DiMarzio Virtual Solo DP420 Review & Comparison - Excellent Strat Bridge Pickup - Jemsite
Pickups & wiring Discussion about pickup types, replacements, recomendations, switching, wiring diagrams and sustainer systems for ANY guitar, JEMs included.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 10-03-2012, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 9
DiMarzio Virtual Solo DP420 Review & Comparison - Excellent Strat Bridge Pickup

I've been searching for a better Stratocaster bridge pickup for years and finally found one... DiMarzio Virtual Solo.

Background
I have two great playing Strats: a 1990 USA Standard & a 2009 Mexican Standard. I love both of those guitars, but the stock single-coil bridge pickups sound weak clean, lacking bass and low mids. Plus they hum badly with heavy overdrive or distortion. In short, stock Fender bridge pickups simply do not work for me clean or distorted.

Trials
DiMarzio Area 61 - way too bright & weaker than stock pickups!
DiMarzio Virtual Vintage 54 Pro - similar to Area 61
DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Blues - still too weak & lacks complexity of true single coils.
DiMarzio Chopper - good alone, but doesn't combine well with single coils
DiMarzio Pro Track - like Chopper, but a little warmer & smoother
Duncan Little 59 Bridge - upper mids sound too brash & raw
DiMarzio Virtual Solo - GREAT! Retains the Strat sound, but adds bass & low mids, & eliminates hum

Potentiometers
The stock 250K volume pot works well with all pickups. The Area 61, VV 54 Pro, VV Blues, and Chopper all seem to benefit from a 250K Tone pot, which smooths out the bright highs a bit. The Pro Track & Little '59 get a little duller sounding when a tone pot is added. The Virtual Solo sounds about the same with a 250K tone pot turned all the way up as it does without any tone pot. One cool thing is that the Virtual Solo sounds like a very beefy humbucker when you roll the tone pot down to about 60%. [Note: I used a .022uF tone cap.]

Installation Issues
1. DiMarzio stacked single coils (Virtual, Area, Injector, etc.) have South Up magnet polarity. Both of my Strats use North Up in the bridge & neck, and South Up in the middle. I wired for auto-tapping of the VS in position 2 (bridge + middle) to preserve the classic Strat quack, so I had to swap the stock neck & middle pickups in order to retain hum cancellation.

2. The VS comes wired as reverse polarity to my Mexican Strat. So I had to splice extensions to the black & white wires, (which are cut short & soldered together by DiMarzio), to make Black hot, Red+Green the series connection (tap point), and white ground.

Conclusion
Aside from some installation complications, I found that the Virtual Solo is a great Strat bridge pickup. It's hum-free, and it has all the nuances of a good single coil pickup plus more bass and low mids. It's level balances perfectly with the middle & neck positions. Clean tone is punchy, dynamic, and bright, with a good balance of bass. Overdrive tone is fat & crunchy. Heavy distortion yields a nice growl & definition on the low strings & warm, singing high notes reminiscent of early Van Halen tone. Harmonics & sustain are great too. I highly recommend this pickup if you want to retain the character of your Strat, but make it better.
dzjam is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Tags
bridge pickup , dimarzio virtual solo , single coil , strat

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FS: Green Dimarzio H-S-H set: Tone Zone + Virtual Solo + Air Norton El Nowy Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 3 06-21-2012 10:11 AM
Dimarzio Evo2/Breed neck review with D-sonic/Air Norton comparison no1spretty Pickups & wiring 5 04-04-2008 01:31 PM
FS: (Set of Three) Dimarzio Virtual Vintage 2.2 Strat PUP's + Pickguard for JEM/RG waylay00 Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 15 08-10-2007 08:44 PM
FS: 2 Dimarzio Virtual Vintage Solo LuredMaul Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 0 07-28-2007 01:28 AM
WTB: Dimarzio Virtual Vintage Solo Pro DP414 erikm5150 Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 0 07-06-2007 11:01 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome