32 Guitars With One Pickup – Plus 3 Best Ones

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There’s something really classy about guitars with just 1 pickup. Simple looks work really well. But especially for some shapes, 1 pickup axes are hard to find…

But don’t fret my friend, because I have done the work for you! I can reveal that based on my research, the most typical body shapes for 1 pickup guitar are popular modern strat and single-cut. In this article, I gathered the top-notch guitars with 1 pickup from different price ranges. The best of the best. I also reveal which is the “best budget”, “best overall”, and “best premium”-option.

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 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…).


32 Guitars With One Pickup

If you are after a crisp vintage sound, stunning looks, and 1 mini-humbucker, Gretsch G100CE Synchromatic is one of the top choices. G100CE Synchromatic is not the easiest to play, but it for sure is a ton of fun. Plus its arched top paired with black color makes it one of the best looking hollowbody guitars out there

Price Range Icon Meanings:

$= $100-250

$$= $251-399

$$$= $400-850

$$$$= $851-1599

$$$$$= $1600-

*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)
Kramer Baretta Special – Cheapest1 x Alnico V humbuckerModern Stratocaster$Sweetwater* – Thomann*
Harley Benton DC-60 Junior1 x Roswell P90D AlNiCo-5 Dog Ear single coilSG$Thomann
Harley Benton SC-Junior1 x Roswell P90D Alnico-5 Dog Ear single coilSingle-cut$Thomann
Epiphone Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior Player Pack – Strater Pack1 x Epiphone P-90 Dogear Single-coilSingle-cut$$Sweetwater
Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Custom Esquire1 x Fender Designed Alnico Single-coilTelecaster$$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior1 x Epiphone PRO P-90 Single-coilSingle-cut$$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone Coronet 1 x Epiphone P-90 PRO Dogear Single-coilEpiphone Coronet $$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD EC-201 – Best Budget1 x ESP Designed LH-150B humbuckerSingle-cut$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gretsch G9555 New Yorker – Great Vintage Hollowbody1 x Vintage-style Single-coilHollowbody$$$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$$$SweetwaterThomann
Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin1 x Kingpin P90 Single-coilHollowbody$$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone Jared James Nichols Gold Glory Les Paul Custom1 x Seymour Duncan P-90 Single-coilSingle-cut$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD EC-Black Metal1 x Seymour Duncan Blackened Black Winter HumbuckerSingle-cut$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Kramer Baretta White Lotus1 x Seymour Duncan JB HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
EVH Striped Series – Best Overall1 x EVH Humbucker, Direct mountedModern Stratocaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Schecter Machine Gun Kelly Signature PT – Cool Guitar1 x Schecter USA Pasadena Plus HumbuckerTelecaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson Pro Series Signature Christian Andreu Rhoads RRT1 x Jackson Covered High-output HumbuckerV$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Guild T-50 Slim 1 x Franz P90 Single-coilHollowbody$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Stanford CR Vanguard AV1 x HumbuckerHollowbody$$$$Thomann
ESP LTD EC-FR Black1 x Seymour Duncan Blackened Black Winter HumbuckerSingle-cut$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD Phoenix Black – Fishman Fluence Pickup (Active & Versatile)1 x Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic HumbuckerPhoenix$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD M-1 Custom ’87 Electric Guitar – Rainbow Crackle1 x Seymour Duncan Distortion HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gibson Les Paul Junior 1 x P-90 Single-coilSingle-cut$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Ibanez Meshuggah Signature M80M – 8 String1 x Lundgren M8P HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$Sweetwater
Maybach Albatroz 651 x Amber P 90 (bridge) single coilSG$$$$$Thomann
ESP LTD Alexi Hexed Sawtooth1 x EMG HZ FH-2 HumbuckerV$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP E-II M-1 Thru NT – Best Premium1 x EMG 81 HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Duesenberg Senior BD1 x Duesenberg SplitKing Humbucker (Phonico)Single-cut$$$$$Guitar CenterThomann
Gibson Custom 1963 SG Junior Reissue Lightning Bar VOS1 x P-90 Single-coilSG$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Junior Single Cut Reissue VOS1 x Custom Dog-ear P90 Single-coilSingle-cut$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gibson Custom 1958 Les Paul Junior Double Cut Reissue VOS1 x Custom Dog-ear P90 Single-coilDouble cut$$$$$SweetwaterThomann

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3 Best Guitars With One Pickup – 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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FAQ

Why Do Some Guitars Only Have 1 Pickup?

There are a couple of reasons:

  • Unique – guitar market needs different options
  • Some players prefer simplicity
  • Some players don’t need a neck pickup and are fine with just 1 bridge pup (and some just want the neck pickup)

Are Guitars With Only 1 Pickup Worth It?

Of course, they lack a bit of versatility, but they can still offer a nice variety of different tones. To me, they are not the best fit for every situation, but they are still worth it.

Who Should Buy Guitar With Only 1 Pickup?

If you usually use only 1 pickup anyway, a guitar with only 1 pickup might be a cool option. Also, if you want something unique that pushes you to find out the best sounds of only 1 pickup, I would go for it.

But if you are after extreme versatility, I would go after a guitar with more pickups.

What’s The Best Pickup For Single Pickup Guitar?

Of course, this depends on your preferences, but I would choose a humbucker with a coil split. This kind of pickup adds versatility.


Conclusion

Yes, versatility might suffer a little bit, since there’s only 1 pup to churn tones on, but otherwise, I really like the idea. Of course, if I had to choose just one electric to be my only guitar, it would not be an axe with just 1 pickup. But otherwise, I’m really happy to add these bad boys to my collection. What do you think?

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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