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DiMarzio DP159

 
The DiMarzio DP159 Evolution Bridge Pickup is a hefty humbucker designed for maximum impact and power. The Evolution pickup's sound is tight, aggressive, and loud. The DP159 Evolution incorporates DiMarzio's patented dual-resonance coil configuration that senses more harmonic overtones than ordinary humbuckers. Perfect for solos that really cut through. Low notes are...


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Killer pickup !!!!! featured

Comments I bought this to play Metal and, according to DiMarzio's website, because it's one of their highest output pickups. Once installed, I think I made a good choice!! I've played a lot of different DiMarzio humbucking pickup models (I'd say about 1/3 of their entire catalog !) and this is definitely one of the best rhythm sounding pickups ever, specially through high gain valve amplifiers. In fact, Vai has designed a bunch of nice and versatile pickups for DiMarzio!
This pickup is awesome to play rhythm guitar parts of any style, but specially for Metal. You can get all the power, presence and crunch you usually hear in professional recordings without being too noisy. It gives you a fat, beautifully distorted yet well-defined rhythm sound. Playing with the guitar's and amp's controls and equalization, you get really nice sounds not only for metal rhythms, but for classic rock, pop and even instrumental music like Vai's. Also, nice and endlees sustain for fifths or slow melody lines. Chords also sound warm and powerful. Easy-to-get artificial harmonics.
The bad side is that I'd like it to be a bit clearer when soloing (I like soloing with the bridge pickup a lot more than with the neck one). This little problem was partially solved with the Evo2 model, although this depends a lot on your playing style or even the amplifier and equipment you're using. I once read about the DiMarzio Evolution something like "warning, it's not made for beginners" and I perfectly understood it the first time I played it. It requires you to play as precise as you can to get a good result (specially when soloing), otherwise you could get some undesired sounds because it's so loud and wild. Anyway, you always can experiment with the pickup height screws; the closer to the strings you mount the pickup, the better signal you get, but also the dirtier and messiest it is.
In addition, the clean tone is not very nice in my personal opinion, but this is not definitive in my particular case.


Liked about it - DiMarzio choice of pickup colors.
- Powerful and loud signal.


Didn't like - Clean tones.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By crazyibanez
Jun 14, 2010
 
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A great, punchy and powerful pickup featured

Comments As stated on the Dimarzio site, the DP159 Evolution Bridge pickup is the result of two years of research to come up with the right sound for Steve Vai. I've been playing Jem guitars now for a few years, this pickup comes stock in various models of Jem guitars including the 7VSBL and 7VWH guitars and has been on the market since 1993.

Dimarzio list the stats as:

Bass 6
Mid 7
Treble 6.5

Assumed to be out of 10.

Loaded with a ceramic magnet, an output of 404 and rated @ 13.84 ohm DC resistance the pickup is rated fairly hot. The DP159 is quite loud so superb for rock and metal, has a nice attack to it and setup properly is able to cut through a mix. The pickup remains quite balanced when a hefty amount of gain is driving the amp but sometimes seems to favour the bottom end a little dependant on the settings you are using on the amp. The signal created by the pick up is pretty smooth and the crunch attained by using the DP159 is pretty damn good.

The pickup has a relatively good amount of cut, however with too much bass added at the amp end can actually become a little bit overpowering on the bottom end side of things and for soloing you can get a bit lost in the mix. I found a good way to combat this was to all but remove the bass from the amplifier and crank the mids up quite a bit, although this really depends on the kind of sound you want to attain. You can also combat this a little by angling the pickup slightly away from the fatter strings and towards the thinner.

I think personally this pickup is a very good buy, as said before it's hot, quite a bit hotter than the neck version (DP158) and it produces some good harmonics. Also being a humbucking pickup it doesn't sound too tinny when used in dual coil mode for playing cleans. I use the pickup as a benchmark to compare others to as it creates more or less my favourite tone from a solid body guitar used for metal.

Not the most subtle pickup out there so there are a few better buys tone wise, however if you are just out for a ballsy pickup to play metal, solo or playing some hot tones for rock it is ideal. If you are after something that seriously cuts through, loaded with mids without sounding too sharp on the top end I'd recommend going for a Super 3 instead, Dimarzio DP152. If you're after something that packs some serious balls on the bottom end, get a seymour duncan invader SH-8.


Liked about it Really like the driven distortion sound, smooth signal, good crunch, balanced quite well
Like the harmonics and overtones created by the pickup
Come in a good range of cap colours so you can make them look very effective


Didn't like Not a terrible amount to dislike, I still use these in my white and blue Jem's and the sound is almost spot on.
Occasionally I have wished for more mids, which the Super 3 delivers without the tinny sounds of the Dimarzio Breed.
The only reason I've given this pickup a 4 out of 5 is I've found there are better pickups available for specific purposes be it downtuned stuff, mid cut through, quality of tone or subtlety.

