Curious about modern gold foil pickups? Start your investigation by checking out these 10 options.

Historically associated with inexpensive student-model guitars of the 1960s, gold foil pickups are now all the rage. Before you go down the eBay rabbit hole for a vintage set, do yourself a favor and check out one of the numerous modern replicas available.

Gold Foil Surface Mount

These handmade single-coils were designed to offer clarity and power, with a pristine top-end and a wide dynamic range. Nickel, chrome, or gold covers are available.

LOLLAR
$190

Gold Foil Alnico Soapbar

These single-coil soapbars contain flat, alnico bar magnets that are meant to serve up a warmer, rounder high-end than the company’s ferrite versions.

GFS
$38

Gold Foils

Designed to have the same character as an original gold foil at an affordable non-vintage price, these fully wax-potted pickups are housed in standard humbucker-sized cases.

SCHUYLER DEAN
$90

Gold Foil Mustache Grille

These handwound gold foils were designed to replicate those used on late-’50s to late-’60s Silvertones. Made to DeArmond/Rowe specs, these pickups can also be ordered with custom specs.

CURTIS NOVAK
$155

Gold Foil Pickup Set

This affordable set housed in mini-humbucker-sized covers includes a bridge pickup at 10.2k ohms and a neck pickup at 10.8k ohms.

ALLPARTS
$65

Gold Foil

Down to the specialized rubberized magnet, these pickups are exact clones of gold foil pickups from the ’60s and are intended to sound clear, powerful, and harmonically rich.

MOJOTONE
$139

Gold Coil

Taking cues from the originals for clear and thick single-coil tones, these modern-version gold foils will fit any humbucker-equipped guitar.

ARCANE INC.
$185

Mini-Humbucker P-90 Gold Foil

Designed to deliver lots of warmth and clarity with enough output to produce that P-90 grind, this vintage-inspired gold foil comes packaged in a smaller, handsome mini footprint.

KLEIN
$150

Lowrider Gold Foil Standard

Lowrider single-coils are flat-magnet, surface-mount pickups with spacing for a standard Strat-style guitar and are underwound to come in at just under 5k ohms.

VICTORY GUITAR & PICKUP CO.
$58

Dog Ear Gold Foil SC

These custom pickups are wax potted under vacuum (unless requested otherwise) and feature proprietary I-X grounded shielding to reduce noise from external AC electric fields.

VINTAGE VIBE GUITAR PICKUPS
$150

Almost six decades after forming the short-lived Rising Sons, the two legends reconvene to pay tribute to the classic blues duo of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee on the warm and rootsy Get on Board.

Deep into Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder’s Get on Board: The Songs of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, percussionist Joachim Cooder lays out, letting the two elder musicians can take a pass through “Pawn Shop Blues.” To start, they loosely play around with the song’s intro on their acoustic guitars. “Yeah, nice,” remarks Mahal off-handedly in his distinctive rasp—present since he was a young man but, at 79, he’s aged into it—and Cooder lightly chuckles. They hit the turnaround and settle into a slow, loping tempo. It’s a casual and informal affair—some notes buzz, and it sounds like one of them is stomping his foot intermittently. Except for Cooder’s slide choruses, neither guitar plays a rhythm or lead role. They simply converse.

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The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

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Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

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