Price paid: $ 79
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
Ok, so I bought a studio pro a month or so back... I really liked the '57 Classic in the neck, for the humbucked leads and the split sound for cleans. I spent a few weeks tweaking the Burstbucker Pro until I got a satisfactory tone. Today was my first rehearsal with it and although it sounded good... Too much feed-back & squealing. (I use extremely high gain heads, lots of distortion and we play at a moderately loud level). I didn't want to gate it anymore than it already was... so... I decided I'd try some pickups out in it that was for another project. The DiMarzio Super Distortion 3 for the bridge and a Super Distortion 2 for the neck. I have used the Super 2 in all my Jacksons in the neck with great results... The unknown was the Super 3. The Super 3 has awakened a beast! I am loving it ten-fold. Crunch, sustain, clarity... I have to back and play it some more!
The pickup is very responsive and produces all the audible frequencies... It can be set to be brighter or darker on how it's leveled into the cavity. Set to close to the strings it will get muddy sounding as most high output pickups do.
Reliability & Durability — 10
As with all the DiMarzio products I have owned, the user has to do something really dumb to cause it to fail or breakdown. The backing plate is very solid and as long as you don't put the screws in cocked, they shouldn't strip out. My first DiMarzio pickup was an X2N back in 1992 and it is still playing and sounding like the others that are only a year or so old. The hex head poles are a much sturdier feature than the slotted screw heads... Almost no chance of stripping the screw and about impossible to have the allen wrench slip out and scratch the finish of your guitar while adjusting the poles.
Overall Impression — 10
We play speed/thrash metal. This PU is in a Gibson Les Paul Studio Pro with the "modern" weight relief. The amp is the Bugera 333XL Infinium and sometimes the B52 AT100. So either amp, it is high gain... The only effects I use for rhythm playing is a Rocktron Hush noisegate and an EQ. I am seriously considering replacing all the X2N's I have in my other guitars for the Super 3. There is nothing to dislike, however, I did not try it out on a clean or a split coil setting because i use the neck for that purpose. Even at the highest gain/distortion settings, this thing is clear and no unwanted feedback or other noises.