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Product 302712

DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup  

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The DiMarzio PAF DP103 humbucker pickup has a smooth, almost voice-like quality and that intangible swell to the notes after attack. It possesses vin...Read More

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OVERVIEW

Classic vintage tone without microphonic squeal.

The DiMarzio PAF DP103 humbucker pickup has a smooth, almost voice-like quality and that intangible swell to the notes after attack. It possesses vintage output and breathes freely with an open, warm character. Played flat-out through a non-master volume tube amp, the 36th anniversary PAF recreates the deep character of the great plug-in, turn-up and wail school of tone. Modern potting techniques and tight, consistent winding eliminates squeal and microphonics common to the original guitar pickups.

FEATURES

SPECIFICATIONS

PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup

  • Wiring: 4-conductor
  • Magnet: Alnico 5
  • Output: 250mV
  • DC resistance: 7.31
  • Year of introduction: 2008
Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
DiMarzioPAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup
 
4.5

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

82%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Improves sound (8)
  • Good quality (7)
  • Easy to use (4)
  • Functional (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Concerts (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (6), Professional musician (5)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Brilliant pickups!

    I have a couple of Les Pauls and a UK made Gordon Smith Graduate 60 (Les Paul) which I bought in 2008 and was fitted with Wilkinson Zebras. Overdriven it gave a great...Read complete review

    I have a couple of Les Pauls and a UK made Gordon Smith Graduate 60 (Les Paul) which I bought in 2008 and was fitted with Wilkinson Zebras. Overdriven it gave a great sound but clean was really muddy. So I decided to refit with the 36th Anniversary DiMarzio DP223 at the bridge and DP103 at the neck. Amazing sound difference. The guitar is now a tone monster. Absolutely everything I would hope for from a Les Paul, and I've been playing them for almost 40 years. The output is lower than previous - but all the tones are now in the right place. I now prefer the sounds out of this to those from my 1973 Gibson LP Custom ! I'm playing through a 5 Watt Fender Champ (Class A), a Marshall EL84 20/20 and a Peavey Triumph 60. I record via a Digitech 2120 (which also drives the Marshall 20/20) and a Marshall JMP1. The guitar and these pickups sound amazing through all of them !

    I should add that I went for DiMarzio as I bought some of their pickups in the late 1970's and indeed still have several SDHB DP100s and a PAF and Dual Sound. I liked them at the time but age has gotten the better of me and I now like tone more than distortion. I now like to see the amp do its work rather than the pickup - if the pickup output is good quality, the amp will sound fine whatever. And this pickup (and the DP223) certainly produce a quality output. Try them - you will not be disappointed !

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Dimarzio PAF

    I first bought this pickup about eighteen years ago,and I've been using them since! I've used them in everything from teles to strats to les Pauls. These are very versatile pick-ups for any...Read complete review

    I first bought this pickup about eighteen years ago,and I've been using them since! I've used them in everything from teles to strats to les Pauls. These are very versatile pick-ups for any sound from blues to heavy metal! The only thing I don't like about them other than the warble from the bass strings(typical of Gibson,and similar humbucking pick-ups)is that they have four conductor wires which I never use! I read about Eddie Van Halens' experiments with these back in the eighties and realized I could do the same! Now I DO NOT recommend tearing your brand new pick-ups apart! I do take some of the windings off to create a thinner sound from the bass strings, so that I get a smooth sound in the overdrive channel on my Fender champ 12 without muddy over- tones! I am a luthier ,and have been doing this for eighteen years straight! I'll rewrap the coils,and wax pot everything again,so that it looks the same as before! I can rewind pick-ups,just NOT make them! This saves me a lot of time! I get the pick-up I want,with the sound I want,without spending a lot of time,or money trying to find that"perfect pick-up"!

    Reviewed by 20 customers

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    4.0

    Very good service

    By Rodneyk33

    from Vancouver, WA

    About Me Novice

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

          The first pickup I received had a defect with the adjusting screw threads. I received a replacement with no hassle in a timely manner.

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          Incredible!

          By Kid Blues

          from Baltimore Maryland

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Functional
          • Good Quality
          • Improves Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Backup
            • Concerts
            • Practicing

            Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

            I have been through a lot of humbuckers and single coils over the years and purchased the dp103 for the bridge and the dp223 for the neck of my double humbucker strat. I only bought these because I saw them in my local music store and thought I'd try something new in this particular guitar I was building. I've never been into dimarzio, not for any reason, just always went with bareknuckle, Duncan or frailin pups. I had a Duncan 59 in the neck and a Duncan alnico II pro in the bridge of this guitar and was blown away when I first played this set of 36th paf buckers. I lean towards a 70s billy squire, dirty blues and classic marshall crunchy rock sound and these were a PERFECT fit! I tested them through an orange or15 head and an orange 2x12 cab and then through a 1959 slp marshall and a custom marshall 4x12 cab and in both cases I was floored. Beautiful Classic PAF bucker tone and that perfect classic rock grit! The best part was the price. I don't mind paying a lot for pickups if they are worth it to me but these were on the cheaper side so needless to say I was way beyond surprised at how good they sounded. I haven't tried them in my les paul but in this strat they kill! Well done dimarzio.. You have a new fan!

