18 Guitars With Lipstick Pickups – Plus 3 Best Ones

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Are you after a bright & glassy tone with scooped mids and tight bass? Enter: Lipstick Pickups. I’m really grateful for Danelectros and Nathan Daniels (the founder) knowledge about guitars and women’s cosmetics. Because without those 2, lipstick pickups wouldn’t most likely exist.

This article is a tight knowledge package about lipstick pickups. I gathered together the cream-of-the-crop guitars with lipstick pickups. Both acoustic and electric, plus I reveal my 3 favorites. If you have any questions, check the FAQ section of this article or leave a comment.

Let’s get started!

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…).


18 Guitars With Lipstick Pickups

Danelectro has a really good selection of different guitars with Lipstick pickups available. This 12-string Danelectro 59X12 is a great example. It’s got a vintage single-coil with large housing (size) and Lipstick humbucker with a coil-split. Pretty amazing choice if you are after a 12-string electric guitar and love lipstick pickups.

Price Range Icon Meanings:

$= $250-499

$$= $500-899

$$$= $900-1199

$$$$= $1200-1799

$$$$$= $1800

*Consider all links in this post to be affiliate links. If you purchase, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. It helps us to keep the lights on, thanks! 🙂

ModelPickupBody StylePrice RangeCheck Current Price (affiliate links)
Harley Benton Custom Line Nashville-Steel – Cheapest Guitar With Lipstic Pickup (Electric-Acoustic)Piezo system (bridge) and Lipstick single coil (neck)Single-cut Hollowbody$Thomann*
Silvertone Classic 1303/U2 SVB – Best Budget2 x Original style Lipstick pickupsSingle-cut $Amazon
Royall IT95/BL Imperial Black1 x Lipstick Single CoilResonator Tele$Thomann
Silvertone Classic 1449-BSF2 x Lipstick Single CoilsDouble-cut$Amazon
Dean CE Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Resonator1 x Lipstick PickupsResonator$Guitar Center
Danelectro 59X12 12-string Semi-hollowbody2 x Lipstick single coil pickupsDouble-cut$$Thomann
Danelectro ’59M NOS+  – Best Overall2 x NOS+ Lipstick Single-coilDouble-cut$$SweetwaterThomann
Harley Benton Custom Line CLR-ResoElectricGold-colored resonator lipstick single coilsResonator$$Thomann
Danelectro Baritone2 x NOS + “Lipstick” single coilsDouble-cut offset$$SweetwaterThomann
Danelectro 66BT Baritone2 x Lipstick Single-coilSingle-cut$$SweetwaterThomann
Danelectro ’59 Resonator Guitar – Best Resonator’56 Lipstick Single-coil & piezo coneResonator$$Sweetwater
Danelectro 59X Aqua – Best With Lipstick Humbucker1 x Vintage single coil & 1 x splittable dual lipstick humbuckerDouble-cut$$Thomann
Danelectro 59X12 12-string Semi-hollowbody1 x Vintage single coil & 1 x xsplittable dual lipstick humbuckerDouble-cut$$SweetwaterThomann
Danelectro ’572 x Vintage 50’s Lipstick Single CoilsSingle-cut$$SweetwaterThomann
Danelectro DB612-BBS – Double-Neck4 x Lipstick single coilsDouble-Neck$$$Thomann
Danelectro 66BT BaritoneVintage-style Single-coil
& Dual Lipstick Humbucker
Double-cut offset$$$SweetwaterThomann
Danelectro 66-12Vintage Style Large Housing Single Coil & Dual Humbucking Lipstick Single CoilDouble-cut offset$$$SweetwaterThomann
Fender 60 Strat Inca Silver – Premium Stratocaster With Lipstick Pickups3 x hand-wound ’60s Lipstick Cover Strat single coilsStratocaster$$$$$Thomann

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3 Best Guitars With Lipstick Pickups – My Favorites

Best Budget – Silvertone Classic 1303/U2 SVB

What I like

  • Affordable
  • Offers vintage experience with both, sound and playability
  • Offers high value for the money
  • Stellar tuning stability
  • Pickup height can be adjusted from the back of the guitar

What I don’t like

  • Finish and quality issues can happen with cheap guitars like this

Who is it for?

