Guitar Gear Review: DiMarzio The Humbucker From Hell DP156 Neck Humbucker

This is a very cool little pickup I first tried a few years ago. It was living in the neck of a basswood body, maple top, 25.5″ scale maple neck with a maple board, with a Gotoh style double locking trem.

At the time, it was a bit of a departure from what I was used to trying for neck pickups and I think I even tried to compared specs among other models from other manufacturers. And I’m glad I did. This is a cool little neck pickup.

This pickup came out in 1992, and if you remember, it was described in a way that made it seem a little unorthodox. A humbucker that sorta sounds like a single coil? Well, sorta yes and sorta yes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a humbucker, so you don’t have the single coil hum…. yet it’s very glassy and even chimey…you know, like a single coil.

This is me we are talking about, so you know it’s getting a run down in a high-gain amp setting. And where many neck pickups can fall short, the HFH really delivers…. a well defined low end. That’s right, this is a cure for a muddy low end out of a neck pickup. It was the first neck pickup I remember trying where I was able to play leads and solos in the neck position and the clarity and musicality came through as though I was in a bridge position pickup.

When split and on a clean amp setting, you’ll think you’re hearing an acoustic guitar. You read that right. And not just flat picking, but strumming as well. On many neck pickups on a split wiring, I still have to watch it when strumming, lest it might push the amp a bit too close to breaking up. The HFH lives for that sort of tone. It will inspire you to play more clean amp settings, for certain.

Throw it over into a full-tilt rock-boogie dirty tone, and the HFH provides clarity and definition. The low end is punchy and defined, while the highs are crisp and cut through the mix. The slightly reserved mids settle right in to a range that balances between polite and rude.

series – 5.77k
north – 2.56k
south – 3.21k
parallel – 1.44k
output – 226 mV

The next stop for this pickup will be in the neck of an all-mahogany set-neck single cut to see how it handles a serious dark neck position.

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Darth Phineas is a long time music industry insider who provides his readers with unbiased reviews on musical instrument and guitar gear. You can read more of his reviews and check out industry news on his Facebook community Darth Phineas