Joe Satriani. Satch. Even people that don’t play guitar know him as a guitarist’s guitarist. A player that navigated the saturated field of 80s shredders to remind us of the value of playing with a musicality that comes from the gut.
The DNA of the Mo’ Joe can be traced back through the DiMarzio FRED model and on to the DiMarzio PAF Pro model. An Alnico 5-powered pickup with a versatile pedigree. The Mo’ Joe is as responsive to the volume knob as it is the amount of gain you throw at it.
For this review, I am using a neutral-sounding single-hum with maple neck/board and an official Floyd Rose double locking tremolo system. Controls include a Bourns 500k pot and a Switchcraft 1/4″ output jack. It is directed-mounted, using small #2 wood screws that leave the original factory holes unmolested and available for other applications.
Starting with the dirty amp channel, this bad boy delivers a solid and workable musical tonality. The lows are punchy, the mids are even and the highs are present without being sharp. Big open chords ring clearly with presence across the voicing. Chugging riff-rock is articulate. But it does push right to the edge of the slightest smidge of boom in the palm-muted chugga-chugga. And it does it without being offensive.
What surprises me about the Mo’ Joe is how it almost seems to keep it tucked close to the vest… as when you’re jamming along on rhythm sections, there is almost a vibe that’s where this humbucker is at home… and then you break into some lead and solo lines, where the Mo’ Joe delivers more character than you’d have expected just a second ago. It’s the gift that keeps giving! haha! Harmonics jump off the strings and cut through the mix with authority, allowing the Mo’ Joe to keep a foot planted in the shredder realm.
Switching to a clean amp setting, the Mo’ Joe has totally usable tones in series wiring… granted, a little dependent on your picking style. It can be subtle or it can rear its head at you. In parallel mode, the vibe lightens up just enough to allow even more picking dynamics. There was a bit of a conundrum for me here. The high end was a little more pronounced on a clean amp setting that I’d have expected from how this pickup performs on a dirty amp setting. The balanced EQ of this pickup allows for a lot of variety in the clean setting. Picking, strumming, jazzy chords are all controlled by your right hand technique to lay back or jump out.
On both amp settings, the Mo’ Joe is sensitive to attack and finger noise. It’s more open nature is precise enough to keep things tightened up when you need it, which also means it can also reveal more flaws in your playing style than a more saturated pickup.
Series – 9.922 K
Inducatance – 4.879 H
Split – 5.059 K
Split – 4.879 K
Parallel – 2.483
Magnet – Alnico 5
Output – 320 mV
The Mo’ Joe is available in all the fun DiMarzio colors that you can find on the DiMarzio website. Pole pieces options are nickel, gold, and black. It is available in standard and f-spacing.
For reference, this DiMarzio Mo’ Joe bridge humbucker pickup evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. Real cabs in use are Marshall 1960B, Mojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s, Classic Series G12M Greenbacks, and Heritage Series G12-65s.
7 string 59 Alnico 2 Alnico 3 Alnico 4 Alnico 5 Alnico 8 Bare Knuckle BKP Brown Sound Celestion Ceramic Custom Shop Dean DiMarzio DMT Dual Resonance EVH Fishman Floyd Rose Fluence Gibson Humbucker Ibanez JB Jimmy Page John Petrucci MJ Mojotone P90 PAF Pariah Pickup Professor Guitarism Satch Satriani Schaller Seymour Duncan Singlecoil Single Width Speaker Steve Vai Tech Tip Tremolo Virtual Vintage