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Rick, will these be the pickups installed in the upcoming batch of S2 guitars? Will the switching be the same as planned?

Roger — Development of pickups (and switching) has been one of the most amazing aspects of this entire development. Without speaking for him, Steve Blucher and I have both been surprised and fascinated by what we are discovering.

This is truly unlike a traditional electric guitar.

The final version of switching is in a state of flux (intended) at the moment, as Steve digs in on something new we learned last week...

What I can reveal is currently (intended) the new pickups are achieving some of the most beautiful tones I have ever heard from a guitar, in particular:

1. Clean tone that has a Strat-like clarity but with much greater richness and depth. Imagine a single coil but with strong bass response.

2. Overdriven humbucker sounds...these pickups are also capable of overloading the clean channel on an amp, getting front end distortion. Very organic sounding. Cleans up with the volume knob on the guitar.

3. Joe Pass sound. Warm mids & bass yet with definition and roundness.

4. ALL sounds are hum canceling. And passive.

Due to DiMarzio's patented (and pending) designs for the inner workings of the pickups, final switching patterns could change from our initial discussions. The 5-way lever switch will remain a constant, however.

Thanks for the detailed reply. I remain in a state of eager anticipation!

Roger — I do too!

If I had released these guitars to market earlier, I would then be living with the knowledge they were not as good as they should be.

Equally important, a client who had the original pickup configuration would be living with the knowledge that the current pickups are a huge leap forward...and if he or she had only waited a few more months their guitar would be extraordinary (rather than excellent).

I am learning there is a fine curve in the development process. A transition point into diminishing returns, when additional time invested does not result in significant leaps forward. That is when I know a design is mature and ready to go into the world.

The hardware is at that point. Very refined. Ergonomics too.

The pickups are still improving significantly with additional time and effort investment. But the pickup development cycle is short, and getting shorter. Last week we tested the new pickups. Today Steve Blucher & Eric Corpus are installing testing an improved bridge pickup in the guitar. Next week it is likely pickup magic will happen...

Point an ear in the direction of Staten Island. Due east of you, I think. Let me know what you hear...

Yes, the concept of diminishing returns is pervasive throughout many of life's pursuits. It's good to hear you explain this. Thanks for the reassurance, and for the dedication to near-perfection that you are keen on following through. See ya in a couple/few months! ;)

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Rick Toone

Neck Profiles

Tuning Systems


  • NUT

    Intonation adjustable.

  • BRIDGE

    Ultimate tone and sustain.

  • TUNER

    Precise headless tuning.