DiMarzio Area/stacked series or Cruiser/Rail series???

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by papersoul, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    Hey guys!

    I finally found a humbucker I love enough with a 500K volume pot in my American fat strat to maybe make this thing work for me.

    Some clarity for me, LOL! The Area series are those that look like real singles? What is the rail series called? The Cruiser series? Interesting how DiMarzio in their explainations will often say how this pickup is an improvement over this other pickup or an enhancement or progression in the series such as Cruiser -> Chopper -> etc.....and Area -> and so on...What are the main characteristic differences? I am a humbucker guy and use singles sparingly and prefer to never, LOL. I don't want this strat to sound like my humbucker guitars but I still much prefer either full humbucker, mini HBs, and I loved the Chopper in the bridge and to be honest, it seemed like a full on HB.

    I am not a single coil guy from the start. All my guitars, even my strat has a humbucker as the main pickup. The singles need to be able to keep up in temrs of output or at least close. I don't want to have to find ways to make adjustments to get single coils to stand out or be louder. Remember, I am a humbucker guy at heart. I can't really change that nature. :jo

    So I am looking at the Injectors, Satch track and maybe the Corgan pickups or the Chopper. I saw a few reviews of the Injectors where guys who were hardcore heavy humbucker users claimed the Injectors were some of the first noiseless singles they could live with and I am tempted to try those with my Air Zone. My Air Zone and 500K volume is eating the DiMarzio Virtual 54 singles I have now, for lunch. They are going up for sale soon.

    I keep looking at the Satch Track neck and maybe a Cruiser middle? I find the Cruicer sound crazy good for clean and gain anyway. Maybe a Fast Track 1 in the middle and the Satch in the neck? Fast Track will more easily stay with the Air Zone according to DiMarzio.

    One thing I must emphasize.....I want my single coil tones to be able to hang with my humbuckers in output and volume. Therefore, they can be big and muscular......keep in mind, I have been using mostly humbucker tones (clean and dirty) for 30 years so I am used to it. I don't want to have to adjust the amp or a pedal to account for a quiet and weak single coil for a song or part of a song. They have to hang with the Air Zone. The 54 Pros are not hanging no matter what I do.

    I would also consider a DiMarzio Norton in the bridge over the Air Zone as I hear it can be amazingly good in a strat. However, I am loving the AZ!

    DiMarzio tech has told me on several occassions, to not change out the 250k tone pots. They say to leave those be - since I will not notice a big difference with these pickups. Not positive about this since this could help the Injectors, Fast Track or Satch Track stand better with the Air Zone bridge pickup. :)

    Thanks all! And.....this is in no way a slam on single coils. I just know who I am and trying to work with it. :) I love a lot of single coil players....Blackmore, Gilmour......but I can not play singles for some reason. Almost like a mental block. Maybe some day, LOL. That is why I straddle the fence of single coil land at best. :)
     
  2. OotMagroot

    OotMagroot Supporting Member

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    I had a Strat that had an Air Zone in the bridge and Cruisers in the middle and neck. I loved the Cruisers. They sorta reminded me of EMG SA pickups only passive with a little more mojo sprinkled in. They were bright, strong, and clear with a strong fundamental tone. They were great for Gilmour types of tones.

    I have also had Area single coils and I have a Strat with True Velvet pickups, but I have never used any of those with the Air Zone.
     
  3. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    Thanks! Did they keep up with the AZ? Maybe a Cruiser in the middle with a Fast Track in the neck slot? :) The Cruisers worry me cause their output is the same as the 54 Pros I have now. That is why I thought Fast Track middle and Satch Track neck. Second thoguht is two Injector necks.
     
  4. OotMagroot

    OotMagroot Supporting Member

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    A Satch Track in the neck and a Cruiser in the middle would be cool. The Cruisers balanced really well with the AZ.

    The Injectors might be cool too.
     
  5. hawes

    hawes Member

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    I had Areas with an Air Classic in the bridge. That sounded pretty good but I think the Air Zone would be too hot.
     
  6. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    Thanks. I am surprised about the Cruiser since output seems on part with the 54 Pro which I have now.

    8 am not a shredder at all so maybe the Injectors are a no go unless someone has some experience on those.

    The Satch could be cool and the Cruiser
    How about the Fast Track since I am told it is essentially a more muscular Cruiser which is my thing. :)
     
  7. thecornman

    thecornman Member

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    I am using a Air Zone in the bridge with a Chopper in the middle and Fast Track one in the neck on my main Strat right now! I am using 500k pots as well. This combo has worked for me very well for a while now. Covers a wide range of sounds from humbuckers to almost single coil sounds with the Fast Track and in between positions. Before this I had a Tone Zone S in the bridge which also worked great. Perfect bridge pickup if you want a bucker that fits a single coil spot.
     
  8. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    Thanks, I am leaning toward some combo of chopper, satch track, fast track, etc.
     
  9. WoodyStrat

    WoodyStrat Supporting Member

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    I will give another nod to the Cruisers. I have the Andy Timmons rig in my Ash Strat and love it! I would describe the Cruisers as single coils for guys that don't like single coils! LOL! They have a character that is reminiscent of a single coils but has its own thing going on. I can seamlessly go between the AT1 and the Cruisers without disappointing volume changes. Really more of a gain change than volume if that makes sense. I think you would dig a bridge position cruiser in the middle with no tone control. It will give a beefy SC sound that mixes well with the hotter pups at the neck and the bridge. Enjoy whatever you decide on!

