Price paid: € 80
Purchased from: Musikhaus Nord
Sound — 9
The Tone Zone S is in a Floyd Rose-equipped Charvel Strat and it's paired with a DiMarzio Evo Neck which is a great combination.
I mostly play alt rock and alt metal in c-standard through an Orange Crush Pro 120 and some old amp made in East Germany. It really is as fat sounding as it is commonly described, but something most leave out is its splitting abilities: the split sound is great. Sounding almost like a P90. Rhythm and leads are great with this and I don't have to worry about humming, and even when split, I only start to hear humming when I'm playing high-gain. But on some amps, it gets too boomy too easily. And if you love crisp clarity, this won't be you thing.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's DiMarzio. It's my fourth pickup by them and none of them even started to wear. No complains. If there had been a used one up on eBay or Craigslist, I would have gotten it used. Oh, but for all those that don't want their guitar to show its age: don't get this pickup. Get a brighter one and set it lower. It needs to be adjusted rather close to the strings for the demanded clarity and punch, but that also means that the rails will show their age pretty soon. Mine already does and I've been only playing it for half a year, but I also got a very hard pick attack.
Overall Impression — 9
Does what it is said to do well perfectly. Sounds huge by the price of some clarity. There are more versatile pickups, but the needs of most guitarist are easy, right? One perfect sounding setup and the rest gets built from there, so, if you don't mind a little slower responding pickup and like the huge sound it can produce, go for it.
- Extremely huge sound
- Very dynamic
- Great split sound (I'd love to know how it sounds of of phase)
- Can get too boomy with some amps
- Rails will wear down a little