Didonato body ready for assembly
follow the severe legacy of the great luthiers
of the present era? And mostly, there are a lot
of great modern luthiers that are doing it.
GC: Do all your pickup coil designs originate
from the P-90?
Edoardo Di Donato: No, there is also a dual
blade humbucker, but mainly the single coil
design originated from the P90. The P90
is a wonderful pickup. It was exceeded by
the PAF due to the noise, but it remains a
piece of art. The way it picks up harmonics
is magic, and the power is far beyond
every other single coil. Sure, you have the
noise, but who cares when you have such
an articulate result? It is also very eclectic,
and you can obtain totally different sounds
by changing wire and combining the two
existing magnets. With the same type of wire
and accurate number of spires (wire turns)
you can combine two AlNiCo 2 magnets
or an AlNiCo2 and an AlNiCo5 magnet, a
ceramic and an AlNiCo4 magnet obtaining
completely different results. We maintained
the basic design, but we changed materials;
using vulcanized fiber and not plastic
bobbins. Pole piece slugs are made under
our specs without screws, and we completely
changed coil dimensions. All the pickups are
38 Guitar Connoisseur Magazine Fall 2013
hand wound in our workshop after we listen
to the acoustic sound of the guitar.
GC: What influenced you to build your own
pickups, instead of working with a pickup
maker? Edoardo Di Donato: First of all, we wanted
total and direct control over the result. We
decided to do something different, and why
not also pickups? Our pickups have different
dimensions; they don’t fit standard guitars,
and standard pickups don’t fit in our guitars.
It was very time and money consuming
because we had to gain experience on
completely new materials and manufacturing.
Eventually, pickups are made of vulcanized
fiber or plastic bobbins, magnets and copper
wire. But you have endless possibilities: fiber
thickness, magnet dimensions, power and
type, copper gauge, insulation, number of
spires (wire turns), final dimension of the
bobbins and its width/height ratio. And
with all these variables, you can understand
that also for pickups we have done tons of
garbage before finding the right one.
Second of all, it is a pleasure that we will not
miss! it’s a peculiar combination between
science and art.
GC: Does conventional acoustic guitar
design, nylon or steel string, fit with your
perspectives? Any plans to design an acoustic
guitar? Edoardo Di Donato: there are different
works in progress, not really an “acoustic
guitar”. Acoustic? Nylon? Maybe... for sure
GC: In a video of Tony Remy playing a
Di Donato guitar, you are backing him up
on drums—and very well too! What’s your
background as a musician?
Edoardo Di Donato: I played drums for
twenty years in local bands. I love all the
“classic rock” drummers! Mitch Mitchell,
John Bonham, Ian Paice, Ginger Baker...
and they all have something in common...a
master of the instrument in front of them.
GC: How did you meet up with Tony?
Edoardo Di Donato: Enrico met Tony during
a fair in Italy, he was playing. He came to visit
us at our booth and he fell in love with our
guitars. Tony Remy is a real master. He can
play everything from blues to jazz, and in fact
he plays with the best musicians