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Author Topic: Fly Pickups info  (Read 3860 times)

Offline 908ssp

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Fly Pickups info
« on: November 09, 2008, 10:01:14 AM »
This is old info for most of us many may have even read this before. It is a synopsis of a discussion one member had with Steve DiMarzio from the old Parker Yahoo board about. Thought you might find it interesting presented like this.

"First, one fact that was a big surprise to me: All recent Parker
Deluxe/Classic/Select models come equipped with the second generation
("upgraded") DiMarzio Parker Custom pickups. He called these pickups P1
(neck) and P2 (bridge.) He implied that if the pickups on your guitar
have the "new style" DiMarzio (larger) logo then they're the newer custom
pickups. You can tell for sure by looking at the model designation in the
back of the pickup. My '99 Supreme's pickups have the new style logo so I
already have them on my instrument. I believe he said that Parker started
equipped all Flys with this newer pickup a few years ago.

The first generation Parker humbucking pickups were derived from an neck
Air Norton and a bridge Tone Zone. These pickups were not designed
specifically for the Fly (as I found out a Fly's pickups have unique
requirements which I will mention later..) Steve told me that he and
another Parker Fly enthusiast/DiMarzio employee designed the custom P1/P2
pickups for themselves and found that they were a drastic improvement over
the originals so they presented them to Parker. At the time Korg was
still distributing Parker guitars and these new pickups were analyzed in a
"big and fancy" Korg soundroom and compared against many traditional and
vintage instruments. Here they found that the new pickups also gave the
Fly a more traditional sound so they decided to go with them as standard
equipment. One of the biggest complaints from early Fly owners was that
they wanted more traditional sounds so this was one factor in Korg/Parker's
decision to make the change.


I asked him about custom pickups for the Fly and expressed my primary
complaint that the Fly's pickups were not focused enough and I felt needed
more output for the type of music I play. He asked what kind of sound I
was looking for and I told him something in the area of a distortion class
pickup, like a Super Distortion or an X2N. My favorite bridge pickup
lately is an EMG-85. Unfortunately, he told me that this is impossible.
Read on to learn why.

As I mentioned previously there are two significant design limitations for
any pickup in the Fly. 1) size restriction, and 2) native instrument
tonality. He told me that quite simply the pickup's output is dependent
on the size of the pickup's magnet. And the size of the Fly's pickup
cavity will not allow a large "distortion class" magnet (like an X2N or a
Super Distortion.) Secondly, the bright tonality of the Fly, which Steve
felt is one of its coolest features, requires that a pickup have a lot of
winding to reduce the brightness and produce a smoother tone. I guess this
is why the DC resistance of the P1/P2 pickups are so high compared to other
DiMarzio humbuckers.

Steve told me that the mass of most guitars reduces the string's treble
response. The Fly is different because of the partial composite
construction, the bridge, and (most significantly) the reduced weight. He
said that the Fly is one of the brightest guitars he's worked with (he
mentioned the aluminum bodied Able Axe as the brightest he's heard.) He
said that this brightness and even frequency response is a fantastic
feature of the Fly. It gives a pickup designer a lot of leverage and
gives the players a very linear and consistent tone. He told me
specifically that one unique result of this is that on a Parker
Deluxe/Artist/Classic you can not hear any (or as dramatic of a) difference
between a 12th fret D on a wound D string and a 7th fret D on an unwound G
string as you can on just about any other electric guitar. I tested this
on my Supreme vs some of my other guitars and he's right about this. I
never really noticed that before.

He said that the first thing that we should try is to raise the height of
the Fly's pickups. Push both E strings down on the 24th fret and raise the
pickups as far as they'll go .. HOWEVER, he said, DO NOT let the pickups
get "floppy" in the pickup cavity as this will cause the pickups to vibrate
and cause mid-frequency "howling" feedback. He said we might want to try
to put some foam under the pickup to make sure that it stays secure and not
loose. This will help those looking for a higher output/more focused tone.

We can also (obviously) boost the signal of the guitar with an external
preamp/line booster. [This led me to wonder if the guitar's onboard preamp
can be wired to do the same for the magnetic output... More on this
later...]

Unfortunately, he told me that the P1/P2 pickups are basically the
hottest/highest output pickup that DiMarzio (or probably any other passive
pickup manufacturer) can produce for the Fly. Basically, that's the end of
the story.

I then asked him exactly what exactly can DiMarzio do for us?

