The DiMarzio Super Distortion is probably one of the best known replacement humbuckers in the DiMarzio lineup. A while back, I talked about the Super 2, which has almost the exact opposite EQ at the Super D and is commonly used for the neck position. Today, I’m looking at the Super 3, used primarily for the bridge position.
The Super 3 has a similar output to the Super D. It also has a similar appearance, with the 2 rows of hex head screws that is most commonly associated with DiMarzio. The tone is what really sets it apart. More than anything, it’s a little thicker sounding. A bit less high end and a bit more in the mids.
What sets the Super 3 apart is the tighter low end. You get a little more focused attack on the low strings, so if you like that 80s chugga-chugga palm-muted chugging between your power chords, the Super 3 will keep your bottom end more controlled.
But don’t confuse “thick” with muddy or dark. The Super 3 responds very well to tapped and pinched harmonics and allows plenty of singing sustain. It might seem like a bit of a paradox, as the highs are not all that sharp for the amount of bite the pickup delivers. While definitely not a dull or a soft high end, just riding that fine line between not too much of this extreme and not too little of the other.
I have mine in a mahogany back, maple top super strat with bolt-on maple neck with a maple board and a double locking tremolo. I’ve seen other guys use the Super 3 in a Les Paul. From the examples I seen from other players using the Super 3, it’s proven to be more versatile than expected from the specs.
One of the more well-known users of the Super 3 is Phil Collen, with Def Leppard. Check it out in a live setting from the 2016 tour:
As for the tech side, that paradox keep on coming. For the same output range, the Super D is wound to 13.68k. The Super 2 is wound to 8.7k. The Super 3 is wound to about 25.0k. That’s right, the Super 3 is about 3x as much resistance as the Super 2. And almost 2x as much as the Super D. More proof that DC resistance does not equal output. But the resistance in the Super 3 does factor in for a bit of the thick and compressed qualities.
Inductance – 7.53 H
North – 13.40 k
South – 13.38 k
Parallel – 6.7 k
T – 5.0
M – 8.0
B – 6.5
Magnet – Ceramic
Let’s say you like the Super D. But you want a little more control in the lows and an overall tighter voice. The Super 3 is worth your time.