Best SC's from Duncan or Dimarzio??

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by TimH, Jun 15, 2005.


  1. TimH

    TimH Member

    Messages:
    4,642
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    I've got a strat with texas specials and a duncan pearly gates in it and want to get more vintage sounding strat pickups. Something thicker in the bridge than the average SC (think Eric Johnson lead tone) and something that sounds GREAT clean...lower output something like an Anderson VA...lots of bottom and lots of chime.

    I work at a music store and can order anything from Duncan or Dimarzio so I'd like to know what pickups people like from these companies.
     
  2. dazco

    dazco Member

    Messages:
    10,588
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    I would look at the mid output Virtual Vintage line from Dimarzio. I haven't used them but i've used a few stacked style "single coils". i'm currently just 100% satisfied with the Lace Holy Grail. What i find is that while noiseless solutions don't always sound exactly like SC, that can be a good thing in the bridge since most like yourself don't want the typical SC thin/harsh sound and they tend to sound thicker. the Holy Grail sounds amazing to me, but you're interested in SD and Dimarzio since you can get a deal. So i would say look at the VV's and go over to the guitar board at weber and look for posts by Harry Jackobson who is a VV fanatic and has posted a lot of info about them plus a link to his clips of them. If you do listen to the clips tho, try and seperate what you hear that is the pups from what you're hearing due to the cound of the rig. I say that because he recorded then thru a sansamp preamp into a regular amp. So the sound is obviously sorta modeled sounding.

    In any case, they seem to be some good pups from all i've read, and again being noiseless they tend to roll off harshness and tinniness. They had me very interested, but i'm just so happy with the Holy grail i have no need or desire to switch. I assume the VV's would be similar to the grails as far as still sounding very close to a regular SC yet thicker, which are to things that you'd think would be mutually exclusive. In fact, they often are. but somehow the HG does it. Plus it somehow is able to get meatier and start showing some of the desirable humbucker like details when at high gain without sacrificing the open uncompressed tone of a SC ! Really amazing. In fact i think the HG is about the most amazing bridge pup i've ever used. Only thing is you gotta be able to deal with a bridge pup that is lower in out put than the neck and misddle unless those are very low vintage ouput pups. the HG i use is the higher output bridge model, yet it's output is only about equal to a 5-5.5k SC !

    Anyway, sorry for going on about that since you only want SD or dimarzio.(just really thrilled with it !) But the VV may be similar and do seem to be what you might be looking for. But if you want a great sounding bridge pup with a very elastic feel to it and the ability to sound like a good SC at clean to low gain and get thicker and slightly humbucker like as you drive it hard, the HG might be worth it to you even if you have to pay more than the deal you'd get at work on a SD or dimarzio.

    In any case, i'd surely go with a noisless solution due to the fact they tend to sound thicker. And a good one will retain the SC sound/details. Mine does, and i believe the VV will.
     
  3. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,539
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I've got some virtual vintage in my grosh, and while I have toyed with the idea of changing them out for some lollars, I've been satisfied with them and am probably not going to change them out any time soon.
     
  4. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

    Messages:
    1,940
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA
    I've used all kinds of Strat pickups that claim to be vintage sounding. Most of them were very good, but my favorite are the Duncan Antiquities. I've used them in several Strats, in just about every combination of ash or alder bodies and maple or rosewood boards. My current Strat, and only one, is a 63 NOS Time Machine critter with alder body and round lam rosewood board. The pickups are Antiquities -- Texas Hot in the neck and middle position, and Custom Wound in the bridge. This guitar with a tweed amp is a thing of beauty.
     
  5. TimH

    TimH Member

    Messages:
    4,642
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    The antiquities I'm sure sound great but #1 the are a "hot" pickup and #2 too much dough for this axe. The VV's get the vote so far. Keep 'em coming.
     
  6. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,684
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Location:
    Canada's Capital
    I also like the Virtual Vintage line - perhaps contact DiMarzio and tell 'em your needs. Their customer service is excellent...
    http://dimarzio.com/
     
  7. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

    Messages:
    4,831
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Location:
    Magdalena, NM, US
    I've been checking around for pickups for my JV Strat.

