Music Intrusment Reviews

Top 10 Best DiMarzio Pickups For Your Consideration

Top 10 Best DiMarzio Pickups For Your Consideration







Feature Reviews

Guitars: Top 10 Best DiMarzio Pickups For Your Consideration



Before we look at the Best DiMarzio Pickups, let me take you down memory lane…

If you are a musician and have been to New York, you’re lucky. It may be that someone took you out of Manhattan and over to Staten Island. To the uninitiated, it is an island, with some rather nice beaches. But it is not the beaches it is famous for.

It is home to a famous music shop, Mandolin Brothers. I was taken there because I happen to like Bob Dylan, and he used to go there. As did George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, and a list of other names. It was doing ok then but has sadly deteriorated these days.

Across the pond…

It had a similar feel to those 1960s days at Marshall’s in Hanwell, West London. You just expected ‘someone’ to walk through the door. Just like Marshall, it was a family business, and we were made very welcome.

But down the road was another important player in the music world. It was here that Larry DiMarzio set up shop in 1971 and then in 1972 launched a masterpiece on the world. The ‘Super Distortion’ and ‘Dual Sound’ pickups changed things; they were the Best DiMarzio Pickups of the day.

Time for some alternatives…

Effectively, before then, you used the pickups you got with the guitar. Now there were alternatives you could replace them with. And what replacements they were.

They sizzled and gave Larry and his company a big reputation. A reputation that still exists today. Finding the Best DiMarzio Pickup is not going to be easy, but we’re here to do just that. So, let’s get straight to it…

Best DiMarzio Pickup
Best DiMarzio Pickup

Top 10 Best DiMarzio Pickup On The Market In 2021 Review

1 DiMarzio {FEEDTITLE} Electric Guitar Gig Bag (DP100FBK) – Best Premium DiMarzio Pickup

Let us start back in those heady days on Staten Island in the mid-70s. Everyone wanted a piece of the DiMarzio humbucker action. This pickup was modeled on the original 70s classics. But it is built for one thing. Overdrive.

This humbucker wants to let rip. But it has a little more in the tank than that. Stay tuned, and you will find out why.

A whole lotta punch…

But it isn’t all about power. It also has a great tone. The one thing that all the great humbucking pickups have in common is that they combine power and tone. Here is one of the best examples.

It is fair to say that this, like the original, has been designed to do one thing. And that is to push a valve amp as far as it can go. Remember, the original came at a time when the tube amps of Marshall, HiWatt, and Orange ruled the rock world.

Marshall probably still does, but those early valve amps found a soulmate with these pickups.

Exceptional tone balance…

This humbucker is loud and growls at you dangerously. But it has great tones that are balanced. The lows thick, the highs powerful but not too sharp, and the mids boosted. No wonder that a lot of musicians seized on these.

It is fair to say that a lot of designs for pickups that followed used this as their benchmark. Furthermore, it created a standard that is still admired. In fact, more than admired, it is still used. It has been the choice for a lot of well-known players.

There’s more…

Let’s look at what else is in the tank. Yes, it is going to scream at you and give you some serious overdrive. Yes, if you don’t control it, this one will bite. But it crosses genres and is suitable for a variety of differing styles.

Toned down a bit, and it can be quite gentle, albeit with a slightly rough edge. But it will cover the complete range of rock music. Not many can say that.

A classic?

Of course. The best replacement humbucker pickup for overdrive full stop? Could be. And at a price that is more than reasonable.


  • Great vintage humbucking pickup.
  • A big powerful overdrive pickup with great tones.


  • You must be joking. There are none.

2 DiMarzio DP173 Twang King Tele Bridge Pickup Black – Best DiMarzio Telecaster Bridge Pickup

To prove that DiMarzio is not just all about raging overdrive, meet the DiMarzio DP173. The pickup they call the Twang King.

If you are a Telecaster fan, and there are a lot of us about, this replacement for the Bridge pickup is going to interest you.

Here’s why…

The Fender Telecaster is an iconic guitar. Certainly a legend in rock n roll and Country circles. But just like their arch-rivals Gibson, there have been times when the mist came down. And they both turned out, dare we say it? Rubbish?

