DiMarzio Red Velvet Strat Pickup (DP174)
From the manufacturer:
The difference between a vintage Strat® bridge pickup sound and a classic Broadcaster® or Tele® tone is mostly a matter of attack and definition — the Strat® stings and screams, while the Tele® punches and sings. We thought it would be neat to have a Strat® pickup that does both, and this is it. The punch comes from the bottom-loaded Power Plate™, the sting from custom coil-winding and the True Velvet™ magnet stagger, and a unique mid-range “growl” that’s a result of a hand-calibrated magnet structure. Try a Red Velvet™ bridge pickup with a pair of True Velvet™ pickups for a sound that’s both classic and new.
One of the obvious effects of mounting a plate on the bottom of a pickup is to boost the magnetic field. We wanted the bigger sound that the plate provides, but we didn't want any increased magnet-pull, so we calibrate the magnetic field of every Red Velvet™ after it's assembled. The Red Velvet™ was originally designed for the bridge position, but it will also work well in the neck and middle, where it can be combined with a bridge humbucker like the Air Classic™.
Ethan's picks for best videos/sound-clips:
Here is a nice clip of the DiMarzio Red Velvet bridge pickup paired with True Velvet pickups in a Partscaster Strat. Skip to 1:00 to hear some screamin' blues tones from the Red Velvet. Comparing them to a traditional strat pickup, this pup has a warmer and stronger tone with accentuated upper mids for more of a "growl" in the tone. The result is a compromise of the sting and bite of a strat with the punch and sustain of a tele pickup. Skip to 2:30 if you want to hear these pickups in a full mix.
The player is Robbie Hotard and he is using a Partscaster Strat through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III amp.
This video compares a Washburn Lyon stock middle pickup to a Red Velvet. Skip to 0:10 to first hear the Washburn Lyon pickup on a clean setting. It has a pretty balanced tone with tame highs, even mids, and warm lows. The Red Velvets actually sound pretty similar in comparison, except they seem to have a little more clarity and focus in the upper mids -- giving you a slightly more articulate and full sound with greater dynamics and character (listen at 0:40). You'll definitely notice more of a difference between these two pickups when you add a bit of dirt. Skip to 1:10 to hear the Washburn pickup with some overdrive. It has kind of a dark tonality and can sound a little muddy at times. The Red Velvet in comparison at 1:40 definitely sounds cleaner, with greater clarity and more bite in the midrange. The Red Velvet is a great pickup option for any position in your strat, especially if you aren't sold on the stock pickups.
The player is using a strat through a compressor and Mesa Boogie TransAtlantic TA-30 for cleans and a compressor, OverScream, and Soldano SLO 100 for dirty tones.