Price paid: $ 78
Purchased from: Musiciansfriend
Sound — 9
The D-Sonic is a fairly high output pickup at 390 mV of output. It's meant to be loud and clear. The sound, overall, is defined and middy, though not boxy. I use it with a Peavey Vypyr 75 (soon to be replaced with a 6505+ 112) and even through the Vypyr it is noticeably clearer and less muddy than the bridge pickup it replaced (a stock Epiphone Les Paul bridge pickup). It is definitely NOT suitable for the neck position; the D-Sonic is far too powerful for the neck. The sound would just muddy up. An interesting note is that the D-Sonic sounds very different depending on how you position the coils. It has a coil with hex bolts and a coil with a rail. With the rail towards the neck, it's warmer and less tight than with the rail towards the bridge.
Overall Impression — 8
In my guitar (an Epiphone Les Paul Standard), it's installed in the bridge position, with the rail facing the neck. It's SO much better than the stuck clunker I had before, though as we all know nothing is perfect. My only real gripe is it doesn't do Stellar cleans, but as a high output pickup goes, they are above average. I also dislike the fact that it looks a bit odd with a covered PAF copy in the neck (the stock Epiphone pickup).
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a pickup. Unless a lead breaks or a coil wire breaks, it won't die. DiMarzio is a reliable manufacturer, and their pickups don't break. DiMarzio pickups are made in New York City, and they tend to be more reliable than their far-east made counterparts. It's the same with Seymour Duncan in California.