Author Topic: Equivalent to Super Distortion but with an A5 mag  (Read 376 times)

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Offline TheBeautifullyDepressed

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Equivalent to Super Distortion but with an A5 mag
« on: December 16, 2018, 12:54:58 pm »
Is there a pickup in the Dimarzio lineup that sounds like what a Super Distortion would sound like if it had an A5 magnet instead of ceramic?

(I briefly considered swapping out the mag in my Super Dist to see for myself but i read that logistically it can be complicated because the Super Dist ceramic magnet is glued down, and also A5 mags are a different height than ceramic mags.)


Offline Strangeman86

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Re: Equivalent to Super Distortion but with an A5 mag
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 05:39:52 pm »
While I can't help you with a pickup suggestion, I can offer some other insights.  Most humbuckers use magnets with a thickness of 1/8th of an inch, regardless of whether that magnet is alnico or ceramic.  The only pickups that use differently thicknessed alnico mag's that I've ever personally seen are filtertron-styled, which use 1/4 inch thick a5's if memory serves me. I've never taken a super d' apart before myself (someone who has, please chime in and help us out), but it likely has either a 3/16ths or 1/4 inch thick ceramic (the Imperium bridge, my favorite humbucker right now, uses a 3/16ths ceramic with a thin pad of foam between the frame and the magnet so the magnet really only affects the coils).  Another example that dimarzio made with a thicker ceramic was the megadrive humbucker from the 80's.  As far as the magnet being glued down, some very gentle persuation with a pocket knife blade or a thin flathead screw driver can easily get past that without damaging the pickup so long as you're careful.  I have found, with a little googling, that there are a couple of places that sell thicker a5 humbucker magnets if you ever wish to try the swap.  Just trying to help a little, have a good one!
Currently torturing:  My parts-caster (roasted alder, pau ferro over maple, one humbucker - a mashup of the SD Custom and Pegasus).  An Abasi Pathos, a J. Rockett Audio Touch and an EQD Cloven Hoof.

Offline corypheus

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Re: Equivalent to Super Distortion but with an A5 mag
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2018, 07:54:54 am »
You can get a new bottom plate and therefore fit a regular size alnico 5 bar underneath it too. I had it for a bit while in Super Dee and found the sound similar to Duncan's Custom 5 albeit not as smooth, you'd want nickel bottom plate to get some more articulation too as brass attenuates some of the pickups presence.

If modifications are off the table and you don't want a Duncan, try out the Norton, it's in the ballpark of A5 S-Dee.

Offline greenlion

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Re: Equivalent to Super Distortion but with an A5 mag
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2018, 05:52:43 pm »
The Air Zone is the closest thing I can think of.

Offline TheBeautifullyDepressed

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Re: Equivalent to Super Distortion but with an A5 mag
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2018, 12:42:33 am »
While I can't help you with a pickup suggestion, I can offer some other insights.  Most humbuckers use magnets with a thickness of 1/8th of an inch, regardless of whether that magnet is alnico or ceramic.  The only pickups that use differently thicknessed alnico mag's that I've ever personally seen are filtertron-styled, which use 1/4 inch thick a5's if memory serves me. I've never taken a super d' apart before myself (someone who has, please chime in and help us out), but it likely has either a 3/16ths or 1/4 inch thick ceramic (the Imperium bridge, my favorite humbucker right now, uses a 3/16ths ceramic with a thin pad of foam between the frame and the magnet so the magnet really only affects the coils).  Another example that dimarzio made with a thicker ceramic was the megadrive humbucker from the 80's.  As far as the magnet being glued down, some very gentle persuation with a pocket knife blade or a thin flathead screw driver can easily get past that without damaging the pickup so long as you're careful.  I have found, with a little googling, that there are a couple of places that sell thicker a5 humbucker magnets if you ever wish to try the swap.  Just trying to help a little, have a good one!

Thanks.  Per the posts in the links below, there's more than a few guys that have done the deed, and they report that the ceramic magnet in the Super Distortion is taller than the norm.

https://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?209468-Super-Distortion-w-A5-and-other-Dimarzio-questions

https://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?213241-Super-distortion-to-alnico5

https://www.rig-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=75146


Offline TheBeautifullyDepressed

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Re: Equivalent to Super Distortion but with an A5 mag
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2018, 12:50:07 am »
You can get a new bottom plate and therefore fit a regular size alnico 5 bar underneath it too. I had it for a bit while in Super Dee and found the sound similar to Duncan's Custom 5 albeit not as smooth, you'd want nickel bottom plate to get some more articulation too as brass attenuates some of the pickups presence.

If modifications are off the table and you don't want a Duncan, try out the Norton, it's in the ballpark of A5 S-Dee.

I read up on the Norton and it does seem like a plausible candidate - thanks.  I will keep it mind.  Since starting this thread, i tried a PAF Pro and thought that was closer to the sound that i am looking for vs the Super D (but the PAF Pro was not quite right as a final destination) - so i am going to be trying other pickups going forward with the PAF Pro in mind as the baseline vs the Super D.  However, i will keep the Norton in mind.

 Next up for me to try is a Breed Neck.  Just waiting for it to arrive in the mail.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 01:01:45 am by TheBeautifullyDepressed »

Offline TheBeautifullyDepressed

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Re: Equivalent to Super Distortion but with an A5 mag
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2018, 12:52:41 am »
The Air Zone is the closest thing I can think of.

Thanks