    For noiseless, I'm really impressed by what I've read and heard of the DiMarzio Virtual Vintage stuff. Yeah, Harry on the Weber board makes a good case for these :) Especially the lower output vintage style ones.

    For true single-coil, I'm interested in the DiMarzio Blue Velvet/Red Velvet combo. That's two Blues in the neck and mid and a Red in the Bridge. The Blues are supposed to be very good vintage style pickups and the Red is along the same lines, a little hotter, but has a Tele-style baseplate installed. I'm really anxious to try some of these out!
     
  8. Bonedance

    Bonedance Member

    Messages:
    451
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Blue Velvets ( with RV in the bridge ) are indeed great sounding pickups. You don't hear much about them, but I really like the way they sound and respond. Had some "Class of 55's" years ago and they were darn good also.

    The VV's are very good for noiseless pickups. The tele model VV's are great also.
     
  9. Eric Pykala

    Eric Pykala Member

    Messages:
    1,006
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Planet Earth
    Money/employee discount be damned! Bite the bullet once and get a set of Jim Wagner's SR singlecoils. Never have to play pickup-swap again! This will save you dough in the long run, in particular over going the noiseless route. By the way, these are the only singles I've ever heard where you can use the bridge and middle pickups all by themselves, and really want to! These are the first pickups to unseat my old '62 Strat as the best darn singlecoil guitar on the planet. Yeah, I really like 'em!-Eric
     
  10. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

    Messages:
    1,940
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Location:
    Munich / Madrid
    +1, Steve Blucher is the man. My friend and DiMarzio endorser Harry Jacobson has some nice VV clips here: http://www.harryj.net/strat_VV.htm
     
  11. tak

    tak Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    MI
    +1 for the Virtual Vintages. I have several models of VV's in my strat style guitars. I think I like the VV 2.2 version the best. Didn't like the VV solo much at all. A little too hot with too much high end. If I want a hotter single coil I'll actually go with the Fast Track 1 or a Chopper - even though there kind of in between a single coil and a humbucker.
     
  12. Mike Dresch

    Mike Dresch Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    922
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    I tried the VV 2.1 and found it to be too bright for where I had it, which was in the bridge position. Probably would have been fine in the neck. The HS2 or HS3 would be fine for the bridge as they are a little darker sounding.

    As far as Duncans go, I actually really liked the Quarter Pounds. They had a nice beefy single coil vibe I really like.
     
  13. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

    Messages:
    1,940
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA
    You think the Antiquities are hot pickups? "Hot" is the last word I'd use to describe them, even though that word appears in the name of the pickup (Texas Hot). They may not be as bright as some other vintage style pickups (the Antiquities have Alnico II magnets), but they aren't really hot.
     
  14. armanHammer

    armanHammer Member

    Messages:
    400
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Eric Johnson has used the DiMarzio HS2 in the bridge position of his strats..
     
  15. Ascension

    Ascension Member

    Messages:
    1,033
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    Birmingham Alabama
    I have a set of Duncan SSL's in my one piece swamp ash body 94 USA Washburn LS 93. A pair of SSL-1's in the neck and middle with a SSL-5 in the bridge and it works very well. I am running a set of SSL-1s in the neck and middle of my Mahogany body with quilt MG USA 120 with a Custom 5 in the bridge.
    I also have a pair of Dimarzio Blue Velvets with a Norton in the bridge in my 95 USA Washburn MG 100 also with a one piece swamp ash body.
    The Duncans have more sparkle and chime the Dimarzios more meat and are smoother. Both sets are clear clean and chimy and sound absolutely fantastic!!
     
  16. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,980
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Hills of WV
    Duncan APS (1/stag or 2/flat) are wonderful very sweet vintage sounding alnico 2 singles, which go with a "Teleish" Twangbanger (also alnico 2 with baseplate) in the bridge. All 3 are great clean & take OD well too. Great pups for the price. APS's are available RWRP.
     

Share This Page