DiMarzio "The Breed" neck and bridge

Price Paid: 
Mine were factory installed. Street price is around $70.00 each.
Humbucker/Single Coil/Stacked Single: 
Passive/Active/Not sure: 
AlNico/Ceramic/Not sure: 
Instrument Installed in: 
Ibanez JEM DBK
Sound Quality: 
5 (excellent)

Going on eight years and absolutely perfect.

Customer Support: 

I've never needed to contact Ibanez or DiMarzio. Everything's worked perfectly.


DiMarzio's "The Breed" guitar pickups are designed for a specific application. They're meant to be installed in Super Strat guitars when you want a warmer smoother vintage PAF tone.

25 1/2" bolt on necks, light weight bodies and tremolo bridges all work against this type of tonality, so DiMarzio, (at the request of Steve Vai), created a pickup specific to reaching this goal and they did a fine job. The player remains in their comfort zone using the body style and scale length they prefer while producing tones more closely related to LPs and 335s than any tone associated with the instrument they've got strapped on.

Taken outside their design frame The Breed pickups tend to turn muddy and muffled. Too deep. Far too middy. They're not meant to be installed in Maple top / Mahogany, Mahogany, Korina, or Semi-Hollow bodies. They're meant for Basswood, Alder, Ash, Maple, etc. body woods. They're meant for Floyd equipped guitars. I believe customers failing to understand this wonderful pickups purpose have given it a less than stellar reputation. Low ratings abound in threads at many guitar sites.

"DiMarzio's Breed pickups made my [ Explorer, SG, PRS, Les Paul ] sound like shit."
"I installed a set of DiMarzio Breeds in my Hamer Studio and they sounded horrible."

I figure fools who fail to read the purpose behind a pickups design deserve what they get. When used in the application DiMarzio designed them for they're excellent. Mine came factory installed in an Ibanez JEM DBK I bought almost eight years ago and this is one of only a handful of guitars I own that remain "stock." I wouldn't change a thing on this axe. I wanted to look "up to date" and have a Floyd at my disposal, yet, still hear the type of tone I personally preferred. I couldn't be happier with the selection I made.

I've heard Breed pickups in Fender Big Apple and "Fat" Stratocasters and a Breed bridge model in a humbucker equipped Esquire and they sounded killer. Installed in the proper guitar the Breed pickup is tops in it's class.

Overall Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)