Pickup orientation - Turning them around - Jemsite
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 529
Pickup orientation - Turning them around

I got a JS1000 the other day and it had a Fred pickup with "Dimarzio" stamped on the bottom right corner of it. The pickup sounded shrill to me and reminded me of why I sold off the Fred I bought years ago for a 540R I had. This time, before giving up on it, I turned it around so that the Dimarzio label was upside down in the top left corner. Doing this added some meat to the sound of the pickup and I'm going to keep it. Interestingly, this same 'turning around' thing worked to fatten up a Evolution bridge I was trying out in another guitar.

The way the Dimarzios are built, it appears that the output wire of the pickup should most logically be closest to the hole that connects the pickup route to the control cavity. The way 'Dimarzio' was written on the Fred pickup makes this seem even more logical. This setup is shown in the top image below. Turning the pup around gives you the bottom image below. The bottom image is what made my Fred come to life. For both the Fred and the Evolution, turning it around also put the 'hot' coil of the pickup closer to the bridge instead of closer to the neck. Close to the bridge is where a split humbucker typically (based on my gibsons) has its live coil.

There is definitely a difference between the two for my ears. Try turning before dumping your pickups and you might find that you like them after all.

Last edited by ashbass; 02-12-2007 at 12:20 PM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 79
Re: Pickup orientation - Turning them around

not all pick-up are like this but the ones that do sound different when rotated are listed on dimarzios site somewhere, Rob Balducci posted about how he turned his steve's special around a little while ago
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 529
Re: Pickup orientation - Turning them around

ya, this is from the Dimarzio FAQ about humbuckers:
Most humbuckers are symmetrical and their sound does not change at all when installed backwards, but some have a slightly different sound if you install them in the opposite direction from normal. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, but a matter of taste for such a subtle difference, if you can hear the difference at all. Those models include the Air Norton™, Air Zone™, Evolution® neck, bridge and 7-string, FRED®, Humbucker from Hell™, DLX Plus™ neck and bridge models, Virtual P-90™, Blaze™ neck and bridge models and Tone Zone 7™.

The Steve’s Special™, the Bluesbucker® and the MegaDrive™ have distinctly different sounds if you turn them around, and there is no ‘right’ installation direction. The Bluesbucker® is brighter-sounding with the adjustable screw coil towards the bridge, while the MegaDrive™ is brighter-sounding with the adjustable screw coil towards the neck. The Steve’s Special™ is brighter-sounding if the coil on the pickup’s cable exit side is toward the bridge.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 06:19 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Philippines
Posts: 3
Re: Pickup orientation - Turning them around

Aha! I also sold my FRED last week due to the same reason. If i had known this I would might have appreciated it and maybe not sold it even. I replaced it now with Breed, and I'm happy.

I'm wiring Evolutions now to my S570b, and I will follow this guide.
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air norton , evolution bridge , rob balducci , tone zone

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