Pickups

*New* DeArmond Dynasonic Pickups

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The NEW DeArmond brand Dynas are out! The DeArmond brand is owned by Cordoba, these new pickups are made in Korea, aka “BHK”, which makes many kinds of pickups for lots of import brands. Close inspection suggest these are made in the same way as the MIA DeArmond 2000s that were installed in Electromatics in the early to mid Oughties. I bought a set for my Streamliner, ripping out the neck T-Armond and replacing the much loved vintage Model 2000T I soldCan’t go wrong, right? :)

The casing/mount is stamped like the vintage models, but a squarer die appears to have been used. Not as rounded as TVJs or the vintage casing. The bobbins are held in by a soldered base plate, the riser screws are soldered in as well—I’ve been told these are very difficult to pull apart. I’m not determined to do it just yet, especially since this design seems pretty much similar to the DA 2000s. Lots of wax potting, hoping I can get some of that extra wax out/or they are light dipped since I rather keep these pickups on the microphonic side.

Neck resistance: 7.5k, Neck inductance: ~3.9H

Bridge resistance: 8.8k Bridge inductance: ~5H

These are going into new Guild Starfire IIs, and more models, presumably. Nothing about them on the website yet. I have high hopes for these pickups based on the numbers.

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Those have fake magnet slugs & bar magnets, like a 2K.

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It's such a shame that Fender scrapped the original DeArmond tooling.

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Those have fake magnet slugs & bar magnets, like a 2K.

– Billy Zoom

BZ, the guy who sold me these, at Precision Guitar here in Phoenix, assured me the slugs were the magnets like the Bill Turner described DeArmond 2000s. I haven't gutted one, but they are inexpensive enough to try and pull apart. No bars, so I'm told. All hearsay I suppose until somebody guts one. The construction details on the bottom suggests Cordoba basically repro'd the DA 2000 design, with 1/4" slug magnets, but maybe hotter and not so weak, but I have yet to install them.

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Compared to the DeArmond 2000s I owned, the slugs had lots of bevel at the top.

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Ah, this is is a better pic, original DeArmond 2000 pickups example:

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Compared to these new Dynas revamped for Guild guitars.

I paid $89 a pickup, 5 percent discount for the set.

Not affiliated, just a happy customer:

Link

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EDITED: (You can read the original post below if you care).

My response was based upon being the first post I read this morning. It was in error as I misread earlier posts.

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

EDIT #2: I didn't realize that when you edited a post it also changed the quoted portion. Interesting. Well, just as well that my errors are not preserved for eternity.

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I think Border Radio is correct based upon the bottom photo he posted that these are indeed the same 2000 pickups as in the Electromatics and not 2Ks in the DeArmond guitars.

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EDITED: (You can read the original post below if you care).

My response was based upon being the first post I read this morning. It was in error as I misread earlier posts.

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

EDIT #2: I didn't realize that when you edited a post it also changed the quoted portion. Interesting. Well, just as well that my errors are not preserved for eternity.

– Don Birchett

The problem with this idea is these are completely new pickups made to spec by Cordoba MG, and show the typical BHK and RoHS stickers seen on modern Blacktops and others. 2000s and 2ks are easy to tell apart from the bottom view and are no longer made, though I agree sorting out those two pickups has been an ongoing, routine chore.

My personal impression is these pickups are reverse engineered from the MIA DA 2000s, as there are no steel rods hanging out the base, only the base plate, and the soldered elevator screw end caps on the external side. The coil leads are mounted on posts in the corner, the wire lead crimped at two points just like those DeArmond stamped 2000s. Only thing missing is the "DeArmond" script logo, and these base plates don't appear to be brass.

The website printed on the retail sale box doesn't show these pickups as of 9/12/19, but the Guild site does show the Starfire II aka Jerry Garcia model with new Dynasonic pickups.

Thankfully, this is the "DeArmond Dynasonic", as printed on the box, dropping any additional numbering confusion (at least). The black/chrome set part item numbers are 009-9403-049 (neck) and 009-9404-049 (bridge)

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I guess whoever owns the DeArmond brand at any given time has the right to call anything they like a Dynasonic.

But without even starting to pass judgment on the relative performance of all these near-lookalikes, it's a shame there's no trade nomenclature to denote a pickup with the original FidelaTone design - ie, magnetized polepieces with the spring-loaded elevators.

I've had experience with all the above pickups (except the new ones), and I like them all. But they do NOT sound the same, and I much prefer the original design.

Others, however, may prefer the alternate construction. As things now stand in the marketplace, anyone - with any preference - may well be confused by the many similar pickups with similar shells, bearing various combinations and variations of "DeArmond," "Dynasonic" and "2000/2K" in their names.

It would serve the market well if FMIC, Cordoba, and even Seymour Duncan could come up with a consistent and clear naming convention. Only TV keeps it clear with T-Armond. Not only do you know what you're getting, but TV has an exclusive model name which doesn't inadvertently advertise others' products.

Seems like they'd all want that.

Since "2000" and "2k" have been ruined, and at least three brands are now using "Dynasonic," maybe Gretsch could always call theirs "FidelaTone Dynasonic."

(I would suggest "FidelaSonic," but I'm not sure we need another coinage - and it could suggest some new variety rather than emphasizing the long history of the pickup Harry D gave a number and the name FidelaTone, and which Gretsch renamed Dynasonic.)

