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I gave up on my Dimarzio Area pickups...

JRC4558Dude

Member
Messages
5,989
Well, that's it, I'm done with them.

Finally got around to taking them out after a long period of indecision. I had a 58/67/61 set in one of my Strats, and just never warmed up to them. They were dead quiet, and did a great imitation of a single coil pickup, but they just aren't close enough.

I had planned to replace the anemic 61 in the bridge with a Virtual Solo, but decided I didn't want throw good money after bad, and went back to my old setup: Fender American Vintage 57/62 in the neck and middle, and Seymour Duncan SSL5 in the bridge.

The 60cyle hum is back, but the guitar sounds great again, so....
 

HTSMetal

Member
Messages
1,461
Man, I hate to say it but I'm with you on that. I had a Parker Nitefly with custom wound Dimarzio single coils and they really didn't have much character at all. Haven't played any Dimarzio single coils that I've truly bonded with.

That being said, the Dimarzio Axis humbuckers in my EBMM Axis Super Sport are a whole different story altogether -- very lively and interesting tones. Same for the Transition humbuckers I have in an Ibanez RG1570 -- very crisp, vocal sounding pickups. IMHO, Dimarzio has gotten it more than correct with humbuckers, but their singles I've played are just lacking something to me.
 

c_mac

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,280
I've been one to always like the idea of noiseless "single coils" but I have never heard a set that actually comes close to sounding as good as true single coil pickups.
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,311
Out of curiosity, were you gigging with them or using them by yourself in a living room?

Not being dismissive but I've heard a number of noiseless pickups that sounded great in gig situations with a full band that weren't impressive at all in a room with just the guitar sound to entertain.
 

JRC4558Dude

Member
Messages
5,989
Out of curiosity, were you gigging with them or using them by yourself in a living room?

Not being dismissive but I've heard a number of noiseless pickups that sounded great in gig situations with a full band that weren't impressive at all in a room with just the guitar sound to entertain.
I rarely gig these days, and never use that particular guitar for gigs anyways. My main live guitar is actually an SG Classic.

Yes, with a full band, I would certainly be less picky.
 
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Totally Bored

Member
Messages
9,411
I rarely gig these days, and never use that particular guitar for gigs anyways. My main live guitar is actually is actually an SG Classic.

Yes, with a full band, I would certainly be less picky.
Interesting point.

I gig quite a bit and have 4 Strats loaded with variations of Dimarzio Virtual Vintage pickups. I think they sound great. I have 57/62,s Fat 50's , Texas Specials and a bunch of other great pickups.. I think they all ( noiseless and regular ) sound great but all have there own flavor. I just can't deal with the hum. I also rehearse in a room that has a computer, dimmer switches fluorescent lights etc. and having 57/62's in a Strat would just be a bummer everyday let alone playing at a club with a noisy single coil atmosphere. Noiseless pups are just a no brainer for me.

Whatever works for you op. :aok
 

strattitude

Member
Messages
1,373
Havent tried the areas. But I guess there must be some compromise even the general opinion seem to be that they are some of the best noiseless for SC tone.

But I don't agree that Dimarzio cant make good single coils. I have a Twang King ant True Velvet in a tele and they sound really great! And I have had boutique pickups as well Lollar, Grosh, Fralins and these still sound really great!
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
I never got on with those Areas. I don't mind 60 cycle hum much. Maybe using high gain, then I use my knob a bit and cut it off and it's fine. I don't really notice it because I'm used to it, like an engine idle. Or it's like finger squeak on an acoustic. Some guys think it's awful and obsess over it. It's part of the charm and realness. When you get down to it, it's ALL noise, embrace it.
 

burningyen

Member
Messages
14,940
The only one I never bonded with was the 58. Otherwise I love my 67, 61, Area T and Virtual Solo PUs. I love the stock PUs in my 57RI Strat. I love the Lollar Blondes that went into a guitar I sold. Different flavors, all good.
 

