Sunday, January 01, 2006

Picking Pickups

After quite a bit of thought, I have decided to go with DiMarzio pickups for this project. I have used DiMarzios in the past (in my Les Paul Deluxe and my '73 Strat); however, I haven't used any of the models I have chosen for this project. Here are the pickups I am going with and some descriptions from the manufacturer:

Neck position, the DiMarzio PAF DP103 (Black):

Classic vintage tone without microphonic squeal.

It has a smooth, almost voice-like quality and that intangible swell to the notes after attack. It possesses vintage output and breathes freely with an open, warm character. Played flat-out through a non-master volume tube amp, the PAF re-creates the deep character of the great plug-in, turn-up and wail school of tone. Modern potting techniques and tight, consistent winding eliminates squeal and microphonics common to the originals. Here is solid tone for both neck and bridge positions.

Middle position, DiMarzio DP217 YJM (Black):

Output: 93 millivolts. DC Resistance: 23.50K. Recommended for all positions.

Bridge position, the DiMarzio PAF Joe Satriani Pickup (F-Spaced, Black)

Joe wanted a neck position humbucker that combined the best qualities of the DiMarzio PAF Pro with those of a late '50s Gibson humbucker. Joe described this tone as being "tubular". Through the use of Virtual Vintage technology, clear-sounding low frequencies are blended with warm-sounding mids and high frequencies, which makes the PAF Joe equally good for chords and single notes. It was first used by Joe throughout the 2003 G3 tour. Recommended for all positions, solid, semi-solid and hollowbody electric guitars.

Tech Talk: What does "tubular" mean? In this case, it means making low notes "speak" more clearly while giving high notes a rounder voicing. This accomplishes 2 goals: chords have better definition, and single notes at higher fret positions remain warm sounding rather than getting thinner. The PAF Joe has slightly less power than the PAF Pro does. It balances well with bridge pickups like the PAF Pro, Fred, Breed neck model, Air Norton, and Norton.

Because I have chosen pickups that I have never used before, I am going largely on the DiMarizio's descriptions of them and my positive experiences with the brand in the past. I have also exchanged e-mails with Steve from Steve's Music Center in New York who also recommended them. I have ordered the pickups from the Guitar Center on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa, FL and it will take a least a couple of weeks to get them.

There you have it. As a side note, I have decided to go with black pickups. I will explain the reasoning behind the color choice in a later entry.


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