Duncan or DiMarzio - which do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Iron1, Dec 10, 2019.

SD or DMZ?

  1. Seymour Duncan all day

    25 vote(s)
    54.3%
  2. DiMarzio is the way

    21 vote(s)
    45.7%
  1. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Pointy Gang

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    try the cold sweat neck sometime. hands down their best neck pickup for liquidy shred wankery imo
     
  2. aesthyrian

    aesthyrian SS.org Regular

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    Fair point. Thing is, the Duncans that are direct mounted are not designed to be that way, they are designed to use pickups rings like this is still 1985. Sure, you can still direct mount them if you remove enough wood to compensate for the damn screws and pickup tabs.

    I rather cut a tab down to size than route a pickup cavity deeper like I did. But it seems either way you have to decide which compromise is best for you.
     
  3. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I've had the CS before and it's definitely great for liquidy shredding, even more so than the Liquifire, which I've also had in a bunch of different guitars. I just don't shred much, so it's kind of wasted on me. I prefer the VH-II since it has really gorgeous cleans and a nice articulate PAF-ish character for single note type leads :yesway:

    The Air Norton strikes a nice balance between shredding and cleans. It was one of my favorite neck pickups before I tried the Gravity Storm, and I still have one installed in one of my guitars. It's a great all-rounder
     
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  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Both make great pickups, but Dimarzio for me by a hair
     
  5. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I like both brands.

    In my two main guitars I’ve got SDs in the bridge and Dimarzios in the neck. The Liquifire and Air Norton are amazing for smooth leads and shred, in a way that I haven’t heard out of a Duncan neck pup. But on the other hand, the tweaked Duncan Distortion bridge models (Black Winter and Nazgul) are so friggin awesome in the bridge.
     
  6. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I also feel this way about the AN — it’s damn near the perfect neck pickup. It can handle liquid shredding but has a little texture for longer sustained lead notes, and the cleans have a nice sparkle. I have a Liquifire as well and the cleans are not quite as good; kinda bland and cold. For shredding it’s hard to beat.
     
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  7. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire

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    Seymour Duncan Black Winters in everything.
     
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  8. guitaardvark

    guitaardvark SS.org Regular

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    If I was asked a year ago, I would have said DiMarzio, but I'm slowly shifting toward Duncan. DiMarzio makes some of my favorite pickups of all time (Tone Zone, Titan, Notorious, Ionizer), but their website is terrible if you're trying to find a wiring diagram, and they really don't seem interested in innovating. My unpopular opinion here is that I can't help but feel like they're really only interested in an older audience, as they pander a lot to Vai, Satch, Petrucci (sorry), and Lukather fans with the exception of the pickups that I mentioned.
    SD on the other hand, while I hate the look of pickups that have a brand name plastered on them in large white letters, are fantastic. I loved the Alpha/Omega set in my Holcomb SE, and the Nazgul/Sentient set in my PRS is absolutely incredible. The Sentient is easily my favorite neck pickup of all time. They seem interested in genuine innovation and have a brilliant marketing department.
     
  9. guitaardvark

    guitaardvark SS.org Regular

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    Why do ring-mounted pickups need to be long-legged? I never understood this.
     
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  10. Curt

    Curt Where we're going we don't need neck pickups.

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    Honestly since I mostly use the bridge pickup and some of my guitars even only have a bridge pickup... I'm saying Duncan. While I don't care for most Duncan neck pickups, I have yet to find a bridge pickup I like as much as the SH-5 Custom. My ideal pairing is the SH-5 in the bridge and Dimarzio Air Classic in the neck
     
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  11. Bobo

    Bobo SS.org Regular

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    I lean a bit toward Dimarzio, seems to be a wider range of things I dig. But Duncan has absolute winners, and I need a bit more experience because I do have a few Duncan's on the list of must try pups (trying some Elysian's should be my top priority though).

    My main has that combo too. I find I can get a lot of tones with those, but the metal rhythm tones from the Dominion just move me. So maybe my tone quest is over....I kid, I kid ;P
     
  12. Iron1

    Iron1 Old School Blacksmith

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    Interesting to see everyone's preferences. I was a Dimarzio only guy for years and years, then switched to all Duncans, now I'm moving back with a set of Imperiums and a Titans. Really love both of these pups and they mix together so very well.
     
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  13. SubsonicDoom99

    SubsonicDoom99 Member

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    I've had good experiences with both over the years. I have a couple of older Ibanez guitars that have DiMarzios that just scream, and I have no plans to replace those anytime soon. But most of my guitars these days have Duncans in them. I definitely think SD have been more adventurous and offered more variety with their bridge pickups like others have stated, but some of their more recent output with neck pickups (i.e. Sentient, Black Winter, Alpha, etc.) have been pretty awesome, and definitely offering something a bit different from the norm for me.
     
  14. aesthyrian

    aesthyrian SS.org Regular

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    No clue. I also realized that Dimarzio still does that on their 6 string pickups. I deal with mostly 7 string so I assumed Dimarzio had flat backing plates on their 6's as well. I was wrong. Duncan does still use legs on their 7's, at least they do on the nazgul and sentient.
     
  15. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    I actually love that picture and I think it is genius branding! There's a history behid the picture as well, if you scroll down a bit. His name is Jimmy Carroll.
    https://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/about-us
    He is not in mediocre shape at all! We're just all too used to seeing all those gym muscles from all the cartoon movies they make nowadays. Lots of featherweight fighters though look very lean like that.
     
  16. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    Lean?

    You eat McDonalds every day or something?
     
  17. Strobe

    Strobe SS.org Regular

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    I am primarily an active pickup player (and kind of a Fishman fan boy), but I enjoy a variety of pickups. It is difficult to generalize, because both manufacturers make pickups I love, and both offer quite a variety. That said, if you were to pick one at random, I would be more likely to love the Dimarzio. Dimarzios tend to have a more vocal midrange, and a lot of Duncans have a bit of a metallic clank in the midrange that I don't love. Also, Dimarzio seems to have more options for liquidy sounding neck pickups that SD, which is a tone I gravitate towards. I really enjoy my guitars with the Tone Zone / Air Norton combo, and my JP7 with the CL/LF set.

    That said, I also love the Custom 5 / Jazz set in my ESP HIII.
     
  18. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    That's my favorite Duncan neck hubucker I've tried, by a wide range, too. It gets close, but not quite all the way, to the things I love the PAF Pro for, and I'd agree with KB in that one of the things I think it's lacking is it isn't as "liquid" as a PAF Pro, even if it has a similar pick attack and articulation.
     
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  19. Lukhas

    Lukhas SS.org Regular

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    If only DiMarzio explorer other options than "CERAMIC EVERYTHING!" when it comes to seven string pickups... Otherwise it's a toss up for me. I kinda grew up with the gnarly tones of Peace Sells and Rust in Peace, as well as listening to some of the guitar tracks from Images and Words; two very different sounds! :lol:

    I remember DM's tech service recommending a Transition neck pickup when I told them I would want a less round, clearer LiquiFire that would sound a bit more like the middle position (both humbuckers) in parallel on my guitar... They surprised me with that recommendation, as I was more expecting them to say Humbucker from Hell or Air Norton!
     
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  20. Marv Attaxx

    Marv Attaxx ಠ_ಠ

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    I have both Dimarzios and Duncans in my guitars, still I'd say I prefer Dimarzios.
    To me they just sound a bit more "modern" if that makes sense. Especially for low tuned djenty stuff I'd go with Dimarzios.
     

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