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DiMarzio Virtual Solo installed: initial review

Bucksears

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,751
After having the Virtual Solo (DP420) bridge pickup for a while, I finally got a chance to install it and a different config of DiMarzios in my Strat today.
I previously had the following arrangements (N/M/B) of DiMarzio Area/Virtual pickups:
Area 58/58/61 (great sound, but too bright and a bit weak)
Area 61/58/Virtual 54 Pro (again, nice sound, but quite bright)
Area 61/61/Heavy Blues2 (this came close, but the bridge was harsh)
And finally:
Virtual 54 Pro/Area 58/Virtual Solo

This is the one I was looking for. The neck is smooth, the quack is there (better on 4 than 2; 4 is more vintage, 2 is a little fatter/rounder), but the bridge is the prize for me on this one. No dialing back the tone on my BSIAB II; this pushes the distortion and has no harsh overtones. Clean, it sounds like a fat single coil; no PAF similarities. Brighter than the Virtual Hot T in my Tele, but only a little. I just put new strings on it, so I need to give them time to stretch and some of the new brightness to wear off; then I can adjust the pickup heights a little better.
Oh, and they are pretty darned quiet; actually quieter than the humbuckers in my Ibanez Artist.
This is just an initial honeymoon review, but I've had enough pickups in that Strat to know what I do and don't like within minutes of playing them. These I like.
 

markj

Member
Messages
47
I've been narrowing this down myself. I'm thinking Area '61 Neck, '67 mid, Virtual Solo Bridge. This is for blues, classic rock type stuff that I do.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,440
I previously had the following arrangements (N/M/B) of DiMarzio Area/Virtual pickups:
Area 58/58/61 (great sound, but too bright and a bit weak)
Area 61/58/Virtual 54 Pro (again, nice sound, but quite bright)
Area 61/61/Heavy Blues2 (this came close, but the bridge was harsh)
if you kept the virtual blues II, save it for the neck position in a guitar with a bridge humbucker. it will hang volume-wise, and its "harshness" in the bridge will translate into a lovely bluesy cutting fatness in the neck.
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,820
i use HS-3 in neck, HS-2 in middle, and Virtual Vintage Solo Pro in bridge, it's fat like a little p-90 :)

love it!
 

dtfan4ever

Member
Messages
821
I have a strat with 67/67/Virtual Solo and I have a tele with Virtual T Neck/HS-2/Virtual Hot T bridge. These are my two main guitars and I love these setups.

The strat has a blend knob instead of a second tone knob. Very cool and interesting tones .

The Virtual Solo is a great pickup. I find that it is focused and clear.
 

cochese

Member
Messages
2,170
I've used the DiMarzio VV's for years in different configurations and models. At present I really love the Area 58's and 61 I have ina guitar I'm using a bit at the moment.

I did a clip years ago for Guytron with a VirtuAl2 in the neck and the Solo in the bridge in my '74 Strat. The first part of the clip is the neck pickup and the second half is the solo in the bridge. Straight into my amp.
http://chrisdelis.com/music/guytron/bluztake2.mp3
 

lv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,015
Great clip Chris!

I've been using an Area 67 in the neck and middle, and a 54 pro in the bridge. Absolutely love the 67s, imo these compete with Lollars and Fralins but are dead quiet. The 54 pro was nice, but I wanted something a bit thicker. Swapped out the 54 pro (anyone wants it cheap pm me) for a virtual solo and this pickup is great. Super thick and smooth, and with the tone rolled down to 6 and the amp set for high gain, this pickup sounds like a big fat humbucker. Not bright at all, just rich and thick - lots of bottom too.

These Area pickups sound just like single coils imo, without the noise. I even prefer the full humbucking sound to the split, true single coil sounds.
 

lv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,015
I have a strat with 67/67/Virtual Solo and I have a tele with Virtual T Neck/HS-2/Virtual Hot T bridge. These are my two main guitars and I love these setups.

The strat has a blend knob instead of a second tone knob. Very cool and interesting tones .

The Virtual Solo is a great pickup. I find that it is focused and clear.
I'm running the same - 67/67/virt solo - also with a blend. Some of the best tones I've ever gotten, as well as being quiet.

Do you notice the virtual solo being a bit noisier than the 67s?
 

dtfan4ever

Member
Messages
821
I'm running the same - 67/67/virt solo - also with a blend. Some of the best tones I've ever gotten, as well as being quiet.