If you are after a budget guitar with lipstick pickups, Silvertone Classic 1303/U2 SVB is one of the best choices. It offers pure lipstick pickup sound, vintage playability, and high value for the money.

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Best Overall – Danelectro ’59M NOS+

What I like

  • Unique bridge placement can fit some players really well (really comfortable for some picking hands)
  • Pickup height can be adjusted from the back of the guitar
  • The Slim (1.650″ nut width) neck with C shape is easy to handle
  • The flat 14″ fretboard is smooth to play around
  • Metal nut only adds to the bright and jangly tone

What I don’t like

  • Bridge placement might not suit everyone
  • The metal nut is not for everyone’s tonal taste

Who is it for?

If you are after an extremely high-value guitar with a strong vintage vibe and lipstick pickups, Danelectro ’59M NOS+ is a top-notch choice. From metal nut to the classy tone, it’s a rockabilly machine that is impossible to ignore. I personally love the unique bridge placement too.

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Best Resonator – Danelectro ’59 Resonator Guitar

displays Danelectro '59 Resonator Guitar

What I like

  • Easy electric guitar-like playability
  • Pickup height can be adjusted from the back of the guitar
  • Lipstick single-coil offers nice vintage tones
  • Piezo cone pickup allows running this resonator through an amp
  • Good all-around quality
  • Sounds solid unplugged too

What I don’t like

  • A hardboard top is a quite cheap choice
  • Doesn’t give you an authentic resonator experience
  • Not a solid top

Who is it for?

If you are after easy playing resonator guitar with lipstick pickup, this Danelectro ’59 Resonator is one of the best options. It sounds good with either lipstick single-coil or piezo cone pickup on or unplugged. It’s also one of the smoothest playing resonator guitars because of its C-shaped neck and thin body.

To find out more about resonator guitars, check this in-depth guide: 5 Best Resonator Guitars – The Only Guide You Need

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FAQ

Are Lipstick Pickups Any Good?

Lipstick pickups are an excellent choice if you aim for bright & glassy tones with scooped mids. There is some tightness on the low-end, but not that much meat on the tone. Lipstick pickups offer unique tone, work great with fuzz & overdrive, and are jangly with the cleans.

Lipstick pickups are a great choice for surf, rockabilly, and instrumental rock genres.

Pros and Cons of Lipstick Pickups

Pro

  • Unique tone
  • Offer fuzzy overdriven & distorted tone
  • Jangly, bright, and glassy cleans
  • Surprisingly versatile tonally
  • Relatively quiet single-coils (the lipstick tube is usually grounded, this might help to minimize the noise)
  • Extremely great fit with surf and rockabilly genres

Cons

  • Very few brands use lipstick pickups (mainly Danelectro and Harley Benton and Fender sometimes)
  • Scooped mids might not suit every player

Alternatives to Lipstick Pickups

There are not many great alternatives to lipstick single-coil pickups since their construction is so unique. But since lipstick pickups in general offer really low output, I would look for a low-output alternative.

Lipstick Pickups Construction

Lipstick pickup consists of 1 solid magnet pole, wrapped on copper wire. This duo is then waxed (to prevent pickups from picking up unwanted noise and to prevent corrosion), wrapped in tape, and placed inside of a lipstick tube (or a tube that looks like a lipstick tube).

This video by Phillip McKnight reveals the full teardown of a lipstick pickup:

YouTube video

Do Telecasters Have Lipstick Pickups?

No. Many people call the neck single coil of a Telecaster a lipstick single-coil, but it isn’t. Telecasters have normal single coils in them, on the neck too. Built-wise neck single coil of a Telecaster is just like any other single coil, with 6 magnetic poles in the middle and copper wire around them. Neck single-coils of Telecasters just usually have a cover and are smaller in size.


Conclusion

There’s almost nothing better than moody/ambient lipstick clean licks played on top of rhythm played, you guessed it, with lipstick pickups. The tonality of this mix is outstanding. And to be honest, pretty much any stuff played with lipstick pups is amazing…

I hope this article helped you out, and maybe you even decided to get one of the guitars featured. If you have any questions, leave a comment, I and the GND team are here for you.

Now go, my son, and Rock!

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