View Poll Results: Antiquity Surfer VS Area 58

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  • Duncan Antiquity Surfer

    24 75.00%
  • Dimarzio Area 58

    8 25.00%
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Thread: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

  1. #1
    Tone Member sumitagarwal's Avatar
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    Default Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Take your pick and fight over the pro's and cons.

    One is vintage-correct, one uses the latest noise-cancelling tech. Both are just over 6KOhm winds and both aim for that late-50's Strat sound.

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/product...02409_08_10_a/

    http://www.dimarzio.com/pickups/stra...-strat/area-58

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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    IME/IMO, Area's don't sound like single coils: they are more powerful and have a lot more high frequencies (something like 7db on a wide scale between the resonant frequency and 15khz). It gives a raw zingy tone which can fool ears at first but that I've found un-natural and tiring. And they haven't the dynamics of single coils IME.
    There's other noiseless designs that I like better.

    Duncan's... I've just mounted a new set of SSL1's in one of my spare Strats because after many pickup swaps, I was missing that tone that I had discovered more than 30 years ago. FWIW, I've recently "refreshed" a real L Series Strat and I've not found its original mid pickup really different when compared to a stock SSL1. There was a difference with the neck pickup because it was underwound but the overall EQing and personality were about the same.

    Real single coils are not THAT noisier. than noiseless PU's, BTW. I've found that I need noiseless pickups only for full distorted shred. With a not too distorted tone, I can use real single coils on most stages without too much noise.
    Last edited by freefrog; 05-25-2012 at 11:56 PM.
    Duncan user since the 80's...

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    Stratoblaster Tone Meister STRATDELUXER97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Use and love the Surfers for several years now...Don't know anything about the DMZ pickups...Pretty strict SD user.
    Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

    Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

    Pickups: SD SSL2,SSL5,Twangbanger,Antiquity Surfers,59N,Seth Lover N/B,Dimarzio Fred,Dimarzio VPAF N,Fender Fat 50s,Fralin SP43 Bridge,Brobucker,Antiquity Texas Hot.

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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    IME/IMO, Area's don't sound like single coils: they are more powerful and have a lot more high frequencies (something like 7db on a wide scale between the resonant frequency and 15khz). It gives a raw zingy tone which can fool ears at first but that I've found un-natural and tiring. And they haven't the dynamics of single coils IME.
    There's other noiseless designs that I like better.
    Couldn't possibly disagree more.

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    Tone Member sumitagarwal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    So how many people have actually tried both?

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    Super Toneologist GilmourD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Quote Originally Posted by sumitagarwal View Post
    So how many people have actually tried both?
    My brother's got a Strat with an Area '61 in the bridge. I'd call that bad boy VERY Stratty compared to the Duncans I have and have used. I haven't used the Antiquity Surfer set, though.

    No noiseless pickup is going to be 100% dead on the money compared to a real set of '50s Strat pickups... But even then only a few current offerings in the vintage style are 100% (some by design, some just missing the mark). I'd say the Area series is at least 98% of the way there.

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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    It's 100% of the way there, as much as any other.

    No two pickups that try to claim the title of "this sounds like a vintage 50s/60s strat pickup" sound the same.

    I went through a ton of them. Duncans, lollars, fralins, suhrs. None of them sounded like each other, some of them sounded sort of odd (Suhrs describe themselves as sounding 'greasy', I concur, it is a very odd eq). Lollar blackfaces lacked sparkle in the presence for instance. They all had their charms, they all had things I didn't like as well. I don't think I liked any of the boutiques as well as the SSLs honestly.

    Then I tried the Area 58s and 67s. Problem solved. They sound just as much like a 'vintage' strat pickup as any of the 'real' singles I tried, which no other DiMarzio/Kinman/Lawrence/Duncan noiseless I'd tried before ever did, moreso than some boutique singles that just sounded strange, and not exactly like any of them but none of the others sounded exactly alike either. There was nothing missing, no 'x% of the way there', they were all of the way there and overall better sounding than the rest of the bunch, and no odd eqing like some of the boutique singles had.

    The ONLY thing missing is the noise, so if you consider 60 cycle hum part of the sound, complain about the lack of it. I've played in plenty of places where even humbuckers hummed too much, single coils were completely un-usable. That problem gets solved with the Areas and nothing at all is sacrificed, unless you expect them to sound EXACTLY like Lollar Blondes, which they don't, but neither do Duncan SSLs, nor anything else.

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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Below is the real frequency response of a real Dimarzio Area (in white) compared to the spectrum of a real single coil (in green). Both pickups have been tested in the same way, with the same wiring. This picture is its own comment and translates what I was saying above.

