5 Best Guitar Pickups for 80s Metal
5 Best Guitar Pickups for 80s Metal
5 (100%) 8 vote[s]


Most recommended
EMG JH James Hetfield Signature
  • Bridge System – Adjustable
  • Active Tone With The Clarity And Punch Of A Passive Pickup
  • For Rock, Hard Rock, Metal

A good choice too
Seymour Dauncan S/D SH-8 Invader
  • 3 Ceramic Magnets
  • Hot Coils And Twelve Black Oxide Cap Screws
  • The Wide Magnetic Field

A good choice too
Seymour Duncan AHB-2b Blackouts HB Micro
  • Alnico V Magnets
  • For Old School Metal, Garage, Punk, Thrash, Drop Tunings
  • 3 Shielded Conductors

Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Blackouts
  • More Lows And More Highs
  • Blackouts Have More Tone Than Other Active Pickups
  • 9-Volt Active Humbucker

EMG TA Tom Araya Signature Active
  • 35DC Paired With The 35J
  • Includes EMG Exclusive Solderless Install System
  • Active 4-String Pickup Set


Choose the Best Guitar Pickup for 80s Metal

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Guitar Pickups for 80s Metal

14 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

57.14% of users selected EMG JH James Hetfield Signature, 14.29% selected Seymour Dauncan S/D SH-8 Invader, 14.29% selected Seymour Duncan AHB-2b Blackouts HB Micro, 7.14% selected Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Blackouts and 7.14% selected EMG TA Tom Araya Signature Active. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

A guitar pickup is a magnet wrapped in wire. The vibrations of the strings cause changes in a magnetic field, which are then translated into an electric signal by the pickup and sent to an amplifier.

The pickup is the first step of sound creation in the electric guitar. The pickups are powered by an electrical system connected to a power supply, most often using batteries or with AC/DC adapters.

Pickups have two main functions: they generate magnetic fields that transmit string vibrations to the guitar`s body and pick up vibration signals from metal parts on your “axe” (the name for an electric guitar).

A good analogy would be that of a microphone that could both receive audio input and emit sound.

Whether you’re a die-hard 80s metal fan or just want to infuse some of that style into your music, it’s important to know the best guitar pickups for 80s metal. While there are many different types of guitar pickups on the market today (single coil, humbucker, P90), this article will focus on those made specifically for playing 80s metal.

EMG JH James Hetfield Signature Guitar Pickup Set – the Editor’s choice!

The James Hetfield signature pickup set is a real thrill for guitarists who want to feel the power and passion of Metallica. Stealth-looking with a modern, clean tone that bridges the gap between preamp distortion and passive pickups, you can finally have it all.

Powerful, dynamic, and stealth-looking with a touch of raw emotion. In this set, you will find the most popular pickup models as well as 2 innovative guitar pickup creations for those who want to stretch their sonic horizons even more. The EMG JH set is an active tone with clarity and punch that is comparable to a passive pickup but has less inductance that will obtain a cleaner low end.

Pros
  • James Hetfield uses this pickup;
  • Stealth looking set;
  • Active tone;
  • Solderless installation;
  • Less inductance on a cleaner low end;

Cons
  • Poorly written instructions;
  • The screws that adjust the pickups are hard to screw in;
  • Not a very clean sound;

The James Hetfield Signature Pickup Set is a set of EMG JH pickups that visually fit the aesthetic and tonal profile of Metallica’s most iconic guitarist. Plug it in, dial-up some crunch, and feel what has rocked stadiums for decades.


Seymour Duncan S/D SH-8 Invader Pickup – the best for the powerful sound!

Seymour Duncan’s SH8 Invader pickup will give your guitar everything it needs to pulse with raging voltage and power through the room.

With a long history of change-ups in sound, Seymour Duncan is so confident about their latest edition Invader SH8 pickup they even went as far as calling it the “most powerful single-coil ever”.

