Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders

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Offline BluesJam

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I was wondering why DiMarzio does not have any famous winders like MJ or Abby in the company?  There are no initials on their pickups either.  Obviously, it’s a marketing thing but certain pickup winders can increase the value of the pickups.  Obviously, Larry DiMarzio does not wind pickups anymore.  Probably hasn’t in years and his business model is not like Duncan, Frailin or the like.

I wish Larry DiMarzio would do a run of limited edition authentic 1970’s versions of the Super D and FS1.

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2021, 03:14:38 AM »
DiMarzio's chief designer is Steve Blucher. He may not be a household name but he is well known in the guitar community.

Cheers Stephan
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Offline buddroyce

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2021, 10:33:50 AM »
If anything I think it's done that way to ensure all the pickups are consistent with each other.

I'm not trying to discount any product or company but from a production management standpoint, the existence of a rockstar winder would indicate that there are variances in production that need to be looked at and if you think about it, it works both ways as some could also be worse than the baseline reference.

Although what is tonally better or worse is entirely subjective and differs from person to person.
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Offline BluesJam

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2021, 09:02:26 PM »
There is a lot of mystery at DiMarzio.  They are not as accessible or personal in their marketing as Seymour Duncan.  It would be cool to have identification/identifiers on pickups to identify Year/QC employee.  It adds value to vintage pickups.

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Offline HeyNorton!

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2021, 07:07:32 PM »
Their marketing machine isn't what Duncan's is?

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Offline DavidSchwab

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2021, 03:10:06 AM »
Because that’s a marketing gimmick. Unless you buy some “custom shop” pickup from Duncan, it’s just being made on the shop floor by an employee. 

DiMarzio designs pickups. Steve Blutcher designs a lot of them. And while he probably winds the prototypes, all the production pickups are wound on automated machines by a bunch of experienced workers.

DiMarzio isn’t a big shop. There’s about 8 or 10 people winding pickups. I worked at DiMarzio for a short time. A lot of the workers had been there like 20 years. But you won’t see their name on anything.

Duncan uses the fact that they have one or two “retired” winders from Fender as a marketing ploy. But how many Duncan pickups are hand wound?


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Offline DavidSchwab

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2021, 03:14:27 AM »
I wish Larry DiMarzio would do a run of limited edition authentic 1970’s versions of the Super D and FS1.

Larry doesn’t run the company. His daughter does. I think he lives in Montana.

The Super D and FS1 are made exactly the same as the old ones.  Same parts and all. I have a vintage Super Distortion from the 70s. It’s the same as the new ones. The parts all come from the same place.

Also, how many “famous” winders are there? I’m sure Fender had more you never heard of.


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Offline BluesJam

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2021, 01:56:48 AM »
Thanks David for the insight.  I imagined DiMarzio was a large company mass producing thousands of pickups a day on automatic string winders.  I did not know that people were still involved in the winding of pickups.  I imagined that the designer wound a pickup and a computer copied the winding pattern to replicate for mass production to maintain consistency.  Obviously, computer generated winders can replicate standard (symmetrical) wound and scatter wound coils.  My favorite DiMarzios are the originals FS1 and Super D.  I gravitate to those models.  I prefer old old school stuff.  Thanks again for the insight.

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Offline DavidSchwab

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2021, 02:13:20 AM »
They use automated winders, but a person operates them. You have to solder on a lead wire, attach the bobbin to the winder, set the number of turns, etc, and then sit and watch it wind. Then remove the bobbin, attach the other lead, and test it.

It is a factory setting, so you might do a couple of hundred bobbins. But it’s not totally automated.

My first week there was spent installing pole piece screws in bobbins with an arbor press. Everyone there takes pride in what they do. I was one of the few people who was actually a player and understood pickups. The woman who was training me was an older woman who had worked there over 20 years. So she was like their “MJ” … they are very secretive. Phones weren’t allowed in the work area. You’ll never see a factory tour on YouTube.

I was surprised how much DiMarzio makes in house. All the patch cables. They had a few elderly ladies sewing straps! The bobbins and magnets all come from the US.




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Offline BluesJam

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2021, 02:21:56 AM »
Thank you for the extra information.  BTW, not to get off point.  I’m assuming that the original DiMarzio models in the 1970’s were probable handwound by machines, so I’m assuming they would be scatterwound.  So, would DiMarzio scatter the windings of the Super D and FS1 in today’s models?

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2021, 03:00:52 AM »
First of all, thank you very much David for sharing your insights of DiMarzio.

The term "handwound" is used very generously all over the place. If you define the term as "winding the turns around the coil by hand" then not many pickups will fall into that category as this method is very time consuming and difficult. What the term mostly refers to is "hand guiding the wire as the machince is winding the wire on the bobbin". Which is fine to me - it is the end result that matters. And - as David described - it will be very difficult if not impossible to eliminate all the handwork from the production of pickups.

Cheers Stephan
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Offline buddroyce

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2021, 01:00:03 PM »
@DavidSchwab Thanks for sharing the photo! Maybe I've just been jaded by one too many tech startups in fancy offices but I actually love how the factory is just a plain old building next to an automotive repair shop.
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Offline BluesJam

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2021, 04:25:05 AM »
Agreed!   Looks like a 1950’s old school business.  I assumed DiMarzio to be a huge modern day pickup empire with statues of guitar heroes in the lobby.

Thanks for sharing those great stories of DiMarzio.

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Offline Guitar74

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2021, 04:14:52 PM »
Because that’s a marketing gimmick.


Agreed. I have used both brands at one time or another. I still see posts where people claim that the J.B. wound by "M.J." is SOOOOOOO much better than the standard J.B. Having used J.B.s on and off for some time, and accidentally getting one that actually was wound by her, I can tell you that the difference is ZILCH, as in ZERO, as in NADA. Aside from manufacturing tolerances from one pickup to the next, there is nothing significant about an "MJ wound" JB that makes it any better than any other. It is part marketing scheme as well as internet myth that somehow MJ winds her pickups, which would be to some sort of spec put forth my Seymour, or another designer, would sound any different than one wound by someone else in that factory.

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Offline DavidSchwab

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Re: Why doesn’t DiMarzio have any “named” pickup winders
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2021, 04:22:56 PM »
Because that’s a marketing gimmick.


Agreed. I have used both brands at one time or another. I still see posts where people claim that the J.B. wound by "M.J." is SOOOOOOO much better than the standard J.B. Having used J.B.s on and off for some time, and accidentally getting one that actually was wound by her, I can tell you that the difference is ZILCH, as in ZERO, as in NADA. Aside from manufacturing tolerances from one pickup to the next, there is nothing significant about an "MJ wound" JB that makes it any better than any other. It is part marketing scheme as well as internet myth that somehow MJ winds her pickups, which would be to some sort of spec put forth my Seymour, or another designer, would sound any different than one wound by someone else in that factory.
When I worked at American Showster I installed a set of pickups made by Seymour himself. They were signed too.
They sounded good, but no different than off the shelf pickups. I think they were for Robbin Crosby from Ratt. It’s a long time ago so…

He’s going to train his workers to wind pickups the way he wants them wound.

And really Duncan has one named winder. How about the other 20 (or whatever). Lol


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