound. This setup is excellent for playing in styles that require quick note articulation and soloing. It’s also helpful when playing with distortion, as the bright tone can help cut through the mix. You may need to adjust your other tone controls to compensate for the brightness when using this setting.

When Pickup is Closer to the Neck?

If you have a pickup closer to the neck of your bass guitar, it will create a warmer and fuller sound. It will bring out more of the low-end and mid-range frequencies. You’ll also get a less aggressive attack and sustain when you play. In styles such as funk and blues, this setup provides more sustain. It’s also suitable for when you want to add more depth to your playing. Additionally, this is the way to go if you’re looking for a vintage sound with lots of warmth and character.

What to Look for in Bass Guitar Pickups?

Active vs Passive

When looking for bass guitar pickups, it is essential to consider whether you want an Active or Passive pickup.

Active pickups are powered with magnets and a preamp, while passive pickups only use magnets, resulting in different sounds. If you’re going for higher output sound, active pickups might be your best choice.

Active pickups also have the added benefit of allowing you to shape and customize your tone more quickly. On the other hand, passive pickups are great for vintage tones or when you want a warmer sound with less output.

Covered vs Exposed

Covered pickups are primarily used in vintage designs, as they offer more protection against outside sound interference, and the metal covering helps to reduce signal feedback.

The tone-covered pickups usually produce warmer and darker, with fewer high-end frequencies than an exposed pickup.

On the other hand, uncovered humbucker pickups are often used in more modern designs and produce a brighter, more transparent sound with greater focus and definition. They also tend to be more susceptible to signal interference and feedback.

How to Change Your Bass Pickups

Step 1: Remove the Strings

The first step is to remove all of the strings from your bass. This will ensure no tension is applied to your pickups as you work. Use a string cutter or wire snips to cut through each string, then pull them off the tuning pegs and out of the bridge.

Step 2: Loosen the Pickup Mounting Screws

If you have a single-coil pickup, unscrew the two mounting screws and set them aside. For humbuckers, there will be four mounting screws that need to be removed.

Step 3: Pull Out the Pickups

Once the screws are out, you can easily pull the pickups straight up and away from your bass. Be careful not to damage any of the electronics as you do this. Use a soft cloth or another padding to protect your pickups while handling them if necessary.

Step 4: Install the New Pickups

Next, you’ll want to install your new pickups. Place them into the exact location as their predecessors and use the screws to tighten them securely in place. Ensure they are level and even with one another before tightening down each screw.

Step 5: Re-String Your Bass

Finally, you can re-string your bass and tune it up. Ensure you’re using the same type of strings as before to ensure maximum performance from your pickups. Test out the sound of your new pickups.

The J Pickups

The J pickup utilizes two single-coil pickups wired in parallel—one located at the bridge and one located at the neck. It’s designed to capture higher frequencies for a brighter, snappier sound overall than traditional pickups. The J pickup is one of the most versatile bass pickups on the market, producing a wide range of tones, from warm to bright.

The Sound of The J Pickup

The sound of the J pickup is sharper and thinner than a traditional passive bass guitar pickup. It has a more treble response and less low end, making it great for cutting through a mix and clarifying intricate musical passages. The tone is typically described as “bright” or “jangly”, making it an ideal choice for fast-paced rock or funk music. Jazz players tend to favor the sound of the J pickup due to its ability to accentuate the higher notes in their playing.

5 Best J Pickups

Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Strat Surfer

The Ultimate Vintage Strat Tone.

Perfect For: Beginner To Advance

Features: A staggered and raised magnet pattern

Other Info: DC ohms are 6.3K with an inductance of 2.87 henries and a Q value of 2.39.


  • A balanced tone with plenty of clarity.
  • Effortless installation.
  • Excellent string definition and articulation with a fat low end.
  • Wide dynamic range.
  • Stagger magnet pattern for increased sustain and sparkle.
  • Calibrated properties


  • Noisy at higher gain settings

The TedScore: 9/10

The Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Strat Surfer is an ideal pickup for those who crave the classic surf rock tone. Its unique design produces sweet highs and percussive lows, giving you a great vintage Strat chime. The ‘push back’ cloth braid hookup wire makes installation a breeze, and its calibrated design ensures it’s perfectly in tune with the instrument. With a height of .582, a magnet pattern of staggered & raised above flatwork and an inductance of 2.87 henries, it’s no wonder this pickup is one of the best on the market. It’s perfect for playing West Side Soul, Blues, Pop or Surf and will surely give you that subtle vintage sound you’ve been looking for.

