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Topics - darkbluemurder

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16
Surprised that there is no thread on that one - given it was introduced in 2006.

I put it in the neck position of a maple neck/maple board/ash body partscaster strat. Middle pickup is the Injector neck (which was in the neck position before), bridge pickup is a Bareknuckle Holydiver (the closest DiMarzio would probably the AT-1). In #2, the bridge pickup goes to parallel. 500k pots, tone cap is currently a 0.0033uf Orange Drop (subject to change).

Since there is already a detailed thread on the Injector neck I will focus on the difference between that and the HB2.

Output is roughly the same - 170mV vs. 160mV does not matter much really. The balance with the bridge pickup is fine since I like the bridge humbucker to have a bit more output in a HSS set up.
 
The tone charts (B/M/T) are similar: IN 6/6.5/7, HB2 6/7/6.5, and in that case I would agree that the pickups do not sound vastly different from each other. What is noticeable though is that the HB2 has a bit less highs than the IN and significantly more midrange content. I really like this for overdriven solo tones as it makes the guitar sing better and provides for a good tonal balance with the bridge pickup. It does work well for clean tones, too, provided you can accept that it is warmer than a typical low output vintage strat type pickup - these are really bright, and the HB2 won't give you that sound. The Area 67 would be a better choice in that case. 

Now - how does it quack together with the IN in the middle? It does quack well but it's a middier quack, not that super hollow clucky quack of low output singles. Again if you want that, get two Area 67s or an Area 67 for the neck and an Area 58 for the middle.

I have not yet tested the HB2 together with the bridge pickup since the wiring set up in that guitar currently does not provide for that combination. But since I got a spare tone pot that's doing nothing at the moment I may wire it up as a blend control so I can give you an idea of how that works.

Cheers Stephan

17
Guitar Lounge / Tuning problems with Les Pauls
« on: June 11, 2014, 07:17:17 am »
Hi,

I always wondered why my strats and teles seem to stay way better in tune than Les Paul type guitars. I could play either strat or tele throughout a 4 session gig with only checking the tuning and maybe a couple small retunes whereas I can take a Les Paul at home at it will go out of tune almost instantly and constantly. The G string is the worst offender - hit it hard and it'll be sharp. Bend it and it returns. Hit it again - sharp again. Retune it, bend it - flat. I filed the nut groove and that helps for maybe a few weeks, then the problem returns. No way that I would ever take it to a gig that way.

Is it the angle where the strings go over the nut? Is it the tune-o-matic bridge (does it matter whether the posts are screwed directly into the body or sit in inserts)?

What can be done to cure this? Or is this endemic to Les Pauls? I remember seeing a Whitesnake show where Doug Aldrich used at least 4 different Les Pauls and changed instruments after each song - is that tuning problem related?

Thanks, Stephan

18
Having always fought with humbuckers in the neck that sounded too muddy on the low strings for my taste I read this thread with great interest:

http://www.dimarzioforum.com/forum/index.php/topic,4434.msg34291/topicseen.html#msg34291

I simply had to have one and I put it into my in my double cutaway LP Special/Hamer style guitar. Body and neck wood are mahogany (according to the builder swietenia macrophylla), the fingerboard is rosewood (probably Indian). Bridge is a Tone Pros AVT-II. The guitar has a 3-way toggle, one volume and one tone control (nominal 500k log each, volume about 520k, tone about 490k). The tone control is a push-pull which is used to series/parallel switching for the DLX Plus. Tone capacitor is a Xicon MPP 0.0022uf.

I also bought a DLX Plus for this guitar. That review is here: http://www.dimarzioforum.com/forum/index.php/topic,4976.0.html

I tested this through my self-modded Marshall and a Bassman converted to a D-style circuit for the clean tones.

I had to modify the guitar slightly to get the DP240 low enough to not overpower the DLX Plus in the bridge but with some careful Dremel routing it worked perfectly. I used a black GFS mounting ring (they have mounting rings for minibuckers in black and cream) which fit perfectly into the P90 slot. It looks very good on that guitar, not strange at all.

Tonally this pickup is bright, brighter than any big humbucker and also brighter than any 'tron humbucker. It has lots of treble and clarity, even with the 500k volume pot. I have not played a Firebird pickup in this guitar but that definitely cannot be much brighter! Mids are there but they are rather controlled. Bass response is very good but not muddy. This tone lends itself well to clean or mildly overdriven playing but it can also hold its own in a high gain situation with a bright, cutting tone. And here, the 0.0022uf tone capacitor comes into play very nicely: with the tone pot down the DP240 almost sounds like a big humbucker but without the mud on the low strings. Very very cool.

Together with the DLX Plus in the bridge you get a very clear middle position sound, which will get even clearer with the DLX Plus used in parallel mode.

