Sound — 8
The DiMarzio Super Distortion is a 4 way conductor humbucker pickup. That means that you can wire it so it becomes splitable, which means that you can split the humbucker into a single coil. I've installed it in the bridge position of my guitar. It gives a great classic rock sound (which it is meant to be doing). A lot of bass, little treble. I find the pickup well balanced and not at all muddy. You can take whole cords like A-minor and you can still here every single note of it. The sound is really fat, it has an amazing thickness to it. My guitar is made out of mahogany so it should have a fat sounding pickup in it for maximum usefulness of the wood. The chords are really deep and the high notes also have a thickness to them. I barely use this pickup (humbucker mode) in a clean setting as I think then it gets to fat. But on a high gain setting is sounds amazing, a great shred tone! Nice sustain, nice harmonics. The only thing that I do no like in the humbucker mode is the fact that when I tune down to drop D (or lower) the sound gets to fat, so this is not the perfect metal pickup, despite it's name. If you split the pickup into a single coil you get a crunchier, punchier sound. A brighter sound. I personally do not like this sound with high distortion on because it then sounds really weak and irritating, so I leave it as the humbucker when I do have maximum distortion. But when I play clean things, or bluesy things this pickup sounds great. Roll of the gain and your guitars volume a bit and you will get a classic, 1970's blues sound. In clean it is like every single coil should be: Nice solo notes as well as the rich chords. I am currently using no effects, only a distortion pedal. I play through a solid state amp (transistor) and the sound is still great, just goes to show what quality stuff DiMarzio make. I'm giving the sound an 8 because even though the humbucker mode is one of the best pickups I've heard on high gain it does not really do well with a clean setting.
Overall Impression — 10
I love the thickness of this pickup and also that it is so variable because of the split function. There is nothing that I hate about it, just a few things I dis-like, the ones I mentioned earlier. I've installed it into the bridge position of my Ibanez SAS36FM (read my review of it). It's a mahogany guitar and I really recommend installing the Super Distortion in a mahogany guitar if you want a fat, thick tone like I want. It's a great pickup that I think everyone should install in at least one of their guitars. It's probably the most classic pickup ever since it was The pickup that started the replaceable pickups revolution. Introduced in the 1970's and it is still the most popular pickup!
Reliability & Durability — 10
The pickup seem like it will really last. I've been playing with it endlessly ever since I got it and I haven't heard anyone saying that their Super Distortion suddenly stoped working, it does not seem like able. It seems dependable and strong. High quality materials like every other DiMarzio pickup! I prefer DiMarzio in front of Seymour Duncans because their just better!