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Messages - CityofBlindingLights

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Everything you wanted to know about .... / Re: Gravity Storm
« on: June 09, 2014, 12:26:13 AM »
Time for me to FINALLY weigh in on the Gravity Storm.

I'll start by saying that the Gravity Storm bridge model is now my go-to in EVERY humbucker-equipped guitar I own. I like it that much. I should also start by saying that I'm by no means a shredder, I play mostly ambient music these days with some late-'60s psychedelic/acid rock thrown in for good measure.

I started using this pickup after calling DiMarzio about a year ago and chatting with their techs. I had a '70s Japanese lawsuit LP that played like butter but I just couldn't get to agree with my amp. It had a Duncan '59/JB combo installed - the '59 sounded great but the JB was just too harsh and brittle, and in this guitar it only really did the Jimmy Page thing. I called up DiMarzio with the following requirements in a bridge pickup:

-uncompressed and dynamic
-smooth rolloff on the top end without getting muddy - fat on the top, clear on the bottom
-VERY high harmonic content
-able to cut through long signal chains
-less bite, more bloom to notes

Without hesitation, the tech recommended the Gravity Storm. I was obviously hesitant at first, especially given the fact that it's a Steve Vai pickup, but I have to say that DiMarzio really hit the nail on the head, save for maybe the last point (more on that later!).

Installing the pickup and setting my amp's EQs to flat made a remarkable difference. Whereas previously I was fighting with my amps and pedals to get the sound I wanted, I now had precisely what I was going for. A strong, present midrange. A fat top end that rolled off RIGHT before the sound got brittle. Extreme dynamics. A loud and clear tone, even with a ridiculously long effects chain. Oh yeah, and HARMONICS. There when I wanted them, not distracting when I didn't.

Thundering cloud of ice cream is, in my opinion, spot-on. This isn't your daddy's Evolution. There's lots of roar, burn, and sear to this pickup. It can and will drive in an extremely pleasant and musical manner. It isn't harsh, brittle, or screaming like I was expecting. The cocked-wah sound is mild at most; raising the pickup accentuates this.

Oh, and output. Yeah. This thing sits RIGHT where I want it to. Enough to really drive my tube amps and pedal distortions, but not so high that it won't play nice with the gain backed off. The way the pickup hits the amp and senses strings is really interesting too. It's less like a blade, and more like a sledgehammer. Sure, notes are immediate and hard. But they also evolve very musically; as a note fills out, more harmonics are present. I find this pickup is great at picking out different harmonics and making them distinguishable. In a mid-heavy guitar like a Les Paul, it's got some serious character. I use a cello bow a lot, and this thing is able to pick up on every nuance of my bowing and pick out all the harmonics I want (similar to Sigur Rós in many respects) without getting to harsh or biting on the top end. This is a very controllable pickup, but that doesn't mean it's polite  :madness:

I've since also put it in another Les Paul (a Gibson LP Special from '02) and an '01 strat. In the Paul, it's got a similar effect, albeit with a hair more bite and growl; in the strat, it's a similar beast but a bit more present and clear. Now that I've finally found the pickup to end all pickups for me, it's really nice to be able to swap guitars and understand a pickup so well that it makes that element of my tone thoughtless. I'm super happy with this one, DiMarzio really knocked it out of the park with the Gravity Storm bridge.

I've currently got a new pickguard on order, as soon as that gets in the Gravity Storm neck will be going into my strat to turn it into an HSH monster; I'll report back with my findings once that happens.

The Pickup Place / Re: Dimarzio AT-1 for EVH
« on: July 11, 2011, 09:39:21 AM »
It's the internet gentlemen, try to remain civilized.

The AT-1 is a pretty darn good pickup. I mean, Andy Timmons lent his name to it, what more could you want? For the longest time, it was a custom order only pickup, and those who were able to get their hands on it would always tout its fantastic tone. Needless to say, they were right.

