Guitars

Experimenting with the FS-1 / vintage pickup combination

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This week I was playing around a bit with the combination of the fat-sounding DiMarzio FS-1 (FS in fact stands for ‘fat Strat’) plus a ‘normal’ vintage-sound pickup.  I have the DiMarzio in the middle and a MK61  – a reproduction of a 1961 Strat pickup, becoming available exclusively on mk-guitar.com soon – in the bridge position of one of my guitars. For more background information on what this has to do with the early Dire Straits sound see this blog post. I am sure that Mark had this combo in one of his two red Fender Strats until October 1978 when he moved the DiMarzio to the neck position. You can hear the typical sound on many live bootleg recordings from that time (e.g. […]

Guitars

New Theory on the Sultans of Swing Sound: DiMarzio FS-1 Pickup in the Middle Position

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Mark Knopfler’s guitar sound on the first two Dire Straits albums is firmly associated to the 1 & 2 position (bridge & middle) of the 5-way switch. This position causes a special, nasal “out of phase” sound. The term out of phase is technically incorrect as both pickups are still in phase but – similar to a true out of phase wiring – certain frequencies are cancelled or at least decreased and others boosted so that the resulting sound of both pickups together is totally different from the sound of a single pickup. In one of his two red Fender Strats Mark had a DiMarzio FS-1 pickup (confirmed in a Guitar Player interview from early 1979). He often swapped the pickguards of his two Strats […]

Guitars

How close is the VFS-1 Pickup to the Original Fender Vintage and the DiMarzio FS-1?

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I recently introduced the new VFS-1 pickup as an alternative to the F500T-style (Schecter-style) pickups in our loaded pickguards, and I already started to work on some video demos of  the complete VFS-1 pickup assembly , the first of these should come within the next days. What I can present today is a side-by-side comparison of the new VFS-1 pickup against the two pickups that inspired us to design this model: the DiMarzio FS-1 (which Mark Knopfler had in the neck position of his red Fender Stratocaster when he started Dire Straits), and a ‘real’  Fender vintage Strat pickup – remember, the VFS-1 is a tapped pickup which gives you two different sounds, so we need to compare it to both. To get the true […]