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Offline EternalReturn

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FRED
« on: January 10, 2013, 07:37:55 pm »
Can't believe there's no thread for the FRED.  What do you guys think of it in the bridge or neck?  It's one of the few "classic" Dimarzios I've never played. 

Offline gauchosilvertone

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Re: FRED
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 09:17:32 pm »
I too am shocked to find no info on Fred, and having recently acquired one I suppose I'm now qualified to comment. 

I was highly skeptical about Fred for all the wrong reasons...despite owning a large chunk of Mr. Satriani's catalog, the one thing I have never liked about his playing is his tone, especially on his classic records.  I had always assumed that the uber-fizz tone that's all over SWTA and FIABD was a function of Fred.

I have never been more happy to be wrong about a pickup.

Below is some information about what guitar it's in, to give context.  for those not interested in that, skip down below the line of asterisks.

I've got it in the bridge of a Raven model from up and coming guitar builder Jack Dent (jackdentguitars.com).  Carved top double cutaway with Mahogany body, mahogany neck, thick maple top, and rosewood fingerboard.  The neck joint is like a cross between set neck and neck-thru- one piece mahogany back has a channel from end to end in which the neck is set, through the whole length of the guitar.

I mention all this to give context for the pickup description.  This guitar overall is surprisingly bright and very, very clear in tone, while still retaining a very strong but tight bass presence.

************************************************************************

I was concerned Fred would be too bright, as I've always heard it described as a very bright pickup.  And to be sure, it IS bright.  Awesomely clear and defined, but still with plenty of bass presence when gained out. 

Surprisingly to me it REALLY shines when played clean.  I play a telecaster often when I'm not playing my Raven, and the Fred comes closest of any humbucker I've ever played to delivering the immediacy, brightness and cut you get from a tele bridge. 
     Now before anyone reads this and thinks "I don't like bright pickups," read a little further.  I historically haven't either.  My favorite all around bridge pickup is the Tone Zone (I should say "was" now that I've tried Fred).  I cannot overemphasize this fascinating quality it has of seeming to have this big, lovely bass presence come out of nowhere as you add gain.  But it's still perfectly clear and tight.  The DM website says that in contrast to other humbuckers that get fatter with added gain, Fred gets "tighter and brighter."  I can't agree with that- it does NOT get brighter, but it doesn't get at all muddier either.  I wouldn't argue with the idea of it getting "tighter" since to me that's a harder idea to put my finger on. 
     What I will say is that no matter how the gain is piled on there is still a very clearly present "space" between the notes.  It has all the good qualities of the Humbucker from Hell used in the bridge (clarity, clear bite in the high harmonics) but without the overly biting tone that can get ice-picky, and without the total lack of low end.  Sorry for the double negative there...you get my point.

Could say more (and probably will).  Hope this helps someone.

Offline alfaromeo90

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Re: FRED
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 02:41:17 am »
thanks mate! great information.  Yes, Satriani's classic tone has a lot to do with a Boss DS-1 and Celestion Greenbacks.  That's a really soft, crunchy tone and quite overpowering.  The Fred does very well to maintain definition.
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Offline KH Guitar Freak

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Re: FRED
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 12:07:55 am »
AFAIK, Satraini's earlier tones were from PAF Pros before the Freds came out. Anywho, I have a superstrat with a Humbucker from Hell in the neck and Fred in the bridge. Both wired for coil splits. The Fred definitely has a lot of harmonic content as well. Changing your picking angle yields different tones. It's definitely a more growly PAF Pro. Maybe less fuzzy too? Great rock tones. Even the split tones sound pretty good. Definitely has slightly more beef compared to the PAF Pro, even in split mode

Offline alfaromeo90

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Re: FRED
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 03:56:48 am »
Satriani's earliest tones were from a Seymour JB.  He designed the Fred to have similar fat mids.
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Offline KH Guitar Freak

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Re: FRED
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 07:03:08 am »
Satriani's earliest tones were from a Seymour JB.  He designed the Fred to have similar fat mids.

Interesting. But I'm quite sure he used PAF Pros before moving on to the Freds?

Offline KellyB

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Re: FRED
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2015, 07:28:10 pm »
Surfing was a jb.

Offline KH Guitar Freak

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Re: FRED
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2015, 11:33:08 pm »
Oh. I think you guys meant during his Kramer stint. I was referring to his time with Ibanez