Steve Vai is a long time DiMarzio pickup user, and together they have just launched his new signature pickups – the Dark Matter 2. But how do you go about testing various proto types?
As Steve Vai explains, it’s not just a matter of installing various sets of pickups in seemingly similar guitars, because even guitars that should be identical in theory are unique. They each have a significant tone to them, so the solution was to use a single guitar for all of the testing. What Steve Blucher, Senior DiMarzio Pickup Designer, did was mounting 3 sets of prototypes on 3 different pickguards that would be fairly easy to swap in the same guitar.
Vai would then test each set by recording the same parts, using both clean and dirty tones. And then listen very carefully to the tiny details in the tone they produced. That was how they ended up with the end result – the Dark Matter 2!