Price paid: $ 75
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
This pickup is commonly used in the neck position, however, I put it in the bridge on my PRS SE Custom 22. According to Dimarzio, it was originally designed to be a bridge pickup. I put it in because it has plenty of bass and mids, so my bridge position would be a little more full and less bright. It's classified as medium output, and I would have to agree. It's definitely hotter than a Vintage PAF, but not so HOT that you lose Vintage type tone altogether. If you look on the DiMarzio site, its output is right there with the PAF Pro and PAF Joe, but its eq is reversed, and it has a bass emphasis, rather than treble. Anyways, it really has a nice tone in the bridge, and the output is great for an all around pickup. It gets good sustain, and is just in that sweet spot where it can push something nice and hard if you want it to, but won't overdrive the heck out of everything you plug in to. When split, I have found this pickup to be pretty bright, but in all fairness DiMarzio recommends 250K pots with this pickup and I use 500. Overall, a great bridge pickup if you want to stay in the "hot PAF" and get that tone, but not with an excess of treble.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I think this is a very good pickup for the bridge position, despite being overlooked for that purpose. It provides the classic humbucker tone with just enough power to get into more modern territory. Unfortunately, it's a massive pain in the rear to track down this pickup in the correct color and F-spaced, but if you have a helpful store, DiMarzio is great about getting exactly what you need.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've had this in for about a year, and no problems so far, it seems to be made well and hasn't gotten any blemishes or cracks as of yet. Then again I've never had a pickup go out on me. Looks like DiMarzio has a pretty decent 5 year warranty, so between that and being an industry standard, I'm not concerned in the least.