EMG J Style Bass Pickup Set, Black

Get the Signature Bass Tone of John Paul Jones

Perfect For: For Intermediate, Advance

Features: 10 KOhms Output Impedance and 27V DC Maximum Supply

Other Info: Comes with a Volume Pot x 2, Tone Pot x 1, Pair of Mounting Screws x 4, Battery Buss x 1, Pickup Cable x 2, Stereo Output Jack x 1, Connection Cable x 2 and Battery cable


  • Wide-ranging bass tones with deep low-end response
  • Punchy mid-range and sharp, high notes
  • Precise definition and no noise interference
  • Simple to install solderless design.


  • Not suitable for beginner

The TedScore: 9/10

The EMG J Style Bass Pickup Set is an excellent choice for bassists who want the best of both worlds: balance and clarity. These pickups are designed to provide the depth and warmth associated with classic jazz bass tones while still delivering a clear, defined sound. The magnetic field eliminates unnecessary noise interference, so you can be sure your notes will always come through crisp and clean. They’re easy to install, too – no soldering necessary! And they go above and beyond for great bass players, like John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin – so you know they’re good enough to deliver powerful sound in the studio or on stage. 

Aguilar AG 4J-HC 4 String Hum Canceling Jazz Bass Pickups

Punchy, Powerful & Noiseless Jazz Bass Pickups

Perfect For: Beginner to Professional Players

Features: Passive 4-string pickup set

Other Info: Heavy Formvar 42 Gauge Wire


  • Delivers Punchy and Powerful Tone with No Hum
  • Versatile Tones with Full Lows
  • Defined Mids and Crisp Highs


  • May Require Professional Installation

The TedScore: 9/10

Looking for a smooth and authentic jazz sound? This set of Aguilar AG 4J-HC pickups is just the right choice. These pickups feature powerful yet balanced output and noise/hum cancelling technology, making them an ideal choice for any bass playing in the jazz style. The AG 4J-HC pickups are designed to provide deep, defined and full tones with punchy lows, crisp highs and a well-defined middle. The split-coil design eliminates 60Hz hum while maintaining the full frequency response to ensure an optimal tone quality. The heavy formvar 42 gauge wire, Alnico V magnets and single conductor-covered leads also contribute to this pickup’s superior performance. With its versatile tonal capabilities and noise cancellation technology, this pair of AG 4J-HC pickups will surely give you the professional sound you want.

Fender Custom Shop Custom ’60s Jazz Bass Pickups

Vintage Tone with a Boost!

Perfect For: Intermediate and Advanced Bass Players

Features: Alnico 5 magnets

Other Info: All Mounting Hardware and Black Pickup Cover Included.


  • Captures the essence of classic 60’s bass tone
  • Precise voicing with great clarity, balance and punch
  • Overwound pickups provide extra punch and midrange grind
  • Alnico 5 magnets for increased output and sustain
  • Easy to install


  • Installation may require professional expertise
  • Some players may prefer a more vintage tone

The TedScore: 8/10

The Fender Custom Shop Custom ’60s Jazz Bass Pickups, Set of 2, deliver the sound and look of the 1960s-era Jazz Bass. Featuring Alnico 5 magnets and Formvar magnet wire, these ruggedly constructed pickups have more punch and output than vintage Jazz Bass sets. The classic black pickup cover will give you the ultimate vintage look to match your sound. These pickups produce a warm, focused tone perfect for rock, blues or funk. You’ll also get more midrange, bass and output – meaning even more opportunities to explore the boundaries of your sound. With DC resistance ratings of 7.1K for the neck pickup and 7.4K for the bridge pickup, you can be sure that these pickups are built with quality in mind. The Fender Custom Shop Custom ’60s Jazz Bass Pickups, Set of 2, are perfect for beginner, intermediate or advanced players looking to upgrade their sound. With their vintage look and modern features, these pickups will take your tone in new directions.

Fender Pure Vintage 74 Jazz Bass Pickup, 2 Set

Unrivalled Vintage Tone

Perfect For: Beginner To Advanced Players

Features: Shellac Potted

Other Info: The output rating of the neck pickup is 6/5/5, while the bridge pickup has an output of 4/7/6.


  • Offer full, rich low-end and defined highs with expressive mids.
  • Authentic reproduction of the original 1974 Jazz Bass pickup
  • Enamel-coated magnet wire provides a classic vintage tone.
  • Maximum focus and dynamics.
  • Ability to eliminate unwanted microphonic feedback.