            Comment on this review

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Still One of the Best.

            By Big Jim 57

            from USA

            About Me Professional Musician

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Functional
            • Good Quality
            • Improves Sound

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                DiMarzio started the replacement pickup thing. In the 1970's everyone used DiMarzio pickups. I have been using them since they came out. I am a lifelong guitarist and luthier. I also build amplifiers (ex-Soldano, ex-Ampeg). It would be difficult to beat a DiMarzio PAF for Classic Rock. All of the newer "boutique" PAF clones are way too expensive, and many of them do not sound right. The DiMarzios always sound right. I have owned more DiMarzios than anything else, and the quality and consistency are right on every time. I have also owned nearly every other pickup out there more than once, and I always come back to DiMarzio. Need more power than a PAF? The DiMarzio Super Distortion is the ticket. These pickups were modeled to sound good through a real Marshall amplifier from the 70's. That's the pro set-up. Folks who change their pickups and then play through a Line 6 or a solid-state Yamaha amp or something will not realize the benefits of a professional pickup.

                Comment on this review

                 
                5.0

                Better Than what I had.

                By Toby's Doghouse

                from Albuquerque NM

                About Me Experienced

                Ask me a question

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Functional
                • Good Quality
                • Improves Sound

                Cons

                • No real cons

                Best Uses

                • Backup
                • Concerts
                • Practicing

                Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                Put in neck position of Japanese Les Paul. Vantage VLP-500 (circa 1984)This is basically a metric version of a Gibson LP. Mahogany body, but with bolt on mahogany neck. Naturally a dark sounding guitar without much sustain and somewhat difficult harmonics especially at the 5th fret. I've owned this guitar for aprox 30 years and can't see getting rid of it since it plays excellent but has low resale value. I removed the original neck pick up (unknown brand but came with guitar from Matsumoku Factory) that seemed a bit muddy and lacked clarity especially high up the neck on the low E string. The DP103 is not the neck pick up Dimarzio recommended to me. Its easy to call and email them for good advice. I went outside their recommendation. But compared to the original the DP103 still gives better clarity to each note and took out some but not all of the muddy tone on the low strings. This is likely characteristic to the mahogany guitar body/neck and nickel wound strings. This pick up is an attempt to get classic LP tone and a match for the DP233 I put in the bridge. See other review on that. The low notes are still a little muddy but the high notes especially on the unwound strings sound great. I use a coil tap switch which gives me a decent Stratocaster neck type of tone for blues when needed. The DP233 and DP103 have a great coil tap single coil tone. Organic, chimey, open, airy and sparkly. With both pick ups on I can roll back the neck volume from 10 to 9 - 9 1/2 and get a real nice middle strat pick up sound. I never used to use the bridge and neck together but now I do with these pick ups. Installation was easier than anticipated. This guitar is now quite versatile with very decent tone. Very usable now where before I did not play this guitar much I certainly will now. It's like a different guitar that I'm already familiar with. I have Seymour Duncans with coil taps in another guitar so I did not want to duplicate the same/similar tone in this one. That's why I went with Dimarzio. It gives me better variation between guitars. But I can now switch guitars and have similar volume from my pedals and amps with either guitar.

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                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                awesome,must have

                By Dave Surrey Maiden British Columbia

                from Surrey BC Canada

                About Me Professional Musician

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Improves Sound

                Cons

                • None

                Best Uses

                • Neck Pick Up Position

                Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                i have never bought or used a neck pickup before,but when i was building my Dave Murray Replica,i had to get this pick up,and wow it sounds great,and gives me that tone for doing Dave Murray guitar solo's

                Comment on this review

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Clear tone and coil tap is fantastic

                By DeaconBlue

                from Clifton Park, NY

                About Me Experienced

                Ask me a question

                Pros

                • Excellent Coil Tapping
                • Improves Sound
                • Very Clear Sound

                Cons

                • Slightly Compressed

                Best Uses

                  Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                  The stock pickups in my Godin flat five semi-hollow were tarnishing, so I put these in (bridge and humbucker). They were different from the old pickups and wasn't quite what I had envisioned so I wasn't sure whether I liked them or not, but after using them for a few months I am very happy I chose these. These do not breathe as well as the stock pickups but when the coils are split they cannot be beat. I have received compliments on how clear my tone is now. I have the beef when I need it in humbucking mode, and a less compressed and surprisingly authentic single-coil tone when split. My favorite is the neck split with the humbucking bridge so I highly recommend separate splits for each pickup.

                  If you are thinking about replacing your humbucking pickups and are hesitant due to the cost of the Seymours or Gibsons, I think you would be VERY happy with these.

                  Comment on this review

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  What I was looking for

                  By Gold Topless

                  from Los Angeles

                  About Me Professional Musician

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good Quality
                  • Improves Sound

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Concerts

                    Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                    I bought one for the neck position of my Les Paul and loved it. So I bought another for the bridge. They sound amazing and look great. Nothing else to say.

                    Comment on this review

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Brilliant pickups!

