DiMarzio Utopia experiences?

I’m going to put a set in an alder bodied rosewood/maple AM super strat project. Anyone here played these pickups?

I have those on my PIA. They look astonishing. They are my least favourite pickups amongst all my guitars.

compared to what other pickups? What don’t you like about them?

I don’t really know how to explain, as I don’t have that many instruments, but compared to my JS-CR1, the bridge pickup sounds really dull and compressed. The neck pickup is better for lead tones, but comparing that to my 2 MusicMan JP guitars, it’s the same situation, it feels lifeless and dull.

If you want a vai endorsed set, by far my favorite is the gravity storm. I have that set in the black and green ibanez. They are really cool sounding, and the neck model is one of the best DiMarzio has ever produced, and I’ve used a lot of their line.

what’s the height of the pickups from the strings? have you tried adjusting it to change the tone/feel?

I did, and I also brought the instrument to a luthier. I just don’t really dig the overall tone. I’m sure it’s personal preference, but we can only talk about our own experiences.

If you want to try them, DiMarzio still has their 30 day exchange program.

yeah. I might try that, but IDK I have high hopes for the Utopia after hearing some sound clips online. I was leaning towards a more classic set for my super strat with a FRED, True Velvet and PAF Pro set but ended up ordering the Utopia’s because I wanted to try DiMarzio newest offerings.

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IMO Dimarzio still hasn’t topped the PAF Pro, and I’m not some 80s shredder bitter about kids these days and their skinny jeans and their djent. Kurt Cobain was the reason I picked up a guitar and it wasn’t until years later I started to get into shred, and I still haven’t played a neck pickup I like as much as the PAF Pro.

There’s this tendency, especially with pickups, to think the “hot new thing” is going to be somehow better than older versions, but honestly, some of those “older” pickups are very, very, very good.

I also love the AT1 if you really just want to try something different - the Fred was (IMO) nice, and I’m a huge Satch fan, but was lacking something in the lower mids and only really sat in a mix right in the guitar I put one in when I boosted down there a couple dB. The AT1 is probably the same basic “boosted PAF” color, but just siiiiings, with a lot of thickness and a very vocal treble. I don’t have one in a guitar currently (though I have a 3120 I keep meaning to throw one in to replace the Tone Zone which I like but don’t love) but I keep a SSH Strat pickguard with one in the bridge in my closet just in case the mood ever takes me.

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Pickups by and large are fairly simple creatures, And the design of the typical humbucker hasn’t changed much in the last 70 years. Sure, different wire gauges, higher winds, different magnets, inbuilt preamps (actives) have all been used, but the general idea and concept really hasn’t changed.

Well I finally got around to wiring the pickups, I also had swapped the pots, switch and jack. So far I’m digging the sounds.

Bridge: Typical DiMarzio “ahh” sound on single notes. It’s definitely a lead-voiced, 80s-90s crunch sound. Not great for modern metal djent rhythms but that’s not why I put them in this AM strat (it’s tuned to Eb for neoclassical stuff) Lots of harmonics and doesn’t hide picking mistakes similar to the Evolution.However I notice a lot more chunkier low end, even on high notes on treble strings, very cool.

Middle & split positions
They’re what you’d expect, spanky and quacky. Decent dynamics when rolling down the volume. Good blues and clean tones.

Definitely fatter and chunkier than the Air Norton in the neck position. Lots of harmonics, pick attack & clarity, very little muddiness. I can hear that “searing” quality of the ceramic magnet in the neck too, very cool pickup. Also great dynamics when I rolled down the volume on a light crunch or overdrive sound.

So far I’m a big fan, hats off to Vai and DiMarzio!!

I think the gravity storm neck was one if not the best neck pickup they make.

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I’ll have to try those Gravity Storms. After looking at the specs it’s a pretty interesting set. Ceramic Neck (290 output) and Alnico 5 Bridge (340 output). Noticeably lower output than the Evo or Pia pickups with an alnico 5 in the bridge, yet ceramic in the neck.

The bridge pickup feels hotter than the spec leads on, and the neck pickup is pretty cool. It doesn’t sound distinctly ceramic, and has some single coil characteristics.

Interesting, I wonder how the Gravity Storm set would sound in my Ash Charvel Tele, it’s got Fishman Fluence open core classics which are amazing but I just prefer passives because you can leave the guitar plugged in and not worry.

Yeah I’ve seen a lot of new DiMarzio’s being ceramic based, especially their 7 and 8 string designs. (for example Air Norton 6 is alnico but the 7 model is ceramic, even their PAF 8s are ceramic)

I had a D-activator set for my 8 string, the bridge was DISTINCTLY ceramic sounding, great for leads but considering it was a multiscale 8 string I really wanted to nail that Meshuggah djenty tone. For modern high gain rhythm it was a little buzzy for my taste. I ended up making it a one pickup guitar with master volume and put the D-activator neck in the bridge. The lower output nature was just what I needed, to my ears it sounds similar to a Lundgren M8 which AFAIK is not as high output as the D-act 8 bridge.

Agreed. Gravity Storms are my favorite Dimarzio pickups.

The D’activator bridge and neck didn’t really do what I wanted them to do, and I found them raspy with not as much push as I was expecting.

I think the Gravity storm bridge might do well in ash. It has a grindy midrange that makes the pickup sound hotter than it specs out to be. At first glance of the spec you would think it’s just a modified breed, but it’s voicing is quite a bit different.

The illuminator bridge is another good one to check out. I personally have a a fixed bridge ash guitar with the illuminator in it. It’s actually pretty mean it that guitar, although it may be a little much for what you may be looking for.

Ahh I don’t know, with the fishman classics I mainly use the hot voicing as opposed to the vintage spec PAF output (that does sound great for light crunch though). I find myself playing the most metal on the Tele (besides my 8 string) so I did consider the Illuminator set, thanks. I’ve not tried any of the recent Petrucci offerings since the Crunch Lab & Liquifire.

Well I said that mostly because the illuminator does have a more distinct ceramic quality to it. So it may not be exactly what you were looking for. I think it is a pretty neat pick up though especially for metal.