DiMarzio Bluesbucker DP163 Humbucker Pickup
The DiMarzio Bluesbucker is a great pickup. Really cool and very versatile. People frequently seem to lump it in to a category as a bit of a P-90 option. I can see that… rather, hear that. While it took me a bit to wrap my head around the idea of the Bluesbucker on paper before picking up one, I am glad I did.
For this testing and review, I used a double hum superstrat with a DiMarzio PAF Pro in the bridge and the Bluesbucker in the neck. Both pickups have connections to their own push-pull pot for series/parallel applications. As expected, the install was a snap and we were up and going right away.
DiMarzio suggests to consider trying the Bluesbucker with the screw coil in either orientation. I wanted to push the limits in the neck position more than anything, so I left it in the more traditional setup with the screw coils closest to the neck. Man, what a cool vibe. Have you thought about a neck pickup with lows that shake the pillars of heaven without being flabby? Or how about highs with a rich punch that can still deliver enough edge to deftly cut through the mix?
You might see that the Bluesbucker is a “vintage output” category, yet it’s no shrinking violet. It very much holds it’s own to the PAF Pro, which rates about about 30% more output than the Bluesbucker. I think we might have another example of how a pickup’s voice can transcend the numbers. Switching back and forth between pickups was very smooth.
What they try to do with the Bluesbucker is put a lot of the duty on the screw coil, leaving the easy lifting for the slug coil. Pretty much having a second coil there for hum canceling. We seem to see this means of hum canceling a little more in many of the noiseless single coils on the market. The screw coil is about 6.606 K and the slug coil to about 3.446 K. One of the great things I like about asymmetrical coils is how it can really open up the voice.
Push the Bluesbucker and it will take it in stride… dig in and it will jump back with a snappy funk. Once again, you might not think it by the specs (ceramic magnet?! hello!!), but there is plenty of drive to sustain lead work. Slipping over into a clean amp setting, full series mode is quite usable. Rich and full. Going to parallel mode and a whole different beast. Light and airy with chime and sparkle.
It didn’t break a sweat when going from pop rock to hair metal to heavy blues rock to classic rock. I imagine the Bluesbucker would be able to handle most any style of music you throw at it.
Sorry. There is no official Bluesbucker demo from DiMarzio. C’mon Larry, get on the stick will ya? LOL! However, there is a Soundcloud playlist from Premier Guitar that I can throw at you.
Series – 10.013 K
Split – 6.606 K
Split – 3.446 K
Parallel – 2.265 K
Treble – 6.0
Mid – 5.5
Bass – 4.5
Output – 224 mV
Magnet – Ceramic
The Bluesbucker is going to be good for blues rock, hard rock, alternative, grunge, progressive rock, country, funk, indie, blues, jazz, classic rock, and even metal. It is available in over 2 dozen color and cover combinations, 4 pole piece colors, and in either standard or wide pole spacing.
For reference, this DiMarzio Bluesbucker humbucker pickup evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. In addition, real cabs in use are Marshall 1960B, Mojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.
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