Don't let this put you off though, the pickup is pretty damn good. If I could give this 4.5 I would.



Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By D1m3b4g2
May 08, 2010
 
Last updated: May 13, 2010
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In your face. featured

Comments In your face describes this pickup perfectly it is loud and mean.I purchased this pickup to go into my rg1570 to make a poor mans jem as they call it.The first thing i noticed when i got it home was how loud it was it is a screaming deamon. i tried my other ibanezes on the same amp and settings and was no where near this loud.It is the pickup you want if you want to shred someones face off leave them wondering what the heck just happened .It is great for recording and this pickup could be considered clean if you were saying to describe there is no mud to be found with this badd ace.If you crank up your tube amp with this baby be prepared to rock the house because if you dont people will look at you like your not very smart hahaha.A POWER HOUSE OF A PICKUP.


Liked about it I love the sounds i get from this when i record it seems to stand out no matter how many layers i add to a riff in my riffworks program.It seems like the whammy has more to it now too i can do more before thye sound dies.The pickup is very tight leaving no room for error but i found cranking the highs down and lows up on my amp helps with giving a more subtle solo sound using my rg 1570.Also these come in very cool colors so you can match a custom project coor pallet with no problems and the warranty is great if you dont like it send it back can.t beat that.If you dont want to stand out dont get these .


Didn't like I don't know if it was the way they were wired but this one seemed way louder than the other two and i am not sure why .They don't sound the same in my rg1570 as in my jem im guessing due to the woods the guitars are made from so keep this in mind when purchasing a set and also that the manafacture will take them back if you dont like them and you can try another model of them but in my rg1570 they sounded great just not as good as my steve vai jem7v which is alder wood not basswood.But these do what they say they will and thats burn down the house so keep that in mind when thinking of these cause if your a shy player these pickups will find you and shred your face lol.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By andrewsfury
Dec 29, 2009
 
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Great all-around pickup, especially for practicing... read on. featured

Comments When I looked at this pickup on the Dimarzio site something very specific stuck out about this pickup. The description for this pickup states, "Evolution pickups are not polite-sounding, and they're not for the inexperienced, but if you've got the chops and a hot amp your sound will burn." When I installed my first set, to be honest, I was appalled at my playing. This pickup DEFINITELY keeps you honest. Every little mistake or breakdown in your playing technique WILL come through with this pickup. Fortunately, the end result was that the pickup motivated me to practice more so that I can now play more cleanly and with better definition. This pickup is EQ'ed in an almost linear fashion favoring the high-mid and high-end frequencies. However, this pickup will drive your amp hard and you will get tight, punch, compressed, ripping distortion out of this pickup. This is a shredder's dream come true.

EvolutionBridgeClean.mp3

EvolutionBridgeDirty.mp3



Liked about it Tons of clarity--keeps you honest and makes you want to practice more.
Nicely voiced--not to boomy.
Sounds good everywhere on the neck--can't say that about every pickup.


Didn't like Pronounced my playing "weaknesses" and hit me with a reality check--I'm still not that good but I use this pickup to measure my improvement.
Markup due to the player endorsement.
Doesn't clean up that well with the volume turned down.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By racerevlon
Dec 24, 2009
 
Last updated: January 11, 2010
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Dynamic. featured

Comments I did a lot of research prior to purchasing this pick up, mainly DiMarzio's as i wanted to match my PAF Pro in looks as well as sound. I found this pick up to be perfect for my playing/sound. It is quite high powered yet when tapped in single coil it has a real beefed up strat "sparkle". I know I am preaching to the converted here but it is a great pup!


Liked about it Power- Enough for most styles of music, yet still is articulate.
Versatility - can be wired to switch in series, parallel or single coil.
Colours - gotta be one to suit any guitar!


Didn't like Not for the faint hearted, will induce harmonics!!!! Not really a dislike, more a warning!
Probably not the best genuine vintage single coil, but it is still pretty good.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By Shockme.au
Dec 19, 2009
 
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Performed beyond my expectation

Comments Really great pickup, it replaces the stock Ibanez v 8 on my Ibanez rg1570. It made very noticeable improvement in terms of clarity, output, and overall depth of the sound. Dimarzio's description for the EVO7 (the 7 string version of this pickup) really fit this pickup: power, precision, and presence, i really feel that's what Steve Vai and Dimarzio was aiming for when designing this pickup.
Contrary to what some people say about the EVO, it is not an overly bright harsh pickup, in fact it is quite balanced with some extra focus on the mids.
I can see why some people call this pickup ice picky: the pick attack is very edgy and powerful, this work both ways though : paired with a bright amp it could be very dry sounding, but when you pair it with some fat amp to give some muscle, your sound will be very balanced and powerful.


