One of the questions I see on the guitar forums quite a bit is, “What kind of pickups does this Guild guitar have?” Since I’ve posted in many of these threads, I seem to get a lot of emails with the same question. I thought that I might write up a quick summary of the differences as I know them. I originally wrote this article in 2011, and have updated it in 2014.
For Guild AntiHum and LB1 Little Bucker mini-humbucker pickup information, check out my article on them here.
First, let me say that I am by no means the expert on Guild guitars. That honor goes to Hans Moust, author of the excellent book entitled The Guild Guitar Book. Much of what I’ve learned about Guild pickups, I attribute to Hans helping me via email and through forum posts. If you’d like to learn more about Guild guitars, I heartily recommend that you pick up a copy of his book.
To the best of my knowledge, there are two types of Guild HB1 pickups – the mini humbuckers (affectionately called “mini-hums”), and the full-sized humbuckers. This article focuses on the full-sized pickups, which, for reasons that should soon be clear, are often confused. We’ll be looking at three different pickups, all of which look very similar from a distance, and some of which look identical from the front. I’m not entirely sure of the correct names, but for the sake of this article, I will call them Guild HB1s, Seymour Duncan SD1s, and Fender HB1s. There are some others in there as well. Read on to learn more.