From the manufacturer:
If you’re a serious traditional Strat® player, you probably won’t want to know about pickups with side-by-side coils. But if you’re the player who’s up for something more modern with no 60-cycle hum, string drop-outs or sustain-killing magnet pull, we designed The Cruiser® for you. Harmonic overtones are right where you expect them to be from a “true” single-coil, and the mid-range is open and vocal-sounding. It’s hotter than the traditional single-coil, and the bass strings have a bit more chunk; this is an excellent pickup to combine with medium-output humbuckers, and it maintains its tonal identity with high-gain amps and multiple effects.
The obvious question about The Cruiser® is “How does it compare to a single-coil sound?” Our feeling is that the unwound strings (“E”, “B”, and “G”) are very close, and the wound strings (“D”, “A”, and low “E”) are fatter-sounding than a true single-coil. There's also a midrange scoop that's unique to the Cruiser Bridge. This is really effective for getting big-sounding chords, because high and low strings sound more spread out from each other. Having a total magnet pull that's about 40% less than standard single-coils also means The Cruiser® can be adjusted much closer to the strings for more power than stock pickups can achieve.
Ethan's picks for best videos/sound-clips:
This video demos the DiMarzio Cruiser neck pickup, highlighting some of its dynamic blues tones. This pup has tons of expression and really responds to your playing technique. If you really dig in to the strings you can start to hear true single coil character, but you still get the roundness of a humbucker. You get the perks of both pickup designs -- giving you plenty of chunk in the low end and chime in the top end, while the mids have a unique voice of their own. Lead tones are incredibly smooth and rich with harmonic content, and there is no noise or hum in the signal. These pickups are killer for many applications and give you a ton of sonic options. Try one in your strat and see for yourself!
The player is David Macara Brown and he is using a Fender Strat.
This clip features a DiMarzio Cruiser Bridge pickup, but it is installed in the neck position for a unique voicing. The Cruiser can be heard on clean at around 0:38. With the bridge pickup slotted in the neck position, you get a ton of clarity that lends to a very bright, glassy tone (closer to a single coil). With a little overdrive on tap (3:07), the Cruiser really breaks up nicely for a sweet blues tone. You get a really nice pick attack and the tone cuts through beautifully -- boasting a rich, harmonic sound with a lot of detail and punch. Using the Cruiser Bridge in the neck position will also give you that epic Andy Timmon’s tone, which is perfect for shredding leads and melodic passages (listen at 4:15).
The player is Mike Baugh and he is using an Ernie Ball Silhouette guitar through a Blackstar Artisan 30 amp.
Here is a run-through of the DiMarzio Cruiser neck pickup on a clean (0:06), overdrive (1:13), and high gain setting (2:23). The cleans are incredibly clear and articulate; they have a rounded humbucker sound with the chime and detail of a single coil. Adding in a little overdrive accentuates the unique midrange voicing this pup has, giving you a nice bluesy tone with edge and sparkle. On a high gain setting, you get a really nice melodic lead tone with a lot of musical overtones. This pup is really responsive to your playing as well, allowing for a robust dynamic range and a very expressive tone. For an extremely versatile pickup with a hybrid single coil/ humbucker sound, check out the Cruiser.
The player is using a Fender Stratocaster MIM into Guitar Rig 4, playing Jason Becker’s, “Blue”.
Check out this killer lead tone you can get with a DiMarzio Cruiser in the neck. The tone is incredibly articulate and you can hear how each string responds to pick attack in a very dynamic way. Like a single coil, the harmonic content is right where you need it to be, but the humbucker design gives you a rounded, full tone -- with no hum, of course. The lead tones you get with this pup are incredibly expressive and melodic, allowing all the nuances in your playing to translate with ease. Even in this clip, you can hear just how ‘emotional’ the tone sounds, with such a dynamic personality and killer overtones that really bring your lead licks to life.
The player is using an Ibanez RG560 guitar.
This clip features a modded Yamaha Pacifica guitar with a DiMarzio Cruiser bridge pickup slotted in the neck position. You can hear the Cruiser from 0:00 – 0:50 on both a clean and overdriven setting. The advantage of using the bridge version of this pup in the neck position is that you get a hotter output and a little more clarity and chime; however, you don’t necessarily lose the round character this pickup has. Basically, you get a snappier tone that is a little more articulate in the top end for a glassier sound (closer to a single coil). This makes for a killer lead tone for players of all sorts.
The player is using a Yamaha Pacifica guitar through a Line 6 Pod XT.
Check out this clip from a clinic featuring Andy Timmons discussing his favorite DiMarzio pickups in his signature Ibanez guitar. His axe comes loaded with two DiMarzio Cruiser pups in the neck and middle positions. He describes these pickups as being “single coil in nature” but lacking the hum and sporting a hotter output for a warmer, fatter tone (listen from 1:20 – 1:30). Skip to 2:10 to hear more clips from his performance.
The player is Andy Timmons and he is playing an original entitled, “Electric Gypsy.” He is using a Mesa Boogie amp, Xotic effects pedals, and his Andy Timmons signature Ibanez guitar.