Sound — 10
The DiMarzio X2N has been my go-to bridge pick up for 21 years. It drive an amp like a built in overdrive if set close to the strings. It does clean up but I find to not clip the amp I need to back the volume of the guitar down a bit. But since this is designed for high output, were typically talking about metal music. I have this installed in 4 Jackson guitars and 1 Epiphone Dot, all in the bridge spot.
Three of the Jacksons are super-strats; 1 poplar, two basswood, and one Jackson Rhodes also poplar. Each guitar will output the same volume but have slight tonal differences due to the characteristics of the wood. Basswood has a little more low end and rounded mids and highs. The poplar bodies still have tight low end with a little more mids and clear highs... but not biting or piercing.
The Epiphone Dot... that is a tonal monster (by far my favorite sounding guitar). Clear, loud and full. Being a semi-hollow body it can be prone to feedback at high volume when close to the amp, monitors are crappy mics. I tried the X2N in a mahogany body soloist and it was an utter disappoint. Way too low ended, muddy... no mids/no highs. I probably wont try it in my Gibsons.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The DiMarzio X2N was my 2nd DiMarzio purchase and the 2nd aftermarket pickup I ever used. The first was a Tone Zone in 1994 and the X2N in 1995. Both are still in the guitars they were bought for and the 1995 X2N sounds just as powerful as the one I bought 6 months ago. DiMarzio pickups will last as long as the user allows them to. Pickups will outlive a guitar. Base plate is strong and heavy duty and the wiring harness has plenty of length to reach the controls from any routed spot on the guitar. Eight DiMarzio pickups later and I have never had one fail or cause me to look at another brand.
Overall Impression — 10
I play speed metal, thrash, and rock. This pick up is marketed to us metal types but it can be used for anything. In my experience it works well in all wood matrix body guitars except mahogany. Since it is magnetic bar construction, the only available adjustment for this pick up is height and angle. Some guitar and amp combinations may require tipping the pick up to balance the tone and string volume. More output and a wider frequency range than the popular actives made by EMG. It may be an old design, but so is a guitar, and it still works.