We used MR phase mapping techniques in a preclinical DBS model to image current distributions nearby deep brain stimulation electrodes. To avoid safety issues and artifacts associated with imaging typical platinum-iridium (Pt-Ir) DBS leads, we developed custom carbon electrodes. We compared carbon electrode performance to size-matched Pt-Ir and clinical DBS electrodes at 7 T, using uniform phantoms and fixed brain tissue. Artifacts surrounding carbon electrodes were smaller than for Pt-Ir electrodes. Current density distributions derived from phase images were similar for both electrode types in uniform phantoms and fixed tissue.