Evolution Bridge DP159 Review

manufacturer: DiMarzio date: 05/27/2015 category: Pickups
DiMarzio: Evolution Bridge DP159
This pickup sounds phenomenal for leads, but lacks somewhat in the rhythm department and it is just not punchy enough for the good ol' chugging rhythms.
 Sound: 9.4
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Reliability & Durability: 9.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) 18 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Evolution Bridge DP159 Reviewed by: sacamano79, on may 25, 2009
3 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 85

Purchased from: guitarcenter.com

Sound: This pickup sounds great, and has the mid range boost I have been looking for. I put this pickup in my Ibanez S2170FB which I am running through a Peaxey JSX with a Marshall 1960A cab. I had been having some problems with a shrill muddy tone that I now attribute to the 500T that used to be in my bridge position. My tone is now much more balanced and much clearer. This pickup sounds phenomenal for leads, but lacks somewhat in the rhythm department and it is just not punchy enough for the good ol' chugging rhythms. I have heard that people say that it will pickup every little mistake, but I have not found this to be true, at least compared to the 500T. I have also heard that this pickup is REALLY hot, but it is not, at least compared to the 500T. Going along with this I have heard that is is an exceptionally loud pickup, also something I did not notice. I also hear that a pickup swap will not affect your tone all that much, which I disagree with as this change improved my tone a great deal. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Will this pickup last? It is a high quality pickup, and I have never heard of a pickup breaking, so I am not too worried although it is made of plastic and does not look to sturdy. If something did happen to it however, I would not hesitate to replace it as it is worth every penny of the $85 I payed for it. // 10

Overall Impression: I love the great tone balance it has with a lot of mid range along with just enough bass and not too much treble. I think it suites lead playing great, so if you are looking for a good rhythm pickup, this is not for you. It is also a very modern tone, so do not expect to be able to get any classic rock out of it, although it does have a surprisingly good clean tone, which would be more suitable for jazz. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Evolution Bridge DP159 Reviewed by: saint_berzerker, on july 03, 2012
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 45

Purchased from: Craigslist

Sound: Upgraded from the V8 in my RGA121. Regular spacing in this non trem guitar, but the Evo I got was F-spaced. No big deal. This is installed in a Ibanez RG121 Mahogany body with a fixed bridge. Current "practice" setup consists of a PODXT running thru a Vox Lil Nighttrain head and cab. I play mostly metal-type stuff. First thing I noticed is how I completely disagree with most of the other reviewers in saying that the rhythm sound is lacking. If you're looking for that "bland" EMG crunch, then maybe... But if you play more than power chords, the notes on the low strings ring out beautifully. I had to crank up the noise gate a little because it had a little more noise than the V8. I play a lot of 7th/Augs/Diminished type power chords (with distortion) with 3 or 4 strings, and they ring out and you can hear the individual notes. No mud here. The clean sound is a HUGE improvement to the stock V8's. I don't get any noticeable break-up. I'm not playing jazz here, so it will do for anything clean I might play. Lead tones are tight and ring clearly. Fast picking is even and the pickup responds well to pick attack. I was afraid these might be too Mid-rangy, but they aren't. I also don't think they're too high end either. Seems like a very well balanced tone. Again, this is in a Mahogany body, so it might sound different in a RG made w/ Basswood. // 9

Reliability & Durability: DiMarzio... USA... Yeah, it'll be fine. I've had a DiMarzio PAF in another guitar for 12 years, and it's still going. These guys have a great website and customer service. There's no real way you can screw this thing up; it's solid. Melted my other DiMarzio with a soldering iron and it still works fine. // 10

Overall Impression: If you want a high, evenly eq'd output and you don't need to have a bottom end like Meshuggah, this is the DiMarzio for you. If you play rhythm guitar that consists of more than Metalcore "breakdowns" and open e chugging, you'll be impressed with it's ability to sound out the different notes in the chords. // 9

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overall: 8.7
Evolution Bridge DP159 Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 08, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 140

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound: I use the evolution on my Ibanez rg 1570, running through a Blackstar ht 5 combo. It replaces the stock Ibanez v7 v8. I also have a les paul copy with duncan jb. The output level, I'd say about 40% higher than the Ibanez v. I used to put my clean channel on 1 o clock before it start breaking up, with the evo, 9 o clock it already break up. With the Ibanez v I was considering to buy a boost pedal for the overdrive, but with the evo I can get enough gain from the od channel. Compared to the jb, the evo has slightly more output. The tone. The evo is a very noticeable upgrade over the stock pickups. With the stock i always battle grainy fuzzy treble, I used to set my amp carefully to make it not sound bad. The evo totally fix this. While some people describe evo as ice picky, its not because theres painful amount of treble, but because theres so much edge to the mid, that the pick attack become very noticeable. This also why DiMarzio sez this pickup will reveal your chops (or lack thereof). I find this very useful when doing fast picking, very tight sound, it can make your picking sound like machine gun. The tone is quite balanced, with extra hump in the mids and high mids. The lead sound is the best part of this pickup, very good sustain, and lots of overtone when you sustain a note. I feel the sound is very suitable for instrumental rock/fusion. The sound also get fatter as you add more gain, less highs, more mids. Now the drawbacks : this pickup wont clean up well, the point it become clean enough (still hairy crunchy clean) it also become thin sounding. This pickup wont give you traditional Paf sound, it sounds too 'pushed'. The super precise pick attack is fun to play, but sometime it makes my ear "tired" Due to the tight bass, rhytm chugging may become dry. This pickup is almost perfect for my music style, I'd give it a 9. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I hve to say the build is not as sturdy as Seymour Duncan with its metal construction, but I think this wont break up unless I throw it to a wall, or drop it from a two story building. A seymour duncan, perhaps can survive a throw to the wall or two. // 8