The bodies and the necks were often, though not always, fine. But they lost the sound. DiMarzio decided to give those Tele players what they needed most. Some real Tele twang. However, they couldn’t just copy what had gone before, though.

It had to be a little different…

They used Alnico 5 magnets calibrated by hand with double conductor wiring. The number of winds around the bobbin is so important. The more you have, the more output the pickup will produce. The controlled-tension coil-winding on this pickup generates a lot of output. For a single-coil, it is quite special.

Do you happen to have a Tele that has either lost its twang or, in some cases, never actually had it? This will do the job. A great attacking crisp sound on both lows and highs with a dynamic range that is wide.

A little extra…

This pickup will respond to your style of playing. Hit the strings softly, and it will give you a mellow tone. Hit them a bit harder, and you get the sound the Telecaster is famous for. For some, though, it might not be the easiest to fit.

A good pick up at a sensible price. It’s a superb replacement for the Telecaster bridge pickup. Without a doubt, a contender for the Best DiMarzio Pickup.


  • A powerful single-coil with a wide dynamic range.
  • Produces that Telecaster twang.

3 DiMarzio DP416 Area ’61 Pickup White – Best Value For Your Money DiMarzio Pickup

Not an Area 51 pickup, but an Area 61. We all know about Area 51 and what is (supposedly) in it. But what goes into the making of this DP416 Area ’61 Pickup from DiMarzio? You’re about to find out.

Reaching for the stars…

It was designed to try and replicate the sound of an early Stratocaster. Much is made about the sound of the early 1960s Strats. How they sounded like this, and how they sounded like that.

The reality is, it depends on who is playing it. Some Strats sound exceptional in the right hands. While others are not so good, especially in the wrong hands.

Versatile and distinct…

This is a pickup that can sit anywhere in the three pickup positions. It hasn’t, it must be said, recaptured the sound exactly because DiMarzio has changed some things. In fact, it sounds like a combination of quite a few early 60s sounds.

It produces a much higher level of sustain than the originals by creating less magnet-pull. The wiring includes four conductors, and it has an Alnico 2 magnet. It is given an aged white color. And it will certainly react to your playing style from clean, bright sounds to a harder edge. One aspect that will please some people is that it produces very little hum.

A single-coil humbucker?

Some might call it a humbucker since it fits the definition. It reduces hum. However, it doesn’t exactly sound like what many will think it should sound like, based on that word.

Sits anywhere on a Strat…

One big plus with this pickup is that it is going to sit neatly in any Strat copy. Or a genuine Fender Strat with pickups that leave a little to be desired, for that matter. It is your choice where you locate it.

One thing is for certain you won’t be disappointed with the sound it will give you. Of course, it isn’t a pure 60s Strat, but it is a great single-coil sound that will make a big difference to nearly all guitars as a replacement.

Also, it’s set at a reasonable price point, which is always a bonus.


  • Single-coil sound but without the hum.
  • Can be placed in any of the three Strat pickup positions.


  • Isn’t quite the Strat sound from the 60s some might expect.

4 DiMarzio DP155 Tone Zone Humbucker Pickup Black Regular – Most Versatile DiMarzio Humbucker Pickup

The Tone Zone from DiMarzio is said to have the widest tonal curve amongst all the modern humbuckers. It creates a unique sound that was used by Joe Satriani, who was the first to unearth its potential.

So, how would you describe the sound? Stick around, and we’ll throw some light on it.

Highly responsive…

It is a powerful pickup with a high output. But nevertheless, it still manages to give you plenty of tonal options. Like nearly all DiMarzio pickups, it reacts to your own style.

Play it gently, and it can be quite soft. But give it some stick, and it will give it right back, and then some.

Detailed overtones…

The dual resonance coils will give you plenty of overtones. The Alnico 5 magnets working overtime. Chords are fat and powerful.

Individual notes have plenty of depth and carry a rich sound. If you need a bit extra from your bridge pickup, then this could be the way to go.

How can we describe the sound?

It is a combination of two sounds. In 1955 Gibson began to use the PAF, an early humbucker design. It was placed on the better models. They stopped using it in 1962. A coveted and sought after sound. We’ll call this ‘Sound One.’

