Price paid: € 65
Purchased from: Rainbow music Zgb HR
Sound — 9
This is the pickup for which is definitive hard to find out some usable sound clip before you order them. This is probably most roaring passive pickup in DiMarzio production line, probably thanks to ceramic magnet bars inside. It means that this pickup has very high output, 510mV and DC resistance is 15.8 kOhm. Four wire but mostly used in standard humbucker mode wiring. When a one use it with tube powered amp then final result is roaring and powerful sound, that can be furthermore easy shaped by tremolo bridge equipped guitars. Default position of this pickup is bridge, but some musicians use two DP102 X2N on both guitar positions. Men's tastes are different but sometime is noticed slightly muddy sound when it is on neck position. Due to plenty of "strength" this pickups very easy overdrive your amp to nasty distorted level and thanks to this fact this pickup is "like a born" for all types of metal music genres. Even X2N could be used for other music genres a one must pay attention to guitar volume controls on clean channel as this pickup turn very easy amp into "crunch waters". Pickups has very "murky" look with double uncovered bobbins shaped with wide rails, that help keep strings inside magnetic fields during extensive bending, what isn't always case with pole shaped pickups. Also it has quite vast frequency range, and the low end is smooth and powerful. In comparison with other ceramic pickups, Gibson 500T and Seymour Duncan SH-13 Dimebucker, X2N is a less bright and with less sound power than 500T, but stronger than SH-13. No unwanted microphony as 500T like to do on volume turned up to 10.
Overall Impression — 9
Guitar equipped with this pickup is excellent for metal music and it fit very well with guitars that have modern shape like X-plorer or Dean. Even it could be used well on hard-tail guitars it's more practical to put it in tremolo bridge equipped guitars. Sharp look of this pickup is eye-catcher for audience and musicians. Achieving harmonics on guitars equipped with X2N is very easy and encourage players to try each time more than licks before. On some hybrid amp and guitar construction sometime is noticed less high frequencies but it could be compensate by EQ controls or by some pedals control you are using. Plugged into some muscle amp there is no metal song that you can't reproduce.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I mostly play different genres of metal and found it's very versatile in comparison with similar high output pickups. Produced sound is very punchy, has natural rich bottom and behavior very nice on guitar standard tuned and tuned in "drop D" style. Some buddies complained about muddy sound on their guitars but it depends of guitar construction: I used it at first in some flying V bolt on replica which have soft maple body and I wasn't satisfied with sounds as X2N sounds very gentle in opposite to advert title "no prisoner pickup". Disappointed I took it and later I wired it together with DiMarzio Super2 in Dean which has basswood body. What a difference in sound! Until now I never experienced any trouble with this pickups, and DiMarzio technicians are very kind with advices by email.