Overall Impression: I love its precise and powerful pick attack, also its sustain and harmonics (not pinch harmonics, but overtones/singing quality). I wish it clean up better. Installed it on a Ibanez rg 1570, basswood body, rosewood board, 5 pc maple neck, edge pro tremolo. Bridge position, with the matching dp 158 for the neck. Sorry for my bad english...! // 9

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overall: 10
Evolution Bridge DP159 Reviewed by: AJ6stringsting, on february 24, 2015
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: I have it in 4 guitars: a 1997 Jackson PS-4 (both neck & bridge), 1996 Jackson JDR Dinky Reverse (bridge), 1984 Randy Rhoads/Jackson and 1985 Kramer American Series. All with Floyd Roses

On the PS-4: Rosewood fretboard/maple neck, Alder body, Evo in the neck, in the middle Fast Track 2 (17.6k ohms), the Evo at the bridge (13.84k ohms), 250k ohm volume pot, a 500k ohm tone pot with a 22mf cap. This guitar is very heavy handed, the pickups made this a very good thrash guitar, scoop out the mids, classic "Master of Puppets"/"...And Justice for All"/Kirk Hammett sledge hammer slamming tone. The lead tone has good highs, huge mids and huge bass kick. Brutal impact when playing rhythm, very thumpy, with out getting muddy. 

My JDR Dinky Reverse: Rosewood fretboard/maple neck, Basswood body, Bill Lawrence L-250 in the neck (13.06k ohms), DiMarzio Fast Track 2 (17.6k ohms)in the middle, DiMarzio Evo at the bridge (13.84k ohms), 500k ohm volume pot, 500k ohms tone pot with a 22mf cap. On this guitar the Evo reminds me of the tones Steve Vai had on the "Eat'em and Smile" CD with David Lee Roth. The Harmonics on the guitar just jump out and in the #4 slot, on 5 way switch, the rhythm is still big. Lead wise, very Satch/Vai sounding, very articulate. 

On the Kramer: Maple fretboard/maple neck, Ash wood body, Bill Lawrence L-250 (13.02k ohms), GFS "Lil" Killer (15k ohms), an Evo at the bridge (13.84k ohms), 500k ohms volume pot, 500k ohms tone pot with a 22mf cap. This guitar has very hard hitting 1980's metal sound. I put the Evo in because the DiMarzio X2N was too trebly and the Evo solved the problem. 

On the Randy Rhoads/Jackson: Ebony fretboard/maple neck, Evo on the neck (13.03k ohms), Evo (13.84k ohms) in the middle and a GFS Hex pole piece pickup (16.87k ohms) in the bridge, with 500k ohms concentric (stacked pots), 5-way/Fender style pickup selector switch with a 22mf caps. I have splitting switches to make the middle/neck sound single coil and man, they sound great on my 12-string simulator(very convincing) and when I'm putting them through heavy Distortion/Overdrive... the guitar is pure evil! // 10

Reliability & Durability: I like the way the pickups have a different impact on the guitars of various woods, types of pots and caps... All major factors in determining the sound of an electric guitar. I use stainless steel picks and sometimes staccato/Yngwie around and these pickups are very well made and some of my first Evo's were bought in 1997... Still hanging in there from the steel picks.

My older one from 1997, still don't need to be repotted with wax, no microphonic squeals, those pickups have aged well over the years, the tone has mellowed out a little in the bass department, now it's more defined/clearer. // 10

Overall Impression: With these pickups, I play metal, thrash, speed metal and 1980's metal. My older Evo's sound a lot like my Carvin M22SD pickup (my new favorite pickup) in the way they react to the other materials in the guitar, playing dynamics, effects and amp tones. I've been playing for 36 years and the Evo is a classic pickup to get, especially if you like Metal or Shred guitar. The pickup in the neck position cleans up nice, but the bridge is designed to make unborn children limp and is a little harder to clean up with a volume knob. Even though the Carvin M22SD has replaced the Evo as my favorite bridge pickup, the Evo is still a great pickup. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Evolution Bridge DP159 Reviewed by: bmikev, on october 26, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 47

