Which one of these Dimarzios will work best in a mahogany bolt on?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by neurosis, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. neurosis

    neurosis SS.org Regular

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    Hello all!

    So... after some research and help from a bunch of you on here I have narrowed it down to a bunch of options to replace the Painkiller in my Dellinger.

    I am usually a fan of JBs. I like the solid riffing you get with them.

    The Painkiller I have in there is nice but perhaps a little hollow for me, not as fully sounding as I like my bridge pickups. It has great attack and definition but I am looking for something a bit more chunky.

    Now I am not the best to describe pickup tones but I guess with the Dellinger being dark (maple neck, ebony fretboard, bolt on, mahogany body with Floyd Rose bridge) I am somehow looking for a similar tone to what I get from my Les Paul (with a JB in the bridge).

    So my contenders, from videos and the DImarzio recommendations would be:

    1. Dominion bridge
    2. Tone Zone bridge
    3. Super Distortion bridge


    I have discarded the D-activator bridge and the Super 3 cause I heard they would sound similar to what I have in there.

    I have also been told that a Gravity Storm or a Titan could be god options if I decided to go closer to a EMG 81 tone, which I have in an alder ESP and love. But I wonder if those pickups would do good in Mahogany. On DImarzios web they say the Gravity Storm would be great. So I am wondering if that would give me the crushing rhythm tone I am after while allowing some nice control and a little clean up when rolling off the volume.

    So I guess my fourth option would be the Gravity Storm. This one and the Dominion also have good harmonics I have been told and give a nice fat chunky tone according to some recommendations and the Dimarzio website.
     
  2. PBGas

    PBGas SS.org Regular

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    Gravity storm is nothing like the tone any EMG. I had a set in my basswood bodied JEMFP2. Sounded amazing. I'm putting a set in my latest J Custom. I'm not looking for a crushing tone from that guitar...more of a grindy vintage kind of thing. That pickup will do that, nicely. It is also fabulous with the lead work for obvious reasons.

    Perhaps you could check out the Dimarzio AT-1 as well?

    Again, though either the Gravity storm or the AT-1 aren't super high output. To me, they are just right....at least for what I like to hear. I have the AT-1 in my Les Paul Axcess and it works perfectly in that guitar.
     
  3. Kashmir

    Kashmir SS.org Regular

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    I have personal experience with all the pickups you mentioned in your post with the exceptions of the Dominion, Titan, and the Painkiller.

    It really depends on the type of riffing you want to do with what direction of pickup you want to go. Rumor has it that the Tone Zone was Dimarzio's answer to the SD Custom 5, it has a very similar tone to the JB but with the focus in the low-mids instead of the high-mids. If you want a classic metal/hard rock sound the Tone Zone is a very good option, full sounding, good definition, palatable tone.

    If you're looking for definition the Super Distortion wouldn't be first on my list; it's great and chunky sounding but "blurry" if you over saturate it. There's a million examples of the tone of the Super D so I'm sure you can find one with a tone you're looking for. The Super D fits all your other qualifications, just not defined, on the plus side it's heavier than the Tone Zone.

    I'd stay away from the Gravity Storm if I were you. It's a wonderful pickup with a very sweet tone but it was designed for lead playing, not rhythm. While sounding great for solos and progressive music it can sound a bit thin on chords.

    While I'm not a fan of the D Activator it might be good for you. The pickup carries heft with the chords but is still suitable for lead playing, it's got the ammo for riffs but not so much that it's a one trick pony. My complaint with the D Activator is that it's a rather dry pickup, even more so than an EMG 81. Some like that, but I don't; I think all D Activators sound the same and while they sound good they aren't spectacular.

