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Rating and Reviews: DiMarzio DP103 PAF Pickup

This humbucker pickup delivers tough yet warm vintage tone. The modern potting techniques help to eliminate unwanted noise.

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"Worth every penny." submitted December 8, 2013

By The Voice Of Reason in kansas city, KS
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Musical Background: 27 years experience.
Music Style: Blue, R&B, Rock
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Overall: KNOW what your paying before you buy it. If you have a sound your looking for ...you research it and find the pickup that suits YOUR rig. This pickup does EXACTLY as it describes. If you expect it to do something different, that's on you. Another reviewer here brags about his years and years of experience, yet he takes his gear to "professionals" for repairs and upgrades. THIS PAF has recessed bass and high's, with a vocal and blooming midrange. Period! It is Dimarzio's take on the smoother, more laid back 50's Gibson PAF. It is similar in tone to what Eddie used early on ...but a little less power. Another reviewer here said ...he "heard" that the Seymour Duncan 59', the Gibson Classic and this Dimarzio were the same. Seriously? They are NOT, and only an inexperienced reviewer would state that. Seymour Duncan PAF's are a copy of a 50's Gibson PAF that had BIG bass, recessed mids, and bright high's . The Gibson PAF the other reviews is comparing here is a ALNICO II magnet ...ALNICO II!!! They have a unique sound compared to ALNICO V. To compare pickups with differend mags and expect similar results ...as Einstein said ...is insanity. The other reviewer here ...described the Dimarzio sound as thin and quacky!!! THAT sounds exactly like he or "his professional" installed the pickups OUT OF PHASE!!! IF you want a killer vintage quality pickup with a singing vocal range this pickup IS IT, at the best price in the market. IF you want to play DEATH metal with monster bass and cutting/bright highs ...you DON'T buy a vintage pickup like this. Finally, if YOU fail to do your research and don't know what your buying, then go on to flame the pickup and it's company ....as Einstein said ...is the definition of insanity.
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"Myth Debunked" submitted January 17, 2014

By Toby P in Palm Desert, CA
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Musical Background: 38 yrs
Music Style: rock, country, blues, Christian,
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Overall: On the review that says "...Avoid Like The Plague, Cautionary Tale. Sounds like the reviewer used an incorrect wiring procedure. Each manufacturer uses different wire color schemes for hot/cold/coil tap, etc... Match wiring color for color between old pick ups and new pick ups is a common mistake even for a few guitar techs. A quick review of correct wiring is certain to fix the problem.
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"Classic Humbucker, Low Output and TONE, TONE, TONE." submitted November 11, 2008

By a customer from live.com
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Musical Background: Guitarist for 28 years.
Music Style: Rock, Country, Jazz
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: A perfect sound from a very low output pickup (203 millivolts). Very warm and full without being harsh at all. This pickup goes a long way to keep your signal from breaking up (get your overdrive from your pedal and/or amp). No dirt, just TONE. Great for Chet Atkins-style playing, or any Rockabilly, Country, or Jazz. Good for Rock 'n' Roll, too. Ed Van Halen used this type of pickup on the first six Van Halen albums. Great versatility! Feature: Comes with 4-conductor wiring for single-coil and series-parallel coil switching, if that's your thing. Wire the center leads together for standard, classic PAF series wiring. Ease of Use: Just wire it up. Works best with a 500K audio-taper pot for both volume and tone controls. Don't forget to place a .001 uf ceramic capacitor between the center and hot lugs on the pot, that way your treble will stay intact when you roll down the volume to your taste. Turn your amp up all the way, and use the guitar volume to control clen-to-overdrive. That's the good old-fashioned way, and it's still the best. Fuzz Faces and Tube Screamers will clean right up if you use the guitar volume to control gain. Quality: The DP103 'Original Design' PAF is a very reliable pickup, as long as you don't spill liquid on it. This pickup is warm and fat with a good, even EQ built in. There's a wax sealer in the pickup to eliminate microphonics and harsh feedback. Value: Very good value for $60. Best deal on the best pickup available. The Wow Factor: Looks great, and sounds better. I prefer the creme-color, but black is totally fine, too. Overall: Get some of these while you can, because Dimarzio is going to replace this model with a "new" DP103, with a harsher, higher (250+ mv) output (yuck).
30 of 32 people (93.75%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Warning pickup to avoid like the plague. A cautionary tale" submitted May 13, 2013

By Star L in Orlando, FL
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Musical Background: 45 years experience, Guitar, Bass, semi Pro
Music Style: Modern and Classic Rock, Modern country, Blues
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Overall: I have been playing guitar for 45 years professionally. I have owned many quality guitars and occasionally done my own repairs and upgrades to my instruments. But generally leave it to the real pros for my guitar work. This is just to let you know I am not an amateur, that my experience and expertise is extensive. I recently purchased a PRS Single cut SE for playing live. Not the quality of my Gibson Les Paul Custom, but a less expensive quality guitar that could take the rigors of live performance and still sound good. I decided to upgrade the stock pickups to get a better quality sound. I heard the Gibson 57' Classic, Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan were all about the same. (NOT! Read on.) I looked at the price of all 3 brands and decided on the Dimarzio DP103 and DP223. The Gibson's were twice price. I then had the best guitar work guy in the state install the new Dimarzio pickups. I soon discovered why there was such a price difference between Gibson and Dimarzio. And it is NOT just the name brand thing. The Dimarzio DP 103 and DP 223 pickups are poor at best. And that's being way to kind. The pickups are very thin sounding, no warmth, no bottom end, no roundness! They were so trebly and "twangy" sounding that the guitar sounded more like a really cheap single coil Squire Stratocaster than a PRS with Humbucker's. Frankly, Dimarzio pickups do not rate the one star. But it gets worse. Read on. One of the reasons I chose the Dimazio was they have an "exchange" program. Supposedly if you are unhappy with the product they will exchange for a different pickup. Yeah right! So I called Dimarzio and spoke to their "tech support" guy. I politely explained the pickups were just not the sound I expected and would like to exchange them for one of their other pickup models. From the start, he was extremely rude. I was told there was nothing wrong with the pickups and there was no way Dimarzio would exchange them. Period! I politely asked again, saying that I really needed to exchange them and was there someone in management that I could appeal to for an exchange. The Dimarzio "tech support" guy replied NO! “Not going to happen”. Period! Without a doubt this was the rudest and worse support I have ever encountered in my musical career. (I suspect they only have one "support guy" too. I finally advised him, I would probably have to return them to the retailer then. He said "You do what you have to do", And then he hung up on me. So that's just what I did. I returned them. The retailer was awesome. I had no such problems with them and an exchange. They happily exchanged them for the Gibson 57' Classic and Classic plus no problem. And WOW! What a Difference. Pay the extra amount for the Gibson 57' Classic's. They have an incredible sounding pickup that just keeps giving. Worth every penney. Just go read the reviews on the Gibson 57's. They are all true. Avoid Dimarzio products like the plague. Trust me. This is THE review to read if you are considering Dimarzio pickups. Buyer beware, you get what you pay for.
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