    Duncan user since the 80's...

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    Super Toneologist GilmourD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Quote Originally Posted by freefrog View Post
    Below is the real frequency response of a real Dimarzio Area (in white) compared to the spectrum of a real single coil (in green). Both pickups have been tested in the same way, with the same wiring. This picture is its own comment and translates what I was saying above.

    The problem with your graph is that you don't specify WHICH real single coil it is. Real '54 Strat pickup? '60s Strat pickup? SSL-1? SSL-5? Quarter Pounder? GFS Greybottom? DiMarzio Red Velvet? None of them have the same curve.

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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Quote Originally Posted by GilmourD View Post
    The problem with your graph is that you don't specify WHICH real single coil it is. Real '54 Strat pickup? '60s Strat pickup? SSL-1? SSL-5? Quarter Pounder? GFS Greybottom? DiMarzio Red Velvet? None of them have the same curve.
    In this case, it's a Van Zandt bridge pickup.

    I've not mentioned which model it was simply because whatever you think, the shape of a resonant peak is almost always the same with single coils, whatever is the pickup used. See the Fig.3 here:

    http://buildyourguitar.com/resources/lemme/


    This resonant frequency can be tamed ("rounded") with low pot value or low gauss magnets but the overall "angle" of the triangular spectrum is typical an defines the sound of a single coil.

    What changes the "voice" of a pickup is mostly the place where is the resonant frequency (like in the Fig.8 in Helmuth Lemme's website), and this place depends mostly on the inductance of the pickup.

    The un-natural curve of the Area is due to its second coil: you'll never find any real single coil with a spectrum like that.
    Last edited by freefrog; 05-28-2012 at 01:13 AM.
    Duncan user since the 80's...

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    Mojo's Minions LtKojak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    To add to this, it's been my experience with stacked single coils that they may sound close to a single coil in a recording, but they just don't BEHAVE as single coils... why? Because they aren't!

    They don't have the dynamics and response to touch as a real single coil, which may or may not being desirable. In the studio can be an asset, live, well, not so much, specially if you use the in-between 2 and 4 positions a lot, if you ask me.

    HTH,
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

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    Super Toneologist GilmourD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Quote Originally Posted by freefrog View Post
    In this case, it's a Van Zandt bridge pickup.

    I've not mentioned which model it was simply because whatever you think, the shape of a resonant peak is almost always the same with single coils, whatever is the pickup used. See the Fig.3 here:

    http://buildyourguitar.com/resources/lemme/


    This resonant frequency can be tamed ("rounded") with low pot value or low gauss magnets but the overall "angle" of the triangular spectrum is typical an defines the sound of a single coil.

    What changes the "voice" of a pickup is mostly the place where is the resonant frequency (like in the Fig.8 in Helmuth Lemme's website), and this place depends mostly on the inductance of the pickup.

    The un-natural curve of the Area is due to its second coil: you'll never find any real single coil with a spectrum like that.
    You may be absolutely right, but using science without giving all the facts doesn't help you prove your point.

    Also, do you have graphs of other passive single coils? As a student of science I can tell you that a small sample size also doesn't help you prove your point.

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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Quote Originally Posted by GilmourD View Post
    You may be absolutely right, but using science without giving all the facts doesn't help you prove your point.

    Also, do you have graphs of other passive single coils? As a student of science I can tell you that a small sample size also doesn't help you prove your point.
    I understand what you say but I can't post the hundreds of screenshots that I've done with resonant frequencies for ten years. Changing these screenshots in .jpg pictures is not a quick and easy job!

    Furthermore, I'm member of many forums and moderator on another one (and I earn my life as a teacher in a local University and I'm a bar band guitarist and amateur guitar tech the week-end and I'm also an old fart with a family) . So, when I post and although I type fast, I tend to favor sobriety (not to mention that I post to help other musicians and not to "exhibit" a knowledge).

    But if you don't see my first picture as reliable, here is another screenshot, showing the resonant frequency of three real original L Series Strat pickups, compared to the same Area than above.

    Last edited by freefrog; 05-28-2012 at 04:32 AM.
    Duncan user since the 80's...

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    Super Toneologist GilmourD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Well, I'm with you on the sobriety, being straightedge myself.

    Now that's the type of science I like to see.

    Now, what I'd like to know is how that curve compares to, say, a Fender Vintage Noiseless or a Kinman.

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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Quote Originally Posted by GilmourD View Post
    Well, I'm with you on the sobriety, being straightedge myself.

