Best Passive Pickups for Metalcore

When you hear the word metal in music, what comes to your mind? Energetic playing, aggressiveness in playing, and colossal guitar sound, right? If yes you are right.  For metal, the style span across several methods, but defined by the characteristics mentioned above.

Creating the best music apart from your talent often depend on your guitar pickups. Making an informed decision as a metal player depends on getting the right tools. Hence, in this review, we will be discussing six of the best passive pickups for metalcore.

We will consider the criteria to consider and other important tips that will help you get the best out of your guitar.

Criteria for Selecting Passive Pickups for Metalcore

To help you get the best out of your passive pickup for metals, here are some important points to ponder on before and during the process of ordering for your product. Knowing will make it easier for you to make the right choice. They include:

Coil type: you have the choice of selecting either a single coil or humbucker coil. These are the two basic design your guitar pickup coil comes in.

Originally all guitar comes with single coils, but humbucker was later introduced, and it delivers better sustain, stronger output, and less noise compared to single coil.

On the other hand, a single coil is brighter and crisper; it works better with clean sound and has more note definition between strings. Your choice of play has a large part to play in selecting the needed coil.

Circuitry: voltage is generated in pickups using either the passive method (with magnet only) or the active method (with magnet and preamp for boosting). Active pickup has great tonal clarity, more tonal consistency at different volumes, and stronger amp overdrive.

Passive pickups, on the other hand, sound better making it the choice for all player. If you want to play metal, this going for passive will make playing better for you.

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Output: you have to choose between the output level you want either high or moderate. With passive pickups, your output can be increased when you add more winds of copper wire. You also need to consider the rule of thumb to help make the decision process easier for you to make decisions.

Higher outputs: driving your amp to distortion is easier, although you have less dynamic range.

Lower output: give a cleaner sound with more dynamic range. Achieving an overdriven amp sound is somewhat hard.

Magnets: your passive pickup output will also be affected greatly by the available magnets. There are several popular layouts to choose from which include the individual magnet poles, steel poles extending from magnetic bars, and blade style. The magnets are made from Al-Ni-Co (Aluminium, nickel, and cobalt)

Pickup location: the positioning of your pickup plays a big part in the quality of tone your guitar will deliver. When located near the bridge, it sounds brighter with the shortest sustain. When near the neck, it sounds warm and full with the longest sustain. And when located in the middle, it sounds in between the first two positions. You need a full and long sustain for metal, the better option is clear.

5 Best Passive Pickups for Metalcore

EMG H4A Passive Alnico Guitar Humbucker Pickup:

This is a versatile high-output pickup perfectly constructed to carry warmth, body, and clarity. From rock to blues, to metal, this product is perfectly primed to deliver the best at your request. It has a highly balanced tone with solid bass, pronounced mids, and very fat highs.

The pickup utilizes wound coil which is loaded with an Alnico V bar magnet which is shielded well to produce minimal noise. For a unique, balanced tone, it is better paired with its H4 counterpart. Beautiful enough, the pickup is often used in the neck position.

EMG H4 Passive Electric Guitar Humbucker Pickup

This passive pickup combines the power of both active and passive PAF to deliver its amazing features. This makes it possible to produce a balanced tone with tight bass response, glassy mids, and crunchy highs.

It makes use of over-wound coil which is loaded with ceramics bar magnet which is shielded fully to prevent noise. It is often used in the bridge position where it shines with excellent range, and it is also responsive and has sweet harmonics. This pickup is the right one if you want a big rock or heavy modern guitar sound.

Seymour Duncan Blackouts Set 6 String

For metal players, this is another perfect passive pickup. It is a set of active blackouts humbuckers that will turn your guitar into a heavy metal behemoth. It delivers high output with a crunchy but full frequency range. The pickup carries an organic feel which enables you to achieve the best playing experience.  

The bridge is located in the neck making it a clear option for all metal players. It is highly responsive and delivers true tonal character thanks to its extended frequency response and organic feel.

The pickup also excels when it comes to screaming pinched harmonics and hyper-speed riffage with responsive dynamics across the entire fretboard.

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Fishman Fluence Signature Series


The set has one ceramic pickup located at the bridge and Alnico (Aluminium, nickel, and cobalt) pickup located at the neck and the middle position. It comes with both volume and tone pots with a push-pull voice selector pot. It comes with all wiring for installation. The pickup is perfect for all playing style and more suitable for metals. It has all the components needed to achieve Adam and Joel’s wiring scheme. With this pickup, everything you hear is true and comes in the best way possible, the birth of flawless performance.

Seymour Duncan Nazgul 7-String Passive Guitar Pickup

All metal player deserves the best pickup; this is the right option for them all. It is a passive pickup with black metal cover. It comes with a large ceramics magnet which helps deliver aggressive tone for brutal, and down-tuned chugging riffs. If you need a deeper, darker, and aggressive tone, this is the right option for you.

The notes will remain fluid and articulate. The mid-range of the pickup is prominent to bring out the definition of the B and F# strings. It is very affordable and constructed with high-quality material.

Tips for Getting the Best Out of Your Passive Pickups for Metalcore

Here are some tips that will help you make the best decision when it comes to selecting the best passive pickups for metalcore;

How to choose the best passive pickups for metalcore

What is your preference?

There are pickups that work better with metal; you may notice that only a few are tagged for metal. As earlier pointed out, your output level plays a significant part, so identifying the type of style you are playing will make your decision easier.

What fits you?

Is your guitar currently running on single coil or humbucker? The body will be factory cut to fit that pickup inside the cavity. If you are switching from a single coil to another single coil, it can easily be done.

But if switching from single coil to humbucker or vice versa, you may need a single coil-shaped like humbucker and vice versa to deliver what fits you perfectly.

Why do I need a passive humbucker?

You will be playing metal, so what you want to pick up has a part in either you selecting active or passive humbucker. Many feel passive humbucker have lower output, but this is a wrong proposition, many are hotter than you need.

The passive humbucker has a slightly warm and natural tone when compared to its active counterpart. This makes it perfect for all playing metal.

What makes a good metal pickup?

Since most metal player makes use of humbucker, it has been designed to fit playing metal perfectly. A good metal pickup should provide unmatched power and must be strong enough to cancel underground noise. The sound produced must also not be muddy especially if the tuning is low and there is an increment in distortion.

Hence, a good metal pickup must have a defined low end as this will make it perfect for playing. Metal can be melodic, so raw power must make room for tonal quality and warmth. So, if a pickup delivers all these, then it is the perfect option for you.


Playing metal can always be perfect when you have the right guitar and the right pickups. This review has helped provide the very Best Passive Pickups for Metalcore that you can make use of. More importantly, it is wise on your part if you consider the important criteria that will make it easier for you to make wise decisions.

The EMG H4A Passive Alnico Guitar Humbucker Pickup is the most affordable passive pickup you can lay your hands on, and it delivers the best sound and unmatched playing experience you crave for. When the Best Passive Pickups for Metalcore is handy, playing is limitless.

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