Hey guys!

I'm considering getting (another!) Strat.

I love the feel of them, and the look of them, but I've always found them to lose both sustain and gain towards the top of the fretboard, even with Seymour Duncans (SSL-4's).

I like to play '80s rock and neo-classical shred, mainly.

Some people have said 'just buy a Les Paul', but I genuinely don't like Gibson guitars, neither am I a fan of Ibanez, Jackson, etc.

So, which are the best singlecoil pickups for shred? DiMarzio's? Which models in which positions?

I don't want an all out shred machine - I do play other stuff, so it has to actually have tone, but when I whack on the 'drive, I want the best shred sound possible.

Cheers all!


Malmsteen uses an HS-3 in the bridge and HS-4 (used to be YJM) in the middle and neck. He gets the shred tone perfectly, but on a lot of his stuff, he has a really mellow sweet clean sound.

Paul Gilbert uses Area '67s in his fireman. Those are supposed to stustain forever and sound great. I don't personally know though.
As Sonic Blast said, the HS-3/4 or Area 67's would be great. They are both also hum cancelling. Have a look on youtube at the Paul Gilbert Fireman video, you can hear the pickups in action. They have great clean and driven tones (obviously through the right rig)
Hey guys, thanks for the replies.

Which has the highest output/will get me the most drive/gain - the Area 67, or the HS-3?



EDIT:: Ok, so I was thinking about this;

Neck - DiMarzio HS-3

Middle - DiMarzio Area 67

Bridge - DiMarzio Super Distortion S

What do you reckon?

Last edited by HaloDestroyer at Nov 3, 2009,
Try this - get an HH pickguard and buy a couple of humbuckers for it - Dimarzio Evolutions or Breeds would do nicely, I think.

Anyway, I like the SD-S.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
My guitar isn't routed for humbuckers, and I prefer singlecoils anyway.

Looks like this is the setup I'm definitely gonna go for!

Cheers guys!


may I suggest the diMarzio FS-1.

It gets plenty of good reviews online.
I've got one in the bridge position of my Strat-a-like and it sounds pretty good for 70s rock, it'll do metal with a quality overdive pedal an dhas more than enough definition for 80s shred.
not got the sparkle for clean, but you can compansate for that with the neck and bridge
Last edited by SuperStrater at Nov 4, 2009,