Dimarzio Super Distortion height and Humbucker from Hell

spauldingrules

Senior member
Messages
721
Okay, so I installed my Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge position of my strat, mounted directly to the wood.  I think I found a good height - HOWEVER, like all of you, I like to tinker.  How close do any of you like this pickup to your strings?  It seems kind of far from the strings compared to what I am used to.  I want the pickup to sound like it "should", and I'm afraid my ears are telling me to back it off the strings so it sounds more like the PAFs I am used to.  This is my first "hot" pickup - ceramic magnet, etc.  "Should" these be closer or further to the strings than a normal PAF?  I know it's a matter of taste, blah blah blah, but what has been proven to work for these pickups?  I'm going for classic rock sounds, not extreme metal.  It sounds a little "treblier" than I expected - does closer or further from the strings make it "fatter?"  I don't want to experiment too much since it is mounted directly to the wood, so I would like your opinions please.

Oh, and I got the "Humbucker from Hell" in the neck position and this is the BEST NECK HUMBUCKER EVER!  I love it!  I have a set of Duncan 59's which were my fave, however the HFH is just plain articulate like a neck single coil except with humbucker-type sound.  Such a pleasant surprise!  Easy to switch to "clean" just by switching to it from the Super Distortion.  Just so round and full but not muddy at all.  I was going to get a PAF type but I'm glad I didn't. 

I've only played it through my Epi Valve Junior head/cab.  Sounds good with and without my tube screamer knockoff.

Thanks in advance - pix of the new build will be following shortly.

- TS
 

Orpheo

Senior member
Messages
2,766
thats a tough one. I had the superdistortion, and I had it not too close to the strings due to outputdifferences with the neckpickup. I noticed that pinch harmonics were nicer when the pup was a bit off the strings in stead of as high as possible, without stringbuzz when played at the highest fret.

one little remark: the superdistortion IS actually a copy of a PAF humbucker. larry dimarzio's first copy of a paf was this pickup. his paf though, was 'very' hot. dont forget that paf's had very variable specifications: one had alnico2, another 3, another 4, another 5, one was very hot wound, etc etc. if you have a paf with a lot of resistance (lots of dc's) and an alnico5 magnet, you are close to the superD.
 

jalbertochavez

Senior member
Messages
249
spauldingrules said:
Oh, and I got the "Humbucker from Hell" in the neck position and this is the BEST NECK HUMBUCKER EVER!  I love it!  I have a set of Duncan 59's which were my fave, however the HFH is just plain articulate like a neck single coil except with humbucker-type sound.  Such a pleasant surprise!  Easy to switch to "clean" just by switching to it from the Super Distortion.  Just so round and full but not muddy at all.  I was going to get a PAF type but I'm glad I didn't. 

How easy/difficult is it to get harmonics (pinch & natural) out of the Humbucker From Hell? I've got an idea for a build down the road and am trying to figure out the right neck pickup. I'm definitely gettin' a Tone Zone in the bridge, but have been thinkin' of either the Humbucker From Hell or PAF Pro.  :help:
 

Alfang

Senior member
Messages
2,596
Hey spaulding. heres my thoughts,  I have heard all the hype about pickups so close that they deaden the strings vibration or sustain

Those Tone freaks have a million ideas about what makes tone, too close to the strings I dont buy it

I like my pups as close as possible without the strings hitting them or interfearing with my picking.

The closer to the strings the better the "coupling"  better coupling means better signal to noise ratio

I think a quarter of an inch away is close enough, It really comes down to you, how do you think it sounds and plays?
 

DiMitriR33

Senior member
Messages
604
the real concern is with single coils that have a narrow and focused magnetic field. mostly in the neck position. i think the problems are noticable with light strings but the pickups really need to be nearly touching the string.

on the bridge, i'll put the pickup as close as humanly posible without touching the strings at the highest frets. i think bill lawrence says to put a nickel under the high string and raise the pups to that. then put 2 nickles under the low string and do the same but in the end it's all about what sounds good to your ears, not anyone else's
 

WMHOLP

Senior member
Messages
173
Just as a general note, my bridge pickup (an A2 humbucker) is much closer to the strings than my neck pickup (an A3 humbucker).  I like the neck pickup backed away from the strings a little bit to maintain more sustain.  Just my preference.
 

spauldingrules

Senior member
Messages
721
After extensive research, for he who asked, I can safely say I can easily get pinch harmonics from my humbucker from hell in the neck position.  I have to admit, I am really good at pinch harmonics, though - probably because I've never had a high gain amp and had to earn them the hard way!  But it seems to get them relatively well.
 
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