Liked about it 1. The LEAD TONE. FOCUS is the word here, single note playing really cut through the mix. This pickup really fits instrumental rock where you use guitar as the lead melody.
2. Very tight pick attack, great for shredding.
3. I like the black base plate and legs, kinda give my guitar more uniform and neater look if you look into the pickup cavity


Didn't like 1. This pickup does not clean up well. Turning down the volume knob barely have any effects at all.
2. The construction is not as solid as duncan or some other makers. Wont be a problem unless you throw it around though.
3. This pickup seem to be designed for specific frequency range. While it sounds amazing for normal tuning, anything below drop D is undefined and muddy


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By bowie8889
Oct 14, 2011
 
Last updated: January 24, 2012
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My new favorite pickup!

Comments I love DiMarzio pickups. I have a deep loyalty to "my" brands." I've got an EVO2 in one RG-570, Breeds in my Jem 77VBK, a Tone Zone in my RG-550 Space Invaders, and a set of Super Distortions in my Iceman. That said, I HAD to get a set of Evolutions. I put them in my main axe--an Ibanez RG-570PN. Once installed, I ran them dry through my Carvin Legacy head with the following EQ settings: Low-7, Mid-6, High-7, Drive-8. Straight into the amp, I was nailing Steve Vai's tone-0-sounded just like Jibboom! I've always love Steve's tone, so I wanted to give these a shot at competing with the EVO2 and Breeds. Before I got these Evolutions, my absolute favorite was the Tone Zone...not any more.


Liked about it As always, DiMarzio delivers great stuff. I bought the Evolution for the tone--that comes first and I love the punch and grind that these Evos give me. They also sound great clean, though the neck version is very loud.
DiMarzio also offers these in their typical palate of cool colors. I got the green set. I'm happy with the price.


Didn't like Nothing--these are the best!


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By AlaskaBat
Mar 01, 2011
 
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Cut through a mix no matter what

Comments This pick cuts through the mix no matter what. Turn it up to 10 and stand out in front of the crowed. Want to be heard, playing a solo, well this will get you there. Can be a little bit harsh if you aren't prepared for what is about to take place. I recommend everyone have a Evo in at least one guitar just in case. I use this in my 80's hair metal cover band for a few songs where I either need a guitar that is significantly different from my other guitar player in the band or to slice through the mix for a solo in a couple different songs where it just needs that little extra ummmff. Listen to Steve Vai and you will hear this all over some of the earlier records. Has a lot of mid range to cut through the mix. I know I am saying this a lot but I am trying to drive the point home. If you need to stick out and be heard this is the pick up for you. I love it, however it does have it's place and needs to be used that way. It's not for everyone or everything.


Liked about it Tones of power
cuts like a knife through any mix
great solo pick
awesome to diversify a mix with 2 guitar players


Didn't like Can be a bit harsh
No clean sound


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By cpallstar
Dec 25, 2010
 
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Best Bridge Pickup Ever!

Comments This is the only bridge pickup I can really depend on. I've been using it since 1998 and have never looked back. There only has been a single occurrence where I haven't replaced a stock pickup with an EVO.


Liked about it I love this pickup in every situation, whether it be clean or dirty! When clean through an all-tube head the pickup gives off a clear crystal tone, amazing clarity. It's great for any harmonic technique, the response is amazing. The pickup is great for lead as well as chords in the dirty channel, If I had a guitar that was just a single humbucker setup this pickup would be the only one you need.


Didn't like The only thing I would have to say about this pickup that I didn't like is that it shows how much more I need to improve on my technique because it literally "picks up" everything. That's why Master Vai help created it!


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By LordGrendel
Jun 26, 2010
 
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That Steve Vai sound! .... sorta

Comments This pickup was designed by Steve Vai, and you can tell almost immediately after your first play with it. It's loud, covers a lot of tonal range, and is harmonically inclined. Which, of course, is just awesome. It also generates some feedback, but based on the description on the Dimarzio website, it's supposed to do this. I have these pickups in my Ibanez Iceman, which has a thru-neck and Mahogany body, and it sounds excellent. Though, as Steve himself has shown, they also go well in many different types of guitars, with different types of body woods, such as alder and basswood, with either thru-body or bolt-on necks. They're versatile and really excellent, but due to how high the output is and the amount of feedback they can generate, they're not for everyone. But if you need a bridge humbucker for loud music and you're a fan of Dimarzio, this is pretty much a first-choice for you, next to the D-Activator and X2N. Still, I recommend you check out this pickup's little brother, the Evo2, if you want a more refined sound.


Liked about it The versatility is great, and the fact that they were built with loud playing in mind makes this an excellent pickup for almost any rock and metal player out there.


