DiMarzio DP420 Virtual Solo : Recensione di racerevlon (content in English)
"A great high-power single coil with classic looks."
I call this pickup a "sleeper" because it preserves the look of the Strat but cranks up the output and tone of the bridge pickup into nice crunch and, with a little help, distortion. The DP420 Virtual Solo is an excellent alternative for anyone who doesn't want to change the look of their Strat but wants more output and a little more "rounded" tone with the highs not as piercing as a standard Strat bridge pickup. They'll never see you coming--no one will know your Strat is modded until you plug in. With a B/M/T EQ curve of of 6.5/7.5/5.5 it more closely resembles a humbucker but still preserves that "Strat" tone. The output of the Virtual Solo is 205 mV which is almost exactly halfway between a standard Strat pickup and a PAF. This gives the pickup a nice crunch and grind quality while keeping the cleans smooth, crisp, and glassy. Like the Dimarzio web site says, if you pick softly, the Virtual Solo cleans up nicely--hit the strings harder and output increases notably. In reality, when I dig into the strings I think the Virtual Solo almost takes on a Telecaster-esque "twang" and compression. I also think the DP420 Virtual Solo has enough of a mid and treble push that it could be a contender as a middle or neck pickup, although I’ve never tried it in either position. All in all, I think the Virtual Solo is the best way to get increased output in the bridge of your Strat without changing the look of the guitar to something like a stack or rail-looking pickup. I’ve used many replacement Strat bridge pickups and usually have to go to a blade design to get the sound I’m looking for, which I’m fundamentally OK with, but still, there’s an understated elegance in being able to maintain the vintage look of your Strat and still have it sound like a modern-day monster. If that’s what you’ve been looking for, the DP420 is definitely worth the investment.