Whether or not your guitar already comes with decent pickups, there may be times when you'll want to consider adding a new set. With certain exceptions, swaps are often relatively straightforward; they should only take a short while to do. Just remember that when dipping into the world of pickups, it pays not to jump the gun. If you've landed here, you've narrowed it down to Seymour Duncan Vs Dimarzio pickups. Both of these manufacturers create some good stuff, and it will all boil down to which is suitable for your specific needs.
There are quite a few well-known (and lesser-known) brands vying for your music-making dollar. Do your research first by comparing different models side-by-side and choose what feels right. This article is for a general idea of the brands, but we also have direct comparisons of individual models to check out.
Buying new pickups won’t make you a better guitarist. But they can improve your tone. Read on to find out which suits your guitar best.
In all honesty, guitar tone preference is such an individual thing. Do you like metal, blues, country, pop, or any other genre? Do you run your amp with boosted or scooped mids? Do you like American or British-style overdrive? The list goes on!
In terms of finding the right pickup, Dimarzio has an easier-to-navigate website. You can directly compare the bass, mids, and treble of each pickup style with a ton of options.
Seymour Duncan has just as many quality pickups, but you will have to click into each pickup individually which is much more time-consuming. They offer more signature pickup sets, making it easier to find the matching tones for your favorite artists for a reasonable price than Dimarzio’s equivalent pickups.
These are both great companies for high-quality pickups. For my preferences, these are my favorites.
For a classic Tele sound, I prefer Dimarzio. In particular, the DP17 Twang King. On the other hand, if you want to beef up your Tele with a fat pick-up, you can’t go past the Seymour Duncan STR-3. Although, I'd save my thick tones for a humbucking guitar or a Strat.
Jimi Hendrix has got to be the most famous Strat player ever. Seymour Duncan has a great handwired signature set that emulates his tone perfectly. If you love Jimi, this is the set for you. They also have the “Everything Axe” set, which are single-coil-sized humbuckers. These are incredibly versatile and are probably my favorite all ‘round. Yet, they’re not exactly classic strat pickups, so keep that in mind.
I prefer Dimarzio for rail single-coil pickups though. Give their site a browse for one that matches your desired tone if that is what you’re after.
Here is where it gets a bit contentious. Seymour Duncan blackouts are kind of an industry standard for high gain metal. Yet, there are a lot of people out there that HATE them. Personally, I am a fan. They are used by so many famous metal guitarists and remain one of the most popular active pickups for a reason.
This is a toss-up between the Seymour Duncan Vintage Blues and Dimarzio Bluesbucker. The offering from Seymour Duncan is a set that only costs around 50% more than a single Bluesbucker. So, if you want to save a little money, go for those. If you just want to replace a single pickup, the Bluesbucker is a better choice.
You can’t go past the transition series from Dimarzio - I love the balanced tone! But rock has got to be one of the most versatile genres, and each manufacturer has SO MANY models to cater to it. It's impossible to compare them all. You will have to find one that stands out for you.
The budget piezo pickups from Dimarzio are perfect for the price. For soundhole pickups, on the other hand, Seymour Duncan pickups are fantastic. They would have to be the industry leaders in this regard.
If you are buying a soundhole pickup, I would highly recommend getting one of the more expensive models, whichever brand you decide to go with. It makes a huge difference!
When it comes to shopping on a budget, the price tag will inevitably be a factor in your final decision. At the same time, you want to make sure that you are getting the most value for your money. Most players agree that DiMarzio pickup sets easily provide this level of quality at affordable prices without sacrificing much, if anything, in terms of tone and performance.
Seymour Duncan pickups are generally a little more expensive but still provide an excellent quality to cost ratio.
Classic pickups were invented in the 1940s, and they feature a single coil. Modern pickups are available with double coils, and these are known as humbuckers! They were invented decades later because they capture the desired signal without creating signal noise, too! In terms of output and sustain, humbuckers tend to improve on those qualities compared to classic pickups.
Most Fender Strats use single coils, while guitars like a Gibson Les Paul often come loaded with humbuckers.
To understand how pickups work, imagine a bunch of magnets wrapped in copper wire coils. They create a magnetic field over the strings that generate a voltage. When you strike the strings, they disturb this magnetic field and generate sound through the amplifier when plugged in. I know it sounds like science fiction, but many factors go into the final output.
When it comes to Seymour Duncan Vs DiMarzio pickups, it is tough to say “Product x is better.”. Everyone has a unique sound they want, whether it is how hot the pickups sound or how present the mids, highs, and bass are. At the end of the day, both of these companies produce great products, and if you have a listen on YouTube or recordings and love the tone of the pickups, that will likely translate to your sound too.
Did I miss any of your favorites from either brand in the top picks? Let me know in the comments, and I will have a listen for myself!
Hi, I'm Duncan, the owner, creator, and head writer for InciteMusic.com
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