‘Sound Two’ came from Satriani’s favorite bridge pickup that became known as FRED. Similar power to the PAF prototypes but with more color in the sound. And a lot more of what he calls ‘growl.’

Put them together, and what have you got? The DiMarzio DP155 Tone Zone Humbucker Pickup. A leading candidate for the Best DiMarzio Pickup.

Boosted across the board…

The lows, highs, and the mids are all boosted, giving it a sound that hits hard. In fact, it sounds a bit like you’ve cranked up the EQ on your amp.

This can make an ordinary guitar sound like a good one. Think about what that might do to your sound?


  • Plenty of power and tone.
  • Frequency boosts from low to high give a sound that hits hard.


  • Might be too much power for some.

5 DiMarzio Sonic Ecstasy Bridge Humbucker Pickup – Best Metal DiMarzio Pickup

John Petrucci of Dream Theater worked closely on the design and performance of this DiMarzio pickup. This is the Sonic Ecstasy Bridge Humbucker. It was built to fit into his solid body guitars.

He tends to use Ernie Ball Music Man instruments, so it’s worthwhile to check the size of your guitar. This pickup measures 4.21 x 2.28 x 2.28 inches.

No average pickup…

This is the first DiMarzio we have looked at that really steps outside of the most commonly used guitars. It is a pickup designed for the bridge position and has a ceramic magnet.

Ceramic magnets are stronger than the norm and tend to help the mid and bass sounds of a guitar. Even when used with a lot of gain, they maintain their clarity. This makes them ideal for metal and heavy rock bands who play at a fast pace.

This pickup is voiced to suit Petrucci. And you can certainly hear the thick tone and aggressive sound it produces and that he is known for. Additionally, it features F-spacing so that it can be used with guitars that have tremolos.

Standing out from the crowd…

Up until now, the pickups we have looked at have been basic in their visual design. In many ways, mirroring the pickups, they will be replacing. No bad a thing in our view.

This is a step away from that format and comes with a patterned design on the custom pickup cover.

You will either like it or not. For us, it doesn’t do much, but as we say, it will appeal to some. There is a bit of a downside to this pickup, and that is the price point. It is not going to be a cheap addition to your guitar.


  • Plenty of output with a thick, rich tone.
  • Ideal for Metal and fast-paced Rock.

6 DiMarzio DP120 Model One Bass Humbucker Pickup – Best DiMarzio Bass Pickup

Yes, dear bass guitarists. We hear you. The most important instrument in the band and no pickups for you. Here is one, and you are about to find out all about why this is important.

This was initially created as a direct replacement for the neck pickup on the Gibson EB0 and EB3. That particular pickup, with its ‘mud bucket’ nickname, was highly criticized.

But as with most things, you just had to know how to use it to get the most out of it.

Why is it an important pickup?

This variant has changed the sound of the EB neck pickups. There is no doubt about that, and it is an important feature for those looking to get a different sound.

The tone is cleaner and brighter than the original, but we are not sure that was necessary. If you want a clean sound, then maybe you should be looking at a Fender.

Breaking from standard pickups…

Likewise, if you want a Precision bass sound from this pickup, you aren’t going to get that either. It is very much its own thing with its own sound.

The neck pickup on the EB0 is the only pickup on the guitar. Change that, and it will change the sound of the guitar completely.

With the EB3, it is part of a team. If you want to change the sound of your Gibson or Epiphone, then it is worth looking at.

Great for a Gibson…

It has a ceramic magnet and has adjustable poles. An Allen key for making those adjustments is included. It measures 4.2 by 2.3 by 2.1 inches, so it is made to fit those Gibson basses. However, over the years, there have been some subtle changes in size to that front pickup. You may find it doesn’t quite fit as snugly as you would like.

Fitting on the Epiphone version, you may need to perform a little surgery to get it to fit. That being said, it is a pickup that will give you a variant on the original.


  • A direct replacement for the Gibson EB series neck pickup.
  • Sharper and brighter tone.


  • Could be fitting problems.

7 DiMarzio DP186 Cruiser Neck Pickup White – Most Powerful DiMarzio Single-coil Pickup

This pickup from DiMarzio is somewhat of a cross between a single-coil and a DiMarzio humbucker. No humbucker can ever recreate that single-coil sound, so there are going to be some tonal differences.

