DiMarzio DP120 'Model One' bass pickup

DiMarzio DP120 Model One bass pickup

I've been looking for the perfect pickup for my Epiphone EB-0 bass, and I have finally found it!
If you 've been reading my blog, you know that I was terribly disappointed in the Artec 'mudbucker' (anyone want that thing?), and I don't really like the way the Epiphone stock pickup sounds (not a real EB-0 type tone at all). So when I got the opportunity and the bucks together, I bought this DiMarzio DP120. It's a drop-in replacement for the stock pickup; fits like a glove.

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS:

Being a Di Marzio product, it was expected to be a well-made piece of gear...and it is. The entire coil/magnet assembly is potted in epoxy, and it has a very stout metal shell/cover. There are two rows of adjustable pole pieces (one for each coil, presumably). I had some difficulty getting one of those polepiece screws to move, but after applying a little heat from my soldering iron, it finally came free. I'd assume that it was stuck in the epoxy potting somehow. This is a very nice, stout piece of equipment.

The only thing I really don't like about it is that its cover has a matte black finish, rather than the shiny chrome of the stock Gibson or Epiphone cover. It just doesn't look quite 'right', but it doesn't look bad, either. It sits a bit low as compared to the stock unit, so I had to really jack up the pole screws quite a bit to get good output. I plan to make a spacer-plate for it to raise it up about 3/32"...to about where the top of the stock unit would be.

SPECIFICATIONS: (from DiMarzio's website)
Wiring: 4 Conductor 
Magnet: Ceramic 
Output mV: 200 
DC Resistance: 11.31 Kohm 
Year of Introduction: 1976 
Patent: n/a 
Tone Guide
Treble: 7.0 
Mid: 5.0 
Bass: 8.0 

TONE:

I was looking for that deep, thick, retro EB-0 tone, and that's what I get from this pickup, only with more clarity and 'focus', and a little more 'punch' than the stock type. The low end is deep; truly thunderous. Midrange is somewhat subued (as indicated by the 'tone guide' above), and the treble is there just enough to define the note attacks. Classic-Rock Rumble!

CONCLUSION:

This pickup was the end of my search for that classic EB-0 tone I've been looking for. I feel that "I'm there" now.

With a little OD applied, one could approach that early Jack Bruce/Cream tone, or the tone you'd hear on the James Gang's very first album. This a really nice piece of gear if you're looking for that classic rock tone. It's definitely NOT a modern-sounding pickup. Very retro...just like me!

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