If you’re searching for the best pickups for semi-hollow guitars then your search will end here. But before we tell you the pickups let’s know about Semi-hollow guitars.
A semi-hollow, semi-acoustic, or thin line guitar is a kind of electric guitar that has a soundbox and at least one electric pickup in it. It is different from acoustic guitars because of the addition of pickups or other amplifications in it.
Why they need pickups?
The semi-hollow guitar’s unique design gives it a unique tone. The sound chamber in this guitar provides it warmth like an acoustic guitar and attack. This can be amplified by adding the pickups in the guitar, this gives the guitars enough output so that they can be able to in non-acoustic ensembles as well. These features make a semi-hollow body guitar, a perfect choice to play jazz and they can also be used to play and enjoy in the blues, folks, and other genres as well.
But alongside all these features and advantages, the unique design of these guitars does cause some challenges. Some of these guitars are more prone to feedback than solid-body electric guitars. One wrong choice of a pickup and they will end up with overly dark sound. Generally, if you will ask a wise person for a suggestion, they will suggest you choose the PAF-Style humbucker because this will provide all the semi-hollow body guitars the exact pair of warmth and punches that is needed.
So, if you are planning to upgrade your semi-hollow-body guitar, then maybe we have got you covered on this topic with some pickups that will do the job nearly perfect.
Here, these are the best pickups for semi-hollow body guitars:
Best Pickups For Semi-Hollow Guitars
1. Seymour Duncan SH2N Jazz Humbucker
As it is a well-known fact that semi-Hollow body guitars are so popular in jazz, there is a solid reason why this pickup is best as it is designed especially for Jazz Humbucker from Seymour Duncan. This small pickup easily addresses all the issues mentioned above. The pickup is very slightly brighter than the original one, which helps you in better articulation and balances the warmth from the sound chamber, which remains natural.
This works as a lower output pickup too. This dual-mode is ideal for a semi-hollow body guitar. That simply means that you can still crank up some gain to get some distortion and without being worried about triggering the feedback. The tone of the distortion remains tuneful and balanced as the clean tone making this pickup a versatile one even beyond the jazz.
While the model shown here is used for the neck of the guitars, this Jazz humbucker can also work well with the bridge position of any semi-hollow-body guitar. You can buy one set or you can get it paired with one of the existing pickups to add much more clarity and treble to your guitar’s sound.
2. DiMarzio 36th Anniversary Humbucker
While Seymour Duncan is a big name in the market of humbuckers, they are not the only pickup manufacturer holding their grounds in this battle. The DiMarzio 36th Anniversary Humbucker is a perfect solid PAF-style pickup that you can buy for the neck of your guitar or the bridge of your instrument as per your convenience and need. This DiMarzio pickup is a bit cheaper in price as compared to the Seymour Duncan’s, which makes their products more affordable and appropriate to buy.
While most of the PAF-styled pickups shine really well in the treble responses, the DiMarzio 36th Anniversary Humbucker impresses you with the low-end responses the most. This pickup really rounds up the bottom of the tune and sound completely, which enhances the warmth of the sound but still keeps it tight and focused as well. But here you can question about the high end as if they neglected it either. Yeah, it is not grating but it is clear, with strong harmonics and a nice shimmer in it. If you ask me to recommend you, then I’ll be recommending you this pickup for the bridge position of your semi-hollow-body guitar. But it is a viable option for both positions.
3. Seymour Duncan Seth Lover Humbucker
The main reason behind playing a semi-hollow body guitar is to experience its natural, acoustic warmth. This Seymour Duncan Seth Lover Humbucker is made and designed to do so, by providing you a vintage, smooth tone that is closer to the original PAF than any other new-generation pickups.
Balance is the main key to this Seymour Duncan Seth Lover Humbucker’s performance. This pickup uses vintage coils for a faithful and harmonically rich tone and sound. This semi-hollow guitar pickup has a bright high end but it is still sweet and singing. This pickup is supported by a mid-range articulated and a down low with a lot of warmth. So basically it is designed to make its best semi-hollow-body sound.
This pickup is best for use in both neck and the bridge of the semi-hollow body guitars. Jazz players will obviously love the Seymour Duncan Seth Lover pickup in both positions of their guitars. Although it is not for just only one genre. The country players, classical artists, and players, folk guitarists, etc. can also use and love this Seymour Duncan Seth Lover, especially for the neck in their guitars.
4. Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates
Seymour Duncan is dominating the market for pickups, especially in the semi-hollow body guitars. So far we have already discussed two of their products in this article and here is another one in the list. This product is another great product provided by Seymour Duncan for use with the semi-hollow body guitars. This is a good option for using in the genres like country and rock, which helps you by giving more power and retains your guitar’s natural warmth as it is.
A semi-hollow-body guitar pickup like Seymour Duncan Pearly gates does make it risky for the feedback more, and it is something that one cannot tolerate while using these pickups. You will have to negotiate with it whenever you are using these pickups in your instrument. This product has got a powerful mid-range soaring and presence, transparent highs. These pickups work effectively best when used in the bridge position of the semi-hollow body guitar. So if you are going to use it in the neck then it might get extraneous noise. In such a case you can use it with a lower-output pickup in the neck, which will provide you a pure, powerful, and reliable sound.
These are some of the best Semi-Hollowbody guitar pickups available in the market. You can choose between them at your convenience. But if budget is not a point of concern for you, then just go a pickup from Seymour Duncan. Must share your feedback with us. We also talked about Best Guitar pickups under $50 and and inexpensive humbuckers. So make sure to have a look at them too.
Frequently Asked Questions
All the above-mentioned pickups are best for your semi-hollow guitars. We've done proper research and after proper analyzing and exploring we found these pickups ideal for any semi-hollow guitars.
No, you can not play semi-hollow guitars acoustically as they are not loud enough.
If you use your semi-hollow guitar without an amplifier then you will not get much sound from other musicians. So it is necessary to use an amp with semi-hollow guitars.
The semi-hollow guitars are generally larger, thicker, and wider compare to traditional acoustic guitars. However, once you get used to it you can easily play it.