Furthermore, this is not going to be a straightforward like-for-like swap on your Strat or Tele.

Ceramic Single-coil?

It is built as a single-coil but has a ceramic pickup. That in itself is going to give you a different sound that is fatter and with more bottom end. Plus, much more of the humbucker growl sound.

Additionally, its noiseless design eliminates the ‘60 cycle hum’. That will please those that are not that enamored by a little hum.

But there is a straight issue here that cannot be ignored. If you want a ‘real vintage-sounding’ Strat or Tele, you must use pure single-coil pickups. And those pickups will hum. “Say goodnight to the folks, Gracie!”

Up your output…

However, if you want a little extra on your sound, then this will certainly do that for you. And it is powerful. The low magnetic pull will allow you to get this Cruiser very close to the strings. That helps give you a big output. The harmonics are quite good, and the mid-range pronounced.

Another interesting feature is that the design allows you to split the pick up. The dual design gives you one coil acting very much like a woofer and the other as a tweeter. That opens up some interesting configurations and sound options.

For guitarists who don’t want the norm…

It does give you some alternative options and a different sound, but it comes at a price.


  • Adds thickness to the sound of your single-coil guitar.
  • Very powerful output.


  • If you are looking for a better single-coil sound, then this probably isn’t it.

8 DiMarzio DP138 Virtual Acoustic Pickup with Volume Control – Best DiMarzio Acoustic Guitar Pickup

It is certain that a company known for its pickups will produce products for acoustic guitars. The DiMarzio DP138 Virtual Acoustic Pickup is one of them. Amplifying acoustic guitars is a very difficult area to work in.

Why is that?

Acoustic guitars all have their own special sound signature. Especially high-quality instruments. Typically, manufacturers design their acoustic guitars to project glorious resonant sounds with the low end full of warmth and depth.

These are enhanced by prominent mids and crisp highs. Recapturing that sound to amplify it is a near impossibility.

So why bother?

Well, if you are a musician who needs to amplify their guitar, you have three options. You can use a mic through a PA or buy a guitar with a piezo or similar built-in pickup. Or you can buy an external pickup like this one.

Top-quality sound is unlikely to be achieved by a piezo. So, if you want an acoustic pickup, then this is the only way to go.

Beautifully balanced…

DiMarzio hasn’t built a pickup to replicate the exact sound of a guitar. They are all different. What it has done with this is to create a pickup that will reproduce a balanced acoustic sound. One that will work well across all the frequencies.

This is a ceramic magnet pickup that mounts in the soundhole of your guitar. The sound is quite natural, with very little external noise or hum. It fits easily on all guitars and can be located and removed very easily.

Additionally, there’s some foam padding to protect the body of your guitar when fitting.

Careful with the controls…

There is a volume control attached to the pickup, which is a slider control. You slide the control up to increase the volume. This can be a bit of a problem with some aggressive strumming.

You can inadvertently turn the guitar volume up. Maybe it might have been better the other way round and slide down for volume up.

Set your sound…

Tones need to be handled by your amp, of course, which is quite right. EQs on acoustic-electric guitars are usually rather inefficient. With this, the sound reproduced is solid across all frequencies.

Therefore, you can set the sound exactly as you like it. If you use a good amp, noted for acoustic guitar amplification, you are going to get good results.

A nice pickup for an acoustic guitar that is set at a good price point, making it an attractive option.


  • Easy to fit and remove.
  • Produces a very natural sound with very low external noise.


  • Volume control can sometimes be a problem.

9 DiMarzio DP418 Area T Tele Bridge Pickup Black – Best Budget DiMarzio Pickup

Some Telecaster enthusiasts are going to jump for joy with this pickup. This DP418 Area T Tele Bridge Pickup from DiMarzio does what a Telecaster pickup is supposed to do.

Sharp and choppy…

Fitted with Alnico 2 magnets, the sound generated is not humbucker thick. It is a Telecaster pickup, sharp and choppy.

Great Telecaster pickups all do the same things. They have a snappy low-end and singing highs, with powerful and prominent mids. Like them or loathe them, that is what they do. This particular model is recommended for the bridge position.