Didn't like It's not the greatest pickup for quiet, clean songs, and can sometimes be overbearing.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By EXshad
Jun 14, 2010
 
Last updated: June 22, 2010
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Great In The Neck

Comments I used to be scared about muddy tones and bought this Evolution pickup. I've put it in the bridge and it was thin and shrily. I totally disliked it. Then I tried it in the neck position and my God it was fabulos. After installind it in the neck I said only one thing: "It will never go away from the neck of my guitar". The sound is dark, fat and warm, exactly what I was loking for. Also the sustain on higher frets is great. I mean you can turn the tone knob down for maximum of lows and you won't lose presence. I can compare it with the Super 3 I have in the bridge of my guitar. If I turn down the tone knob I lose presence on the last 4 frets.


Liked about it I like anything about it when installed in the neck.


Didn't like Don't like anything when installed in the bridge position.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Orochimaru
Dec 22, 2009
 
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i never knew being fat and loud was a good thing

Comments I switched out the pickups on my RG350EX for a pair of Evolutions, and the reason why I did the switch is for more versatility. This one is the bridge side pickup. Trying out the bridge pickup on the clean channel of my amplifier, I was able to get a nice kinda strong and warm tone which is great for general chords and some clean lead stuff. On the gain channel, the pickup instantly takes you back to the 80's with really great harmonics, chuggy power chord sounds, and screaming bend licks, again with great clarity and power like the Evo neck. The pickup by itself doesn't fully clean up using the volume knob, but with split coil positions, they do take on a snappier and cleaner sound, so again, no issue for me.


Liked about it 1. loud and warm on cleans
2. great clarity on distorted settings
3. fairly versatile


Didn't like 1. Doesn't clean up with the guitar volume rolled down, but no biggie


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By theapprentice
Nov 21, 2009
 
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Evolution bridge pickup

Comments Love dimarzio as always. This pickup kills for lead players. Very smooth tones available. Articulate, great for shred. These work very well for hard rock and metal. Tons of mids and highs. Not to bassy.


Liked about it The lead characteristics is what sold me. Hands down its my favorite. The highs are perfect, and the balance of mids and bass is perfect. Coupled with a high gain amp and a delay, its lead heaven. I love DiMarzios option for colorful bobbins.


Didn't like Nothing, its really a superb pickup for the price.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By lateralus819
Nov 16, 2009
 
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My favorite metal pickup!

Comments I really love power metal, neo classical, and of course Steve Vai. In my opinion, this pickup produces the nicest sounding harmonics, and very nice chugging palm mutes. The sound it creates makes you have more confidence in your playing.


Liked about it 1) Pinch harmonics are SUPER easy to create.

2) Makes a killer chugging sound when palm muting.

3) It looks awesome because even the magnets are black.


Didn't like I do not dislike anything about this pickup.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By AChan
Apr 13, 2011
 
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My opinion on D159

Comments Just as Hot i wanted it, if it shows your faults too much, you could buy a pedal for that to delete strings noice etc. But who cares about some flaws:P


Liked about it Everything.


Didn't like Nothing


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By fireheart82
Mar 03, 2011
 
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Fat and Punchy

Comments This pickup screams with high output, rich harmonics, fat bottom end and screaming highs. It is a perfect pickup for Floyd Rose equipped guitars wich tend to lack bottom end. If you are into shred, hard rock and metal this pickup will suit your needs very well.


Liked about it The tone is what you would expect if you are into late 80's early 90's hard rock trend. Solos stand out as the highs don't sound too thin with solid bass with a lot of power. You can drive an old JCM800 into overdrive without boosts or pedals.


Didn't like A little bit too fat on the bottom end and a little too much output for my taste. Evo2 would suit you better if you like the tone of the Evo but would like to keep control over the amp's input saturation level. If you don't mind the amp input compression /saturation... go for it!


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By Luthier
May 20, 2010
 
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Highly recommend !!!

Comments This pick up is high gain but I wouldnt say its high gain like EMGs or other so called high gain pick ups. Its has a high output but its not as thick or boomy like most high gain hums I have used. I guess Vai doesnt like bass heavy high gain humbuckers. I used it in an rg560 bridge position. Combined with the basswood body it sounded great.


Liked about it This thing has crystal clear tone. Absolutely no mud like some high gain "metal" humbuckers have. When you play a chord you can hear every note. Alot of high gain humbuckers dont emphasize the highs like the EVO does.Im sure if you played it thru a Mesa double rec it might get boomy. VAI and Dimarzio have created a great pickup.


Didn't like The reason I changed it out later is because it is a one trick pony. I play blues as well as rock and it cant do blues in my opinion. Its not warm enough. If I were a classic rock only guy Id have kept it. The PAF pro or Pearly Gates are more my sound.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By Ibanut
Feb 17, 2010
 
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