    Now that's the type of science I like to see.

    Now, what I'd like to know is how that curve compares to, say, a Fender Vintage Noiseless or a Kinman.
    Oh, my posts aren't supposed to be scientific: they are mere attempts to vulgarize my findings in order to help other guitarists.

    Below is a picture of an Area VS a L Series mid PU VS a Kinman AVN62.

    I can't post the Fender noiseless whose data are on another HD. I can tell you that Fender noiseless's are even worse than Area's when it comes to resonant frequencies (they have a strange dual resonance with a scoop around 10khz).

    Now, if you don't mind, I'll stop to post in this topic for a while because I've a lot of work idling here.

    Duncan user since the 80's...

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    Super Toneologist GilmourD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    Quote Originally Posted by freefrog View Post
    Oh, my posts aren't supposed to be scientific: they are mere attempts to vulgarize my findings in order to help other guitarists.
    Well, regardless, they're much more scientific than the general "my ears tell me so." It puts something quantifiable into the "equation". If I had the necessary equipment and the time (full-time job and a 2-year-old son = no real free time) I'd get my hands on every pickup out there.

    I still say that the Area '61s sound damn good, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by freefrog View Post
    Below is a picture of an Area VS a L Series mid PU VS a Kinman AVN62.

    I can't post the Fender noiseless whose data are on another HD. I can tell you that Fender noiseless's are even worse than Area's when it comes to resonant frequencies (they have a strange dual resonance with a scoop around 10khz).
    Definitely interesting that the Kinman is actually pretty close.

    I wonder what the three different models of Area pickups look like compared to each other.
    Quote Originally Posted by freefrog View Post
    Now, if you don't mind, I'll stop to post in this topic for a while because I've a lot of work idling here.
    Fair enough. I probably won't post for a good portion of the day since I've got a long day ahead of me at work...

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    Stratoblaster Tone Meister STRATDELUXER97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    I'm not familiar with the DMZ Area pickups,but it's hard to get alot of love for the DMZ stuff on a SD forum...I do use the DMZ Fred,but otherwise I'm a SD/Fender pickup user..

    I remember hating the first series Noiseless(Toneless)pickups that came in my 99 AD strat...They were like imitation vanilla,flat,and just crappy sounding...The 1 meg volume pot only made bad pickups worse,though I know the technology keeps getting better..

    I Like single coils and not the "wanna be" ones! ;o)
    Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

    Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

    Pickups: SD SSL2,SSL5,Twangbanger,Antiquity Surfers,59N,Seth Lover N/B,Dimarzio Fred,Dimarzio VPAF N,Fender Fat 50s,Fralin SP43 Bridge,Brobucker,Antiquity Texas Hot.

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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    I use 2 Area 58's middle and neck, and a DM Virtual Solo in the bridge position. I've also had the stock Fender Alnico V's, D.Allen Austin Blues, and SD SSL1/SSL1/SSL 5, in my Am Std, and to my ageing ears the DiMarzios are the best sounding of the lot!

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    Jolvisologist gripweed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    I guess I think it would be more fair to compare the DiMarzios with the Duncan noiseless stuff.

    I would really like to hear a shootout between all of the better known noiseless offerings and see which pickups sound most authentic.
    Gibson LP Melody Maker -- stock, Epiphone Dot -- Jazz neck and '59 bridge, Fender Telecaster Blackout Deluxe -- stock, 90's MIM Standard Strat with Duncan Texas Hot Custom in the bridge.

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    Default Re: Duncan Antiquity Surfers VS Dimarzio Area 58's

    The problem with your graph is that you don't specify WHICH real single coil it is. Real '54 Strat pickup? '60s Strat pickup? SSL-1? SSL-5? Quarter Pounder? GFS Greybottom? DiMarzio Red Velvet?
    The other problem is that you don't know which Area that is either. '61s sound FAR different than a 58 or 67. So that graph means jack. Nice try though. You also don't know pot values, install conditions, etc etc.

    The proof is in the puddin. I've actually listened to and used them, along with quite a few duncan/lollar/fralin/suhr singles, and every single noiseless model DiMarzio made before them, Duncan noiseless, all the kinman models (still use Woodstocks in some guitars, but i'd never claim those sound like real singles) and the Bill Lawrence ones. The only noiseless that sounds like a real single are the Area DiMarzios, in fact they sounded more like that than some of the actual single coils.

    Add: Kinman '62s do NOT quack properly at all in the middle positions. Area '58/67s do. Explain that with a graph please.
    Last edited by RayBarbeeMusic; 05-28-2012 at 10:07 PM.

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