                    By Smooghead

                    from Highlands, Scotland, UK

                    About Me Experienced

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Functional
                    • Good Quality
                    • Improves Sound

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                        I have a couple of Les Pauls and a UK made Gordon Smith Graduate 60 (Les Paul) which I bought in 2008 and was fitted with Wilkinson Zebras. Overdriven it gave a great sound but clean was really muddy. So I decided to refit with the 36th Anniversary DiMarzio DP223 at the bridge and DP103 at the neck. Amazing sound difference. The guitar is now a tone monster. Absolutely everything I would hope for from a Les Paul, and I've been playing them for almost 40 years. The output is lower than previous - but all the tones are now in the right place. I now prefer the sounds out of this to those from my 1973 Gibson LP Custom ! I'm playing through a 5 Watt Fender Champ (Class A), a Marshall EL84 20/20 and a Peavey Triumph 60. I record via a Digitech 2120 (which also drives the Marshall 20/20) and a Marshall JMP1. The guitar and these pickups sound amazing through all of them !

                        I should add that I went for DiMarzio as I bought some of their pickups in the late 1970's and indeed still have several SDHB DP100s and a PAF and Dual Sound. I liked them at the time but age has gotten the better of me and I now like tone more than distortion. I now like to see the amp do its work rather than the pickup - if the pickup output is good quality, the amp will sound fine whatever. And this pickup (and the DP223) certainly produce a quality output. Try them - you will not be disappointed !

                        Comment on this review

                        (3 of 43 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        1.0

                        Warning pickups to avoid like the plague

                        By Starlover

                        from Orlando, Florida

                        About Me Professional Musician

                        Pros

                        • Look Like Real Pickups

                        Cons

                        • No Bottom End
                        • No Roundness
                        • Poor Quality

                        Best Uses

                        • Returning

                        Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                        I have been playing guitar for 45 years professionally. I have owned many quality guitars and occasionally done my own repairs and upgrades to my instruments. But generally leave it to the real pros for my guitar work. This is just to let you know I am not an amateur, that my experience and expertise is extensive.

                        I recently purchased a PRS Single cut SE for playing live. Not the quality of my Gibson Les Paul Custom, but a less expensive quality guitar that could take the rigors of live performance and still sound good.

                        I decided to upgrade the stock pickups to get a better quality sound. I heard the Gibson 57' Classic's, Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan were all about the same. (NOT! Read on.)

                        I looked at the price of all 3 brands and decided on the Dimarzio DP103 and DP223. The Gibson's were twice price. I then had the best guitar work guy in the state install the new Dimarzio pickups.

                        I soon discovered why there was such a price difference between Gibson and Dimarzio. And it is NOT just the name brand thing. The Dimarzio DP 103 and DP 223 pickups are poor at best. And that's being way to kind.

                        The pickups are very thin sounding, no warmth, no bottom end, no roundness! They were so trebly and "twangy" sounding that the guitar sounded more like a really cheap single coil Stratocaster than a PRS with Humbucker's. Frankly, Dimarzio pickups don not rate one star.

                        But it gets worse. Read on.

                        One of the reasons I chose the Dimazio was they have an "exchange" program. Supposedly if you are unhappy with the product they will exchange for a different pickup. Yeah right!

                        So I called Dimarzio and spoke to their "tech support" guy. I politely explained the pickups were just not the sound I expected and would like to exchange them for one of their other pickup models. From the start, he was extreme rude. I was told there was nothing wrong with the pickups and there was no way Dimarzio would exchange them. Period!

                        I politely asked again, saying that I really needed to exchange them and was there someone in management that I could appeal to for an exchange. The Dimarzio "Tech Support" guy replied NO! Not going to happen. Period! Without a doubt this was the rudest and worse support I have ever encountered in my musical career. (I suspect they only have one "Support Guy" too. I finally advised him, I would probably have to return them to the retailer then. He said "You do what you have to do", and then he hung up on me.

                        So that's just what I did. I returned them. Musician's Friend is awesome. I had no such problems with them. They happily exchanged them for the Gibson 57' Classic and Classic plus no problem. And WOW! What a Difference. Pay the extra amount for the Gibson 57' Classic's. They have an incredible sound that just keeps giving. Just go read the reviews on the Gibson's. They are all true.

                        Avoid Dimarzio products like the plague. Trust me. This is THE review to read for the Dimarzio pickups. Buyer beware.

                        Comment on this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Fantastic

                        By Bruno

                        from Cedar Falls, IA

                        About Me Experienced

                        Ask me a question

                        Pros

                        • Good Quality
                        • Improves Sound

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                            I installed two of these in an Ibanez AS53 Semi-Hollow which structurally is a wonderful guitar, but had a dark muddy tone. It was like turning the lights on! These pickups have a wonderful clarity AND depth. Nice and warm, but still have bite, especially when splitting the coils at the bridge. If you don't split the bridge coil, you're missing out on a great usable tone. I highly recommend these pickups. Using a Digitech guitar modeling processor to do the work of creating sounds, these pickups create a crystal clear conduit for transmitting the true sound of the guitar to be modified.

                            Comment on this review

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