Do you notice the virtual solo being a bit noisier than the 67s?
Not yet. I only just did the mod 2 weeks ago but have been swamped with so many other things to do that I haven't really had a chance to really get through all the nitty gritty stuff with these pickups.

The little that I have had a chance to play I haven't noticed extra noise.

I hope I can get a full run through by the end of the week as I'm building a new rig and need to run everything. I just have to pick the new cables and put in the order. Thinking about putting in a major order with Lava. (which reminds me that I need to email them)
 
Messages
2,079
Are you guys running 250k pots? Im thinking of putting a V. Solo in a strat, and dimarzio recomends a 500k pot...

Standard
single-coils, Area ‘58™, Area ’61™, Virtual Vintage® ‘54 Pro and Virtual Vintage® Heavy 2 models
will all perform well with 250K controls (EP1200). The rest of the Virtual Vintage® line performs​
best with 500K controls (EP1201).
 

bluejedi

Member
Messages
166
I was thinking 61/61/Solo Pro or a 54pro/58/solo pro for a strat type guitar that I`ll get... I`ve always like a smooth fat sound out the neck (SRV) and a lot of quack on the 4 position (neck and middle). And I want something more robust sound than the regular bridge single coils.

I`m also thinking on getting a fat boost pedal so I don`t miss to much a humbucker.

suggestions?
 

lv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,015
I was thinking 61/61/Solo Pro or a 54pro/58/solo pro for a strat type guitar that I`ll get... I`ve always like a smooth fat sound out the neck (SRV) and a lot of quack on the 4 position (neck and middle). And I want something more robust sound than the regular bridge single coils.

I`m also thinking on getting a fat boost pedal so I don`t miss to much a humbucker.

suggestions?
I use a Fromel Shape pedal to emulate thick humbucker tones with my Strat. I actually dialed it as close as possible to the tones I was getting out of my Les Paul before selling it. Great pedal - will also help to get those SRV tones with the mid freq and mid boost dimed.
 

Bucksears

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,751
I was thinking 61/61/Solo Pro or a 54pro/58/solo pro for a strat type guitar that I`ll get... I`ve always like a smooth fat sound out the neck (SRV) and a lot of quack on the 4 position (neck and middle). And I want something more robust sound than the regular bridge single coils.

I`m also thinking on getting a fat boost pedal so I don`t miss to much a humbucker.

suggestions?
That's why I went with the lower output '58 in the middle; more QVACK!!
I'm still liking my Strat setup a LOT. No need to change. That bridge is still thick like I like it.

I'm getting a little bit of a buzz here or there, but it might be more from running my washer/dryer (next to the room where I play) while I have distortion on.
 

odd

Member
Messages
932
I just did a search of the forum in conjunction with installing VV's myself, qnd thought I'd ask for updates opinions in this thread rather than start a new.

My set is: Heavy Blues 2/'54 Pro/Solo. I'm wondering which of them are better suited for neck duty, ie. whether to use the Heavy Blues 2 or '54 (I can't really compare the two now, as have to lower the middle pup to pickguard level to get some heavy chicken picking going). The Solo in the bridge seems a given. Any ideas?
 

odd

Member
Messages
932
A bump. I still have the HB in the neck, the '54 in the middle and the solo in the bridge position. I've lowered them all to comparable height/output. Still considering swapping their positions.

Overall I'm liking these - they're dead silent with pretty juicy tone. Anyone else with input on these?
 
Messages
194
I have the 58/58/virtual solo and I am finding the V solo(bridge) harsh on the ears.
I was expecting something really wild and wooly but it's really ouch on the ears.
To my ears the 58 sound louder. Did the tech do a funny install?

Any help?
 

rawkguitarist

Member
Messages
11,052
Do you have your tone contol wired to your bridge pickup? For some reason I never thought to use tone contols, finally tried it on a friends tele... Opened a whole new world to me. I find it amazing how many people don't use their tone controls.

Now I'm a huge Tele fan. Virtual Ts for me!
 

Kent

Member
Messages
216
Are you guys running 250k pots? Im thinking of putting a V. Solo in a strat, and dimarzio recomends a 500k pot...

Standard
single-coils, Area ‘58™, Area ’61™, Virtual Vintage® ‘54 Pro and Virtual Vintage® Heavy 2 models
will all perform well with 250K controls (EP1200). The rest of the Virtual Vintage® line performs​
best with 500K controls (EP1201).
What's the consensus on these, I was going to run the virtual solo at the bridge a vintage rail in the mid and possibly a virtual blues in the neck. 250 or 500
 




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