  • Not the most versatile for modern music needs.
  • Slightly higher output than standard pickups, which could affect tone and dynamics.
  • Flush-mounted pole pieces can interfere with pickup swapping.

The TedScore: 8/10

The Fender Pure Vintage ’74 Jazz Bass Pickup is a vintage-style, single-coil pickup set that offers authentic Fender tone circa 1974. The pickups come with an enamel-coated magnet wire that produces a warm, vintage-style sound. Combined with flush-mounted pole pieces, the Alnico V magnets provide focus and dynamics. The neck pickup offers balanced output with clarity and definition, while the bridge pickup provides punchy mids and treble tones. Whether you’re playing classic rock, funk or jazz, these pickups will provide the vintage-style tone Fender is known for. Install this set in your Jazz Bass to get a classic sound that will stand out from the crowd. Get the Fender Pure Vintage ’74 Jazz Bass Pickup set and experience that true vintage tone.

The P Pickups

The sound of the P pickup

The sound of the P pickup is warm and punchy, with plenty of clarity. These pickups are great for most genres of music, from jazz to blues to rock and metal. They are very versatile and can handle everything from clean to distorted tones. The P pickup is an excellent choice for players experimenting with different sounds and styles. They offer plenty of output while still retaining the character of your instrument.

5 Best P Pickups

Bare Knuckle Pickups ’58 Split P Bass Pickup

Vintage Tone for a Punchy Performance

Perfect For: For beginner to advanced bassists

Features: Alnico V magnet

Other Info: DC: 11.6KΩ


  • An unmistakable P Bass tone with a powerful vintage sound.
  • Instantly recognisable sonic flavour coupled with a high output for a strong performance.
  • Compact and lightweight design for easy installation.
  • High-quality construction of the pickup ensures maximum durability.


  • Can be a bit bright for some musicians’ taste.

The TedScore: 8/10

The Bare Knuckle Pickups ’58 Split P Bass Pickup is a high-quality pickup with a vintage, iconic 50s tone. It’s perfect for those looking to evoke the unmistakable sound of classic P-Bass, and it features a split-coil design that helps create a controlled high-end and scooped mid-range. Its powerful output also ensures each performance is packed with tonal punch. Crafted with the meticulous know-how of Bare Knuckle, this pickup will give you a hum-free sound and provide significant protection against any unwanted interference. It’s the perfect choice for country, reggae, funk, rock, and blues players looking for a classic yet modern sound. Its vintage hot output and magnet provide a robust, thick bass sound that will make every performance unforgettable.

EMG P Style Bass Pickup, Black

Immense range of tones suitable for any style or genre

Perfect For: Beginner to Advance

Features: Battery Life: 3000 Hours

Other Info: 25K Volume and Tone Pot


  • Active design with onboard preamp delivers plenty of gain and clarity
  • Ceramic magnet allows for a punchy low-end response while keeping excellent high-frequency clarity
  • No soldering required
  • Great for live performance and studio use thanks to its natural sound and noise elimination
  • Versatile tonal range perfect for any style or genre of music
  • High-end notes are sharp and crisp, mids are clear and defined, and lows have a full, warm tone


  • May take some time to adjust the pickup to your playing style
  • The preamp can be noisy if not correctly adjusted
  • Higher gain may require some adjustment to your volume and tone knobs on the bass guitar

The TedScore: 8/10

The EMG P Style Bass Pickup is ideal if you’re looking for punchy bass tones packed with lots of sustain and attack. Its functional design allows it to easily cut through a mix without losing its natural warmth or articulation, making it an excellent choice for rock and metal players who need plenty of power from their pickups. The ceramic magnets and squat coils deliver a range of tones, from bright highs to warm lows, sure to satisfy any bassist. The pickup is solderless, making installation easy and fast so you can start playing sooner. With its outstanding output voltage and maximum supply of 27V DC, this pickup will provide sound for any playing style with unparalleled clarity and responsiveness. The box includes all the necessary components, so you’ll have everything you need to start. Its robust construction and versatile tone make it the best p bass pickups for any musician.

