Purchased from: Amazon.com
Sound — 9
The Super 3 was kind of an impulse buy for me - I like trying the pickups that are a bit off the beaten path. I'm mostly a metal guy, and have worked with a ton of different pickups, and DiMarzio is quickly becoming a favorite brand for me. The pickup I replaced with this was a Seymour Duncan JB model (which certainly has its merits, I was just looking to try something new) in the bridge position of a Jackson RRT-5 Pro. Amp rig is a Marshall JVM410H and 1960 Vintage cab. The sound of the pickup is supposed to be designed for players that scoop their mids - it allows for a bit more treble without getting "hissy" sounding, and I can attest to that. It's a great pickup for metal - it's hot and responsive, helps fatten up the tone a bit (it helped to warm up the alder body tone of my Jackson), and really handles overdrive/distortion well. But metal is not its only quality, as I've used it for many different settings and styles, and it works great. I wouldn't say the cleans are the worst I've heard (try a bridge model Dimebucker or EMG 81 for cleans. Yuck.), but I will say I don't make a habit out of using it for clean settings.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I find it hard to damage any pickup beyond use or repair, so all I can say is that as long as it's wired in properly (which it is), you should never have any issues, barring any factory defects. It's made just as physically well as any product from DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, Bare Knuckle, or what have you. It don't see why it wouldn't last as long as I care to use it, so I'm not particularly worried about the longevity. Every pickup I've ever had would get a 10 in this category, and this one is no different.
Overall Impression — 9
As I stated, I'm a metal player for the most part, and I've been playing and experimenting with pickups for 16 years, and for all the pickups I've used in all the guitars I've had, the Super 3 is near the top. Hot, but not too hot. Responsive, but not fussy. Simple, to-the-point installation. Cleans aren't fantastic, but mostly I use the neck pickup for that anyway. I have only used four or five DiMarzio pickups in my day, but they have all been satisfying, wonderful sounding pickups. If something DID happen to it, I would get another. It might not be as popular as some of the other pickups out there, but the Super 3 is certainly worth looking at if you need a versatile, high output bridge pickup for any type of rock or metal.