    I have been eyeing that Satch neck pup REALLY hard also!! :)

    Oh, and the Tone Zone S is glorious in the bridge position!
     
  10. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    So the cruiser is still a choice.
    I am also confused on the middle vs neck pickip being hotter.
    I am not it a fan of in between positions and only use positions 1, 2 and 3 or bridge, middle and neck. For this reason, I assume the bridge should be a touch less output than the bridge and the neck even less. However, just as many do, I could just adjust the pickip height. I notice guys that use all positions prefer lower output middle pickups.

    In my case...maybe chopper mid and fast track 1 neck.

    With The injectors, What in the middle....maybe an injector bridge . Maybe an Injector bridge with the neck, middle and neck. How about the Satch? Should I use a less hot middle pickup, more hot?
     
  11. WoodyStrat

    WoodyStrat Supporting Member

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    I'm not really sure what a hot middle would sound like, never had one. So basically you want balls in each position? Wouldn't you want any other textures on a 3 pup guitar?
     
  12. olkie

    olkie Member

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    I bought a strat as a project guitar and put in a Norton in the bridge, a cruiser in the middle, and a fast track 1 in the neck. I really think the OP would be disappointed with the cruiser, it felt thin and the voicing reminded me too much of a traditional single coil (not that that is a bad thing, just not what I was going for). The fast track was thicker than a strat neck should be when pretty close to the strings, but still had plenty of clarity - I was pleased with the tone.

    The one thing that I didn't like about both of the rails was that they were very microphonic. Has anyone else had this problem?
     
  13. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    You guys are correct. I want more tones available from a 3 pickup guitar so I notice some guys going hot in bridge, medium in middle such as the one guy with the Chopper in the middle and low output neck such as the fast track in this scenario. Not sure what to do....
    If I want more versatility, I want lower output middle? Does anyone use a middle pickup alone?

    Now I really don't know what to get. Fast Track seems logical but where? And what else? Ugh.

    I am glad you guys are helping me get this figured out. LOL.
     
  14. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    Timmons gets some great tone out of his Cruisers, he's using bridge versions on middle and neck.

     
  15. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    Timmons is great and good example. Are they hotter than my 54 Pros? I am not really into true single coil tones as he can get though.

    I am confused about output cause most stock guitars will have the same singles in middle and neck. However, many state the middle pickup should be the weakest? Finally, I know guys who prefer the middle hotter and the neck pickup the weakest.*
    An example is a guy I know using the Air Zone, with a Chopper middle and Fast Track 1 neck. He says the in between tones are good even though logic would tell you the fast track should be in the middle for this?

    So confusing. Like Timmons and others I know just use two cruiser pickups or one chopper or Fast Track thrown in. Ugh, the output confuses me. To me it makes sense that the pickups get weaker the closer to the neck....so something like Air Zone, Chopper and Fast Track or Air Zone, Fast Track, Cruiser.
    Keep in mind, only my vol is 500k. Tone pots are stock Fender 250k.

    Thanks again everyone! :)
     
  16. WoodyStrat

    WoodyStrat Supporting Member

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    You might want to consider changing the tone pots to 500ks. They are a 2 bit item but they will open up the top end and squeeze the full frequency capability of the pups for whichever of the options you've mentioned.

    I use the Cruiser middle often. I found I liked that position with no tone hooked up to it so it is almost wide open. It has a definite SC character but heavier. It blends cool with the HB in the bridge and gives a cool #2 position Strat sound but fat sounding. So the cruiser will add some SC texture to your hum buckers without sounding wimpy. I am not trying to sell you Cruisers, I just happen to have them and dig them so I am sharing what I like about them. Someone looking for authentic noiseless SC sounds would hate these. But I think Dimarzio never intended that as their purpose, they clearly have a modern tone that blends well in a Super Strat and gives that versatility that so many players are after.

    If I was building another set (this thread is giving me the itch :beer ) I would do a Tone Zone S in the bridge (this pup has no issue with 250k pots BTW,) Cruiser in the Middle and I would go with a Pro Track or Satch Track in the neck.
     
  17. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    The Chopper and Satch Track sound a lot like humbuckers to me. This is via online clips mind you.

    A guy on the forum who shares some similar goals and ideas around music and tone, uses the AZ, Chopper and FT1 with all 500k pots and he and I talked about the results. Maybe I will do it.
     
  18. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    I wonder where the Satch Track would fit into all of this. I am worried the Satch is too shred ready and maybe the cleans would not hold up to something like the Fast Track in the neck.
    Now of course I wonder about the Satch Track or Chopper in the middle.

    I wonder if the Fast Track is loud enough to keep up with the Air Zone. I worry about this since I come from the world of humbuckers. Maybe I could go AZ, Chopper and Satch. These should keep up and still have good cleans.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  19. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    I am starting to lean toward maybe going with an Injector bridge in the middle and Injector neck as well. Maybe.
     
  20. OotMagroot

    OotMagroot Supporting Member

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    The Cruiser keeps up easily with the AZ and the Fast Track is louder than the Cruiser, so you should be fine there.

    I also had the Cruiser in the middle with no tone control. I used it for alot of clean arpeggio things. Simply great for that kinda thing.

    I bet a Air Zone or Tone Zone S in the bridge, Cruiser in the middle, and a Chopper in the neck would be great. I might have to try something like that when I decide starting building the partscaster I am planning.
     

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