Price paid: C$ 75
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 10
This is a relatively high output pickup heard in a ton of classic rock songs. Although it's good for classic, I love the tone for hard rock, dirty blues, and even shimmering cleans. I bought this pickup to put in bridge position in my custom Ibanez S project (which means mahogany body) and it has quickly become my favourite pickup/wood combination ever. The cleans are not my favourite, but that may be because I generally use the neck pickup for that and have never really cared for the clean bridge sound. However, the SD does give a very usable clean tone with a suitable amount of lows and more than enough highs. Faithful to it's name, the SD's real power comes through with any amount of gain applied. Chords sound amazing and single notes REALLY sing. Harmonics jump out great and the pickup just seems like it can do anything you could ever want it to. It's not thin in any way or overly trebly, and strumming chords gives a nice chunky sound with no (or VERY little) mud.
Overall Impression — 10
I absolutely love the sound of this pickup. You can dial in just the amount of gain you like and get great results. My current favourite tone is to run the Ibanez with the SD into the Drive channel on my Laney and turn the Drive up to about half, while using a Boss DS1 as a Drive boost. I kind of stumbled upon that by accident but the Drive channel on the amp balances out the Boss's tendency to be thin and the super distortion gives it great harmonics and excellent picking sensitivity. There is really nothing I hate about this pickup. It cleans up well and it gets dirty and heavy when I need it to. Prior to this I had bought a Tone Zone because I had heard good things about it. I put it in my RG2550 prestige but I found it to be very flat and bassy and the harmonics really did not do what they said they would. Even pinch harmonics became very difficult to do. Others might disagree but that is speaking from my own experience. As a high output pickup, I much prefer the SD to anything else I've played in 12 years. It did Paul Gilbert good in Racer X, it did Ace Frehley good in Kiss, it's doing me good all day.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I don't really see the need for this section... I mean it's a pickup, just a bundle of magnets and it's made by DiMarzio. It's not going anywhere. If it fails me it'll mean I just messed up soldering somewhere. I don't think I could even break it. Could you?