Guitar Pickup Review

DiMarzio Area Stacked Strat Set

The DiMarzio Area series of pickups advances the approach to noiseless single-space pickups. This line of single-coil size noiseless pickups lays sight on some of the most desirable classing Strat tones. The result is a selection of dead-quiet Strat pickups that transport you to the 50s and 60s. How so? By using patented DiMarzio tech. Let’s take a look at those methods.

Virtual Vintage
DiMarzio Virtual Vintage
DiMarzio Virtual Vintage

For the most part, they put ”dummy poles” between the normal pole pieces. The installation is in the underside of the bobbin, so they are not visible when looking at your typical operating pickup. But with the stack design, you can see them on the bottom of the flatwork. The purpose is to alter the inductance to ”tune” the coil(s) in a way not traditionally possible.

Stack Design
DiMarzio Stack
DiMarzio Stack

There are a couple of things going on with this patent. The most significant takeaway (in my opinion) is the thin plate of magnetic material between coils. Think of the metal aperture wrapping up the sides of a typical Jaguar-style pickup. Now imagine it between the two coils in a single-width stack. Or if you have one, you don’t have to wonder. Just pull off the pickup cover and see it for yourself.

The purpose of the metal plate is to direct, or to focus, the magnetic field for a more efficient interaction between the magnets and the strings.

DiMarzio Area Green

For installation, the Area set goes in a 1990 American Standard Stratocaster with a maple neck and board. There is a vintage taper 250K CTS pots, CRL 5-way switch, Switchcraft jack, and Luxe 1952-1958 Phone Book paper & oil .1uF capacitor. It is E standard tuning with 09-42 gauge strings.

Since I have one of each of the models, I am pretty much copying the suggested setup for the DiMarzio pre-wired Area Strat Replacement Pickguard. Area 58 neck, Area 67 middle, and Area 61 bridge.

DiMarzio Area Blue
DiMarzio Area Blue
Area 58 (neck)

In the neck position, the 58 is a little more warm and full. You know, what you expect from a pickup in the neck position. LOL! The thing with a lot of single coils in the neck position is that they can lose definition. The 58 solves that issue by delivering a heaping healthy dose of clarity to hold things together. It also manages to do so while presenting a bold presence.

Area 58 Specs

Series – 6.115 K
Inductance – 2.703 H
Split – 1.2872 K
Split – 4.827 K
Parallel – 1.1074 K
Magnet – Alnico 2
Output – 125 mV

Area 58 Tone Guide
Area 58 Tone Guide

Area 67 (middle)

I am really liking the Area 67. In the middle position, I’m finding it to be a bit of a Goldilocks pickup. Not too warm and not too bright. Not too quiet and not too loud. Everything is just right, and tasty too! HaHa! For my preferences, it ticks all the boxes. The tonal footprint of the 67 has a striking character that makes it a real clutch player in this position. If I were to break out this set and put this assortment in different positions, the 67 would be the one to try in the bridge.

Area 67 Specs

Series – 5.947 K
Inductance – 2.683 H
Split – 1.2827 K
Split – 4.665 K
Parallel – 1.0064 K
Magnet – Alnico 2
Output – 120 mV

Area 67 Tone Guide
Area 67 Tone Guide

Area 61 (bridge)

With a little more output, the 61 is fairly snappy in the bridge position. Plenty off spunky sass and lots of audacious attitude to spare. The 61 is directed a little toward the Texas Strat sound. Some people think that means smokey and warm and extra output. But not so. A really clean and really clear classic Strat single coil is the recipe going into a boost pedal and then an array of tone-centric amps. If you have the pedal and amps, the 61 will take you the rest of the way.

As an aside. For my money, if you like the character of the Fast Track 1 but not the “rail” appearance, try the Ara 61. Or vice versa.

Area 61 Specs

Series – 6.584 K
Inductance – 2.912 H
Split – 1.2686 K
Split – 5.294 K
Parallel – 1.036 K
Magnet – Alnico 2
Output – 142 mV

Area 61 Tone Guide
Area 61 Tone Guide

All of these models take dirty amp tones very well, while still having the characteristic woody single coil response. The 2 and the 4 positions has the in-between quack. Great news for fans of Jimi, Eric, and Stevie. I’m also finding the positions to work quite well for the dirty amp channels it you want a little more signal off the string.


Here is a video for the installation of the DiMarzio pre-wired Strat Pickguard, loaded with this Area set. There is a demo at the end of the video.

How to Install the New DiMarzio Solderless Strat Pickguard

Every model has obvious strengths. I definitely hope to come back to each model as a full set in the future. DiMarzio has been making hum canceling stacked Strat pickups for over 40 years. The Area models is another example of how DiMarzio gives great consideration to the tone while not being restrained by conventional standards.

These are going to be good for country, blues, funk, indie, reggae, pop, classic rock, jazz, surf genres and more! The Area models of stacked hum canceling Strat pickups are available with a dozen different cover color options. You can buy them by the each to mix and match them for the best suitability for your needs.

DiMarzio Area White
DiMarzio Area White

For reference, this DiMarzio Area set evaluation was conducted with the following: Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. ADA MP-1 Tube Pre-Amp loaded with Tube Amp Doctor ECC83 Premium Selected tubes, using the ADA MC-1 MIDI Controller. Fryette LX II Stereo Tube Power Amplifier. Physical cabs use are Marshall 1960BMojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.

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