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Why does Dimarzio largely ignore the bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by rubendlr, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. rubendlr


    Mar 10, 2012
    Austin, TX, USA
    They have really great stuff on the guitar side, but although they get props for having the only mass produced Gibson EB series replacements, it's slim pickings after that. The Split P is great, but they need a rail based J to go with it. Also, they should either have alternatives to EMG or Bartolini shapes and sizes or even better yet do their own soapbars or humbuckers.

    What do you guys think? I think they're missing out on a lot of untapped business here. And it would be great to have another player in that space. Even Seymour Duncan can use more focus on bass.
  2. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    I'd agree with making soapbars I'm sure they could do it quite well. Bass usually doesn't make as much money as guitar though.
  3. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    There's only so much bass demand out there, plus a wealth of bass-oriented pickup makers have come along.

    Besides I think modding and pickup swapping in search for ultimate tone is more prevalent in the guitar world. Tone from a bass comes from a lot more than just the pickups.
  4. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    Arguably, though, they do have some great offerings:

    The "Area J &P" pickups are fantastic, especially at their price point.
    The "Model J&P" pickups have their own vibe, which works really well for some folks. Again, great pricing.

    You mentioned the Model 1. Then there's the Split P and the Billy Sheehan Will Power. And the Ultra Jazz.

    I don't think they ignore bass at all -- they just have their niche.
  5. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I think DiMarzio has decent offerings for P and J basses, but I cannot fathom why the Area J for five strings isn't manufactured to fit Fenders. I would have bought a set for my 2008 Jazz V, and I can't be the only one. I did buy a set for my G&L JB, and they're excellent.

    They probably could do a great job with soapbars and MM pickups, but perhaps they think those spaces are too crowded.
  6. They probably sell one bass pickup for every fifty guitar pickups. It's not a worthwhile business venture to cater to a smaller market, when there is a much bigger market with whom they have successfully marketed to throughout their history.
  7. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    A Dimarzio soapbar would be astounding IMO.
  8. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    A soapbar would be cool. But what they really should do is offere 5 string versions for all of their existing stuff.

    I'm not even a 5 string player and I can see this need. I mean, the Model J is a super great pickup with it's very own thing going on, for not a lot of money, and you can't get it for a B string.
  9. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    I think they do well enough in the bass department ... particularly in the Fender and Fender compatible Precision and Jazz markets where, I would imagine, the lion's share of the replacement pickup action is. As long as we're on this thread ... I'd like to give props to DiMarzio's customer service. I purchased a really nice Atkinson USA Custom Guitars parts bass from Dan that was outfitted with a set of DiMarzio DP126 P+J pickups. The J pickup eventually fried on me and since it was purchased OEM on a custom build, I didn't have a receipt to get it repaired/replaced under their 5 year warranty policy. Anyway, they took the fried J pickup back with no questions asked and sent me a brand new one to replace it.
  10. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Interestingly, even Aguilar has recently jumped into the bass pickups game - in a major way. Not long ago, they were producing amps, cabs, onboard preamps & accessories exclusively. Now they're making Js, Ps, MMs and even soapbars. :meh:

  11. rubendlr


    Mar 10, 2012
    Austin, TX, USA
    Yeah. There are a lot of cool vendors now, Delano, Nordstrand, and even Aero. But at the very least I agree with making more 5 string stuff, and I still think they should add a rail J model, lastly make the 5 string J they have now be retrofit. Dimarzio, are you listening?
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Spector is even starting to use Aguilar pickups instead of EMG's...bout time :)
  13. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    There was a time when only Dimarzio and SD did pickups for bass. I put dimarzio's in my '77 J bass back in... 1978. They were a big improvement over the stock pickups back then.

    That Dimarzio let folks like EMG, Bartolini, Duncan, Nordstand, etc take over the market is no one's fault but their own - I guess they were making their bucks on guitar pickups, which frankly, they are better at. I have a guitar with dimarzios in it and it sounds great, but my basses all have Barts.
  14. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    DiMarzio makes Sadowsky pickups. Wouldn't surprise me if they made other brands too.

    I've done a lot of pickup swapping in the past, always on 4's and never bothered on a 5. IME, there's already a huge glut. Bassists are a small minority, a small subset of which is here and into modding, most of whom would prefer to go "boutique" anyway. Modding 5-stringers... might bring you down into the single digits of customers.
  15. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think what they offer is ok, especially since their classic P and Js are really pickups with a sound their own that noone else offers; as a turbo boost for passive basses, they do that classic hard rock thing quite well. I agree though that the rails based P pup could use a Jazz sibling set that would make for a killer PJ set.
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    their area J and ultra jazz pickups are some of the best hum-canceling jazz pickups around, and also they used to make a soapbar called the "alchemy 101", built into a wooden cover.

    i guess it didn't set the world on fire, because they stopped making it years ago.
  17. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    DiMarzio makes some of the Sadowsky pickups (custom ultra jazz 4 and 5)

  18. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    There are so many aftermarket pickup makers now, that DiMarzio could go out of business tomorrow and not be missed.

    Why complain? Bass players have more freakin' gear available nowadays than ever before. In fact, there's so much stuff out there, that most of us will never get to try it all. We won't live that long! ;)
  19. rubendlr


    Mar 10, 2012
    Austin, TX, USA
    Not complaining, really, but just wondering what's behind their apparent lack of interest in our instrument. Also I'm a big fan of choice, but like you said unless I hit the lottery or became a rock star, odds are I won't get to sample a fourth of what's out there already.
  20. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    The lack of a five string Model J has had me scratching my head for years, too. Great pickups, and I'd love to put one in a 5er.