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DiMarzio Bluesbucker DP163


DiMarzio Bluesbucker DP163

From the manufacturer:

And now for something completely different: the Bluesbucker® looks like a standard humbucker, but sounds like a P90 and cancels 60-cycle hum as effectively as the average humbucker. This means any guitar with standard size humbuckers can now have the sound of P90s without altering the guitar in any way and without noise. Patented Virtual Vintage® and Airbucker™ technology let the Bluesbucker® “see” a narrow string window like a true single-coil, making it extremely sensitive to playing dynamics. When a pair of these pickups are on together, they achieve the open, slightly hollow sound that two single-coils produce. Splitting the pickup produces a sound similar to that of a Strat® pickup, with very little drop in output.

The coil with the 6 adjustable slotted poles is the “hot” coil. The coil with the solid poles is along for the ride to cancel hum and look cool. Since one coil is doing most of the work, the direction the Bluesbucker® is installed makes an obvious difference in the sound. When the hot coil is closest to the bridge, the sound is brighter; towards the neck is warmer. Even though the look is a little nontraditional, we like the sound of the bridge pickup “backwards” (with the screw coil towards the neck). With a Bluesbucker® in the neck position with the screw coil towards the bridge (also “backwards”) the combined sound is Tele®-like. With the neck pickup in the more traditional direction, the combination is like two P90s. The Bluesbucker® comes with special wiring instructions.

Ethan's picks for best videos/sound-clips:

This video showcases the DiMarzio Bluesbuckers in both the bridge and neck positions. Jump to 1:35 to hear the bridge pickup, which has a very sharp, cutting sound and a bit of a strat-like ‘quack’ to it. You can hear the neck pickup at around 2:23, boasting a warm, full sound with a spongey low-end and crisp highs. Sonically, these pickups sound more like a P-90 or a fat single coil than a humbucker; this is due to the fact that one coil is working primarily to cancel out hum while the other coil is responsible for most of the tonal character. You have the option to split coils if you want to fully commit to a single coil sound (less bass, slightly lower output). You can hear demonstrations of each pickup with tapped coils starting at 3:00. These pickups definitely shine with a bit of drive on tap. Jump to 4:05 to hear some of the sweet overdriven blues tones you can get (think Stevie Ray Vaughn). You get fantastic punch and grit with a lot of single-coil charm. If desired, you can get a fat humbucker sound with these pups as well, depending on how you dial in your amp of course. With a bright EQ, you’ll get more of a P-90 tone; but with a bit of gain and a darker voicing, you can get a really nice humbucker sound for edgy rhythms (6:45) and thick leads (7:40). The Bluesbuckers offer a huge pallet of tonal options and sound great for so many applications, especially blues. For fans of P-90s, single-coils, or expressive humbuckers, these pups are perfect!

The player is Lucas Fowler and he is using a PRS CE 22 through a Mesa Mark IV amp through a Splawn 2x12 cab.


Check out this Nash Aged Les Paul guitar loaded with a DiMarzio Bluesbucker neck pickup. Skip to 0:50 to hear this pup in action on a clean setting. It has a deep low end that coats the tone with a nice hollow timbre, and a sparkly high end that has sort of a glassy feel. Overall, this pickup sounds very warm and balanced, with a lot of girth and snap to it. At 1:50, you can hear the neck pickup with some overdrive for a fantastic lead tone. It has almost a fat-strat kind of sound to it — it’s airy and breathes really beautifully and has a percussive ‘quack’ that lends to a realistic single coil sound, yet it doesn’t necessarily lack in output all that much. You really cant go wrong with a Bluesbucker in the neck.

The player is Mike Herman and he is using a Nash Aged Les Paul 60 guitar through a Dr. Z Maz 18 Jr.



This video highlights the DiMarzio Bluesbucker in both single coil and humbucker forms (both in the neck position). The beginning licks feature the Bluesbucker neck with the coil tapped for a clean, strat-like sound. It has a very sweet voicing, with accentuated upper mids and highs; the low-end is a little more subdued, but still very tight sounding. If you skip to 2:37 you can hear the Bluesbucker in its humbucker state, with a little overdrive dialed in. You get a sweet blues sound with a mild saturation and musical sustain. My only reservation with this clip is that the tone can be a little too trebly at times, activating a lot of squeaky harmonics and feedback that isn’t necessarily ideal. Nonetheless, I think you can get a pretty good idea of what this pup can do in the neck position of your axe.

The player is Johnny Pantanilla and the song is “Distant Beloved”. He is using a PRS SE guitar.



Check out this Aria Pro II PE-R80 Les Paul stocked with a Bluesbucker in the neck. Listen to the sweet clean tones at 0:10. The bottom end is really fat and round, while the highs mellow off a bit for a nice underwater blues tone. The mids, although subtle, add a nice presence to the tone. Skip to 2:40 to hear this pup with some crunch. The coil tap feature makes this pickup extremely versatile, giving you the option of having slinky strat sounds or thick humbucker tones at your disposal. Best of all, there is hardly any difference in output between the two and the tone never loses girth; you just have two unique voicings that can be used for a number of applications. Skip to 7:50 if you want to hear how this pup handles higher gain situations.

The player is Артём Матёвка and he is using an Aria Pro II PE-R80 Les Paul Original Custom Body 1982 Japan.


Here’s a more unconventional use of the DiMarzio Bluesbucker pickup in the bridge position. This pickup isn’t traditionally used for heavy gain applications like this, but it is certainly possible. The tone manages to stay pretty clear and articulate and it definitely has a very cutting sound to it, but I feel it lacks the low end needed for that ballsy, aggressive rhythm tone. Nonetheless, this video proves just how versatile the Bluesbucker can be, even when used in unorthodox ways!

The player is using a Chinese Suhr guitar through an Eleven Rack.




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