FRED

  • 11 Replies
  • 7236 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

EternalReturn

  • Guest
FRED
« on: January 10, 2013, 07:37:55 PM »
Can't believe there's no thread for the FRED.  What do you guys think of it in the bridge or neck?  It's one of the few "classic" Dimarzios I've never played. 

*

Offline gauchosilvertone

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 59
  • 6
    • View Profile
Re: FRED
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 09:17:32 PM »
I too am shocked to find no info on Fred, and having recently acquired one I suppose I'm now qualified to comment. 

I was highly skeptical about Fred for all the wrong reasons...despite owning a large chunk of Mr. Satriani's catalog, the one thing I have never liked about his playing is his tone, especially on his classic records.  I had always assumed that the uber-fizz tone that's all over SWTA and FIABD was a function of Fred.

I have never been more happy to be wrong about a pickup.

Below is some information about what guitar it's in, to give context.  for those not interested in that, skip down below the line of asterisks.

I've got it in the bridge of a Raven model from up and coming guitar builder Jack Dent (jackdentguitars.com).  Carved top double cutaway with Mahogany body, mahogany neck, thick maple top, and rosewood fingerboard.  The neck joint is like a cross between set neck and neck-thru- one piece mahogany back has a channel from end to end in which the neck is set, through the whole length of the guitar.

I mention all this to give context for the pickup description.  This guitar overall is surprisingly bright and very, very clear in tone, while still retaining a very strong but tight bass presence.

************************************************************************

I was concerned Fred would be too bright, as I've always heard it described as a very bright pickup.  And to be sure, it IS bright.  Awesomely clear and defined, but still with plenty of bass presence when gained out. 

Surprisingly to me it REALLY shines when played clean.  I play a telecaster often when I'm not playing my Raven, and the Fred comes closest of any humbucker I've ever played to delivering the immediacy, brightness and cut you get from a tele bridge. 
     Now before anyone reads this and thinks "I don't like bright pickups," read a little further.  I historically haven't either.  My favorite all around bridge pickup is the Tone Zone (I should say "was" now that I've tried Fred).  I cannot overemphasize this fascinating quality it has of seeming to have this big, lovely bass presence come out of nowhere as you add gain.  But it's still perfectly clear and tight.  The DM website says that in contrast to other humbuckers that get fatter with added gain, Fred gets "tighter and brighter."  I can't agree with that- it does NOT get brighter, but it doesn't get at all muddier either.  I wouldn't argue with the idea of it getting "tighter" since to me that's a harder idea to put my finger on. 
     What I will say is that no matter how the gain is piled on there is still a very clearly present "space" between the notes.  It has all the good qualities of the Humbucker from Hell used in the bridge (clarity, clear bite in the high harmonics) but without the overly biting tone that can get ice-picky, and without the total lack of low end.  Sorry for the double negative there...you get my point.

Could say more (and probably will).  Hope this helps someone.

*

alfaromeo90

  • Guest
Re: FRED
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 02:41:17 AM »
thanks mate! great information.  Yes, Satriani's classic tone has a lot to do with a Boss DS-1 and Celestion Greenbacks.  That's a really soft, crunchy tone and quite overpowering.  The Fred does very well to maintain definition.

*

Offline KH Guitar Freak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 844
  • 5
    • View Profile
Re: FRED
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 12:07:55 AM »
AFAIK, Satraini's earlier tones were from PAF Pros before the Freds came out. Anywho, I have a superstrat with a Humbucker from Hell in the neck and Fred in the bridge. Both wired for coil splits. The Fred definitely has a lot of harmonic content as well. Changing your picking angle yields different tones. It's definitely a more growly PAF Pro. Maybe less fuzzy too? Great rock tones. Even the split tones sound pretty good. Definitely has slightly more beef compared to the PAF Pro, even in split mode

*

alfaromeo90

  • Guest
Re: FRED
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 03:56:48 AM »
Satriani's earliest tones were from a Seymour JB.  He designed the Fred to have similar fat mids.

*

Offline KH Guitar Freak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 844
  • 5
    • View Profile
Re: FRED
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 07:03:08 AM »
Satriani's earliest tones were from a Seymour JB.  He designed the Fred to have similar fat mids.

Interesting. But I'm quite sure he used PAF Pros before moving on to the Freds?

*

Offline KellyB

  • Newbie
  • *
  • 4
  • 0
    • View Profile
Re: FRED
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2015, 07:28:10 PM »
Surfing was a jb.

*

Offline KH Guitar Freak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 844
  • 5
    • View Profile
Re: FRED
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2015, 11:33:08 PM »
Oh. I think you guys meant during his Kramer stint. I was referring to his time with Ibanez

*

Offline 123RnR

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 51
  • 0
    • View Profile
Re: FRED
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2019, 12:33:30 AM »
I love my Fred in the bridge of my basswood RG550 / edge locking trem/maple neck.  It is bright, but not thin to my ears. It's just waiting for you to pinch off a harmonic.  Kind of like a kid that had too much sugar.

Since it was /is not uncommon to see a guitar with PAF Pro's in both the neck and bridge, I wonder how a Fred in both spots would work.

I do wonder how the FRED fares against a PAF Pro in the neck position.

*

Offline Guitar74

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 206
  • 8
    • View Profile
Re: FRED
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2020, 04:17:50 PM »
I think the Fred may go in my HH RG that my brother in law gave me. Back in the day, a friend of mine that played in the same band went with the FRED in the neck and an SD Screamin' Demon in the bridge of his Soloist for about 3 days. He changed the positions and WHAM!!!! The FRED blew the sh12 out of the water. Wonderful mids, great harmonics, and just seemed to push his JCM 800 better. By comparison the sh12 just sounded dull and hollow even at gig levels with a cranked 50 watt JCM. Just all around better for that combo. I don't know why I haven't tried one with all of the ones that I have installed for others. I have yet to find a guitar that the FRED just didn't rock in. Every time I have suggested it to a customer and installed it, they always come back with a smile on their face and,"You were right. This thing is amazing."
If you're having one of those days where everyone is on your case and is just getting on your nerves, it's probably not everyone else

*

Offline darkbluemurder

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1320
  • 44
    • View Profile
Re: FRED
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2021, 01:23:32 PM »
I do wonder how the FRED fares against a PAF Pro in the neck position.

Me, too - anybody?
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton

*

Offline Guitar74

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 206
  • 8
    • View Profile
Re: FRED
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2021, 12:12:05 PM »
It's really not bad in the neck. The aforementioned Jackson Soloist that had the Fred/ Screamin' Demon combo started out with the Fred in the neck. Sounded really good. We decided to see if it would sound better in the bridge than the Seymour sh12 (Which in that guitar sounded like Fido's behind in the bridge position. It was just dull, lifeless, and really unimpressive. I have heard it sound great in other axes), and it just blew it out of the water. As far as the neck goes it gave a really nice neck soloing tone, and also sounded great clean. At least in the Jackson Soloist it did.

The thing about the Fred that I have noticed is that it really sound pretty good in, at least everything I have installed it in, pretty much everything I have installed it in. Great harmonics, nice full mids, great articulation. To my ears, it sounds much hotter than what the specs suggest.
If you're having one of those days where everyone is on your case and is just getting on your nerves, it's probably not everyone else