I am still contemplating to change the volume pot in this guitar to 1 meg to make the DP240 even more clear and use a 1 meg resistor for the DLX Plus to bring the load for it down to 500k. But for now I will keep the guitar as is and play with it a little more.

It's great that this pickup exists. I think we should have more pickups between the humbucker and single coil food groups, such as Minis, Firebirds and Filtertron types.

Cheers Stephan

19
Everything you wanted to know about .... / DLX Plus
« on: April 29, 2014, 06:04:23 am »
Inspired by this post of RayBarbeeMusic http://www.dimarzioforum.com/forum/index.php/topic,4434.msg34371/topicseen.html#msg34371

I kept thinking about my double P90 equipped guitar where I could never bond with the P90s - not enough power or punch at the bridge and even though the P90 in the neck was less muddy than most of the neck humbuckers I played it lacked the sparkle on top. So when I saw a used DLX Plus I took my chance, purchased it and installed it in my double cutaway LP Special/Hamer style guitar. Body and neck wood are mahogany (according to the builder swietenia macrophylla), the fingerboard is rosewood (probably Indian). Bridge is a Tone Pros AVT-II. The guitar has a 3-way toggle, one volume and one tone control (nominal 500k log each, volume about 520k, tone about 490k). The tone control is a push-pull which is used to series/parallel switching for the DLX Plus. Tone capacitor is a Xicon MPP 0.0022uf.

I also bought a DP-240 (more on this in a separate thread) for this guitar. EDIT: link is here: http://www.dimarzioforum.com/forum/index.php/topic,4977.0.html

I tested this through my self-modded Marshall and a Bassman converted to a D-style circuit for the clean tones.

The output is strong but not over the top. Clean tones are possible but there is a lot of power available to really push the amp.

Reading the website's description and EQ charts you may think that the DLX Plus is scooped in the midrange, and you'd be mistaken. While the midrange may not be as prominent as on other pickups they are still there and it's not shy in the midrange by any means. If I had to describe the DLX Plus with one word it would be "creamy". Bass response is very good but still tight, no mud to be found. Treble response is smooth but not dull (an important distinction), and it retains the smoothness throughout the fretboard. Even the very high notes sound round and fat, which makes it a lot of fun to play lead stuff.

So far I have been describing the DLX Plus in series mode. In parallel mode it has less output, less bass and more highs, just as expected. It's a bit a thinner tone, not bad but not spectacular either. I have not done any resistor tricks to bring down the load in parallel mode yet - maybe that helps. 

As far as tone caps, I started out with the "standard" value of 0.022uf. This made it too dark, only good if you want to do wha-wha effects with the tone control (which I almost never do). I then tried 0.0047uf but that gave me sort of a cocked-wha tone on both pickups which I disliked. For now I settled on 0.0022uf which is very subtle on the bridge pickup when in series mode. In parallel mode the effect is more pronounced. But I really like the effect this cap has on the neck pickup (more on that here: http://www.dimarzioforum.com/forum/index.php/topic,4977.0.html). Hence I will leave it at that or maybe put the tone control on the neck pickup only.

The DLX Plus is a great replacement for P90 and minibucker equipped guitars where a warmer tone is required without going to really high output pickups such as the SD or TZ in that format. Highly recommended.

Cheers Stephan

20
Hi,

Since I have not seen a thread on the Areas in this section I will start one. I have/had them in two strat style guitars (one ash body, one piece maple neck, the other alder body, maple neck w/ rosewood board, both vintage style vibratos). The first set I had was Area 61 bridge and Area 58 for the other two positions. I then acquired another set: 61 bridge and two 67s for the other two positions. I ended up in both guitars with 61-58-67 and later VV54-58-67 (going from bridge to neck) and the two 61s paired with a Kinman AVn-48b in a Telecaster.

Area 67: this is easily the brightest of the three. When used in the neck position it delivers the glassy clear shimmery strat tone - think Hendrix, Motown etc. When used with the right amp and pedals it can do Blackmore tones as well. I recommend a 250k pot with it - 500k makes it too bright IMHO. My preferred position for this pickup is at the neck. You can put it in the middle as well but I preferred the 58 there.

Area 58: this surprised me at first. In the neck position I did not really like it. I thought it was too thin, yet it was not clear enough. Some kind of neither fish nor meat situation. Surprisingly I liked it much better in the middle spot - both individually and in combination with the neck or the bridge pickup. Especially with the 61 in the bridge it offers a smoky quack that is very nice. The 61+67 combination was too thin and hollow for my ears.

Area 61: this is the highest output pickup of the three which makes it a natural candidate for the bridge position when combined with the other two but as I found out later it also works very well in the middle and neck spots together with a stronger pickup (e.g. a Tele bridge, P90 or a low output PAF-type humbucker). Even though I have not tried the 61 in the neck spot of the same guitar as I had the 58 it appears to me that the 61 is cleaner than the 58. 

Hope that helps,
Stephan

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