April 4, 2019

The Best Single Pickup Electric Guitars Money Can Buy!

With advancement in technology, the difference in tone between the single and dual coil pickups is fast blurring. The developed Single-Coils are coming with noise cancellation technology while the Humbuckers can produce a crisper tone. While the eternal debate still lingers between single-coil and double-coil pickups, we list here the 5 best Single Pickup Electric Guitars of all times.

The Fender Player Telecaster has a body made of alder and maple wood neck which has a satiny feel to it. It has a player’s series Alnico 5-Tele Single Coil pickup on the bridge of the guitar. The pickup is one of the best as the tone from the guitar is neither brash nor overloaded, rather it’s perfectly balanced making it perfect for Keef Style Open G chords. The Alnico V magnets in the Fender Player telecaster might fail to impress the vintage lovers but are an absolute favorite with musicians who like the balanced yet thick tone. The guitar is easy to play and belts out classic tones along with being good at handling drive. It is the best mid-priced single pickup Telecaster available in the market.         

Verdict: Well-balanced bridge pickup with easy playability and affordable price.

The Squier Affinity Stratocaster is popular as the best beginners’ guitar ever made. It qualifies as one of the best single pickup electric guitars. It has an Alder body, Maple neck, and Rosewood or maple fretboard with a single coil pickup. It also has a comfortable C-shaped neck which helps the guitarist to play in several styles. The Squier Affinity guitar is not high on fancy specs that are seen on other single pickup guitars in the market but given the price of the guitar and the amazing basic specs it offers, it’s a deal you cannot afford to miss. Because of its ease of playing and jaw-dropping price, it’s popular as the “beginners guitar” and rightly so.

Anyone who is just starting out with the electric guitar will do themselves a favor by buying the Squier Affinity Stratocaster as it lets you get comfortable while playing and also gives you the liberty to try various styles without affecting the tone and sound too much. Many famous guitar players started out with the Squier Affinity Stratocaster. You might be next!

Verdict: Great value for money along with ease of playing and great sound.

This Alder wood guitar with a Maple neck and Rosewood fretboard has an American Vintage ’58 Single-Coil Tele pickup. The guitar has all the usual pickup positions like the bridge, bridge & middle, and the neck but what makes it stand apart from the crowd is its four-way switch. All the other guitars commonly have only 3 switches, but with the 4th switch in the Classic Player Baja ‘60s Telecaster, it is possible to get a bigger, louder sound. The single-coil pickups resonate a sound closer to what a Humbucker pick-up would provide. This makes the Classic Player Baja a very versatile single pickup guitar as it lets you experiment with the range if sounds thanks to its 4 switch setting.

Volume control on the guitar has an S1 push switch, which when pushed down, kept parallel or with a series combined pickup selection, give three additional sounds over the standard Telecaster. The neck pick up on this Classic Player Baja is fuller than the earlier vintage Fender electric guitars but we are not complaining. This guitars rosewood board and alder body help give smoothness to the high notes ensuring they do not sound harsh on the ears. Great buy for those who love the vintage feel but also welcome some interesting modern twists to their guitar.

Verdict: Interesting pickup selections provided with a wide range of smooth sounds and vintage feel.

The Squier Classic Vibe guitar is a 4-piece body made of pine wood. It is rare to find pine wood in electric guitars. Though, it's interesting to note that the prototype of guitar, made popular by Leo Fender in 1949 and named the Telecaster, was built around a pine body as well and was popular. The Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster might look vintage thanks to its Pinewood but is modern in its playability and use. The neck of the Squier is slimmer with an option of choosing between vintage -voiced Alnico III single coil pickup and the Butterscotch Blonde’s ballsier Alnico Vs. The Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster has the famous tele-tone and is great for jazz or classic rock.

This single pickup guitar has modern playability with a classic look and feel. It is also available at a decent and affordable price. The Squier Classic Vibe ticks all the boxes in terms of price, looks, ease of playing and great single coil pickups. If you are planning to buy a single coil Telecaster soon, do not forget to check out this Squire Classic Vibe. It might just be the one you were searching for.

Verdict: Strong and punchy pickup with great classic looks.

This is a vintage single pickup Stratocaster with an Alder body and round-laminated rosewood fingerboard which was first introduced in 1962. This guitar has vintage single coils on an 11- screw mint green pickguard and aged controls. The only modern inclusion in the guitar is the 5-way lever switch for tone control. The 5-way lever switch works better than the usual 3-way switch as it gives greater flexibility in the kind of tones you play and adds an extra punch to the sound. This is deemed as one of the best vintage Fender Stratocaster with all the old world charm and a few welcome modern fixes.

This guitar comes in 3 finishes – Olympic White, Candy Apple Red, and 3-Color Sunburst. The guitar has the tendency to be bulky, but that is not a deal breaker. This guitar is not for people looking for contemporary features and sounds but will interest those who appreciate vintage looks and sounds packaged in a modern way.

Verdict: Vintage guitar with versatile sounds but lacks contemporary features

More about Electric Guitars

An Electric guitar by definition is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration in its strings to electromagnetic signals. The strings create vibrations when they are plucked, strummed or tapped. The electromagnetic signal from the strings is then fed into an amplifier which is attached to a loudspeaker. This helps in making the string vibrations audible. 

The Electric guitar was invented in 1931 and has since been a major part of the world music scene. It was first adopted by the jazz guitar players as it helped them play guitar solos in band ensembles. The Electric guitar can play a variety of sounds ranging from rock, pop, country music, jazz, and blues. The Electric guitar comes in various shapes and sizes, with some having a solid body built while others have hollowed or semi-hollowed built. One of the most important parts in an electric guitar is the pickup. The pickup is the transducer which first converts the string vibrations into electromagnetic signals and then transfers the same to the amplifier.

Type of Electric Guitar Pickups

The most common types of guitar pickups are Single Coil pickups and the dual-coil / Humbucking pickups. Single Coil as the name suggests uses a single coil and a magnet to transfer the electric signals to the amplifier. The Humbucking Pickups also called the Humbucker, use double coils to help cancel out the hum or interference picked up by coils because of electromagnetic signals. Both the pickups are popular and it's difficult to say which type of pickup is better. It is said Single Coil Pickup guitars have a brighter and crisper tone. While the humbucker pickup guitars have a thicker sound. The Single Coil Pickup guitars are more popular with Country music and surf guitarist who look for some twang in their Guitar. The Humbucker pickup guitars are preferred by Jazz and heavy rock players.

The dual coil or humbucker pickup guitars are also popular and versatile. The choice between a single pickup and humbucker depends on what kind of sound are you looking for. The Telecaster is a type of guitar shape which is denoted as the C-shape while the Stratocaster is the guitar with double horns, and one horn bigger than the other. Fans and guitar enthusiasts give a lot of importance to the range of sound a guitar is capable of making and this depends on the body of the guitar, the number of strings, neck type as well as the kind of pickup it has.

The 5 guitars mentioned above are our choices for the best single pickup electric guitars. Pick up the right guitar for yourself and strum away to glory!