Price paid: $ 60
Purchased from: Wilson Music
Sound — 8
The Norton humbucker is a lesser known model by DiMarzio. It's output is around 350 mV, and the DC resistance is about 11k. This means that it is a medium-hot pickup, and I think the specs are accurate. My amps are a Randall RG100, Peavey 6505, and a Fender Frontman. It started out in the bridge position of my LTD f-100fm (basswood w/ maple top). In this position, it had insane harmonics, pretty good clarity, and midrange growl. It has been described as a cross between the FRED and the tone zone. This is true to an extent, but it sounded somewhat thin to me. But, put it in a mahogany and it would be perfect. It is a brilliant lead pickup because of the midrange, harmonics and smooth sound. After awhile, I decided to try it in the neck position. Luckily, this isn't a high output pickup, so putting it there with a D-activator in the bridge made a brilliant combo. Now the Norton has more smoothness to it but will retain that zing. It sounds ideal for most genres, but seems more oriented for blues, shred, rock, and a little bit of heavy metal. I am a progressive metal type, so I wanted a more powerful bridge pickup. Otherwise, it is an amazing pickup for any position.
Overall Impression — 9
As I have said, this would be perfect for the bridge position if it were put in a warmer guitar. In the neck position it fits me well and I don't plan on swapping it out. With my setup, I actually got pretty close to the "brown sound" on the early Van Halen records. I hope this review helps, but I would let you decide if this suits you. It is certainly worth any axe-slingers attention.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It will last you for quite awhile so long as you have an idea how to take care of electric guitars and don't spill anything on it! A nice plus is having that 30 day exchange policy in case you don't care for the pickup's sound. I can depend on it, since I did the wiring (I have a lot of tech experience).