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Any chance of a stickied DiMarzio Mods post?

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Modding pickups with dif mags etc is all the rage over at the *other guy's forum*, you rarely see it discussed here.   What are the chances of getting a sticky post where those of us who've done it can post the mod and the tonal results? 

Some DiMarzios give great results with a magnet change, pole piece removal/change, etc.

Excellent idea. I will start off.

I removed the screws under the 4th, 5th and 6th string of my Breed neck pickup (in the neck position). Tonal result: low end got tighter, while not as much as on two lower powered pickups from other makers but still enough to make it useable. BTW that was your tip, Ray.

Bridge pickup on that guitar (a dual humbucker Partscaster Tele with poplar body and a maple neck w/rosewood board) is a Steve Morse bridge model.

Cheers Stephan

Well no response from mods on sticky so this may be forever lost, but:

Neck humbuckers, general mod to remove mud (note this is not nearly as noticeable with air buckers, so check for that before doing it)  Remove 3 poles under the bass string on the neck side coil.  If slug/screw config, I generally put the screws toward the bridge and knock out 3 slugs.  Pushing them out is not difficult; they'll slide right out of the bobbin with some pressure, and go right back in later.  Result:  Major reduction in mud on the low strings.  You end up with something approaching the tightness of a single on low string low notes, with the fatness of the humbucker on the high strings.  NOTE:  Adjust the poles on the other coil so that string balance is maintained.  The D and high E poles need the most raising, the low E not much at all, A and B somewhere in between.

Humbucker from Hell, change magnet to ceramic:  This requires removing one spacer as the stock magnet is a special size, thinner side to side.  Not hard surgery.  Result:  Stronger output, more articulation in the neck. Also benefits at that point from removing 3 poles as noted above. 

DP223 36th Anniv Bridge:  Change magnet to A2.  This is my current (by far) favorite pickup for the bridge of a strat with 250k volume pot.  Articulate sound with nicely vocal mids, no mud, removes the harsh high end from the stock A5 version.  I like this better than any bridge PAF, including the oft drooled over Tom Holmes.  Splits nicely with the middle pickup (I always leave the bridge coil active, if you're using Area middle this requires flipping magnet polarity on the 223, but since the mag is changing anyway, no extra work).

Super 2 in the neck: Remove all poles from neck side coil. Result:  Sounds like a big, loud single coil.  Loud enough to easily keep up with a mid range bucker in the bridge (Air Zone, AT-1, etc.).  Tight, bright, but with output no single can cop. 

More to come......

Thanks for sharing, and no worries - I will help keeping this post at the top :)

I wonder where all the tinkerers with the Air/Half Air mods are - this would be the place to post them - links to previous discussions equally appreciated.

Cheers Stephan

I swapped the spacers between an Air Norton and Tone Zone to change them to a Norton and Air Zone. I tried both in the bridge position of a guitar, decided I preferred the Air Zone, and wanted to restore the Air Norton for use in the neck position. I ended up gluing the Tone Zone's magnet in place against the baseplate and carefully reassembling with no spacers.

Generally, when I audition new alnico V humbuckers, I try them as designed, then aired, then half-aired. In each case, simply putting some glue dots on the magnet is enough to hold the assembly together when trying without spacers.


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