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound: I have installed this pup in my Ibanez AX120 (a rather Gibson SG like guitar) it added a lot more output than the stock AH2 which is more akin to a classic humbucker. While the DP159 wont give you the output of an active pup or other high output pups, it is ballsy enough to call it a high output pickup though on the low side of the spectrum. My signal chain goes guitar > UP100 Phase Shifter > Boss Metal Zone > DOD 7band EQ > Zoom 1010 > solid state Acoustic bass head and cab (yes it is a weird setup but sounds amazing) The pickup cuts through even the heaviest of electronic processing. The tonality of the pup makes it cut through anything. Live or in the studio the bright upper mid boost will make sure you are on top of any mix. Some people think the tight bass response of the Evolution limits its value for heavy chugging rhythms but I have had no issues with that. I like the tight bass sound. This amazing pickup can produce the most lyrical overtones and feedback I have ever played, it has made my guitar so responsive to my playing that I have to really be on top of my game when soloing as it will amplify sloppy technique just as much as it will amplify good technique. I would say this is one of the best and most unique sounding pups I have ever used. One important note, if you are looking for a PAF tone do not get this guy it will disappointing you.. Go for a PAF Pro or the like if you want the classic humbucker sound. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I am pretty sure it will last... I mean come on have you seen the S&M routine Steve Via puts his Jems through. // 10

Overall Impression: This pickup is now my favorite in the bridge position. I will be installing these on all future guitars. It fits my sound and playing style to a T. // 10

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overall: 10
Evolution Bridge DP159 Reviewed by: ancientson, on february 27, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 75

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound: I have been playing a very long time, going through various amplifiers, guitars, effects, tubes, strings, picks... You get the picture. Guitar pick ups are on this long list of gear that you try out and hope for the best. Some times you love it and some times you want to throw it out the window for some other schmuck to deal. I believe I have found the pick up I like the most; The Evolution by DiMarzio. Now, this review was not taken lightly at all. I have this pick up in two different guitars and been trying it out for about a year now. DiMarzio is boasting the Evo as a high output pick up, with the treble at 6.0, bass at 6.5 and the mids up 7.0, I have found this pick up very balanced. Let me go through some set up configurations I have tried: Line 6 X3 Live: Using a modeling amp you can do just about anything, however I have found that if you turn off all the bells and whistles you can get a nice clean lead tone. Peavey JSX: This is the Joe Satriani signature Peavey amp. This amp has a little more mid-range than most, but still an awesome amp. Both amplifiers are run through a Randall 4x12 with Vintage 30s. In the bridge position, the Evo cleans up any chord very nice with distortion! You can hear every little note clear as a bell. To me this is important, especially when you are playing rock music and trying to put accents on suspended chords. The one feature I really dig about the Evo is that it cleans up very nicely using the volume on the guitar. Now, on the modeling amp, you are loosing tone, but what can you expect from a modeling amp? It's not tube... Which brings me to backing off the volume on a tube amp. You are loosing nothing! When you back that volume up it creates a very bluesy tone. This is very nice if you are running around and you can not hit a pedal or adjust your amp, just back off the volume. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Well, I have had this pick up for over a year in two of my guitars, so I think it is a safe bet that it will survive. I recommend this pick up to anyone and everyone who plays rock, jazz, country or anything similar. Sorry, although I am a metal head the Evo is not for you. // 10

Overall Impression: In a nutshell, I love this pick up! There were two huge features that sold me: Clean tone and no loss of tone while backing up the volume. I also like the fact that the pick up comes in array of color schemes. Come on now... We all like our stuff to look nice. One last thing to add is that the DiMarzio site and forums are awesome! Everyone there is full of info and ready to help. This pick up is in two of my guitars: Fender Fat Strat and my Ibanez Prestige 3550. Both guitars are wired with a 500k pot. These guitars also have the matching neck pick up, which deserves its own review. Thank you for your time and I hope this helped a little. Feel free to contact me with any questions! Peace. // 10

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overall: 9
Evolution Bridge DP159 Reviewed by: christianmatu, on may 27, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: audiomusica.com

Sound: Sound very well defined and "in your face," however their sound is like "ringing bell" and "disturbing" frequencies are decreased. Frequency analysis here:

Highs, very well defined, recall the passages where Steve Vay plays with distortions and little gain. I'm surprised because to be bridge humb, the clean channel sound is nice and usable (for example if you add chorus).

Mids, this is the frequency where they put the most effort and which were more successful. The media is enhanced but not annoying and have a strong presence; This is especially nice with distortion riff, everything is understood and defined (beware raise the gain of the amp, the capsule comes with much gain).

Lows, like the mids, the frequencies "muddy" are decreased and lower-middle reveal all the notes you play (even with hard distortion). // 9

Reliability & Durability: As DiMarzio, no problems.

// 9

Overall Impression: To give an idea, when I first started playing the capsule gave me the impression that i was playing with new strings. I installed it on an Ibanez RG Prestige. Compared with Seymour Duncan JB installed on my other Ibanez RG, the Evolution has a compact equalized and sound; JB instead was intended to bring out the natural sound of your guitar in a more vintage approach but with good output (clean mode JB is not useable, very raw)... Everything is a matter of taste. I do not give 10 because it is the capsule is a accurate machine, if Mister DiMarzio put just a bit less equalization and gain the capsule would be perfect (for me). // 9

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