Catering to a niche market of guitarists, the Invader SH8 Pickup will take your sound to the next level. The wide magnetic field pumps power into your amp with unique brightness and a totally new sound! The combination of three large ceramic magnets, hot coils, and twelve black oxide cap screws give the awesome pickup bolts of volts for an electrifying force of energy. If you’re looking for a cutting-edge tone that sets you apart from the pack – this is it!

Pros
  • Powerful sound;
  • Combines large ceramic magnets and hot coils;
  • Pump power into your amp;
  • Unique bright for a new sound;

Cons
  • It is scuffed easily;
  • The material tape on the coils was partially wrapped;

The Invader SH8 pickup is designed for high-performance and maximum output. The pickup is capable of producing piles of exotic voltage pumped through your amp, which you’ll notice through the invigorating brightness and totally new sound.


Seymour Duncan AHB-2b Blackouts HB Micro Humbucker Pickup – the best among active pickups!

Seymour Duncan’s pitch-black pickups will leave you wanting more. Powered by Alnico-V magnets, this pickup will have a heavy metal sound to it. It has no split and is active for the setup customization. This pickup can be put anywhere on your guitar from the bridge or neck, but Seymour Duncan recommends putting it in the bridge for best results.

The anti-interference design prevents any other noises making it great for the avid metal player. These quality pickups offer an aggressive, high-gain tone that is popular with old-school metal, garage punk, or other styles of rock frustrated by impediments to volume output usually caused by drop tunings and extended range guitars.

Pros
  • Great active pickup;
  • Anti-interference;
  • 3 shielded conductors;
  • Powerful tone;

Cons
  • Not everyone likes the pure sterile crunch it produces;
  • A bit challenging to set up;

Get Seymour Duncan’s AHB-2b Blackouts HB Micro Humbucker Pickups if you’re looking to get that signature sound of metal, garage punk, or thrash. It’ll come out strong and solid with no interference due to the anti-interference quality. With them, your tone will be rich and full, giving you what you need for “the roar of death”.


Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Blackouts Active Humbucker Pickup – the best for the extended frequency response!

The Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Blackouts are the active pickup for people who love the tone. These pickups have more lows, highs, and output than other active pickups on the market. They’re also quiet while still delivering a less compressed sound that can be heard through distortion pedals or amps with circuitry built to serve it best.

A 9-volt active humbucker pickup delivers a less compressed tone, with more output that is just plain unmatched. You will get unprecedented performance from these pickups that boast rich harmonic content and ample presence.

Pros
  • Extended frequency response;
  • Less hum than other pickups;
  • More lows, more highs, and more output;
  • More tone than active pickups;

Cons
  • A tiny bit dark sound;
  • Aren’t capable of splitting coils;

Seymour Duncan Blackouts are a must-have for any musician who strives to produce the most true-to-life sound, with all the highs and lows your ears can handle.


EMG TA Tom Araya Signature Active 4-String Bass Guitar Pickup Set – the best for easy installation!

EMG has engineered a guitar pickup set for Tom Araya’s signature bass that can cut through the noise of other instruments. The 35DC paired with the 35J model delivers a tone that is spicy, hot, and brutally aggressive yet articulate enough to be clearly heard above all else.

As a bass player for Slayer, Tom Araya needs amplification and articulation to cut through the wall of guitars he’s surrounded by at shows. Now the experts have paired these two amazing pickups together in the EMG TA set, made them easy to install with the exclusive solderless install system, and taken care of all this for you!

This tough guitar rig is perfect for an aggressive rock sound that cuts through anything standing in your way.

This is now an exclusive 4-string TA-only pickup combo including EMG’s solderless installation system making it easy to assemble and install your pickups without fuss or muss.

Pros
  • Easy to install;
  • Signature pickup by Tom Araya;
  • Not hard to assemble;
  • Versatile pickup with an adequate articulation;

Cons
  • Sometimes it still requires some soldering;

Aside from being easy to install, these professional pickups also come from EMG’s exclusive solderless system.


Useful Video: Duncan Blackouts vs EMG HET Set


Hello! I’m a Kyle Dixon, and I’m a guitarist in a metal band. I like to play guitar for my friends. Besides, I always choose the musical equipment for us, and I’m going to share my experience with you.

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