X2N DP102 Review

manufacturer: DiMarzio date: 02/09/2015 category: Pickups
DiMarzio: X2N DP102
This is probably most roaring passive pickup in DiMarzio production line, probably thanks to ceramic magnet bars inside.
 Sound: 9.4
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Reliability & Durability: 9.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) 32 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
X2N DP102 Reviewed by: up4anything, on may 12, 2009
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 65

Purchased from: Rainbow music Zgb HR

Sound: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9.3
X2N DP102 Reviewed by: JJ2003, on july 23, 2010
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 120

Purchased from: Cosmo Music

Sound: (Best way to hear the sound -- my Profile -- song: "Pandemonium - Amaeven" -- this was recorded using the DiMarzio DP102 X2N. I have owned it now for 3 weeks and have played at least 40+ hours on it + recorded for my band with it.) ---- I went into Cosmo to buy new strings but saw this pickup. I had read about it online and it was an impulse buy. The sound it creates is absolutely blistering. I play and write progressive metal for my band so I need a pickup that is both clean and loud during high gain solos and has the ability to make clean Acoustic sounds. I was skeptical at first that a pickup with a high gain such as this one would give me unreal soloing sound but make my cleans all distorted. I have been proven wrong. This pickup has been a dream to own and record with. The output is extremely high. I use it with Guitar Rig 4 when I record or my Line 6 Spider when I am just having some fun. The tone is very balanced. I thought it would be all treble but it is not. It picks up all ranges. This pickup is suitable in my opinion for nearly every genre. It seems to do it all just right. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It was well built. It seems like it will outlive me. I installed it myself so if I stops working one day it will most likely be because my soldering has come undone. I took special care while installing it. (First time doing this kinda job, really enjoyed it.) // 9

Overall Impression: I love the way this thing looks. Google it for pictures. It really suits my black Les Paul. I placed this pickup in my bridge position so it would get really clean highs. It also comes with 4 wires so it can be wired in differently. I do not know enough about guitars to really give input on this, but the instructions it came with to do something like that were clear and concise. I have it wired up as a standard humbucker. // 9

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overall: 9
X2N DP102 Reviewed by: ToxicTrace100, on may 31, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The X2N is a total high-gain moster, and a choice alternative to the usual EMGs. The output from this pickup is strong and defined, and in comparison to an EMG 81 much higher from my experience A/B-ing the two side by side in my home. Want to fatten up that solid state, or maybe turn that boutique tube amp into a total screamer, then the X2N may be just the ticket for you. The tone of this pickup caught me off guard at first. Being used to the High Mid-heavy sound of my EMG 81 and Gibson 498T equipped guitars, the balanced output of the pickup seemed muddy to me at first. After playing it for about an hour, however, I grew to love the even response, as the wide frequency range it covers makes this pickup a total sledgehammer tonewise. The treble, mids, and bass are all present, with the bass being big yet defined, the mids somewhat warm but balanced, and the highs sizzly and aggressive, perfect for hard rock and metal applications. The surprising thing about this pickup is how well it cleans up, I can take a gained-out and boosted amp to very light crunch levels with just the knob, and how nice the clean sound is. As long as you can keep the amp clean, the warm, jazzy tones this pickup brings clean are wonderful. This is an extremely versatile bridge pickup, especially if it is wired for coil splitting. The only drawback to this pickup tonewise and output-wise is that the sheer volume from it makes it hard to pair with other pickups. Makes it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This pickup was bought in a used guitar, and it's already taken a couple knock from both the previous owner and myself. It still sounds great, even after I rescues it from the horrible electronics job it had when I bought it. I'd definitely depend on this pickup, and I know it shouldn't cut out on me, as there are now batteries. // 10

Overall Impression: The thing I love most about this pickup is the sheer versatility of it. While made to be a monster, rolling back the volumes actually cleans it up very much, and the even response means it can really be tailored to fit any sound. I have this installed in a basswood Jackson Dinky, and it really brings out the warm yet articulate sound of the guitar. I can't find any real fault other than the difficulty matching pickups, as you will be relegated to other higher output pickups for the neck, unless you plan on using this split most of the time. If you're tired of the standard EMGs most metal guitars come equipped with nowadays, try the X2n, I think you'll be pleased with the difference. // 8

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overall: 9.7
X2N DP102 Reviewed by: AJ6stringsting, on may 13, 2013
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 65

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Sound: I installed these pickups in two 1980's Kramers, on the bridge position. These pick ups have monster gain and has tremendous treble output. I had to put in a 22mf cap to trim some of the treble because that particular Kramer guitar has a lot of treble and it helped even the bass and mids as so they wouldn't get buried by the treble. I put a push / pull pot on this guitar and it split nicely. On this guitar it was a 9, since I had to put a cap to trim some treble. The other Kramer guitar was naturally more bassy, the upper mids became more focused and so the X2N brought out more treble and that guitar can thump my speakers. Again, I installed this on the Bridge position. I give this a 10 on that guitar. I used these pick up thru a DigiTech RP-1 and 12, two VHT II Valvulators, two BBE Sonic Maximizers, Hush X2C's Noise Reduction Units, two 32 band EQ's and Monster Power Conditioners. Amp: VHT Pitbull, 1986 Carvin X-100B, Behringer V Amp Pro (Rack Mountable) and a Marshall JCM 800. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Bought the first one in 1983, still working great, the magnet weaken a little but aged well sonically. One of the magnets has a little rust with no bad effect on sound. The second was purchased in 1997 and aging very well. Both pickups still Drive my amps focused and project like the first day they were installed. Many told me that when magnets weaken the sound fades, I noticed the older one just lost a very small slither of treble. I'm not complaining, it's a good thing. This pick up is as durable as any. One bad thing is... I use stainless steel pick and it 2013. So they're DiMarzio tough // 10

Overall Impression: This is one awesome pickup and is a classic all unto itself. If you put this in a bright sounding guitar, it may make it too trebly. Just use a 250k ohm pot and 22mf cap. If you put this in a guitar that's too bassy / dark sounding, this pick up will knock some of the muddiness and add some of those missing treble frequencies. This pick up is rated as 15.80k ohms on my meter. It splits great and gives a very convincing single coil tone and when in full humbucking mode. IT'S SOOO METAL! // 10

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overall: 10
X2N DP102 Reviewed by: mattkrush, on february 09, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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