DiMarzio DP223 PAF 36th Anniversary Bridge
DiMarzio DP223 PAF 36th Anniversary Bridge

DP223 PAF 36th Anniversary Bridge, Humbucker guitar pickup from DiMarzio in the Vintage Output series.

Audiofanzine FR 03/14/2009

DiMarzio DP223 PAF 36th Anniversary Bridge : Audiofanzine FR's user review


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(Originally written by Dima__67/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
I installed the PAF DP223 36th Anniversary on a Les Paul type guitar two weeks ago.

I love its sound balance, vintage character, versatility and the way it captures every nuance of my playing.

Before installing it I tested a Seymour Duncan SH2b JAZZ, a SH4 Jeff Beck and a DIMARZIO Steve Stevens with this guitar. They all sound very well but not as good as the DP223 for my needs. The Jazz has a nice sound character, a vintage distortion sound and a large dynamic range. But just like the neck version it emphasizes the attack too much and doesn't have enough lows. The Jeff Beck saturates too much and sounds too modern for me (I use it on an alder guitar to get a modern sound). The DP161 is great for one hour. The response is well-balanced and punchy with many overtones, and it reproduces the wood vibrations better than the other two. But it's boring after an hour. The sound is too polished and easy, and it's frustrating when you plug your guitar directly into your amp...

The DP223 fits my needs much better. It has a vintage sound. It reproduces every nuance of my playing, it's very responsive and easy to control using the volume knob of the guitar (like the DP103). It saturates pretty easily, but not too much. The sound is tight, dynamic, mellow or sharp depending on your playing. Hard attacks produce an intense distortion on the amp where soft attacks only produce a crunch sound. This pickup has an open sound and a wide dynamic range. It's very responsive. If you are like me and think that Angus is the best at enhancing a solo just by changing his attack (even though his not the most virtuoso) you'll understand the value of a pickup like the DP223.

No comments about clean sounds because I use the neck or center positions for that. When split it's only interesting combined with the split neck humbucker. That way you get a perfectly well-defined sound to play funky parts. It obviously doesn't sound like a real Strat. But it provides an authentic out-of-phase single-coil sound.

The guitar has more sustain with the DP103 and DP223 than with the SH2 and SH2B/SH4/Steve Stevens combination.

I bought the worn nickel version secondhand on the web. Very good value for money.

I would buy it again because it's the perfect counterpart to the DP103 and it fulfills my expectations regarding an authentic and responsive sound.

You can do almost anything with this humbucker (except maybe for apocalyptic riffs) if you have a good amp and you're a good guitarist. However, you have plenty of choices for open-sounding vintage humbuckers on the market...