#1
Hi, i'm off to america next week and hope to pick up some Dimarzio pickups for my 1570 Ibanez

I'm thinking of putting the Tone Zone in the bridge [instead of a super distortion] and then matching that with a Paf Pro or the Paf Joe

Could anyone shed some light upon which would be the best match with the tone zone for distortion built leads [but also good cleans, which i beleive both pickups can do] and the ecetera

#2
Air Norton is a great match.
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#3
Is there any particular reason you want the Tone Zone...might as well make sure you get the right pickup for you. The Air Norton is a good match for the Tone Zone, although it's a bit lacking in treble for my tastes and probably needs 1 meg pots to get the best out of it.
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#4
Well i'm not exactly in need of a high powered distortion pickup although i would consider the Super distortion for that, i may well change my mind when i'm out there and get the SD with a matching neck pup [PAF Pro/breed - acceptable?]

But the tone zone apparently has alot of clarity and scope which seem's like a good choice seeing as i'd like clarity and a lack of muddiness and i'm looking for a matching neck pup
#5
Hmmm - Tone Zone is a tricky one, it can get muddy pretty easily and in my experience hates anything less than medium gain tones. It's definitely a "distortion" pickup. It has shredder clarity on individual notes but chords can mush up if you're not careful...it's a very "busy" sounding pickup.

To be honest I'd give it a miss if you don't want a distortion pickup - play it on the clean channel and it just sounds like you're using a crappy distortion pedal! I reckon the Norton (not the Air Norton, just plain Norton) would be a much better bet for you, possibly the Breed if you want to significatly bump up the lower mids and have a fatter, warmer, closer to a Les Paul type sound. The Breed neck is an excellent pickup, warm, fat and expressive - generally what most people want from the neck. It's also quite powerful and will hold it's own against any of the higher output Dimarzios.

I reckon a Norton/Breed combo would be a much better bet, possibly a pair of Breeds if you really like your tones fat.
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#6
^ Ahh i didn't mention that - it'll be primarily used in a distortion setting - shred tones + metal lead [nothing like Death Metal or anything, more trash etc]

Does that change things? I guess the neck choices would all give passable clean tones though?

All in all i want something better for gainy situations than the V8 stock bridge pickup and the ceramic V7 in the neck - more 'balls' perhaps and clarity i guess is what im looking for
#7
To me it doesn't seem like the best pickup for a band situation, it's very much a "look at me" pickup that suits more solo-orientated stuff...if that's your thing then it'll be great

I really can't work the Air Norton out, it has a glowing reputation but so far it really hasn't done anything for me...sounds like there's a blanket over the amp which is why I'm switching to 1meg pots in an attempt to sort it out! Both the Breed and the Paf Pro will do great clean tones, they're very responsive to the volume control.
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#8
^ Excellent, have you by any chance had the time to test a Paf Joe perhaps? And do you have any views on the Super distortion? I've heard it's not waxed and can get really out of control with noise but thats only a few reports- or a completely new choice ?

Sorry, it's just a complex mix of things that all affect each other and i've not had the chance to test them all out - unfortunately dimarzio dont extend their pickup swap service to the UK
#9
Not used the Joe, but in essence it's a Paf Pro with the mids ramped up - if you like it then it "gives an expressive, vocal quality to the sound", if you don't it "honks like a goose on heat".

The Super Distortion is a great pickup but it's very much a one-trick pony, there's a certain "fizzy" quality to the sound and it screams 80's hair - listen to Ace Frehley's parts on Kiss Alive - that's a textbook example of the Super Distortion in action.
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#10
Hrm this is a dilemma

I want a set of pickups that when distorted for a metal sound is a good lead guitar - something that's good for rythms [not a soley rythm guitar though, i have another guitar i'd use for that] and a neck position that can cut through and give clear thick lead runs but something that doesn't get muddy

I'll go have a look through the reviews and the DiMarzio site again

Edit : I think the Super distortion/Paf Pro combo would work for my need's based on what i've heard - as long as the Super distortion can help bring me into higher gain areas
Last edited by philipisabeast at Jul 18, 2007,
#11
I think the Breed is the standout choice for the neck, the bridge is a little less clear cut. The Norton is probably what I'd go for - it's hot, but just a shade under "distortion" output meaning it's extremely versatile. A lot depends on the kind of sound you have in your head though...trebly, bassy, middly, compressed, open etc. A lot of the Dimarzios are designed with a pretty specific purpose in mind so they do certain things extremely well at the expense of others.
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#12
i've got a TZ in the bridge in my RG (basswood). i tried both the paf pro and the air norton. the paf pro was only SLIGHTLY less muddy than the sludge-pushing air norton. i wound up getting a super 2 (against the recomendations of the dimarzio guy i talked to on the phone). i find that it matches the TZ almost identically. i've never really liked the sound of neck pickups, but this one changed my mind.

oh yeah, i don't go ANYWHERE NEAR the clean channel. i've even forgot how to get there anyway

if you go to dimarzio's website, they've got a little tone chart for each pickup. after realizing that the AN was sludgier than the 9th ward after katrina i looked at the tone charts, and the super 2 looked as if it was balanced very bright.
its got really nice harmonic response, its got nice clarity and definition
Last edited by sethp at Jul 18, 2007,
#13
How's the TZ in a distortion set up with that basswood guitar [similar to mine i guess]? Muddy at all?


I think due to it being a lead based guitar i'm now thinking of a Breed neck and a TZ in the bridge - as long as it can handle moderate riffing
Last edited by philipisabeast at Jul 18, 2007,