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Thread: What model Dimarzio humbucker is used in the Silhouette Special?

  1. #1

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    What model Dimarzio humbucker is used in the Silhouette Special?

    i have a silhouette special on the way and was wondering what dimarzio humbucker model is used? i have heard it's kinda bland sounding and will be replacing it if it is (but i got to hear it first before i replace it). btw, what humbuckers have you guys installed in your silo special? i have seymour duncan 59 humbuckers in my strat and was thinking of trying something different - probably a duncan screamin demon or dimarzio fred (looking for something just a little bit modded up from a standard paf 59 humbucker).
    My EBMM's:
    - Original Silhouette Special (1996)
    - Luke Blue Luke II (2000)
    - Mystic Dream John Petrucci 6 with Piezo (2003)
    - Amber Striped Axis (2004)
    - Blue Pearl Sterling (2005)

  2. #2

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    as far as I know it's very close to Virtual PAF. To me it's not bland sounding at all. More like "singing" tone, very good for solos. Of course if you wanna do some really tight heavy stuff you might consider a change. But it all depends more on the amp I think
    Vintage Sunburst EBMM Silhouette Special

  3. #3

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    Echos Philip's comments.

    I have to tweak the amp a bit and/or roll off treble on the guitar, when I pop into the bridge bucker, or else it's too bright for my taste. But, that's partly due to my amp and settings. The stock bucker is really "singy" and focused, which is great for solo work, because the notes are clearly defined, not muddled together. For a wall of power type tone, there are others better suited, imo. When dialed in, the stock bucker is anything but bland sounding, it's actually 3-D sounding.

    But, it's all what you like.

  4. #4

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    I recently replaced the stock hb in my SS with a Dimarzio Norton, which is a medium output hb & was suggested by a cs rep @ Dimarzio. I liked the stock pup, but was just looking for a little more output & punch. So far, I'm very happy w/ the Norton.
    1994 EBMM EVH (Trans Gold)
    2009 EBMM Axis (Black Magic Crystal)
    2013 EBMM Axis (Black Cherry Burst)
    2020 EBMM Sabre (Honeysuckle)
    2020 EBMM Sabre (Blue Moonstone)
    2020 EBMM Sabre (Black Cobra)
    2020 EBMM Sabre (Bougie Burst)
    2020 EBMM Cutlass HSS (Dropped Copper)
    2021 EBMM Cutlass HSS (Eclipse Sparkle)
    2020 PRS McCarty 594 Singlecut (Tobacco Burst)
    2020 Suhr Classic S (Champagne Metallic)
    2021 Suhr Custom Standard (Faded Whale Blue Burst)

  5. #5

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    I think the stock Silo Spec humbucker is pretty good at doing a lot of different stuff. I agree that it does sing. I don't really know what you mean by bland, necessarily. I think it sounds pretty good. I don't think it has quite the definition of some other pickups like, say, those found in a JP. It's not going to bite as hard, but the difference is not so noticeable that I find it very lacking, especially when I've been playing the guitar a lot. Actually, I find it surprisingly capable in terms of those metal-type sounds. As far as all-around rock tone, well, I think it's pretty freaking good.

    Of course, everything we're saying here is subjective. The best thing is to do as you are planning and try the guitar first.
    JP6 Pearl Redburst; 20th Anniversary Silhouette; Silhouette Special Las Vegas Gold; 2007 LE Bongo 4H; BFR JP6 Trans Ruby; AL MM90 Pacific Blue Burst; 2006 LE AL; 25th Anniversary Guitar Quilt, Maple Fretboard, Hardtail; 25th Anniversary Guitar Quilt, Rosewood Fretboard, Tremolo; DD2 BFR JP6; DD2 BFR GR; AL HH Black; Luke with Piezo, Black Sugar Roasted Maple (Sold); Steve Morse Y2D Darklord; Steve Morse Y2D, 2012 PDN; Armada, Black/Gold; Silhouette Special, Vintage Burst; JP13, 7-String

  6. #6

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    I do like the fact that, though it's pretty bright, it's doesn't stab your ear drums with an ice pick, as some others can do. The rather tight focus is in the upper mids, and also the bottom end isn't at all flabby. According to DiMarzio, the pickup is designed not to muddy up when going through an array of pedals/effects. Excellent note separation. For me, perhaps a bit too much so, since I go directly from guitar to amp with no effects. But overall, I like it.

  7. #7

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    Just to clear this up ....

    Just to clear up a little about pickups in the Silhouette Special - When the guitar was first introduced in 1995, we used all custom-wound DiMarzios with an emphasis on vintage, which was the vibe we were going for on the whole guitar. Later, in the latter part of 2003, we switched the humbucker to a Virtual PAF, which is still in use today. The single-coils remain the same as the originals.

    Dan
    About halfway between SF and LA lies the sleepy hamlet of SLOville -

    "I love the smell of polyester clearcoat in the morning!"

