Super Distortion DP100 Review

manufacturer: DiMarzio date: 03/14/2016 category: Pickups
DiMarzio: Super Distortion DP100
The Super Distortion sounds much better in my Fat Strat than the Fender humbucker it came with, and it gives the guitar a lot more versatility.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 14 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Super Distortion DP100 Reviewed by: Necronomicon, on october 25, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 75

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound: This is a relatively high output pickup heard in a ton of classic rock songs. Although it's good for classic, I love the tone for hard rock, dirty blues, and even shimmering cleans. I bought this pickup to put in bridge position in my custom Ibanez S project (which means mahogany body) and it has quickly become my favourite pickup/wood combination ever. The cleans are not my favourite, but that may be because I generally use the neck pickup for that and have never really cared for the clean bridge sound. However, the SD does give a very usable clean tone with a suitable amount of lows and more than enough highs. Faithful to it's name, the SD's real power comes through with any amount of gain applied. Chords sound amazing and single notes REALLY sing. Harmonics jump out great and the pickup just seems like it can do anything you could ever want it to. It's not thin in any way or overly trebly, and strumming chords gives a nice chunky sound with no (or VERY little) mud. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I don't really see the need for this section... I mean it's a pickup, just a bundle of magnets and it's made by DiMarzio. It's not going anywhere. If it fails me it'll mean I just messed up soldering somewhere. I don't think I could even break it. Could you? // 10

Overall Impression: I absolutely love the sound of this pickup. You can dial in just the amount of gain you like and get great results. My current favourite tone is to run the Ibanez with the SD into the Drive channel on my Laney and turn the Drive up to about half, while using a Boss DS1 as a Drive boost. I kind of stumbled upon that by accident but the Drive channel on the amp balances out the Boss's tendency to be thin and the super distortion gives it great harmonics and excellent picking sensitivity. There is really nothing I hate about this pickup. It cleans up well and it gets dirty and heavy when I need it to. Prior to this I had bought a Tone Zone because I had heard good things about it. I put it in my RG2550 prestige but I found it to be very flat and bassy and the harmonics really did not do what they said they would. Even pinch harmonics became very difficult to do. Others might disagree but that is speaking from my own experience. As a high output pickup, I much prefer the SD to anything else I've played in 12 years. It did Paul Gilbert good in Racer X, it did Ace Frehley good in Kiss, it's doing me good all day. // 10

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overall: 10
Super Distortion DP100 Reviewed by: Apejack Cuba, on march 02, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 69.95

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Sound: I have this pickup in the bridge of my 2010 American Standard Fat Strat, through a Peavey Delta Blues 115. With this setup, I can get a surprisingly nice Vintage crunch tone considering my amp isn't very dirty sounding; think Alex Lifeson's rhythm sound on Working Man or Jimmy Page's rhythm tone on heavier Zeppelin songs. I've got it coil tapped so I can use it in split single-coil mode or humbucking mode, and it sounds great in either, with pronounced mids and basses for power chord riffing and good highs for when you're on the upper strings. The single-coil setting gives a more Vintage 70s kind of tone, while humbucking mode gets you a higher output, better for bands like Iron Maiden. On either setting, it's very clear and articulate for a high-output humbucker, with each note standing out even in big open chords. I don't think that it'd be the best fit for extremely high gain metal even with an amp more geared towards that, but if you want a great crunch tone for rock and some metal, anything from Oasis to Iron Maiden, the Super Distortion is a great choice. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've only had it in my Strat for a week or so, but I haven't seen anything about this pickup that would make me worry about it. Seeing that it's one of the most popular replacement pickups ever makes me doubt I'll have many problems with it, though. // 10

Overall Impression: The Super Distortion sounds much better in my Fat Strat than the Fender humbucker it came with, and it gives the guitar a lot more versatility. I'm using it with a blues amp but I can get a good distorted hard rock/lighter metal tone (think Iron Maiden or Judas Priest) from it even without using any effects, so it must sound even better through an actual metal amp. The coil split makes it even better, getting a Vintage '70s sound. It's probably not the best pickup for you if you want to play death metal, progressive metal, metalcore or other really high-gain genres, but it's an incredibly versatile pickup that can cover any style of rock and a lot of metal, too. I've got absolutely zero complaints about it. // 10

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overall: 10
Super Distortion DP100 Reviewed by: FlightofIcarus, on march 14, 2016
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 65

Purchased from: Musiciansfriend

Sound: The Super Distortion is a classic high-output pickup. In fact, this pickup essentially gave birth to the world of aftermarket pickups (and the vast array of other options we have today!).

I use this pickup in the bridge position of a Jackson DK2M Dinky, and my primary amp is an Engl Fireball 60. I use this combo for all kinds of hard rock/metal, from early to modern stuff, with an emphasis on '80s era bands/tones. This pickup handles all of those tones with ease, but absolutely nails the '80s sounds! (Which should be no surprise, since countless '70s/'80s era rock/metal guitarists used this pickup).

As it's name suggests, this pickup pushes an amp fairly hard, and likes a lot of gain. It has a thick, ballsy tone, but manages to maintain clarity in high gain situations. Every note in a chord shines through, and single notes scream, allowing lead playing to cut right through the mix in a band situation. Despite being a fairly warm pickup, the low end is surprisingly tight and focused as well. No "muddiness" to speak of - at least not in this guitar!

Rolling back slightly on the volume knob and backing off on your amp's gain will allow you to get a usable clean tone. Don't expect to get a nice, squeaky clean sound that's suitable for something in the vein of jazz/blues/rockabilly out of this pickup. But you can definitely get a usable clean sound for rock & metal. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's a pickup - Not too much else to really add to that, as pickups aren't typically a guitar part that fails (Any issues from pickups typically stem from improper installation/soldering skills). I've had this pickup in this guitar for a number of years now, and it's held up like a champ. Seems to be very well made. It's even surprisingly quiet for a hot pickup (as in unwanted noise, not the output level!).

If for whatever reason it somehow failed, I wouldn't hesitate to have it repaired or replaced with another one. But I don't see that being an issue. // 10

Overall Impression: It's easy to see why so many rock/metal guitarists love this pickup - It has an ideal blend of power and tone for those styles! If you're a fan of '70s/'80s hard rock and metal, I don't think there's a better pickup for those tones than this one. It can also totally handle more modern rock/metal styles with the right amp! (Though I'm not sure I would recommend it for something like technical death metal or djent, where an extremely articulate/tight tone is required).

Overall, I wanted a pickup that was warmer, and more "natural" sounding than an EMG 81, but also one which had more output, and a tighter low end response than the Seymour Duncan JB that was originally in this guitar. The Super Distortion ended up being exactly that. For classic high gain sounds, and a bit more, it's hard to go wrong with a Super Distortion. // 10

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