“In a funny way, the Super Distortion is the SM57 of the guitar pickup business. It’s got a s***-ton of hits”: Larry DiMarzio on the humbucker that changed the game

Larry DiMarzio and guitar
(Image credit: DiMarzio; Future/Olly Curtis)

Larry DiMarzio doesn’t do an awful lot of interviews. Which is a shame because he’s one of the most storied and rightly famous electric guitar pickup makers and tone innovators in the world. 

Cutting his teeth in the late ’60s and early ’70s, repairing guitars for the busy and demanding pro guitarists of New York, he soon learned that professional guitarists needed pickups that offered higher performance than the factory units being made by Fender and Gibson at the time. After a stint working for Bill Lawrence, he went on to almost single-handedly invent the mainstream pickup market. 

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.