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FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / DiMarzio Area Noiseless Singles Comparison

Contributing Member

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Jan 20th, 2018 05:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

I bought the set, Area '58, '61, an '67 to go in the neck and middle positions of my Silhouette Special (which has a DiMarzio Virtual PAF in the bridge). Figured I try 'em all and choose the two I liked. There are lots of reviews of these pickups out there but AFAIK nobody has ever directly compared all three in the same position.

They are EXCELLENT pickups! Having played and recorded them all in the neck position of the guitar, the differences between them are more subtle than I expected but they all sound great, and they all sound just as single-coil-like as the DiMarzio "real" singles I had in there before.

The Area '61 is the hottest of the three. Solid low end, nice bite on the top end when you dig in, and the mids are smooth and nicely balanced. Sounds warm without not being bright. Output is right where you'd want it for a bridge pickup, which makes a nice hot neck pickup with a Humbucker bridge, or for SRV/Michael Landau-like tones.

The '58 is a very traditional single coil sound. Lower output than the '61, a little brighter, and a little softer in the bass. It also has a gentle upper mid peak that gives it a little extra 'cut' compared to the '61. I don't know if this will make the cut for me, but I'm thinking I'll not sell it and keep it for when my brain wants to sound Nile Rodgers again.

The '67 is a hair brighter than the '58 but it's not shrill. It has a the firmer bass response, more like the '61 than the '58, and slightly relaxed mids, which makes it sound a little "Hi-Fi". This a lovely sweet pickup! It's rated at slightly lower output than '58 but I don't think you'd notice.

Also worth mentioning that they went with AlNiCo 2 magnets here which reduces the string pull so you can get them closer to the strings if need be with no stratitis. The string-to-string balance is very nice.

Note that if wiring them with DiMarzio humbuckers, you'll have to reverse the phase: green to hot, and red to ground.

I really don't understand how people can say these don't sound like real single coils. They absolutely do. They do everything you want a good single coil to do, and the cluck and quack and squank just as you'd want them to and they are humbucker quiet. They've got it all going on, in spades.

(This message was last edited by DrKev at 07:34 AM, Jan 20th, 2018)

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Jan 20th, 2018 03:08 PM   Edit   Profile  


Is that a typo, or a portmanteau of squawk & spank?

Either way, I like it!!

Contributing Member

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Jan 20th, 2018 03:38 PM   Edit   Profile  

Not a typo. But yeah I like that! squawk + spank. Sounds about right!

I'm wired in the middle switch position of my 5-way, instead of the middle single coil, for neck single plus bridge humbucker. It's like the middle position of a tele crossed with the middle position of a LP. That sound is 'squank', especially on the low strings.




Jan 20th, 2018 05:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have the NMB in a Clapton Strat with a 58-67-61 configuration. I used to have a 58-58-61, but I think I like the M-67 a little better. From what the internet turns up it seems for whatever reason most other folks do as well.

A few things that I have found:

First off, I have not tried these in a "passive" guitar. The Clapton has the preamp in it. I wonder how they would perform in a "normal" guitar.

My Clapton is shielded everywhere except right around the preamp board. For some reason due to coupling of some kind the guitar goes wonky and oscillates at certain settings if there is shielding around the board.

For about a week I had a NMB of a 58-Lace Gold-61 in the guitar. Hearing them side by side in the same guitar, there is absolutely no question that the Areas are quieter.

Is there still some noise? Yes. Very little. But I live in a pretty noisy house, so that is to be expected. And on some days, when the conditions are right, it's so quiet that you forget that the guitar is even on.

For whatever reason, the 61 in my experience is noticeably noisier that the 58 or 67. I exchanged it at one time with another 61. No improvement. There are a few scattered posts on the internet that mention this also.

The Areas as have been reported are very sensitive to height adjustment. For reasons I won't explain I presently have them set basically flush with the pickguard. Set that low, the Clapton non boosted output is in the region of a regular passive Strat. Raise them up and the output increases quite a bit.

I like the Areas, but wonder how they would sound in a passive guitar, both tone and noise wise.

I also wonder if the Fender Vintage Noiseless would be more quiet in the Clapton.

Contributing Member


Jan 20th, 2018 06:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

I had Area 58's and a Virtual Solo in one of my Strats for a while. Nice set, can't really fault them for anything. For whatever reason I tried Lawrence Wilde Noisefree's and stuck with those instead. My condo is an end unit and has a bank of electric meters right outside my "studio" wall. I suspect the conduits run under slab right below me. Noisey! I found the Wilde pups notably quieter than the Area's.

Contributing Member

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Jan 21st, 2018 02:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

For me all my Areas are as quiet as my humbucker, including the '61. They are as quiet as I would want them to be, even at high gain. Any noise I do hear is quiet ground noise and vanishes when I touch the strings.

Are they more sensitive to height adjustments? No, I don't think so. And I spent a lot of time not just dialing in the pickup heights, I was recording samples of it too so I could A-B different setting without relying on completely on memory.


Scottsdale, AZ

Jun 10th, 2018 08:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

I like these pups a lot. Good tone, great individual note projection in chords, sweet sound. I installed the '58-'58-'61 combination with both a treble bleed cap/resistor mod and using the recommended .033uf cap on the tone pots. I have found these to be as pleasing to my ears as the Fat '50s or the Fender '57/'62 sets, but dead quiet as advertised. Over the years I've tried a pretty large number of Strat pups in my search for warm, clear, bell tone (Rio Grande, SD, Fender, DiMarzio, G&L, etc...).

My tastes in Strat pups leans toward the round, warm, but bell-like tones. I'm not fond of bright toned Strats popular with many players. I like more of a jazz tone, than a rock tone, if that comparison is useful. This is personal preference, and fits with my place in the band, the overall tonal quality we are shooting for, and the limited use of effects in performing our music. These pups do this stuff well and still retain great clarity with just a little overdrive added when needed. Also, I have no problem being heard in my solos in a 5-piece combo with these pups, without having to go to the treble-y tones to get there.

Contributing Member


Jun 12th, 2018 10:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

Squank is



U.S./Woodbridge, VA

Jun 28th, 2018 12:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

Spank + Quack = "Squank"


usa Thumb area Mi

Jul 5th, 2018 04:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Used Area Ts in my Tele for many years .. then went back to true single coils.

Yet... IMO Area Ts are probably some of the best noiseless for $$. Really can't go wrong with those.

Real single coils to my ear's just sound better.. They better snap, better punch, better quack, better twang... everything.

On a 1-10: where 1 in lowest base frequency and 10 is highest treble frequency... The best Noiseless cover typically 2.5 to 8.5... where a decent single coil will cover 1 to 10.

Definitely the Area Ts where on the quality side of 2.5-8.5



Jul 12th, 2018 09:31 AM   Edit   Profile  


Fo true SC's also have better squank than the Area's?

FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / DiMarzio Area Noiseless Singles Comparison

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