For over forty years, DiMarzio has been supplying guitarists with pickups specially-made for high-gain tone. If you're a player that likes your tone with a ton of growl and just as much character, DiMarzio pickups have a lot to offer. From Kurt Cobain to Frank Zappa, David Gilmour and more, guitarists across several genres have used DiMarzio pickups to carve out a piece of their signature sound. Today, we're taking a look at four DiMarzio pickups that are sure to excite distortion-lovers everywhere.
The Super Distortion humbucker is the pickup that turned DiMarzio from boutique outlier to a force in the world of high-gain tone. What made this humbucker different from the rest was the fact that it was specifically created to push an amplifier into overdrive while giving the perfect mix of power and tone. Despite the fact that the first Super Distortion was released in the early seventies, it remains a staple of the high-output pickup market to this day. From Ace Frehley to Paul Gilbert and many more, the tone of the Super Distortion has been helping guitarists produce platinum records for over three decades. The tone of the Super Distortions consists of a classic, thick humbucker sound along with boosted mids, prominent lows, and thick highs. The perfect all around high-output pickup. Available in traditional-spaced, F-spaced and stacked single-coil configurations!
The dreaded "mosquito" noise – a high treble shrill that sticks on top of your notes, especially at high volumes. While not every amp is affected, if yours is, the Tone Zone is the right pickup for your setup. Not only will the design of the Tone Zone help in alleviating this type of noise, but the pickup itself also sounds great. Although it is hot enough to be considered a high-output pickup, the Tone Zone also features a wide dynamic range; plenty of power with hard picking while a softer attack will yield a much cleaner and quieter sound. It also features tremendous bass and a poignant low-mid response to reinforce the bottom end and make the overall sound bigger. If you're looking for a humbucker that offers big, dominant chords as well as single notes with plenty of depth and articulation, the Tone Zone delivers. Available in traditional-spaced, F-spaced and stacked single-coil configurations!
DiMarzio created the PAF Pro humbucker in direct response to the growing popularity of high-gain amps and rack mount units during the eighties. What they designed was a PAF-styled pickup that could retain the signature tone and vibe while being able to cut through all of the extra processing. Whereas darker-sounding pickups tend to sound muddy in a long effects chain, the PAF Pro maintains its presence and character throughout. The PAF Pro offers low notes that feature plenty of snap and chunk, with a spike in the mid-range that yields a subtle "aw” vowel sound, not unlike a wah pedal stopped in the middle. The treble response is tailored to create highs that offer plenty of presence without getting brittle. The PAF Pro works great as a neck pickup on nearly any guitar or as an excellent bridge pickup replacement where high output isn't required. Available in both traditional and F-sized spacings.
Designed in collaboration with guitar great Steve Vai, the Gravity Storm neck and bridge humbuckers are the ultimate plug and play pickups that don't require any optimization to sound great. Whereas Steve's other signature DiMarzio pickup (the Evolution) was made for power and a sharp tone, the Gravity Storm Bridge is about depth, articulation, and warm highs and mids, with plenty of bite and sweetness. And thanks to its thick high-end, you can increase the treble response on your amp without losing any tone and sustain, even on the higher frets. Meanwhile, the Gravity Storm neck features a throaty quality, similar to a cross between a single-coil and a humbucker. It also does an excellent job of allowing players to create rich, vibrant harmonics, something not common with most neck humbuckers. With plenty of warmth, bite and plenty of Steve Vai's signature flavor, the Gravity Storm is an excellent choice for players searching for a bold new sound. Available in both traditional and F-sized spacings.
To check out more from DiMarzio including Telecaster, Stratocaster and bass pickups, make sure to visit the DiMarzio Brand Page. For questions on these or any other piece of gear, don't hesitate to chat with one of our PAL pros by using the Contact Us dialogue box below!
Your Turn to Sound Off!
Of the four above, which DiMarzio pickup interests you the most?