DiMarzio Area'58 "Strat" Bridge Pickup: review

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Timbre Wolf, Jun 5, 2006.


  1. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    After being inspired by David Gilmour's recent live show, I've been wanting to reclaim the use of my chambered Warmoth Strat bridge pickup. I've installed a new DiMarzio Area '58 (DP415 Virtual Vintage 2 noiseless) pickup - it replaced the Kinman SCn (part of the Kinman "Blues" set) in that position. The short of it is that I like it very much, and I'm glad I made the swap.

    The clarity of this pickup is magnificent! I had to avoid the trap of initially feeling the pickup was sterile-feeling, as the relative output, compared with the Kinman SCn, seems a little less, and the Area '58 has greater clarity. Not to bag on the Kinman, but in my guitar, it had a pronounced harsh upper-mid (3.5K Hz) peak, along with a nasal low-mid honk (at about 500Hz) that I finally had to try to change. Oh yes, the noise floor of the Area '58 is very, very low, as well, much like (better than?) the Kinman set.

    After dialing in a hair more gain, I could tell that any presumed "sterility" was just a mistaken impression, as the Area '58 can be nice and lively. The pickup is bright, but it is a sweet brightness, not a harsh one. I still have to turn down my tone control when switching from the other pickups to the bridge, but that's not unexpected. I particularly liked the reduced lows on the Area '58, and especially appreciated the fact that the low-mid honk was no longer emphasized.

    I also appreciate how the Area '58 mixes with the middle and bridge pickups (which are still Kinman AVn '62, from the Blues set): the middle/bridge position (parallel) is airy and clucky, and I especially enjoy the neck+bridge in parallel (I've got my "Strat" wired with 3 mini-toggles, for 12 pickup combo possibilities). Even the hotter neck+bridge, in series, was improved by the clarity of the Area '58.

    For me, the Area '58 is winning new pickup design. Even though I dearly love the Kinman AVn '62 Blues in the neck and middle positions, I wonder how long I can keep my curiosity at bay about what it'd be like to replace them with DiMarzio Area '58 (or probably Area '61 would be a closer Kin-ship) pickups?

    Anyone else experience the new DiMarzio Area '58/61 pickups?

    - T


     
  2. AndrewC

    AndrewC Supporting Member

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    Yes - I was just about to swap my old Lace Sensors (Gold) for the VV 2.1/2.2 combination when the Area 58/61s were released. Loved the sound on the clips HarryJ posted and immediately ordered 2 Area 58s. They sounded so good, I pulled the ProTrack out of the bridge and replaced it with a 61. My trusty old Strat sounds absolutely fantastic now!

    I'm having a Melancon built with the Area 58s as well, along with a Virtual PAF in the bridge - can't wait!
     
  3. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    Similar experience with the Kinman Woodstocks. I thought they had a pretty cool tone, but very colored, not open or in any way "Vintage" Strat like.I switched to the Virtual 2.1, and ultimately the Area '58's and '61. Much more to my liking.
    Don't get me wrong I think Kinman is a nice pup, (and I have tried a few models) I just much prefer my tone now.

    I find the '58's and '61's both have a richer tone than the Virtual 2's
    The '61 has a touch more testosterone

    Harry Jacobson
    www.harryj.net
     
  4. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I've enjoyed hearing your inspiring playing, Harry, and I did listen to the Area '58/'61 clips on your site, before purchasing. Thanks for that! Too bad I'm not in your neighborhood, it'd be great to have some lessons! :) Looks like your Warmoth Strat is wired similarly to mine, except that I use three mini-toggles, instead of a 5-way switch.

    Gotta add that I had helpful support from DiMarzio's Steve Blucher, who cheerfully answered my e-mailed questions.

    - T
     
  5. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    Hey T.W. and Andrew,
    Thanks 'fer the kind words man.
    Steve is a great guy, and friend, not to mention a virtual store house of info.
    It's about time Steve and Dimarzio get the respect they deserve too.

    HJ
     
  6. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    Anyone else try these yet?

    H
     
  7. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I just ordered a 58, 61, and a 54 Bridge for a USA CG Strat that should be done in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted. I'm going to put the 61 in the neck, the 58 in the middle & the 54 in the bridge.
     
  8. groove machine

    groove machine Member

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    I ordered a pair of 58's and a 61 last week to replace the stock pickups in a recently acquired maple-board standard strat. Also waiting on a new pickguard and wiring harness from acmeguitarworks. The wait is killing me!!!!!!!!!

    BTW it was HarryJ's clips that inspired me to order these pups.
    Thanks HarryJ!!:BEER
     
  9. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    Hey G.M.,
    Thx man... let us know what you think when you get 'em.
    I'll be surprized if you don't think they kick some major butt :)


    HJ
     
  10. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    Curious as to why you chose the '61's over '58?

    H
     
  11. david henman

    david henman Member

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    ...i'm so eager to try them i'm actually shopping for another strat to put them in!

    -dh
     
  12. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    I've got two '58s and a '61 coming... Have 2.1s and a 2.2 in my main G&L Legacy now and dig 'em - looking forward to comparing. Steve Blucher suggested to keep a vintage magnet stagger (I usually request flat polepieces as the guitar has a 12" radius). Cool...
     
  13. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    So I'm just about to buy a VV 2.1 for the middle position on my Strat and I come across this thread....
    HarryJ & all- my need is for noiseless, twinkly, for use with my exisiting 250 pots. I see the VV 2.1 tone sig
    is " 3/4.5/9.5".
    Is this claim accurate? I want it to be low output and have high end. For use in clean-ish applications only.
    Thanks
     
  14. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    250K's are recommended for both the VV2.1 and Area's
    Personally, It's so easy to adjust the impedence via fixed resistors that I find the "sweet spot" for each individual guitar.

    The 2.1 is a very glassy pup.
    With the '58 you don't loose the glassiness, you simply gain a richness. At least that's how I hear it.

    They both are pretty close to a stock single in terms of output, the '61 is just a little more

    The 2.1 has been my choice of middle pup's for a long time.

    HJ
     
  15. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    COOL thanks
    Glassy- thats what I want :)
     
  16. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Yep, It's a shame that people simply assume to get good tone from replacement pickups, they need to buy some expensive hand wired boutiques. (allthough I know there are dozens of great PU makers).

    I love all of my Dimarzio's man! Waiting on an EJ Custom to replace a Dragon II neck PU in one of my PRS's! The PAF Classic I replaced the bridge Dragon is just killer... open and fat... dang!
    :dude
     
  17. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    You may also consider wiring the tone controls for the neck and bridge. This will give an extra glassiness to the middle. It is also a very common mod on a strat

    H
     
  18. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    The EJ looks very cool, I have yet to try that one.
    Steve is constantly coming up with cool ideas

    HJ
     
  19. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    Just bought the VV 2.1 :RoCkIn
     
  20. donbarzini

    donbarzini Member

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    I recenetly replaced my Kinman Traditionals with a set of Area '58 and '61's. I have the '58's in the bridge and neck, the '61 is in the middle. Absolutely killer pickups, even quieter than the Kinmans and my Strat sounds like a Strat again.
     

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