An ideal Telecaster upgrade…

First introduced in 2007, it has become a go-to pickup for those wanting to replace or upgrade their Telecaster sound. This has to be considered as one of the best pickups they make.

One of the first things you will notice about this pickup is the dynamics. Like most quality pickups these days, it can identify your playing style and react accordingly. It will adjust itself instantly for a sharper style with more attack. Relax a bit for softer moments.

Easy to adjust…

When placed near the strings, the output is high. There are adjusters to allow you to get the distance from the strings that are best for you. The Alnico 2 magnets ensure you don’t get a problem with string pull.

This is a powerful single-coil that does what all single-coils do well. As such, it makes it a great pickup at a very competitive price.


  • Produces a great single-coil Telecaster sound.
  • Very attractive price point.


  • Not for those who want a thicker sound.

10 DiMarzio DP112 Pre B-1 Tele Bridge Pickup Black – Most Powerful DiMarzio Pickup

This pickup from DiMarzio has been manufactured for those who want to change the sound of their Telecaster. The Tele has a notorious high-end because that is what it does. However, this pickup is designed to calm all that down.

Taps down the twang…

It flattens out the high-end and takes away the sharp attack. It replaces it with fatter high-frequencies and boosted mids and lows. And while they were at it, they gave it a bit more power. Quite a bit actually, increasing the output by about 25%.

The inevitable outcome of that is a much thicker sound to the overdrive and a lot more sustain. A bit more like, yes, a humbucker. Are we surprised? Not really.

To each their own…

The only thing that surprises us is that people buy a Telecaster and then try and change it to something else. If you don’t like the sound, don’t buy the guitar.

We are sorry, but it doesn’t do much for us. It will, though, suit some who want to change their Telecaster into something else.


  • An increase in power if you need it.
  • Adds a thicker sound with more sustain if that is what you want.


  • Changes the Telecaster into something it isn’t.

Best DiMarzio Pickup Buying Guide

Best DiMarzio Pickup Review
Best DiMarzio Pickup Review

At the outset, it is important that you are clear in your mind why you want to change the sound of your guitar. If the pickups are weak and need a boost, a like-for-like change is a good idea.

This especially applies if you are playing a Fender or a Gibson copy. The pickups fitted on those probably aren’t the best. The body and neck might be acceptable. But a boost to the sound might be a good idea.

They won’t reinvent your guitar…

If you have become bored with the sound of your guitar, then you need to think. Why did you buy it in the first place? We have seen quite a few people who have tried to change the very essence of what their guitar is all about.

They do this by changing the pickups. It doesn’t always work.

Substitute for single-coils…

The most common is adding humbuckers, where single-coils used to be. The DiMarzio FS-1 that Dave Gilmour added to his Strat and used for ‘Comfortably Numb’ was a Strat pickup.

They called it a Fat Strat as it added a bit of low end. But it wasn’t a humbucker, as we understand that phrase, even though it did have less noise.

Changing your pickups is a risky business sometimes. It will affect how you sound, and it will affect how your band sounds. DiMarzio will certainly have something that will suit. And it will be good, no doubt about that. But choose wisely.

Looking for more pickup options?

Then check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Guitar Pickups, the Best Telecaster Guitar Pickups, the Best P 90 Pickups, the Best Precision Bass Pickups, the Best Jazz Bass Pickups, and the Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups you can buy.

Or perhaps you need some guitar accessories? If that’s the case, we have you covered. Take a look at our reviews of the Best Guitar Cables, the Best Guitar Strings, the Best Electric Guitar Strings, the Best Guitar Pedalboard, and the Best Electric Guitar Cases currently on the market in 2021.

So, what is the Best DiMarzio Pickup?

We are not going to change sounds. We are happy with what we’ve got. But we are going to up the stakes a little on one guitar. It will be a similar sound but an awful lot better.

We are going back to Staten island to make some noise. Therefore, we are going to pick the …

DiMarzio {FEEDTITLE} Electric Guitar Gig Bag (DP100FBK)

A great pickup at a great price. It can do it all and handle anything you throw at it.

Until next time, enjoy your pickup modifications, and may your music always be merry.


To find out more about Art and our other writers, please check out our About Us page.



Leave Comment