    The Super 3 is one pickup I'd love to see mentioned a lot more, it's amazing! Dimarzio is spot-on when they describe it as the "Dark Horse" of their pickup line. It's super heavy while retaining a surprising amount of clarity. If you want chunk on your chords this is the pickup, the best way I can describe it is it sounds like an explosion in your face! Leads aren't too shabby either. I have one in my parts box and it'd be in a guitar if I owned more than five electrics. I really cannot say enough good things about the Super 3, the only negative I give it is that it has an "always on" sound. But for metal it slays.

    In summary it really depends on what style of music you play, more classic tones I'd pick the Tone Zone, if you're looking for absolute brutality I'd go with the Super 3. Somewhere in the middle? D Activator if you don't mind a dry tone.
     
  4. tssb

    tssb SS.org Regular

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    Spot on, also see this thread

    +1

    I wouldn't say it would be thin - especially in a mahogany guitar (see thread above) - but it will definitely be crunchy, not tight like an EMG.
     
  5. Miek

    Miek POSTING ON INTERNET

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    I have the dominion in my RGA121 and it's by far my favorite DiMarzio pickup I've tried to date. I love it almost as much as I love the BK Nailbomb
     
  6. juankyman

    juankyman SS.org Regular

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    i hace an air norton in the bridge and air classic in the neck of a fernandes monterey pro which is mahogany neck and body and it sounds awesome!!! also in that same guitar i used to have the air norton in the neck with a paf pro in the bridge and it was a very nice combo too. either one is very versatile and lets me play from heavy metal to classic rock, blues jazz and even raggae in my band.
     
  7. neurosis

    neurosis SS.org Regular

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    This guitar is tuned to D and I might go back to C eventually. I am riffing to Decapitated, Lamb of God, Opeth, Dark Tranquility, Pantera, Alice in Chains and Tool, Old In Flames...

    I think the tones i like the most are more of the classic Megadeth and Tool kind... Which is basically a JB in mahogany. So any suggestion for that considering the guitar is a bolt on is what I'm after.

    I don't need it to be defining all separate notes but rather make a chunky rythm. I guess when I said i dont want a wide low is that i want the pickup to pack a good punch. I always thought rhe two first machine head records had incredible tone. With my Les Paul and JB i can get that. But I am putting other Dimarzios in there so I thought a Dimarzio in the bridge would be a good fit.


    Makes sense. Their pickup picker however recommended this 😊

    The picker also recommended this one. I just couldnt find any reviews. What did you mean with "a pickup that is always on"?

    So it looks like Tone Zone or Dominion so far then? Maybe a super 3?

    Thank you for such a detailed response!
     
  8. neurosis

    neurosis SS.org Regular

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    Awesome thread!
     
  9. neurosis

    neurosis SS.org Regular

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    I should also mention i am a big fan of arch enemy's tone on the anthems of rebellion and doomsday machine albums.

    Christopher amott had a liquifire in the bridge of his caparison but i never heard anyone else do that. Also, for what its worth i thought rhe meat and potatoes tone in those albums came more from michaels jb loaded v's. Maybe thats another reference to consider.
     
  10. Kashmir

    Kashmir SS.org Regular

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    With your further elaboration and the demos I've listened to I think your best bet would be either a Dominion or a Super 3.

    The demo I listen to of the Dominion nailed the 'Undertow' tone. As an added benefit it's lower output than the Super 3 so it might clean up better, but again I have no person experience with this pickup.

    By "always on" I mean the Super 3 always sounds ready to melt faces, it doesn't clean up too well comparatively but you don't buy a Super 3 for it's clean tone. Though the Super 3 looks super hot and bassy on paper there's still really great high end in there and full dynamics. There's a lot of tones to be had with the Super 3 depending you how you set your amp, I use it for Tornado of Souls.

    When I was on a BKP kick I tried replacing the Super 3 with a C-Pig, even though the Warpig costs twice as much it wasn't as good of a pickup.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1We4GkOnvA - Check out that demo, it does a good job representing what a Super 3 sounds like.

    I cannot iterate how highly I think of the Super 3, no experience with the Dominion, but a Super 3 will get you the tones you are looking for.
     
  11. neurosis

    neurosis SS.org Regular

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    So do you think the super 3 might be good for a mahigany body? The rg in the video you shared is basswood (but i'd also be playing ut through a laney!!!!). Let's keep in mind this dellinger is possibly the darkest sounding guitar i have had beides my les paul. Im looking at demos now. It sounds pretty brutal.

    Thanks for the reply again! Good points all along. Undertow is an awesome album. Totally off topic but i wish they put some of that rawness back in their current stuff.
     
  12. Agramal

    Agramal SS.org Regular

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    Didn't know that about Amott - that's very interesting.
     
  13. Wolfhorsky

    Wolfhorsky Regular idiot

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    I personally love DM Breed bridge. I don't know if ir's truth, but supposely the Dominion is the Breed with ceramic magnet. I like Breed's even and muscular midrange. It is not muddy. It has got chunky chewiness with cool vintage vibe. Pinch harmonics are super easy and single notes are sounding full. It sound like crap on clean tho ;-) YMMV
     
  14. jc986

    jc986 Tone Enthusiast Contributor

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    I think the Dominion will do exactly what you're looking for. I have the Dominion set in my Jackson SLS3 (mahogany) and it can do the tones you mentioned no problem.

    I also have a Painkiller in my PRS Singlecut for reference and the Dominion is definitely thicker sounding and a tad less aggressive in the high end.

    I would stay away from the Super Distortion. While it sounds huge it does so at the expense of clarity and tightness.
     
  15. neurosis

    neurosis SS.org Regular

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    Awesome! What did you have in the single cut? I am thinking that if the Dominion works well in the Caparison the Painkiller could go in my Custom 24. I have the 59/09 in the bridge and at first I wasn´t happy with how brigt it was but now I have gotten used to eq for it accordingly at the amp and use it more for thrashy and grinding tones. It is also spectacular clean. But maybe the painkiller is worth trying in there?

    Anyway, back on topic... the Dominion looks like the winner here. i had also been considering a Breed but thought the Tone Zone would be a better fit for the Mahogany.

    I am waiting for an email response from the Dimarzio people but otherwise I am almost set on the dominion. Unless I find a good deal for a Screaming Demon. Not Dimarzio but might be worth a shot looking at the specs.
     
  16. jc986

    jc986 Tone Enthusiast Contributor

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    I had the stock PRS #7 bridge pickup in the Singlecut. It's a great pickup with a lot of clarity but it made the Singlecut sound thin under high gain. It's a vintage output pickup that worked really well for just about everything except metal. I still have the #7 PRS neck pickup in there. It's probably not ever going anywhere as it's pretty much my favorite neck pickup.

    I think the Painkikler would be awesome in your Custom, but I haven't ever players the 59/09 for comparison.
     
  17. neurosis

    neurosis SS.org Regular

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    That makes sense. I think a similar thing is going on with me. I have no complaints with this thing whatsoever. it´s a fantastic guitar. But put through a high gain amp it goes into ice pick territory fast. Which is why I don´t pronounce the mids as much as usual and dial back the treble a lot.

    So I have resorted to using it for crunch tones like that and otherwise great cleans and rock and roll. In the neck and with both pickups split and combined it sounds heavenly. So we will see if I dare to change it. :lol:

    DiMarzio email pending I think I might go with the Dominion in the bridge and the Air Norton S in the neck of this Dellinger. Those two guitars will be a good palette of tones to choose from.
     
  18. SqWark

    SqWark SS.org Regular

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    I've tried all of the above and quite a few other Dimarzio's in several of my Mahogany bodied guitars (Caparison Horus, Caparison Dellinger, Ibanez S5470Q) and surprisingly (or at least it was to me) nothing came close to the EVO2. I'm not a particularly big Steve Vai fan but this pickup absolutely slays in a mahogany bodied guitar imo.
     

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