The Pickup Place / Re: DiMarzioForum Pickups FAQ
« on: May 23, 2011, 01:54:21 AM »
A couple of weeks ago I saw this error when trying to view the output chart:

Could not connect to the database:
no such database

It's still like that today. Makes viewing the output chart difficult ;)

Thanks for pointing it out, it's been fixed.

Also, after having learned a bit about power engineering, measuring pickup output makes so much more sense... and is much more confusing mathematically than you'd imagine.

imho seymour'd be too pretentious to do so. But I imagine that this isn't something that Larry'd be begging for either.

Guitar Lounge / Re: Charvel Pro Mod SO-CAL: How to block tremolo?
« on: February 27, 2011, 02:39:35 AM »
Shoving a block of wood that fits *just* right in there also works. It's what Eric Clapton does.

I hope that makes restringing and tuning a lot easier. I've never used a Floyd Rose before. But the YouTube tutorials on how to maintain one made me realize that I would definitely freak out when having to restring it.

It's a pity that most kick-ass looking 80s style guitars come with Floyds.

Reasons why I hate Floyds. This is one of them.

Guitar Lounge / Re: Charvel Pro Mod SO-CAL: How to block tremolo?
« on: February 24, 2011, 02:36:12 PM »
Shoving a block of wood that fits *just* right in there also works. It's what Eric Clapton does.

The Pickup Place / Re: DiMarzioForum Pickups FAQ
« on: February 03, 2011, 07:34:44 PM »
The PAF Joe (DP213) is not listed in the main post. It's referred to in the text about colour, but the long list does not include it.

Good catch, fixed. Thanks!

Guitar Lounge / Re: Stratocaster tuning secret
« on: January 16, 2011, 12:21:14 AM »
There's a product for that COBL... the D-Tuna.  I'm not a Floyd guy but I've played 'em and they seem to work pretty well.

I'm aware of it. But even still, it's only a minor component to my dislike of Floyds. The entire hassle of setup alone is my main issue. I have no problem with those who use them, they just aren't for me.

Guitar Lounge / Re: Stratocaster tuning secret
« on: January 14, 2011, 06:51:27 PM »
I've played Floyds without a problem.

My beef with Floyd Rose systems, is that by the time I have the thing set up to play, I'm bored/frustrated and have lost all interest in wanting to play. My vintage trems get me where I need to go just fine, I don't have many tuning issues. Yeah, occasionally it may happen, but that's if I'm going SEVERELY wild. Honestly, my ridiculously bluesy bends put the strings out of tune more often than my vintage trem.

And god forbid if I'm playing a Floyd guitar and want to play in drop d...

Everything you wanted to know about .... / Re: The Tone Zone
« on: December 29, 2010, 06:23:30 PM »
 :madness: :madness: :madness: Welcome to the  :madness: that is the Tone Zone. Now you see why we love it?  :madness: :madness: :madness:

The Pickup Place / Re: DiMarzioForum Pickups FAQ
« on: September 14, 2010, 02:21:51 PM »
Done, and done.

The Pickup Place / Re: DiMarzioForum Pickups FAQ
« on: September 07, 2010, 01:33:12 AM »
By back it up, I meant try e-mailing DiMarzio.

The Pickup Place / Re: DiMarzioForum Pickups FAQ
« on: August 25, 2010, 08:42:46 PM »
Perhaps an update to the main post: I found a couple of pickups marked DiMarzio on the front but with H10 and H9. A Google search found an entry on the SD site stating the closest models are Breed bridge (H10) and Breed neck (H9).

Can you back that up? Because if so then I'll put it in.

The mini bar (off topic & misc) / Re: your first guitar idol?
« on: July 15, 2010, 07:01:45 PM »
Heck yes to Mick Mars!

And also, no love here for George Harrison?

Guitar Lounge / Re: Stratocaster tuning secret
« on: July 11, 2010, 11:46:53 PM »
Yeah, it works.

Especially a good lubricant at all contact points.

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