DiMarzio can't produce a -hotter pickup- because of the magnet size
restriction.. BUT.. they can produce Fly pickups with tonal characteristics
similar to other DiMarzio pickups. Here are the models that he mentioned
in particular:

PAF ( But I don't remember him mentioning PAF Pro specifically... )
Fred ( In my opinion a Fred would sound awful in a Fly... )
Norton ( My favorite DiMarzio pickup.. This might sound very good! )
Breed ( No experience with this pickup )
(obviously Tone Zone and Air Norton...)

He also said that they once put an Evolution's winding into a Parker pickup
for a customer and while the pickup didn't have the same high output as the
Evolution it did have the same type of sound. This might be a solution for
some of looking for a more focused distortion tone.

And that was basically it. Although I will also say that I mentioned Ed
Roman's black back Parker Fly replacement offer and we discussed this topic
at length. I will share a few points that he expressed to me. First, I
read that Parker selected DiMarzio because DiMarzio was in NY and local to
Parker. Steve said that Parker in fact received pickup submissions from
many manufacturers and selected DiMarzio after objective analysis. Parker
thought that the DiMarzio pickups sounded best in their guitars. I guess
this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone and I must say that Steve said
nothing bad about anyone or any other pickup manufacturer. Also, it is my
opinion that DiMarzio clearly seems to have done the most R&D for Parker
Guitar pickups and I think it's very unlikely that a pickup from a
different manufacturer will be any dramatic improvement over what we
already have. I could be wrong, but I will personally no longer consider a
Duncan or a "black back" replacement in my Fly.

That's basically it... I hope this was as informative for other Fly owners
as it was for me. Steve is THE MAN in my book and the fact that he loves
his Artist is a good thing for us all. Keep in mind that the reason why we
have the upgraded pickups is because people at DiMarzio are passionate
about their personal Parker guitars. After talking with him I have a new
found respect for the thought that went into the Fly.. Good luck to all!"



Alex

« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 10:04:54 AM by 908ssp »
Alex

[IMG]http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r245/908ssp/ThumbNails/_1010802.jpg[/IMG

Fly Pickups info

Offline Tom Anderson

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2008, 10:20:00 AM »
Great post, Alex! [8D]

'07 Fly Artist
'07 Fly Deluxe
Soldano SLO
'07 Fly Artist
'07 Fly Deluxe
Parker PDF60
Parker PDF80
Parker PDF85
http://www.artistryintitanium.com/

Fly Pickups info

Offline BB12

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2008, 11:16:38 AM »
Thanks Alex

As ever, a very informative and useful post.
Was there a follow up on the Onboard Preamp issue?

André
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 11:18:30 AM by BB12 »

Fly Pickups info

Offline Darter

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2008, 12:28:49 PM »
I'm really happy to have read this.

Thank you for making this info available.

D
Electric--  94 Fly, PRS, 3 Ibanez - Thin, Iceman, EX, Schecter 7-String, Univox 12-String Archtop Hollow-Body, Brawley (Campfire Guitar), Kasuga Bass (57 Fender Copy)
Acoustic-- Ibanez 12-String, Harmony 12-String, Gretsch Synchromatic Archtop, Yamaha Classical, Giannini Classical, Washburn (Bird's Eye Maple), Martin Cutaway (Kit ...Unfinished) Mbox 2 Pro/Protools LE v8, Korg D32XD, 2 Adat/BRC, Mackie 1604, Tascam Portastudio 488, Roland (2) GR-09's,VG-8,VG-99, FC-300 (Controlled With 2 US-20's). 2 GK-2A, 2 GK-3. SR-16, 3 Digitech GSP-2101's. Buckets of pedals.  **Variety**

D.

Fly Pickups info

Offline danjazzny

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2008, 12:41:34 PM »
Informative and interesting info Alex. Thanks! [8D]

'97 Alex Artist ; '99 Simonized Artist; '97 Custom Red Artist; '98 Custom Tobacco Artist (Hardtail); '96 Dayn Deluxe (Hardtail); Line6 Flextone 3 Amp++SpiderValve 212 Amp++Fishman Loudbox Pro 100 Acoustic Amp
'99 Simonized Artist 4lbs13oz; '97 TransRed Artist 4lbs9oz; '00 TransCherry Classic w/SD's 5lbs3oz; Line 6 Vetta II

Fly Pickups info

jwrooker

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2008, 01:09:56 PM »
My personal experience with Dimarzio has been excellent.  Every question is quickly answered and I went to them asking for a pickup suggestion for my 98 Classic.  I followed their advice and I love the results.  These guys know their stuff and freely share their knowledge and advice.


John

98 Fly Classic w/ VPAF's - 99 Fly Deluxe w/Gen 1's
02 NiteFly M w/ VPAFS - 98 Fly Concert - 07 Single Cut

Fly Pickups info

Offline gtrbmart

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2008, 03:14:05 PM »
Awesome post.
Really helpful.
 