Aguilar AG 4P-60 4 String Precision Bass Pickups

Get the Classic 60’s sound with Aguilar AG 4P-60

Perfect For: Beginner to Advance

Features: String 4, but available in 5, 6 configuration

Other Info: Set of 2


  • Vintage tone that captures the essence of 1960s bass sounds
  • High-quality components for a reliable performance
  • Available in 4, 5 and 6 string configurations
  • Classic P-style feel with modern reliability
  • Warm and harmonically rich tone.
  • Affordable price tag


  • Not suitable for high-gain applications
  • Might need to be adjusted to fit different basses

The TedScore: 9/10

These passive split-coil pickups utilize large Alnico V magnets with exposed pole pieces and heavy Formvar wire for a warm and harmonically rich tone. The special winding produces a full-range sound that experiences fat lows, punchy mids, and smooth highs. You can also purchase a hot pickup version with larger magnets and overwound coils if you need an aggressive tone that retains its dynamic range. The four-string set is perfect for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players. The Aguilar AG 4P-60 pickups have a classic look with the black-coated covers and single conductor output cable. The 2.41″ screw width makes them easy to install on any bass guitar. They also offer an impressive output, ideal for those who want to take their sound to the next level. The Aguilar AG 4P-60 pickups are excellent value and offer a great sound quality that won’t disappoint. They provide clarity even at high volumes, with plenty of thump and perfect articulation in both pickups.

Lace Sensor Aluma P-Bass Set, Black

Unbeatable Tone for All Bassists

Perfect For: Beginner to advanced

Features: Superb choice for any 4-, 5-, or 6-string bass.

Other Info: 5.3k resistance and 3800 Hz peak frequency


  • Revolutionary tone with powerful dynamics
  • Easy to install, no additional preamp required
  • Low resistance and high sonic output
  • Wide frequency response with fat lows, focused mids and sparkling highs


  • Aluminium construction may not suit all players’ preference

The TedScore: 8/10

The Lace Sensor Aluma P-Bass Set offers a revolutionary tone for bass guitar players. This set of pickups has been designed from the ground up with Lace’s state-of-the-art Alumitone technology, providing a mighty and dynamic sound previously impossible with traditional pickup designs. The p bass pickup is effortless to install in any bass guitar and provides immense volume without needing an additional preamp. It offers a full passive current-driven design that delivers incredibly detailed sound with fat lows, focused mids and sparkling highs, making it perfect for contemporary bassists. Its unique construction using aluminium instead of copper creates less resistance while maintaining a high sonic output – creating more highs, bass and super-wide frequency response compared to regular pickups.

Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Single Coil P-Bass Pickup

Authentic Weathered Tone for Bassists

Perfect For: Beginner to Advance

Features: The Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Single Coil P-Bass Pickup is part of their Antiquity series of pickups which capture the vintage sounds and styles while providing modern reliability.

Other Info: No of String: 4


  • Authentic vintage sound
  • High output performance
  • Abundant tonal options
  • Alnico 5 magnetism
  • Greater harmonic richness.


  • Some users reported a boomy low E
  • The pickups can produce too much output at times.
  • Some users have noted that the tone of the pickups lacked clarity.

The TedScore: 8/10

For those seeking the classic P-Bass sound with a vintage aesthetic, the Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Single Coil Pickup is arguably one of the best in its class. The single-coil pickup is designed to deliver that classic punchy tone and warmth while providing vintage style. The pickup utilizes Alnico V magnets, characteristic of many vintage pickups, to give it a smooth, warm sound. Its cloth push-back cable adds to the retro vibe and provides excellent shielding from interference. Perfect for any aspiring bassist, this pickup is carefully built for an authentic vintage look true to its 1960s inspirations.

The Bass Humbucker Pickups

Bass humbucker pickups are perfect for bassists who want a big, bold, and powerful tone. These pickups are designed with two coils that use magnets to capture and amplify sound. Combining these two elements gives the bass guitar a unique sound that stands out from other instruments in the mix.

The sound of a bass humbucker

The sound produced by bass humbucker pickups is typically louder and more articulate than single-coil pickups, making them an ideal choice for those who need to cut through the mix. They also provide a fuller timbre with plenty of low-end growls, making them suitable for playing low notes.

Bass humbucker pickups are also great for adding clarity and articulation to the notes you play. They can capture subtleties in your playing that single-coil pickups can’t deliver, allowing you to express yourself more freely.

3 Best Hambucker Pickups

Fishman Fluence 5-String Bass Pickup Set, Black

Higher Output for Your Five-String Bass

Perfect For: Beginner to Advance

Features: This pickup set includes two ceramic bridge pickups, one in the bridge position and one in the neck position.

Other Info: Peak Frequency response for Voice 1 is 2 kHz, Voice 2 is 7kHz with 500 Hz mid-scoop, and Voice 3 is 7kHz with a mid-flat response.


