Thoughts on Dimarzio Area 58 in the bridge?

guitarben

Member
Messages
176
My Warmoth strat has had the Area 61 in the bridge & a 58 in the neck and middle for 8 or 9 years now. It's been a great combo, but there's something harsh about the 61 in the bridge that's starting to bother me. The 61 seems to be a popular choice because it's a little higher output, but maybe that's one reason it's not doing it for me anymore. A friend of mine pointed out that old vintage strats used the same pickup in all the positions and that got me wondering if the 58 would be a better fit for me in the bridge. I absolutely love the sound of the 58 and I have 4 of them across 2 guitars. Has anyone experimented with this model in the bridge position? Thoughts?



(not the best picture to see the grain in the Mary Kaye white, but you get the idea)

Cheers,
 

disconnector

It's been swell, but the swelling's gone down.
Silver Supporting Member
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1,732
I haven’t used a 58 in the bridge but I do love the EJ bridge pickup and everyone says it’s really bright. I think that it’s more useful to have too much brightness rather than not enough - you can roll off tone but not add to it!
 

guitarben

Member
Messages
176
Yeah I wouldn't describe the brightness that's the issue. Maybe more of an upper mids thing. (sorry I'm terrible with using words to describe pickups) ........ :(
 

Pablo

Member
Messages
387
How about a Virtual Vintage 54 Pro or Blues? Alternatively, an Injector sounds excellent in the bridge - it sounds a bit P90-ish to me... somewhat of a halfway house between a true single coil and a humbucker.
 

guitarben

Member
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176
Why the Virtual Solo or VV 54 pro over the 58? Actually, here's my real question, how come so many players prefer a hotter sc in the bridge?

@VHS analog , this guitar has one tone on the neck and the other one the bridge. I'm a huge fan of using tone knobs as needed.
The super switch is also wired N, N+M, N+B, M+B, B - that works really well for me.
 

Pablo

Member
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387
Why the Virtual Solo or VV 54 pro over the 58? Actually, here's my real question, how come so many players prefer a hotter sc in the bridge?
Because they are rounder and warmer than the 61 - wasn’t that what you were asking for? I have tried the 58 in both neck and bridge and prefer it in the neck.
As for your main question it’s one of these pesky physics things... Essentially, the further away from the 12th fret you get, the narrower the string oscillations get. Hence, if using the same pickup at the same height, the narrower oscillations at the bridge will induce less voltage than the wider oscillations at the neck. Thus, to get equal output in all three positions at the same pickup height, your neck PU should have a lower output than the bridge.
Moreover, for distortion, I do tend to prefer a bit of an output kick and an extra push in the mids in the bridge position - but it’s all preference.

Some people tell you to adjust your output with pickup height... I don’t like to do that. In my experience, pickups sound their best at specific heights and I wouldn’t want to move my PUs out of their tonal sweet spots just to adjust output. I’d much rather get a pickup with my required output at its sweet spot.

Cheers

Eske
 
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FiestaRed869

Member
Messages
1,990
I’m slowly learning “Vinatge” isn’t always better. A true vintage SC in the bridge will usually sound thin, brittle , and ice picky to most. In certain situations it sounds great, but usually not ideal. Dimarzio has great Stratty noiseless pickups for the bridge. Check out some Paul Gilbert YouTube clips. I’d give virtual solo and injector a try.

All that being said all my favorite guitarists use vintage strats with vintage pickups, even mike mccready and he used some gain. I can just never get the sound I want from the bridge. If you listen to some of those tracks in isolation they actually don’t sound at all what you think they would, but they worked . But that’s a whole other rabbit hole.
 

Gemini2

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1,554
A benefit of a true vintage spec single coil in the bridge is usually a real "quacky" #2 position. You can always go that route and play your overdrive tones in the middle position like Trower and Blackmore did back in the day. Nothing wrong with it. Personally I prefer my neck pickup in my Strats louder than the other positions so I guess I'm a purist.
 

guitarben

Member
Messages
176
@Pablo thanks, that makes a ton of sense when you explain it that way. I'm honestly not sure why I didn't connect those dots years ago.

Looking at the eq and output details on the Dimarzio site, I'm leaning towards trying the 54. Do you guys like the way it sounds with clean tones? I'm not too worried about dirty/overdrive tones.
 

FiestaRed869

Member
Messages
1,990
A benefit of a true vintage spec single coil in the bridge is usually a real "quacky" #2 position. You can always go that route and play your overdrive tones in the middle position like Trower and Blackmore did back in the day. Nothing wrong with it. Personally I prefer my neck pickup in my Strats louder than the other positions so I guess I'm a purist.
That’s funny, I always have my neck pickup almost decked and my bridge really high to compensate. I like throwing the selector back, stepping on an Od and getting a slightly higher output from the bridge. Again why no one can really say what he wants, but it sounds like a modern(dirty word ) SC type pickup.
 

FiestaRed869

Member
Messages
1,990
@Pablo thanks, that makes a ton of sense when you explain it that way. I'm honestly not sure why I didn't connect those dots years ago.

Looking at the eq and output details on the Dimarzio site, I'm leaning towards trying the 54. Do you guys like the way it sounds with clean tones? I'm not too worried about dirty/overdrive tones.
Maybe the heavy blues?
 

Gemini2

Member
Messages
1,554
That’s funny, I always have my neck pickup almost decked and my bridge really high to compensate. I like throwing the selector back, stepping on an Od and getting a slightly higher output from the bridge. Again why no one can really say what he wants, but it sounds like a modern(dirty word ) SC type pickup.
Yeah I'm sure I'm in the minority here on this one. Then again I don't go for real heavy od tones with my s/s/s Strats. Especially the bridge. I'm more of like Frusciante and Gibbons at best.
 

FiestaRed869

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Messages
1,990
To be honest it’s more to keep the volume unity. Because the bridge is
much brighter to my ears needs alittle “boost” to not have a perceived volume drop
 

Ltsft

Member
Messages
205
What are you using it for? I hate the bridge clean, but for drive, it is like a treble booster and boost in one, very versatile. If you are using it for clean, the 58 might work but will still be trebly because of where it is.
 

oldguy101

Member
Messages
83
My favorite combo is an Area 67 neck, VV 54 Pro middle, and an Injector Neck in the bridge position. Check out the Dimarzio specs and you'll see this combo provides increasing output from neck to middle to bridge and complementary tone profiles..
 

Masa

Member
Messages
578
play your overdrive tones in the middle position like Trower and Blackmore did back in the day.
Trower, yes, but Ritchie didn't use the middle. He was bridge and neck only guy.

To OP, putting a lower output 58 for the bridge, most likely, sounds brighter and thinner. I used to be a big time Blackmore wannabe, so naturally, my default pickup is the strat bridge. I always put a little hotter one for the bridge to avoid the thin sound.
 

guitarben

Member
Messages
176
I really appreciate the thoughts on this thread. Thanks! I think you've saved me a failed experiment. :)

@Ltsft , you asked a good question about what I'm going for with this guitar. My tastes keep evolving so it's a bit of a moving target. Where I'm at now is I need this guitar to work great for classic strat tones to funk to Eric Johnson sounding stuff. Honestly the 58 in the neck & middle is perfect and nails exactly what I need. EJ gets some sick clean sounds w/ the bridge pickup that ....holy crap I just can't even get close to it. :) I've been at this long enough to know that even if I had his exact rig I still wouldn't sound the same. The 61 is a really good pickup, I'm just not bonding with the harshness of it. Reading up on the VV pro 54 sounds like it's probably a step in the right direction, but I'm open to other options that would meld w/ the 58 - nfw I'm changing those. :)
 




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