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Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:05 am
by uleria
Have tried quite a few Seymour Duncan pickups (Humbukers only), and only one set of DiMarzio's

I know that would be a unfair comparison but I have the strong feeling that Seymour Duncan makes a bit more quality pickups than DiMarzio.

To me SD are more natural and alive and DMZ are more sterile sounding.

What you guys have to say about them or what is your experience with both of them?

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:24 am
by mbene085
Don't let HNB see what you said! DiMarzio makes great pickups, they just lost the PR war against Duncan because they spent the 80's and 90's focusing on marketing to modern guitar tones and artists of the time while Duncan did the whole antiquity thing and focused on vintage recreations.

The guitar market spoke and heavily favoured vintage recreations over new innovations, and Duncan blew up big time. The high-profile DiMarzio artists fell out of fashion musically and they've never really figured out how to replace them.

To this day, DiMarzio's advertising is all Steve Vai, Yngwie, Satriani, etc. and it probably turns off a lot of potential customers.

DiMarzio actually makes some fantastic vintage-style pickups, and I guarantee nobody who has ever played their Twang King telecaster pickups could say anything negative about them. That side of their business is just underappreciated, and they make the cardinal sin of not naming them after a specific year or using the word "vintage" in their name.

You absolutely cannot generalize about the tone of a pickup maker - Duncan makes plenty of flat and sterile sounding pickups (I genuinely don't know how they can still sell their 1980's Stack line, it's such hideously outdated technology that easily a dozen other noiseless pickups offer superior performance), and DiMarzio makes some great vintage-style ones.

DiMarzio also makes a staggering variety of unique humbuckers. Quality stuff.

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:10 am
by HNB
Super distortions, paf humbucker, humbucker from hell, tone zone, Titan and x2n are all dimarzios I have used and like.

Tele area ts and twang kings are great.

I like Duncan pickups also, but there are epic dimarzio pickups if you dig humbuckers. :)

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:48 pm
by stevejamsecono
Can't we have both?

I've honestly never had a guitar with Duncans in them (and agree re: the PR war statements), but I have two with Dimarzios in them and I'm pretty happy with the sound. My Highway 1 Tele with Area Ts especially sounds wonderful.

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:51 am
by øøøøøøø
I'd rate them both about equally. Very good pickup manufacturers, both.

Someone above said that Duncan was a bit better at riding the "vintage" wave from the 1990s onward, and I'd say that's accurate.

I have two guitars with DiMarzios (one pair of Super Distortions from '81 and one pair of PAF Pros and a single coil from '87). They're exceptional for what they are.

I favor Lollar for brand new pickups these days, but that's personal preference. I love those old Duncans and DiMarzios from decades past.

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:15 pm
by Maggieo
The DiMarzio‘s that came in my Hamer are as perfect a representation of a PAF style humbucker I’ve ever encountered. So are the 37th Anniversaries in my LP Standard.

I have Duncan Antiquities in my snakehead and in Nelvis. Ribot, Nels, and Rick Kelly all agree with me they’re great.

Either one of them, along with Lollar, Don Mare, Curtis Novak- you cannot go wrong.

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:22 am
by somebodyelseuk
Depends what I'm putting em in, and my goals.
Budget end guitars, under a grand, I'll use Seymours. Under 500 quid, when I'm 'experimenting', I go with cheap stuff like Tonerider. That said, I'm tarting up VM Jazzer, and the cheapest pickups I could find were Seymours...
If the guitars higher end, over 2 grand, then it's reputable boutique winders.
Sorry chaps, but you DO get what you pay for, and there IS a limit to how far a cheap plank can get.

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:57 am
by SAVEStheDAY
My main issue with DiMarzio is the legal threat they hang out there for anyone else using a double cream humbucker. How can you claim to own a color???

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:44 am
by mbene085
SAVEStheDAY wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:57 am
My main issue with DiMarzio is the legal threat they hang out there for anyone else using a double cream humbucker. How can you claim to own a color???
I find double-cream exposed humbuckers so unappealing visually that I don't understand who would be clamoring to challenge their claim to it.

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:48 am
by SAVEStheDAY
mbene085 wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:44 am
I find double-cream exposed humbuckers so unappealing visually that I don't understand who would be clamoring to challenge their claim to it.
Probably nobody here using cloth wired pickups while plugging into a vintage tweed Fender amp and pretending to love the original Jazz/Jag bridge, but pretty much everyone playing gainy rock and using a vintage Gibson with uncovered humbuckers would fit in that group.

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:14 pm
by mackerelmint
Even though DiMarzio make their share of "vintage" style pickups, if anything they get some credit in my book for not simply looking backwards in time for ideas about how their pickups should sound/be marketed.

Their SD has been around long enough that it's "vintage" in its own right. And a fine pickup, too.

Re: Duncan vs DiMarzio

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:56 am
by Jonesie
Maggieo wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:15 pm
The DiMarzio‘s that came in my Hamer are as perfect a representation of a PAF style humbucker I’ve ever encountered. So are the 37th Anniversaries in my LP Standard.

I have Duncan Antiquities in my snakehead and in Nelvis. Ribot, Nels, and Rick Kelly all agree with me they’re great.

Either one of them, along with Lollar, Don Mare, Curtis Novak- you cannot go wrong.
I have the 36th anniversaries in my Yamaha Studio Lord and I can vouch, they're incredible pickups. Light and airy with a little bit of mids to push your amp. Everything you want in an old PAF style pickup. I paid $100 for the pair used. Nickel covers.