  • Bright, punchy, and organic tone.
  • High output with a broad frequency range.
  • Three distinct voicing options.
  • Easy installation requiring no drilling or alterations to the instrument.


  • None

The TedScore: 9/10

This Fishman Fluence 5-String Bass Pickup Set features two dual-coil ceramic pickups delivering higher output than traditional single-coil ones. These pickups offer clear, powerful sound with fantastic articulation and low noise output. The ceramic magnets provide a strong signal, while the Voice Selector pot allows you to choose between three different voicings and find your perfect tone. You also have access to a two-band EQ, enabling you to adjust Treble and Bass frequencies independently. The pickup set includes all the necessary hardware and wiring to install the pickups and a 9-18V battery or optional rechargeable battery pack for extended playtime.

Seymour Duncan SMB-4DS 4-String Music Man Pickup with STC-3M3

Give Your Music Man Bass a New Voice

Perfect For: Beginners To Advanced Players

Features: Designed for Music Man basses, with the hum-canceling tone, STC-3M3 electronics, and three bands of active EQ.

Other Info: Can subtract EQ at center frequencies voiced specifically for electric bass guitars


  • Compact design for installation in tighter spaces.
  • Its low noise, high output, and comprehensive frequency response make it perfect for many styles of music.
  • STC-3M3 electronics add exceptional tonal versatility.
  • Smooth, comprehensive treble response without any brittleness.


  • Limited to four strings only.
  • Proprietary Slap Switch is not as effective as traditional tone knobs.

The TedScore: 9/10

For bassists looking for a powerful, versatile pickup that can handle any style of music, the Seymour Duncan SMB-4DS 4-String Music Man Pickup with STC-3M3 is an excellent option. This humbucker pickup offers an open and dynamic tone and is highly responsive to variations in playing technique. The STC-3M3 electronics consist of three bands of EQ and a proprietary Slap Switch to give you greater control over your tone. The low frequencies are deep and precise, while the mids range from smooth to punchy. The SMB-4DS also includes a hum-canceling design that eliminates unwanted noise in your signal. It also comes with all the mounting hardware you will need and is designed to be a direct replacement for 4-string Music Man Stingray basses from 1976 onward. If you are looking for a powerful and versatile pickup that can handle any style of music, the Seymour Duncan SMB-4DS with STC-3M3 is worth considering.

EMG Geezer Butler PHZ Pickup Set, Black

Perfect for Those Seeking a Heavy, Punchy Sound

Perfect For: Intermediate and advanced bassists

Features: Custom-wound coils

Other Info: The Box Content includes a 250K Tone and Volume Pot, Mono Output Jack, Pair Mounting Screws, and more.


  • Heavy sound with plenty of punch
  • Distortion-free playing.
  • Noise-canceling design.
  • A variety of components included
  • Extra clarity


  • Only comes in black.

The TedScore: 9/10

You’ll experience the full force of your bass guitar like never before with the EMG Geezer Butler PHZ Pickup Set. With Alnico V pole pieces and custom-wound coils, you’ll get a powerful, gritty attack on the low end that will cut through any mix. The pickups are designed with feedback and hum reduction in mind, ensuring that your basslines always sound clear and precise. You can create majestic bass tones on stage or in the studio with this pickup set – perfect for experienced and novice players alike.

Other Pickup Types

Piezoelectric Pickups

Piezo pickups rely on physical vibration to generate their electrical signals instead of the magnetic induction used by most other electric pickup types. This type of pickup is often found in acoustic-electric basses and offers a wide range of tonal options due to its unique design.

Traveler Ultra-Light Bass, Maple

The Perfect Balance of Playability and Tone

Perfect For: Beginner To Intermediate Bassists

Features: Length: 30 Inch

Other Info: Comes with a gig bag


  • Contemporary bridge design
  • Maple neck and fingerboard
  • Versatile sound
  • Clear, balanced tone with piezoelectric pickups
  • Extended body ensures comfort during long performances


  • None

The TedScore: 9/10

The Ultra-Light Bass from Traveler Guitar is a great choice for bassists looking for an instrument that is lightweight, easy to transport, and provides excellent sound quality. The bass features a neck-through construction with an Eastern American Hard Maple body, Black Walnut fingerboard, and chrome closed gear hardware. The Ultra-Light Bass has a standard 1/4-inch jack and an under-saddle piezo pickup for audio output. The included D’Addario EXL 165 strings provide excellent playability and tone.

