Guitar Pickup Review

DiMarzio Pandemonium – Nita Strauss Set

The Pandemonium humbuckers are part of the signature pickup set for metal and rock shredstress Nita Strauss. Add the venerable True Velvet Middle and you have the entire Pandemonium set. This configuration is what Nita uses in her signature Ibanez JIVA guitar.

Nita made her bones playing for the LA-based all-female Iron Maiden cover band called – you guessed it – The Iron Maidens. She also filled in with the reformed Femme Fatale. And if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, her live performances have become a staple at football games and pro wrestling matches. When not playing at sporting events, Nita has a full-time gig with Alice Cooper as well as her own solo career. Check out her releases Controlled Chaos and The Call Of The Void.

DiMarzio Nita Strauss 127265

For today’s purpose, we will look at all pickups. But the True Velvet Middle will get much more of a deep dive in it’s own article as part of the entire True Velvet set.

Disclaimer: I know this is the Interwebz and this is going to come up: there is no “official” selection of pickups called the “Nita Strauss Set”. Her signature pickups are the Pandemonium humbuckers. We are discussing the set that is in her signature Ibanez and referring to them all as a set is just a matter of efficiency on my part. However, I’m guessing that if you call up DiMarzio tech support with a question about the “Nita Strauss Set”, they got you covered. LOL!

DiMarzio Pandemonium Set
Dual Resonance Tech

Dual Resonance is basically mis-matched coils. It’s common for several pickup companies to allow about a 5% variance. But Dual Resonance is an intentional mis-matching of the coils to produce a specific “tuning” of the pickup’s voice. According to the patent, it is pretty much about putting a similar number of turns on each coil. But with different wire gauges.

The Dual Resonance tech is in the Pandemonium neck humbucker only.

Virtual Vintage Tech

What’s that? 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 humbucker. The purpose is to alter the inductance to ”tune” the coil(s) in a way not traditionally possible.

The Virtual Vintage tech is in both humbuckers.

DiMarzio NIta Strauss 326984
Installation

This set is going in to my 1990 Fender American Standard Strat, loaded with an 80s German Floyd Rose. This is the same guitar and hardness as seen in the DiMarzio UtoPIA article. The harness is a CRL 5-way switch, a DiMarzio EP1201PP 500k Push/Pull volume pot, a DiMarzio EP1033 .033 cap, and a Switchcraft 1/4 jack. Guitar has E standard tuning with 09-42 strings.

DiMarzio Pandemoinium
DiMarzio Pandemoinium
Switching

The harness configuration is set to auto-splits in the 2 and 4 positions.

Ibanez PIA Switching System
Ibanez Switching System
DiMarzio Pandemonium Nita Strauss 127280
Evaluation

It is no surprise that this selection of pickups has a foot firmly in hard rock, metal and shred. It’s fair to suggest that this is right at home for most any 80s style high-octane style of player. A riffer’s paradise, if I say so myself. LOL!

The humbuckers are powerful, yet dynamic. If you have a strong pickup that has more compression than character, this is an alternative for you. The bridge position delivers tight rhythms that still allows individual notes to ring through. The sensitivity on the higher strings are a playground for harmonic licks and whammy bar tricks.

When playing the Pandemonium neck, it’s like someone is taking all the best qualities of a classic vocal humbucker range and then injecting it with a modern metal backbone. Bold lows and distinct highs surround a defined mid-range. The Dual Resonance tech at work in this pickup sticks the landing for prototypical pedigree with a contemporary slant.

You’re in for fun on the 2 and 4 position with the True Velvet. The True Velvet is one of the best truly single coil pickups that DiMarzio makes for a classic single coil tone. The auto-split wiring allows for 3 positions of incredibly versatile and totally usable clean and snappy voicings. As a reminder, in 2 and 4 you are blending the True Velvet with the one respective coil of the humbucker closest to the middle. The cool thing is that when split, each Pandemonium coil is about the same DCR as the True Velvet. So there’s a much more even-sounding blend when working your way through each position.

DiMarzio True Velvet Middle
DiMarzio True Velvet Middle
Demo
Nita Strauss Demos DiMarzio’s Pandemonium Pickups

What about in a mix? Glad you asked! LOL! Check out “Dead Inside” from Nita’s 2023 release The Call Of The Void, featuring Disturbed frontman David Draiman.

NITA STRAUSS – Dead Inside (ft. David Draiman of Disturbed)
Specs

Pandemonium Bridge
Series – 13.898 K
Inductance – 7.051 H
Split – 6.925 K
Split – 6.996 K
Parallel – 3.476 K
Magnet – Ceramic
Output – 415 mV

DiMarzio Pandemonium Bridge Tone Guide
DiMarzio Pandemonium Bridge Tone Guide

True Velvet Middle
DCR – 6.286 K
Inductance – 2.562 H
Magnet – Alnico 5
Output – 130 mV

DiMarzio True Velvet Middle Tone Guide
DiMarzio True Velvet Middle Tone Guide

Pandemonium Neck
Series – 12.279 K
Inductance – 6.558 H
Split – 6.752 K
Split – 5.553 K
Parallel – 3.046 K
Magnet – Ceramic
Output – 297 mV

DiMarzio Pandemonium Neck Tone Guide
DiMarzio Pandemonium Neck Tone Guide
DiMarzio Pandemonium Nita Struss 226887
Conclusion

This set is very capable for hard rock, garage, progressive rock, fusion, shred, 80s metal, rock, progressive metal, shred metal, heavy rock, blues rock, tech metal, classic rock, hardcore, and more.

The Pandemonium humbuckers are available in F-space only with an assortment of custom laser-cut covers, a half-dozen traditional covers. The True Velvet Middle is available in black, white, aged white, cream, and mint green covers.

For reference, this DiMarzio Pandemonium 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.

DiMarzio Pandemonium NIta Strauss 327044SQ

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