Price paid: £ 65
Purchased from: Axesrus
Sound — 9
I stuck this pickup in the middle position of an RG style custom build, and I LOVE IT. When I've got the gain on my Peavey Valveking 20 at about 7 and the humbuckers on either side of the Air Norton are getting all fizzy and angry and then I switch to the Air Norton and, bliss, smooooth pure soulful tone, no crazy harmonics springin' outta nowhere. The sustain, as mentioned in other reviews, is incredible, especially considering the pickup is nowhere near high output. Switching to the clean channel, and you get a rather pokerface tone. I'd say the pickup is well balanced; my "proper" humbuckers seem to give more low end, the Air Norton is less harsh, but at the same time, it lacks any distinguishable character (apart from being really tame).
Reliability & Durability — 9
Since when was your pickup breaking the first thing on your mind at a gig? It's a DiMarzio, it'll probably outlast the guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
The Air Norton is that calm composed quiet guy that doesn't need to shout to be heard, and when it speaks, everyone listens. Unless you desperately want a single coil I would certainly recommend it in the middle position for a uniquely tame tone, but I can imagine it making a scene in any position. That being said, don't be expecting any searing lead tones from the thing; after all, it's just a half-sized humbucker.