Price paid: $ 140
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 9
I use the evolution on my Ibanez rg 1570, running through a Blackstar ht 5 combo. It replaces the stock Ibanez v7 v8. I also have a les paul copy with duncan jb. The output level, I'd say about 40% higher than the Ibanez v. I used to put my clean channel on 1 o clock before it start breaking up, with the evo, 9 o clock it already break up. With the Ibanez v I was considering to buy a boost pedal for the overdrive, but with the evo I can get enough gain from the od channel. Compared to the jb, the evo has slightly more output. The tone. The evo is a very noticeable upgrade over the stock pickups. With the stock i always battle grainy fuzzy treble, I used to set my amp carefully to make it not sound bad. The evo totally fix this. While some people describe evo as ice picky, its not because theres painful amount of treble, but because theres so much edge to the mid, that the pick attack become very noticeable. This also why DiMarzio sez this pickup will reveal your chops (or lack thereof). I find this very useful when doing fast picking, very tight sound, it can make your picking sound like machine gun. The tone is quite balanced, with extra hump in the mids and high mids. The lead sound is the best part of this pickup, very good sustain, and lots of overtone when you sustain a note. I feel the sound is very suitable for instrumental rock/fusion. The sound also get fatter as you add more gain, less highs, more mids. Now the drawbacks : this pickup wont clean up well, the point it become clean enough (still hairy crunchy clean) it also become thin sounding. This pickup wont give you traditional Paf sound, it sounds too 'pushed'. The super precise pick attack is fun to play, but sometime it makes my ear "tired" Due to the tight bass, rhytm chugging may become dry. This pickup is almost perfect for my music style, I'd give it a 9.
Overall Impression — 9
I love its precise and powerful pick attack, also its sustain and harmonics (not pinch harmonics, but overtones/singing quality). I wish it clean up better. Installed it on a Ibanez rg 1570, basswood body, rosewood board, 5 pc maple neck, edge pro tremolo. Bridge position, with the matching dp 158 for the neck. Sorry for my bad english...!
Reliability & Durability — 8
I hve to say the build is not as sturdy as Seymour Duncan with its metal construction, but I think this wont break up unless I throw it to a wall, or drop it from a two story building. A seymour duncan, perhaps can survive a throw to the wall or two.