Dino Cazares Talks Retribution Pickups
Dino Cazares has used active pickups to shape his sound from the first Fear Factory album onwards. Dino goes way back with our active Blackouts – in fact, he was one of the players we consulted with when we developed them, and he gave us invaluable feedback in voicing the final versions. But the original Blackouts aren’t signature Dino pickups: that honor is reserved for the Retribution, developed in 2014 as a refinement of Dino’s tonal vision. Something just for him.
The pickup was developed at the same time Dino was working with Ibanez on his long-awaited signature model guitar, the DCM100. This seven-string, Mahogany-bodied beast has a 26.5” scale length and is tuned A-D-G-C-F-A-D, with a three-piece Maple/Bubinga neck carved to Dino’s specs, and a Lo-Pro Edge 7 bridge for tuning stability. And such a custom instrument deserves a custom tone. “Well the Dino guitar, I wanted it to be less hot, because my amp is pretty much rippin’,” Dino explains. “And I wanted to bring some of the gain down just a hair, just a little bit, to add more clarity to it. The Dino Retribution has got a little more crunch but it’s still got the full clarity and the full body the Blackout has.”
Care was also taken to voice the pickup for Dino’s rapid-fire picking style, which demands a sound that holds up under high gain. “Sometimes when you palm-mute the guitar it can get muddy, so I added more high mids to give it that crunch,” he says. “So that’s a big difference between the Blackout and my pickup too. But the main difference is if the regular Blackout has, say, 14dB more gain, mine would have, I would say, 11. We brought mine down a few dB just give to give it a little more clarity and so it wouldn’t feed back. Sometimes my amp can feed back and it’s not controllable, so we brought that down… and it’s just perfect! It’s rippin’!”
Like the other pickups in the active Blackouts series, the Retribution comes with wiring schematics and all necessary mounting hardware including pots, stereo jack, and battery clip. A calibrated bridge and neck set is available for 7-string guitars in passive or soapbar mountings, and there’s also an 8-string soapbar bridge version which pairs perfectly with the Blackouts neck model.
Check out the Fear Factory website for all the latest news on the band.