The DP234 Black Angel ($165 street) updates the “Angel” model by virtue of its matte-black finish. Similarly designed to “hear” the entire frequency range of the guitar, this passive unit features dual coils on a parallel axis to the strings, and a humbucking magnetic circuit that is isolated to reduce finger and pick noise. The DP234 requires a soundhole diameter of 31/2" or more, and it comes with a 10-foot cord with a ¼" plug on one end and an 1/8" mini plug on the end that plugs into the pickup. A pre-wired endpin jack is included for those who prefer all the wiring to be inside the guitar.
Installed in a new Guild D-120 steel-string acoustic, the DP234 sounded round and smooth from top to bottom when played through a Dr. Z Z-Lux 1x12 combo set clean. The string-to-string balance was so good that it wasn’t necessary to make any adjustments to the polepieces, and the pickup’s complete absence of spiky transients made the Guild sound and feel very natural and organic. The amplified tone also remained clear and free of any brittleness when strumming hard too, which is always a plus when performing with an acoustic guitar.
Compared to a Larrive flat-top equipped with a Fishman Aura system, the Guild/DiMarzio package sounded less “produced” overall and perhaps a bit more midrangey, but these instruments complemented each other so well that I could easily see the value of adding the DP234 to any piezo-equipped guitar just to broaden its sound (a built-in phase switch facilitates incorporating the DP234 into a dual or multi-source configuration).
All in all, the DP234 Black Angel is a great choice whether used by itself or in combination with a system that’s already in your guitar. —Art Thompson
For more information visitdimarzio.com/pickups/acoustic/black-angel
Watch a demo of the Black Angelhttps://goo.gl/S0zqE9