Price paid: $ 80
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 9
Output is fairly high (385). I'm using this in the Bridge position of my Ibanez RG7420, and it really opened up the sound of the guitar. The tone is a good load of mid and bass range, with the treble significantly lower. However, the bridge position by nature is a very inclined to treble, so I feel it's a good mix to sound full and chunky but not as abrasive as some high gain pickups because of the balanced treble frequencies and boosted low and mids. Overall, it makes my basswood bodied guitar sound like a less murky mahogany bodied guitar. Full and open would be my 2 words of choice. I wouldn't try this in the neck position, as it'd be way too boomy. I use it with a Bugera 333XL, Crate BV412S cab, compressor/limiter, sonic maximizer, ts9, 15 band eq, and a couple other odd effects here and there from my DigiTech RP250 multi-fx unit. It suits pretty much anything I play well (variations of metal, hardcore [the real deal, not Parkway Drive], post-hardcore, post-rock, jazz & blues, and the occasional guilty pleasure pop song) and the split coil sound is almost acoustic-like for both inner and outer coils. I couldn't be any happier with this pickup, but at risk of sounding like an amateur, I'll give it a 9 because tone is really a subjective quality, and it's really your personal preference. This pickup cleans up quite well, and doesn't get muddy in my setup. The rest is a matter of preference. However, if you don't eq your rig properly, any pickup could sound like a 0. It's that simple.
Overall Impression — 10
I love that it gives my guitar chunk and fullness in the bridge without a whole bunch of chainsaw emulating treble range. It's in a Japanese RG7420, with a maple/bubinga neck and American basswood body. It makes my quality guitar sound even better. I couldn't be happier. I trust pretty much every Dimarzio. None that I have ever tried have sounded bad through a properly eq'd amplifier.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have no doubt that DiMarzio has manufactured a solid and dependable product. I've never had a bad experience with Dimarzio, and doubt I ever will. Came with full instructions for installation, and with a little help from the Seymour Duncan website's archive of wiring diagrams, I had it installed in a couple hours late at night. Which is pretty good for one's first pickup installation and given the fact that I began at 3AM. I foresee no problems with it, other than my shoddy soldering coming back to bite me.