DiMarzio DP228 Crunch Lab and DP227 LiquiFire John Petrucci Humbuckers
DiMarzio Inc., dimarzio.com
DP228 Crunch Lab, $119.00; DP227 LiquiFire, $109.00
Originally published in Guitar World, 30th Anniversary 2010 issue
The tones produced by DiMarzio’s John Petrucci–inspired Crunch Lab and LiquiFire pickups are musical, harmonically deep and well defined.
A number of DiMarzio's most popular pickups have been born out of artists’ requests for signature sounds, such as Joe Satriani’s midrange-dense Mo’ Joe and Steve Vai’s ultra-complex Evolution. John Petrucci’s Crunch Lab and LiquiFire humbuckers are two new additions to the company’s artist-based models. Petrucci typically creates his creamy tones with a DiMarzio D-Sonic and an Air Norton, but he recently asked the company to create new pickups that produce a more aggressive and articulate sound. These new models deliver the visceral tones and overtone-rich frequencies that are key to Petrucci’s new sound.
The Crunch Lab bridge pickup has a ceramic magnet and a bar-type pole piece that’s designed to be positioned toward the neck rather than the bridge. This results in extremely articulate tones that are smoothed out by the bar’s broad magnetic field. Compared to Petrucci’s previous sounds, these pickups are tighter in the lows and warmer in the highs, while they illuminate high-gain sizzle and produce singing harmonics. Combined with these attributes is a growling low-mid resonance that sounds as all-powerful through a great Marshall as it does through a Mesa Mark II C+.
Petrucci likes to solo a lot on the neck pickup through his Mesa/Boogie amps. The Alnico 5 –loaded Liquifire cuts through that heavy Mesa tone, so that every note is clearly heard and touch response is uncompromised. Soloing with this pickup is exhilarating, because you get all of the neck-position sustain and depth with the added benefit of great pitch definition. You can play as fast as you want with no loss of clarity. Of course, chords benefit from these characteristics as well. Even in complex chords, every note rings with constant volume and exceptional pitch accuracy.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The tones produced by DiMarzio’s John Petrucci–inspired Crunch Lab and LiquiFire pickups are musical, harmonically deep and well defined. Although they are best suited to shredders that want a thick and articulate sound, their magic won’t be lost through a bone-clean amp. Better still for Petrucci fans, these two pickups are the quickest way to get the guitarist’s formerly elusive tone.
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