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Which DiMarzio??

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  • Which DiMarzio??

    Hi guys,

    I have a 2010 model Gibson Les Paul Studio and I'm wanting to upgrade the pickups for better melodic metal (hair metal as they say) tone.

    I've done a lot of reading on the different pickups available out there and I like the idea of a passive pickup (no batteries) and I think I'd like to go with DiMarzio brand pickups.

    So, not the next thing I need to figure out is which model to place where.

    I read on article that said the DiMarzio Super Distortion pickup would be best placed at the bridge and the Dimarzio PAF 36th would be best placed at the neck

    Does this sounds like a good setup?

    Also, when buying any of the DiMarzio pickups, do I get to choose which magnets I want? Does each of their pickup comes in both alnico 5 or ceramic magnets... and I get to pick which one I want?

    Just wanted to pick the brains of the resident metalheads to see which is the way to go for a good crunchy 80s metal sound when it comes to pickups (I'll be back later for other sound considerations such as enhancers, pedals, etc)

  • #2
    You cant choose magnets. Maybe you can change it yourself if you have the skills.
    I would probably go with Super distortion like you had in mind or maybe Evolution, Evo 2 some like the Tone zone for bridge. For neck i would go for Paf pro, Air norton or maybe the PAF 36th is popular too.


    • #3
      OK, thanks!

      I had another guy on a different board say I should just go with 2 DiMarzio Super Distortion pickups in both bridge and neck positions.

      I've done some reading and none of the articles I've seen suggest doing this.


      • #4
        Its not that you cant do it would probably be fine. The neck would just most likely have more volume than the bridge but if its a les paul you can adjus tthe volumes separately. Usually the neck pickup would have less output than the bridge but sometimes having the same pickups can be fine too. Like i still have my Charvel fusion plus and it has Jackson J-90c in both bridge and neck and its totally fine.

        Also 1 thing you might take into consideration is that its a mahogany body so it probably would take brighter sounding pickups better if you believe the tonewood nonsense.


        • #5
          do you have specific examples (songs, etc.) of what kind of tone are you looking for? what kind of amp are you playing through?

          while I like the super distortion, it wouldn't be my first choice for playing melodic/hair metal especially if you already have a high gain amp. of course this is all subjective, but my experience is that for that really nice kind of 80s crunch sound you want something with lower output and more pronounced/resonant upper midrange response than the super d affords. to me the super d is more "70s" sounding, really fat and round, but with that kind of extended treble typical of ceramic magnets but not a very pronounced midrange. a new production super d will also feel kind of stiff in comparison to say a vintage one, simply because the magnet hasn't aged yet. but of course how noticeable this is depends on the amp.

          I'll say this: if you're set on trying out the super distortion, go ahead and do it. it's a good pickup and it's very possible it's what you're looking for. but if you're interested in other options, consider things like the tone zone or air zone, norton, paf 36th (bridge).

          I should also say that the most popular pickup in the 80s for this type of thing was the seymour duncan jb, if you want to consider all the options.

          I can summarize some of my experiences here:
          - my nice carvin dc127 has an old super distortion in the bridge position and a newer paf pro in the neck position. it's a really fantastic sounding setup but to me it sounds more "70s" than "80s" and when I pick it up I usually gravitate to stuff which sounds like the former
          - I've got an older charvel which has an air norton in the bridge position. really fantastic and crunchy, harmonic-y pickup if you turn the gain on your amp up. recommended if you're willing to go with a lower output option
          - I've got various guitars with PAF-style bridge pickups (PAF 36th, PAF pro, J-50BC) which sound great for 80's type material.
          Last edited by metalhobo; 10-05-2023, 12:36 PM.


          • #6
            I have a Predator that someone before me put an old DiMarzio Super Distortion it it, and that thing is totally bad ass. I love my J-80 and J-90C's along with the Duncan JB, but that old Super Distortion is tits!!! I agree with metalhobo that the J-50BC is bad ass too!!!