Optical Pickups

Optical pickups are a newer type of pickup that uses light to detect the vibration from a string. This pickup type offers many advantages, such as less noise interference, extraordinary accuracy in detecting low frequencies, and improved dynamics. Optical pickups provide an excellent response across all strings, making them suitable for bassists who want more clarity and definition in their sound.


Sophisticated Technology for a Professional Sound

Perfect For: Beginner to Advance

Features: No magnetic drag, giving it more sustain

Other Info: Programmable settings with the ōPik app


  • Works with a variety of string types
  • Low noise interference
  • Extraordinary accuracy in detecting low frequencies
  • Improved dynamic response


  • Can be tricky to set up correctly.

The TedScore: 9/10

The ōPik is a revolutionary pickup system that uses light to detect vibrations from strings, providing an incredibly accurate and dynamic response. This active pickup features programmable preamp settings that can be adjusted via the mobile app to get exactly the sound you want. It also offers plenty of advantages, such as a lack of magnetic drag, which makes it more sustainable and allows it to work with various string types. The ōPik responds at the speed of light, giving you an unparalleled musical experience that will take your performance to the next level.

Summary – Best Bass Guitar Pickups

The best bass guitar pickup for you is the one that gives your sound precisely what it needs. The pickups you choose will significantly impact the tone and feel of your bass playing.

Whether you’re looking for a vintage tone or a modern punch, this guide has helped you find the perfect match for your style and setup. Get ready to groove your new pickup will help take your bass playing to the next level.

Let us know about your favorite bass guitar pickups in the comments below! We’d love to hear what you think. Happy playing!


What are the best pickups for a bass?

The best bass pickups depend on the type of sound you are looking for and your playing style. Popular choices include EMG Geezer Butler PHZ, Seymour Duncan SMB-4DS 4-String Music Man Pickup, and Fender Pure Vintage 74 Jazz Bass Pickups.

What bass pickups are best for worship music?

For worship music, many bassists prefer pickups that provide a clear, articulate sound with plenty of definition. Popular choices include Fender Custom Shop ’63 Precision Bass Pickup for its vintage tone or the EMG Geezer Butler PHZ set for a heavy, punchy sound. Other great options include the Fishman Fluence 5-String Bass Pickup Set, which offers three distinct voicing options, and the Seymour Duncan SMB-4DS 4-String Music Man Pickup with STC-3M3 for its wide treble response and humbucker pickup design.

Are Jazz bass pickups humbucking?

Jazz bass pickups are single-coil pickups, meaning they use a single coil of wire wrapped around a magnet to produce sound. Single-coil pickups have a more precise and brighter sound than humbucking pickups, which use two coils of wire in opposite polarity to cancel out hum and noise. Humbucking pickups are louder, more sustainably, and less prone to interference.

How many pickups should a bass guitar have?

A bass guitar typically has two pickups – one at the neck and one at the bridge position. These pickups can be used individually or blended to give you maximum control over your sound. Depending on the type of bass, some may have more than two pickups, allowing for even more tonal options.

Tell me the difference between open-coil and split-coil pickup?

Open-coil pickups are the most common type of bass guitar pickup, consisting of a single coil wrapped around a magnet. This pickup type has a bright, punchy sound with good articulation but can be susceptible to interference from other electronic equipment. Split-coil pickups are two coils placed side by side and connected in a humbucking configuration, reducing unwanted interference and noise. Split-coil pickups have a more focused tone with a less high-end and low-end response.

What to Look for in Bass Guitar Pickups?

You should consider their output level and frequency response when shopping for bass guitar pickups. Pickups with higher outputs will generally produce a louder signal, while those with wide frequency ranges can capture the nuances of your playing. Look for pickups with a sharp attack, added sustain, and extra headroom for a cleaner signal.

Are P bass pickups noisy?

In general, P bass pickups are not considered noisy. The split-coil design of P bass pickups is designed to eliminate hum and interference from other electronic instruments. However, if the bass is not properly shielded and the pole pieces are not grounded, there can be more noise than usual. To reduce noise from P bass pickups, ensure your instrument has proper shielding and grounding of the pole pieces.

Do bass pickups matter?

Yes, bass pickups do matter! The type and quality of your pickups will affect the sound of your instrument. It’s essential to find a pickup that accurately captures the nuances of your playing style and helps you get the tone you’re looking for. Quality pickups can also provide added sustain and headroom for a cleaner signal.