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5Stringer View Post
    Just to clear up a little about pickups in the Silhouette Special - When the guitar was first introduced in 1995, we used all custom-wound DiMarzios with an emphasis on vintage, which was the vibe we were going for on the whole guitar. Later, in the latter part of 2003, we switched the humbucker to a Virtual PAF, which is still in use today. The single-coils remain the same as the originals.

    Dan
    Thanks for clearing this subject up, Dan. After our conversation today I was going to start a thread on it. Glad you picked this one up.

    I was under the earlier impression that the switch to Virtual PAF came at around 2000, and that the earlier humbucker was a PAF Pro. Not so.

    Now, the lingering question: how close was the custom pre-late-2003 humbucker to the present Virtual PAF?

  9. #9

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    Question: Does "vintage" in reference to a humbucker pretty much mean going for a Les Paul vibe? Please enlighten me.


    Quote Originally Posted by 5Stringer View Post
    Just to clear up a little about pickups in the Silhouette Special - When the guitar was first introduced in 1995, we used all custom-wound DiMarzios with an emphasis on vintage, which was the vibe we were going for on the whole guitar. Later, in the latter part of 2003, we switched the humbucker to a Virtual PAF, which is still in use today. The single-coils remain the same as the originals.

    Dan
    Ernie Ball Strings

    "Jeff Porcaro's equipment speaks for itself"

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5Stringer View Post
    Just to clear up a little about pickups in the Silhouette Special - When the guitar was first introduced in 1995, we used all custom-wound DiMarzios with an emphasis on vintage, which was the vibe we were going for on the whole guitar. Later, in the latter part of 2003, we switched the humbucker to a Virtual PAF, which is still in use today. The single-coils remain the same as the originals.

    Dan
    I guess I have the original one.
    JP6 Pearl Redburst; 20th Anniversary Silhouette; Silhouette Special Las Vegas Gold; 2007 LE Bongo 4H; BFR JP6 Trans Ruby; AL MM90 Pacific Blue Burst; 2006 LE AL; 25th Anniversary Guitar Quilt, Maple Fretboard, Hardtail; 25th Anniversary Guitar Quilt, Rosewood Fretboard, Tremolo; DD2 BFR JP6; DD2 BFR GR; AL HH Black; Luke with Piezo, Black Sugar Roasted Maple (Sold); Steve Morse Y2D Darklord; Steve Morse Y2D, 2012 PDN; Armada, Black/Gold; Silhouette Special, Vintage Burst; JP13, 7-String

  11. #11

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    Same here, Rob. I've been under the misguided impression that both of my silo buckers were Virtual PAF. So what I described above applies not to the Virtual PAF but to the earlier "classic" custom bucker. I'm still curious how closely they are voiced to the later stock Virtual PAF's.

    On another note, I like the humbucker better in my rosewood board SS than in my maple board SS, which is another reason why I've chosen to convert my maple board one to SSS.

  12. #12

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    Having tried one of the SS with Virtual PAF, I have to say that the Virtual PAF sounds great in this guitar. I still think it sings too.
    JP6 Pearl Redburst; 20th Anniversary Silhouette; Silhouette Special Las Vegas Gold; 2007 LE Bongo 4H; BFR JP6 Trans Ruby; AL MM90 Pacific Blue Burst; 2006 LE AL; 25th Anniversary Guitar Quilt, Maple Fretboard, Hardtail; 25th Anniversary Guitar Quilt, Rosewood Fretboard, Tremolo; DD2 BFR JP6; DD2 BFR GR; AL HH Black; Luke with Piezo, Black Sugar Roasted Maple (Sold); Steve Morse Y2D Darklord; Steve Morse Y2D, 2012 PDN; Armada, Black/Gold; Silhouette Special, Vintage Burst; JP13, 7-String

  13. #13

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    do the same pickups feature in the Silhouette? because honestly, I don't like them. I got a set of PAF Joes and Steve's Specials waiting to go in...
    Last edited by whitestrat; 12-05-2007 at 07:10 AM.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilif View Post
    Question: Does "vintage" in reference to a humbucker pretty much mean going for a Les Paul vibe? Please enlighten me.
    With the vintage style, we were just sort of going for a late 60's early 70's vibe - that sort of encompassed a few different guitars of the era. The logical thing would be that we were going for a Les Paul sound, but there was some other Gibson guitars influence there as well. Think Clapton with Cream.
    About halfway between SF and LA lies the sleepy hamlet of SLOville -

    "I love the smell of polyester clearcoat in the morning!"

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by whitestrat View Post
    do the same pickups feature in the Silhouette? because honestly, I don't like them. I got a set of PAF Joes and Steve's Specials waiting to go in...
    Depends on the build date of the guitar, we have gone through a few pickup changes on that guitar. In fact, the very first Silhouettes used Schaller pickups (bet most of you didn't know that!).

    Dan
    About halfway between SF and LA lies the sleepy hamlet of SLOville -

    "I love the smell of polyester clearcoat in the morning!"

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