Re: DiMarzio Mo' Joe (Higher output version of FRED)
well i finally broke down and decided to install the mo joe and paf joe dimarzios i bought about a month ago. i have an alder rt450 that had a fred and a paf pro and i was pretty unimpressed with both of them in the alder body (although i really dig that combo in basswood and mahogony). the fred was just too tame in that guitar and the paf pro was really plain and kind of muddy sounding. so i was hoping that the mo joe would add a little fire and the paf joe would be a little clearer and hopefully 'quackier'.
i must say...the mo joe is really awesome! much ballsier than i thought it would be, just really downright aggressive. the best way to describe it is that it's dimarzio's answer to seymour duncan's jb. output ratings aside (i think the mo joe is still supposedly lower than the jb), the mo joe is pretty loud. but dimarzio did an excellent job of retaining all of the great qualities of the fred, but just with more presence and output. the harmonics are all still there (and then some), the smooth high end and upper mids are there and a nice balanced low end. after playing it, i wondered how close it really sounds to a jb. luckily, my main guitar is also an alder rt450, but with a jb/'59 combo, so i was able to do an accurate comparison of the pickups. while the frequencies and output (seemingly) are similar, the jb is more compressed sounding and the low end is tighter. the mo joe has a spongier low end and sounds more 'airy' for lack of a better term. basically, it sounds bigger when you strum open chords. also, there is a noticeable 'chiff' on the pick attack of the mo joe, which totally sounds great imo. even with the high output, the mo joe is very clear sounding, even on high gain settings.
the paf joe is also a brilliant pickup. it has more high end than the paf pro and supposedly less output (although i couldn't really tell). the result is a very clear, glassy sounding neck pickup, which also has that same 'chiffy' pick attack. i would say it sounds pretty scooped, because the bass is boosted (almost boomy), but, like the mo joe, it's more spongy than tight. it's a joy to solo on. best way to describe the tone is somewhere between a paf and a single coil. split, it sounds great (i actually prefer the sound of the paf joe split instead of position 4, which has always been my preference for more single coil-ish tones).
so there's my review, this is really rivaling my main guitar with the duncans. the true test will be in band practice, so hopefully another update will follow soon.