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My back-channel experience with Cordoba is that they have no interest in doing anything like Joe Carducci did for Gretsch. They aren't going to correct the LB-1 pick imbalance. They are not going to name any product in a consistent way. If something isn't right with these, it'll never get fixed, they will just spin it as "they are supposed to be this way". They aren't Fender. The only thing they care about is if it looks cool on instagram.

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FideliTroniSonic

FideliSoniTronic

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Dyn-ish-Sonic

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Well...that's very dissappointing. The people who own the DeArmond brand have released a cheap Asian made copy of a not-so-great recent pickup that was kind of inspired by a bona fide proven classic.

Lame

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Well people seem pretty keen to bang on these without even having tried them.

I've compared the DeArmond 2000s with original 50s vintage DeArmonds (by the way the 2000s do have alnico magnet pole pieces but shorter which I feel is a plus especially with regards to sustain and mounting options.)

The DeArmond 2000s that these look to be a reasonably accurate copy of actually sound remarkably like the 50s original DeArmonds. I bet they could fool people on a blind test.

If these are basically built the same way but with slight cosmetic differences, who cares, they will probably sound just as good. Basically anything past the original 50s 60s and 70s models is basically a copy, including the Gretsch/Fender dynasonics which aren't exactly high points in design themselves (cheap plasticky feeling covers, fall apart easily, thinner sounding(though I liked the way they sounded) Sometimes Fender isn't even 'Fender' as far as quality goes. These are probably built better than the Fender Dynasonics, solider construction.

I think it's cool somebodies remaking these pickups. I like them. Bravo!

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Well people seem pretty keen to bang on these without even having tried them.

I've compared the DeArmond 2000s with original 50s vintage DeArmonds (by the way the 2000s do have alnico magnet pole pieces but shorter which I feel is a plus especially with regards to sustain and mounting options.)

The DeArmond 2000s that these look to be a reasonably accurate copy of actually sound remarkably like the 50s original DeArmonds. I bet they could fool people on a blind test.

If these are basically built the same way but with slight cosmetic differences, who cares, they will probably sound just as good. Basically anything past the original 50s 60s and 70s models is basically a copy, including the Gretsch/Fender dynasonics which aren't exactly high points in design themselves (cheap plasticky feeling covers, fall apart easily, thinner sounding(though I liked the way they sounded) Sometimes Fender isn't even 'Fender' as far as quality goes. These are probably built better than the Fender Dynasonics, solider construction.

I think it's cool somebodies remaking these pickups. I like them. Bravo!

– Toxophilite

I don’t see it as banging them so much as banging the misnaming of them. I like the DA2000 (own two with them) but the name Dynasonic should be reserved for what has been known as a Dynasonic for over 60 years. (got one of those, too)

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Fair enough, though not everyone was focusing on the name issue. One could argue that the more recent Gretsch /Fender iteration of that style of DeArmond pickup maybe shouldn't share the name Dynasonic either.

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It's just a shame that the people who bought Guild don't care about it nearly as much as as the New Hartford people.

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I don’t have a dog in this name or Cordoba race, I’m just a guy who likes Dynas/DeArmonds of all kinds, and Guild too—those Newark St. LB-1s are great if you reverse the pickup positions and invert the blade orientation :)

I finally found time to install in my Streamliner 2420 that used to have a T-A neck and a late 50s vintage DeArmond 2000T in the bridge.

These are every bit as good as the modern MIA DeArmond 2000s. I actually think they improved those pickups because the bridge is a little hotter, not over the top, but just enough. Bright, but nothing I might call shrill, but note I like Jazzmaster pickups with 1meg pots :)

The bass response is not extreme like a neck mounted Gretsch Dyna, it’s more balanced. Actually, there is very little difference between my T-A neck pickup and these new MIK DeArmonds.

The bridge pickup is my kind of sound, meaning wiry and twangy. A little bit of mids are apparent, but I set the bridge pickup close, similar to how I set a Telecaster bridge pickup, dropping the slugs into the bobbin. Next string change I think I’ll remove a spacer so I can bring the poles out a little, as I’ve done on the neck pickup. No, it’s not quite as ‘live’ as the vintage DeArmond, not as loud, but’s overall tone is very close (vintage @9.9k).

The bassy meat of the Gretsch Dyna is reduced—low cholesterol, but the highs are there, maybe not so edgy, more calm like the T-A. I miss the microphonics of a vintage pickup, but on the up side, I could not get these pickups to squeal, even with stacked fuzzes. I’m comparing to numerous sets of T-As I’ve played and own, the two DA 2000s guitars I owned, the said vintage DeArmond 2000T, and vintage 50s Martin DeArmonds I got to test out.

These pickup types are an installation labor of love, but these new pickups do not disappoint. If one already has the higher end stuff, one isn’t missing anything, but these are also half the price. There are a few tonal reasons to swap these in, but that’s personal preference at that point. I’d get them again lower end projects/builds.

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Thanks for the review BR; I might get one for the bridge position in my Annie.I'm assuming these aren't too noisy since the output is relatively tame. I found the MIA DA 2000 to be quiet for a single coil.

One question: Is the diameter of the magnet slugs the same or larger than the Fender made DA 2000?

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Wow. Anyone from outside the Gretsch dimension will think we're crazy. My head hurts


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