Mini Humbucker

Best Mini Humbucker Pickups: Reviews and Guide

There are a lot of mini-humbucker pickups on the market these days.

With so many different brands and models to choose from, it can be hard to determine which one is right for you.

What is a Mini-Humbucker Pickup?

These pickups is simply a smaller version of a regular humbucker pickup.

They are designed to fit in guitars that have limited space, such as thin-line or travel guitars.

These smaller humbuckers offer all of the same features as regular-sized versions only at a smaller size.

The mini-humbucker is a miniaturized version of the classic Gibson humbucking pickup.

It features two coils that are magnetically insulated from each other, which means it has a wider variety of sounds than your average single-coil pickup.

In this article, we will take a look at the best mini-humbucker pickups available today.

We’ll also provide some reviews and a buyer’s guide to help you make the best decision possible.

Best Overall Mini Humbucker

EMG James Hetfield Signature Guitar Pickup Set

The EMG James Hetfield Signature Guitar Pickup Set is a set that captures the clarity and punch of a passive pickup and still retains the legendary active tone that molded a generation.

James Hetfield, frontman for Metallica, has modeled these mini pickups for 30 years thanks to their superior design and high-quality materials.

The JH-N has individual ceramic poles and bobbins that feature a larger core and are taller than the 60.

This produces more attack, higher output, and a fuller low end in the neck position.

Meanwhile, the JH-B uses bar magnets with steel pole pieces instead of traditional alnico rod magnets like most classic humbuckers use.

These tweaks result in a tighter attack with less inductance for a cleaner low end.

The EMG James Hetfield Signature Pickups are great if you looking for a tone that just packs a punch right to the face.

Pros

Pros:

  • Superior design and high-quality materials.
  • Captures the clarity and punch of a passive pickup.
  • Retains the legendary active tone that molded a generation.
  • Full low end in the neck position.
  • Easy to install.
  • Great for hard rock, classic rock, and heavy metal.

Cons

Cons:

  • May not be ideal if you are not into heavier music.

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Best P-90 Style Mini Humbuckers

Metallor Humbucker Style Pickups Bridge and Neck Set for Les Paul P90 Style Electric Guitar.

These offer and deliver all of the classic P90 tones and look great on any guitar you put them on!

Both pickups use ceramic bar magnets with steel pole pieces instead of traditional alnico rod magnets like most old-school Mini Humbuckers do.

This results in a tighter attack with less inductance for a brighter low end.

They also feature individual bobbins which keep each string sounding clear even when playing chords at high gain levels.

The neck pickup is reverse wound/reverse polarity (RW/RP) so it will hum cancel when used together with another humbucker at the bridge.

The Metallor Humbucker Style Pickups Bridge and Neck Set for Les Paul P90 Style Electric Guitar is a great option if you are looking for a mini-humbucker pickup that has the same look and feel as classic P-90 pickups.

Pros

Pros:

  • Fits most standard P-90 mounting rings.
  • Offer all of the classic P-90 tones.
  • Keep each string sounding clear even while playing chords at high gain levels.
  • Great design and construction.
  • Easy to install.
  • Great for upgrading your guitar to a bright tone.

Cons

Cons:

  • May not be ideal if you are looking for more heavy rock tones.

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Best for Jazz and Blues Guitar

DiMarzio PG-13 Mini Humbucker – Neck

The DiMarzio PG-13 is a great option for jazz and blues players who are looking for a brighter and clearer tone.

This is a miniaturized version of the classic Gibson Les Paul humbucking pickup.

It features two coils that are magnetically insulated from each other, which means it has a wider variety of sounds than your average single-coil pickup.

It has a lower output and smaller size which helps keep it from getting muddy.

The DP242 Neck model is slightly fatter and creamier than the Bridge model, making it great for Jazz and Blues solos.

Its easy installation makes it a great choice for players who are looking to upgrade their sound.

Pros

Pros:

  • Great tone for jazz and blues players.
  • Lower output and smaller size keep it from getting muddy.
  • Slightly fatter and creamier than the bridge pickup model.
  • Easy installation.
  • Clear and bright overall sound.
  • Budget-friendly.

Cons

Cons:

  • May not be ideal for heavy rock music.

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Best Mini Humbucker for Bass Guitar

Mini 4 string Bass Guitar Humbucker Pickups

These pickups are a great choice for bass guitars.

They come with connecting wires and have strong magnification.

The pole spacing from the first to fourth string is 45mm.

They are made of brass cover and copper coil with ceramic magnet.

The neck pickup is the one that has a red wire, while the bridge pick-up is the black wire.

These humbuckers are low-powered but they sound great. Ideally, they should be used with nylon-coated, flat wound strings so they produce a warm mellow tone that’s very close to the sound of an upright bass.

They are also very quiet. No hiss or hum whatsoever, even with my hands off the strings.

If you’re looking for mini-humbuckers that look and sound vintage and classic, but mini-sized, then this is the product you’ve been looking for.

Pros

Pros:

  • Great tone and construction
  • Great mini humbucker design.
  • Includes connecting wires and has strong magnification.
  • The neck pickup is red wire while the bridge pick-up is the black wire.
  • Ceramic magnets with a copper coil are made of brass cover.
  • Resembles sound of upright bass.

Cons

Cons:

  • May not be ideal if you are looking for more heavy rock tones.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How To Install Mini-Humbuckers

You will need a screwdriver for this process.

On each side of the pickup, there is one small slotted machine head screw with an insulator under it.

You have to remove those screws then take out your old pickups carefully before installing new ones into their place.

Once you’ve done so, put back in all screws and align them properly until they tighten down evenly on both sides without applying too much pressure on your pickguard or body if applicable.

Then put back in your strings following any wiring diagram provided by the manufacturer to make sure everything works as expected after switching out your pickups.

What is the difference between a mini and a regular humbucker?

Mini-humbuckers are a type of pickup for electric guitars that is smaller than the traditional humbucker.

They usually have one less coil, which results in a slightly different sound.

Regular-sized humbuckers are a type of electric guitar pickup that was designed to reduce hum or electrical interference.

They do this by inverting the signal of one coil and using it on another which cancels out any noise picked up along its path.

Humbucker pickups also tend to have more power than the smaller version, which results in higher gain distortion when turned up.

The size difference is very small (about half an inch) but you can feel where the mini-humbucker is placed when you’re playing.

What should I do if my mini-humbuckers start making noise?

If they start making noise, it could be because they are not properly grounded.

Check to make sure all of your wirings are secure and try re-grounding the pickups if necessary.

If this does not solve the problem, you may need to take your guitar to a professional technician for repair.

Do I need to upgrade the pickups on my guitar?

This is a question that can only be answered by you after considering your needs as a musician.

Some guitars come with pickups already installed that are ideal for you, while others do not.

If you are looking for an upgrade then yes – it is likely that you will need to eventually change them out.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a pickup that is versatile and has a great sound, then one of the humbuckers we reviewed may be a great fit for you.

We looked at some perfect for rock, metal, blues, and even some options for the bass.

We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of some of the best mini pickups on the market.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your guitar or replace an old pickup, we have something for everyone in this guide.

If you still can’t find what you want here, check out our blog post “Types of Guitar Pickups Unfolded and Explained.”

Let us know if there are any other questions that come up as well!

We hope you found this article helpful! Let us know your experience with these in the comments below and we’ll be sure to get back to you.

Thank you for reading this post and remember to always HAVE FUN!

Frank DeMaria
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