Fly Pickups info

Offline Lwinn171

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2008, 08:48:07 PM »
Cool... a good read. Thanks, Alex. [:D][^]

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic,1998 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 08:48:24 PM by Lwinn171 »

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Fly Pickups info

Offline 908ssp

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2008, 09:04:10 PM »
I figured that most everybody had picked up this information from the years of being here. I thought this was interesting in that it comes right from DiMarzio who was a principle and not just fan.

I wanted to mention that he talks about the fact that he couldn't build a pickup with a bigger magnet for lack of room. Well that is a constraint that was reasonably applied by Parker but needn't be a constraint on us. I have a number of times modded the pickup routes while not easy it isn't impossible. The bridge route is real safe I wouldn't suggest doing the neck route if not absolutely necessary and even then you're much more limited at the neck than at the bridge.

Alex

Alex

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Fly Pickups info

Offline Binner

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2008, 10:21:14 PM »
I think I had this same conversation with Steve in about '03. They will also make a Humbucker from Hell and the Steve's Special for the Fly.

As a note, the Duncan Distortion, which has an over sized ceramic magnet, does fit a Fly Mojo without routing (it fit in mine).

That is a good read.
'97 Fly Classic with Steve's Special/Air Norton
'05 Mojo Flame (Green) with SD Distortion/Jazz
'03 Parker 5-String (Natural) Duncan AJB-5s
'89 Hamer with Sustainiac
'95 Ovation Standard Elite (Green Burst)
'98 Ovation Balladeer (Red burst)
PRS Custom 24
Fender American Deluxe Strat
a bunch of Jacksons
a bunch of Charvels
a bunch of Peaveys (Vandenbergs)
Mesa RoadKing II
Mesa Mark IV Long Head
Mesa Stiletto Deuce II
Mesa F-30
Mesa 4x12
Peavey Triple X 2x12
Peavey 4x12 with two V30s and 2 G12T 75s
SWR Bass 750 with Mesa 4x10 and 1x15
Mesa Bass 400+
...and a bunch of other stuff

Fly Pickups info

Offline Bill

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2008, 06:44:54 AM »
Thanks Alex.

That is a great post and it was great to read it again.

Maybe consider archiving this thread under the FAQ section.

A few Flys in my soup
A few Flys in my soup

Fly Pickups info

Offline maceman78

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2008, 10:00:15 AM »
John, what advice did they give you for your Classic?
1998 Classic Fly, Second generation pickups, Peakey JSX head through a Peavey 212 cabinet housing Celestion GT75's

Fly Pickups info

Offline maceman78

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2008, 10:01:20 AM »
Hey Alex. Have you nay sound samples of the hybrids? I know that a amp makes a big difference but would be cool to hear them.
Do you sill make the hybrids? I am still pondering a change. Right now my bridge pickup may have some microphonic issues. I'll try replacing backer foam first but the pickup might have to be replaced or sent back to DiMarzio for a rebuild.

So what's up with the Hybrids? Still make them?
Thanks again for all the help over the years. You are definitely a great help to Parker Guitars.
Dennis
1998 Classic Fly, Second generation pickups, Peakey JSX head through a Peavey 212 cabinet housing Celestion GT75's

Fly Pickups info

Offline 908ssp

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2008, 12:12:28 PM »
Yes still making them when people ask. If I don't have any made I can usually make a pair in a couple days. I am potting them now so to avoid any microphonics issues haven't had any issues yet just a proactive move. Lawrence did some recording with his ceramic hybrids I think there was some clips some where. I don't do any recording sorry. I just read some more evidence that there is something special about the hybrid type pickup.

Alex

Alex

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Fly Pickups info

Offline Lwinn171

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Fly Pickups info
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2008, 01:55:55 PM »
I sent an email off-board offering MP3's of the "Pow Pow Pow" demo. I used Alex's Hybrids in a Classic and a Deluxe. I love them, great sounds... I use the Ceramic version, more aggressive break-up. I've tried the Alnico V set as well, but didn't keep them. They are also very nice, warmer than the ceramics. Just not my style [:D]

I'll send MP3's to anyone interested. However, it should be remembered that I used a blend of 3 amps, and even that got some tweaking in the studio. The blend changes from song to song, as does EQ (a bit).

The amps were:
1. Mesa Boogie MK IV into 4-12 Vox cab
2. Old Marshall JMP 2-12 combo
3. Vox Valvetronics 100 watt head into 2 12 Marshall cab

The best sound was usually a blend, so that's what we mixed.

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic,1998 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys