Anyone still using the classic Dimarzio Blaze pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by mguilherme87, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. mguilherme87

    mguilherme87 SouthShoreSeven

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    Title pretty much describes it. But basically, I recently purchased a used Ibanez RG 7421 in white (I've always wanted a white RG) and the previous owner installed the Dimarzio Blaze pickup set, minus the single coil in the middle of course. Now that I've lived with these pickups for a few weeks (literally, in self-isolation due to COVID-19 outbreak in US) I'm really starting to dig them...very versatile. The neck has a juicy, bluesy top-end bite to it when I go for some more traditional pentatonic runs and bluesy bends, though it sometimes feels a tiny bit too scooped, this tone lends itself well to funk-style playing and chord stabs and stuff which I do in a club/event/wedding band I perform in. I wouldn't mind if it was a tiny bit "fuller" though i.e. a little more mids and perhaps maybe a tiny bit less top end. The bridge is pretty sick too, thick and bassy without being muddy, also could use a bit more mids though. Overall I love these pickups, they're just much less midrangy than the Air Norton/AT-1 combo in my strat and SD-mini/SD combo in my Charvel. But maybe thats a good thing. Different tools for different jobs. What have been your experiences with the Dimarzio Blaze pickups?
     
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  2. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    @Drew is the biggest fan of the Blaze set that I'm aware of.

    I had them on a basswood seven a while back and sounded perfectly fine. They had a "Vai" vibe to them and the neck pickup was great for shredding. I eventually sold the guitar, though.

    They're not very popular these days, which is funny because pretty much all classic 7 string albums were recorded with either Blazes or EMG 707s. You know, pickups that are not "tight/clear/defined/boutique", etc, etc.
     
  3. MIL8

    MIL8 SS.org Regular

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    I have them in my UV7PWH, in this guitar they sound fantastic, one of the few guitars I've owned that I've never had even the slightest desire to replace the stock pickups, and I'm a notorious pickup changer.

    I also had the Blaze bridge in my 540s7 when I bought it, and of course this has been over 20 years ago, but I don't remember liking it as much in this guitar as I do in the UV. I ended up replacing it with a Blaze Custom when that pickup first came out, and I liked it a bit more at the time. A few years ago I dug up the original Blaze as I wanted to put the guitar back to stock, and for whatever reason that original pickup died while in storage, so I put a PAF7 in it, and it matches that guitar perfectly IMHO, it works very well with the two single coils.

    And speaking of Blaze single coils, while I'm sure that is probably not what you were thinking of, the two Blaze single coils in the 540s7 are fantastic, very Stratty sounding but with much higher ouput. I always kind of wanted a 7 string Strat, but after putting the PAF7 in the bridge I've never felt the need for one as this guitar makes a great 7 string Strat style guitar.

    I think Dimarzio really made a fantastic pickup right from the start for the 7 string guitar, I imagine being their first they put a lot of time into development.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
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  4. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    I got Blazes in my 97' rg7620 . I like them. You can customize them pretty good by edjusting the pole pieces. Don't be afraid to slam the low end down raise the mids and lower the highs a bit. It's like you just got a a new custom pickup!
     
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  5. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

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    I agree. I had the Blaze bridge on my ex RG7321. It was versatile.
     
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  6. mguilherme87

    mguilherme87 SouthShoreSeven

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    Now there's an idea! I just get anxious thinking about getting into adjusting individual pole pieces. Im a bit obsessive as it is already so if i start messing with the pole pieces on this guitar, I'll start doing that on all my guitars and it will be tinkering nonstop for days xD
     
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  7. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    UhOh, I hope I didn't trigger an episode for you : ) It really does help to fine tune them though. Adjusting based on feel and sound works well, but mostly feel. Slamming the low side pole pieces on a Blaze really helps tame the boom and rasing the mid's helps bring out chunk and clarity. lower the highs a bit can help with harshness. It's a really delicate thing though. Every millimeter makes a difference if you listen and feel real closely. There's the initial stages of doing it then over time it gets dialed in better too. Usually the amp doesn't need to change that much. Maybe a master volume change or just littled nudges of bass etc. Maybe not at all. You can realy tell after adjusting the pickups what sound and feel is coming from the pickups or coming from the amp. Once you're "onto" them it gets even better. Normally most of the adjusting is done from the pickups though. With multiple guitars you'll eventually find which one gets you the best results with your amp and that will probably be the bar set that the other guitars adjust to. It takes time but certainly worth figuring out.
     
  8. Leviathus

    Leviathus Psychotic Monster

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    Have them in both my UVs (surprise surprise), really like them. Very unique sounding pickups and easy to dress up with stompboxes. Love how they balance out big chords.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    That would be Chris, the original Adminishredder of this place, lol. But, I do like the Blaze, for exactly the reason you note - pretty much every "classic" seven string album was recorded with a Blaze in a basswood RG. It's just the sound of a seven string, for me.

    I don't love the Blaze neck, personally - that one, to me, was very "Vai." The bridge rules, though, and doesn't sound overtly Vai-like to me. It probably helps that I'm playing it through various Mesas, where if anything you'd expect more of a Petrucci vibe.

    It's an awesome pickup - very hot by the late 80s standards, so only moderately high output by today's, bright but rounded off enough in the "presence" range to not be very spiky, tons of harmonic overtones when sustaining single notes, and a lot of lower midrange. It can do quite a lot, but it definitely excels as a very vocal lead voice.
     
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  10. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    You're right, I forgot about Chris :lol:
     
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  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Killer pickup though. You're not wrong to remember me as a fan. I'm curious to try a Blaze Custom if they still exist because I wouldn't mind a HAIR more midrange, but I suppose I could just boost the mids on my amp a little more.
     
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  12. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    Not sure if you'd like it. The Blaze custom didn't have a hair, but a fuckton more mids (and more output too) :lol:. I never bonded with it and leads always sounded like a built-in wah. Would work fine in ash, though.

    It was a refreshing thing back in the day to change the "metal = mids 0, gain 10" stigma. I do think that people are overdoing the mids a lot these days. I mean, most modern prog metal bands sound like they play through ducks or frogs, not guitars.
     
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  13. devastone

    devastone SS.org Regular

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    If they are the stock pickups, I think it is a Blaze Custom in the bridge, which is Blaze with more mids, which sounds like what the OP wants. I love the Blaze Neck/Blaze Custom set, I haven't used the original Blaze bridge before.
     
  14. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I used the Blaze neck + custom as my got to tone with a Mahogany body RG2027XVV for more than 10 years. I always felt the neck one to be a bit too much aggressive for my tastes, but it worked well. Then, about 4 years ago I felt the need for more clarity, so I swapped the volume pot to 1M ohms and it really did open a lot the tone. But hen I tried some custom pickups, ordered and customized to what I thought it would sound good and never ever went back to DiMarzio... and i was a DiMarzio guy.

    I think DiMarzio could do 7s and 8s with Alnico magnets and not just ceramic ones... My first pair of custom pickups were tuned after the Blaze ones, but with some twists.

    I really liked Blazes' coil splits and parallel tones though, really nice ones...

    The trick on messing with the pole screws is really important, it won't affect the pickup's "base" tone, but it will balance its response to the different frequencies. What I missed was backing them a bit more from the strings, but my ibanez guitars have a somehow shallow pickup cavities and I couldn't back them enough for my taste. So, do try and test/play the pickup to string distance AND pole piece screwing...

    I kind of miss testing them against my actual got to guitar (I still got them stored in a box), I'll see if I can find a bit of time with this social distancing era...
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020 at 11:50 PM
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  15. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    I think the Blaze Custom was introduced in 1998 and pretty sure it was always a custom order for a long time, went to a standard model, and is now custom shop only again. I'm not aware of 7620's ever coming with Blaze Customs. The paperwork I printed way back in 1997 when I got my guitar says it's a Blaze too. I know later there were different pickups that came with the rg-7620's like the rg7b and the "new 7's too which I'm also pretty sure said rg7-b on them" rather than rg7b. Those actually sound different. It's strange and It's all very confusing, but at least in my 97' guitar, I'm pretty sure it's the Blaze original model. For a long time I wanted the Blaze Custom and just never got around to it. Then I went EMG in my main guitar's and never looked back. Still never changed out my passives in the rg-7620's though. I have a 99' also and have had many other 7620's over the years. They're all a little different in certain ways. Some have different pickups, some have thin flat profile necks, some are flat, some are light weight or heavy etc. I think they were still experimenting a bit back then or just used other parts if they ran out of something it seems. The bridges and hardware were always the same though good stuff though. Now I gotta take out the pickups on these at some point to see. I know one has an rg7b not the rg7-b. They're all custom Dimarzio's I guess, since they're just proprietary Dimarzio pickups built just for Ibanez. Maybe some are just the same exact thing. I kinda doubt that though because when they came with Blazes, they said it came with Blazes, then later on with the later pickups the never said Dimarzio Specifically. I don't know. Go EMG : )
     
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  16. devastone

    devastone SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, hard to keep track of the DiMarzio/Ibanez OEM connection and the pickups that come out of it.

    I forgot about the New 7s, I guess I was thinking those were equivalent to the Blaze N/Blaze Custom, but I could be wrong, happens a lot. I did like those in a 7620 I had.

    You like your tone, that's what's important! I do know the Steve's Special came about because people wanted a 6 string version of the original Blaze bridge.
     
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  17. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Definitely New 7s. Same pickups as the custom ones that came in the CST, I forgot what the neck was based off (may have been some sort of PAF) but the bridge was based on a Super Distortion, as memory serves. IMO the bridge worked a lot better in mahogany than basswood, but the neck wasn't half bad.
     
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  18. akinari

    akinari does his own setups

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    Anybody here ever ran the Blaze neck as a bridge pup? I've considered trying it since I've got a drawer full of random 7 string pickups I've never used.
     
  19. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    IIRC the Korn guys did that and loved it there as a clear, articulate rhythm pickup, but I've never tried it myself.
     
  20. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Do it, record it, post on youtube and share. Good Covid-19 time spending.
     

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