robmarch

Member
Messages
1,013
I have been happy with my set, they have been a big improvement over my previous pickups. I haven't tried a set of boutique true single coils to compare, though, and maybe noise free ignorance is bliss :)
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,488
I've been one to always like the idea of noiseless "single coils" but I have never heard a set that actually comes close to sounding as good as true single coil pickups.
Same here, and it's tricky because the difference can seem extremely subtle, yet in time you start to hear that difference more and more till what seemed subtle becomes intolerable. I gave up on noiseless long ago, even shielding. I just feel that none of the methods used can remove the noise without also removing some tiny part of the frequency that may seem subtle but it actually needed to complete that sound we're all after. IMO the majority (I didn't say ALL) of people who are happy with them either haven't been playing long enough or had enough experience with gear to have thier ears tweaked, or they have not yet reached the point where the difference begins to become a problem for them. I think if i had to guess at exactly what that difference is it's probably a lack of the very highest frequencies and the related harmonics.
 

Crimson Queen

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,164
Me too. I gave noiseless a good try though. They are bright, but not the right kind of bright (missing upper harmonics), they always seem to have a notch somewhere in the frequency spectrum, and they add too much compression. The difference is not huge though. I don't like hum, so I lived with the shortcomings over the years. I used to play with more gain. I now prefer vintagey amps and ride my volume more. I may look into the Ilitch backplate if I play with bands again.

I have tried though. I have owned the following:
Dimarzio HS3
Seymour Duncan Classic Stacks
Seymour Duncan Vintage rails
EMG
Fender noiseless (first generation)
Dimarzio Virtual2 bridge
Dimarzio Virtual2 neck (x2)
Dimarzio Virtual 2.1
Dimarzio Area 61
Dimarzio Area 67
 

JRC4558Dude

Member
Messages
5,989
They are bright, but not the right kind of bright (missing upper harmonics), they always seem to have a notch somewhere in the frequency spectrum, and they add too much compression.
Yes, that was exactly my experience, and the main reason I took them out. They had highs, but not nice-sounding highs.

I've seen people here describe the top end sound of Areas as "too zippy" or "too plinky" or whatever. It's hard to put into words, and everyone has their own idea of what "good tone" is, but when I re-installed the AV 57/62s and used the neck/middle position I got that bright, lively "classic" Strat sound that I realized had been missing since I put the Areas in.
 

zztomato

Senior Member
Messages
11,391
I've got a couple of strats, one with Dimarzio Blue Velvets (awesome vintage style pickups) and one with noiseless Kinman Woodstocks and a Area T hot bridge pickup. I find all noiseless pickups tend to have a certain lack of personality when you play then on their own. However, that lack of personality can be its own thing as well. Good to have plenty of flavours.
 

mixn4him

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,840
Have to use 500K Pots or they just dont sound right, have a set of 61's in my strat and it works for me...
 

robmarch

Member
Messages
1,013
IMO the majority (I didn't say ALL) of people who are happy with them either haven't been playing long enough or had enough experience with gear to have thier ears tweaked, or they have not yet reached the point where the difference begins to become a problem for them. I think if i had to guess at exactly what that difference is it's probably a lack of the very highest frequencies and the related harmonics.
Pickups are different, and different people like different styles, which can explain why some people just don't like some pickups, but I can't imagine a live player noticing the nuances people mention that they don't like about the areas once the other instruments are involved. Again, I haven't tried a set of high end true single coils in my strat to compare directly, but I think the area tones are definitely usable, and I really like the lack of noise. Also, while I think the neck only, middle only, and bridge only sounds are huge improvements for me, the notch sounds don't blow me away as having as much improvement. Mine are wired not to coil split in the notch positions, which may be part of it.

In a single player setting, with something to A/B, I could definitely see preferences being more noticable. I'm sure something had to give for the noise reduction :)
 

david henman

Senior Member
Messages
3,433
...the illitch silent backplate system is, without a doubt, the way to go

i have one installed in a g&l legacy

if only it wasn't so damn cost prohibitive

i have also heard good things about the lace sensor holy grails
 




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