18 Guitars With One Humbucker – Plus 3 Best Ones

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Warm & thick sounding but versatile humbucker can make a great guitar. Sure, it limits the versatility a little bit, but the truth is, you can achieve pretty amazing tones with only 1 bucker.

If you are not quite sure which guitar with 1 humbucker to get, or even if you should go with this simplistic pickup configuration at all, this article is for you. I gathered the cream of the crop guitars with 1 humbucker here, I reveal the 3 best ones, and we’ll talk about other cool stuff regarding this pickup configuration.

If you have any questions, just check the FAQ section or leave a comment.

Let’s get started!

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the 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 One Humbucker

Kramer Baretta Special features a slim neck that is easy to handle for most players, it’s equipped with versatile Alnico V Zebra Coil Humbucker, and it looks super classy. Especially the model with a black finish.

Price Range Icon Meanings:

$= $100-250

$$= $251-399

$$$= $400-850

$$$$= $851-1599

$$$$$= $1600-

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ModelPickupBody StylePrice RangeCheck Current Price (affiliate links)
Kramer Baretta Special – Cheapest1 x Alnico V humbuckerModern Stratocaster$Sweetwater* – Thomann*
ESP LTD EC-201 – Best Budget1 x ESP Designed LH-150B humbuckerSingle-cut$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD EX-2011 x ESP Designed LH-150B HumbuckerExplorer-style$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD Alexi-200 – Best V Shaped Under $10001 x ESP Designed LH-301B HumbuckerV$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gretsch G100CE Synchromatic – Best Hollowbody1 x Mini humbucker pickupHollowbody$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD EC-Black Metal1 x Seymour Duncan Blackened Black Winter HumbuckerSingle-cut$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Kramer Baretta White Lotus1 x Seymour Duncan JB HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
EVH Striped Series – Best Overall1 x EVH Humbucker, Direct mountedModern Stratocaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Schecter Machine Gun Kelly Signature PT – Cool Guitar1 x Schecter USA Pasadena Plus HumbuckerTelecaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson Pro Series Signature Christian Andreu Rhoads RRT1 x Jackson Covered High-output HumbuckerV$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Stanford CR Vanguard AV1 x HumbuckerHollowbody$$$$Thomann
ESP LTD EC-FR Black1 x Seymour Duncan Blackened Black Winter HumbuckerSingle-cut$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD Phoenix Black – Fishman Fluence Pickup (Active & Versatile)1 x Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic HumbuckerPhoenix$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD M-1 Custom ’87 Electric Guitar – Rainbow Crackle1 x Seymour Duncan Distortion HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Ibanez Meshuggah Signature M80M – 8 String1 x Lundgren M8P HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$Sweetwater
ESP LTD Alexi Hexed Sawtooth1 x EMG HZ FH-2 HumbuckerV$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP E-II M-1 Thru NT – Best Premium1 x EMG 81 HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Duesenberg Senior BD1 x Duesenberg SplitKing Humbucker (Phonico)Single-cut$$$$$Guitar CenterThomann

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3 Best Guitars With One Humbucker – My Favorites

Best Budget – ESP LTD EC-201

What I like

  • ESP Designed LH-150B Humbucker offers aggressive & mean tones
  • Surprisingly versatile (coil-split)
  • Thin U neck is great for correct thumb placement (at the back of the neck)
  • Extra jumbo frets enable effortless playability
  • Stays in tune well
  • Looks stunning

What I don’t like

  • Not the best upper fret access
  • If you are used to smaller frets, you have to use a bit lighter touch with Extra jumbo frets

Who is it for?

If you are after budget-friendly guitar with 1 mean but versatile humbucker, ESP LTD EC-201 is one of the top choices. It has great quality hardware, it stays in tune well, and is comfortable to play. But it should be noted that this axe is best for metalheads.

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Best Overall – EVH Striped Series

What I like

  • Really fast playing
  • EVH Humbucker works really well for rock, hard rock, and classic rock
  • 12″-16″ compound fretboard radius makes riffing near the nut and shredding down the neck smooth
  • D-Tuna-equipped Floyd Rose allows to instantly change to drop D
  • The yellow Striped finish looks awesome

What I don’t like

  • Coil-split would be awesome
  • The humbucker is not meaty enough for really heavy stuff

Who is it for?

If you are after an extremely fast-playing guitar with a humbucker that’s made for rock, EVH Striped Series is an excellent choice. It’s equipped with D-Tuna Floyd Rose that enables you to instantly change to drop D, the finish is usually flawless, and the tuning stability is great. It should be noted that for really heavy stuff, the sound might fall short. But for rock and hard rock, it’s just awesome!

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Best Overall – ESP E-II M-1 Thru NT

What I like

  • Real bone nut increases sustain (and psychological value)
  • Gotoh Locking tuners hold the pitch
  • Thin U neck is comfortable to play and great for correct thumb placement (at the back of the neck)
  • Gotoh Tune-O-Matic bridge is high in quality and feels great against your palm
  • Active EMG 81 humbucker offers nice beefy distortion and clear cleans
  • The guitar looks amazing (especially the String-through body design)
  • Usually comes with a hardshell case
  • Extra jumbo frets enable effortless playability

What I don’t like

  • Not the most versatile
  • If you are used to smaller frets, you have to use a bit lighter touch with Extra jumbo frets
  • Expensive

Who is it for?

If you are after a premium-level metal machine with premium hardware, finish, and effortless playability, keep the ESP E-II M-1 Thru NT on your radar. I love its Gotoh locking tuners, Thin U neck, and mean EMG 81 humbucker. It’s not the most versatile guitar, but for distortion, it’s one of the top horses (a real stallion).

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Are Guitars With Only 1 Humbucker Worth It?

Of course, if you are after ultimate versatility, a guitar with just 1 humbucker might not be worth it for you. But if you value simplicity, warm & thick tones, and classy looks, then a guitar with only 1 humbucker is worth it in my opinion.

Who Should Get A Guitar With Only 1 Humbucker?

If you value simplicity & classy looks and like to push yourself a little because you have to unleash your guitar magic with just 1 humbucker…if these apply to you, I recommend at least testing a guitar with 1 humbucker out. You might fall in love.

What’s The Best Humbucker For Single Humbucker Guitar?

The guitars above had really good humbuckers on them, but it’s impossible for me to choose just 1 best one. That’s why I put together this table that will lead you in the right direction when choosing the right humbucker for you. This time I only used humbuckers already featured in this article since they have been proven to work as an only pickup.

Humbucker PickupBest for
Seymour Duncan JB Humbucker (Passive)Versatility
Seymour Duncan Blackened Black Winter Humbucker or Seymour Duncan Distortion Humbucker (both Passive)Metalheads loving passive pickups
Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic Humbucker (Active)If you are after mean metal tones and versatility
EMG 81 Humbucker (Active)If you are after mean & raw metal tones
 EVH HumbuckerHard rock & rock


If I had to get just 1 guitar for me, it would have more pickups than 1 humbucker. But this doesn’t mean 1 humbucker guitars are bad. Absolutely not. There’s something really classy about them, and most of them sound really, really good. I highly recommend at least testing one out ASAP.

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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