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Unread 11-03-2005, 08:46 AM   #26
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I just realized I still haven't posted a Blaze Bridge review...


Well, before I say anything, let me just say that I use a lot of midrange and play a Mesa Nomad, a VERY mid-heavy amp (it can do Recto, but it's more at home in Mark-esq territory). I'm SURE this is a factor in my perception of pickups - as a strat guy from way back in the day, I like bright guitars into dark amps.

This is, to date, my favorite seven string bridge pickup I've played. It's clear, it's deep, and it's tight. It sounds exactly like I expect the bridge position of a seven string guitar to sound like in a basswood guitar. There's probably a good reason for this - 70% of recorded 7-string work was probably done with a stock UV - but it's just a very GOOD tone, equally at home for heavy rhythm and Lynch-y screams.

The mid scoop is something that always comes up a lot, and while to me I don't hear a heavily pronounced midrange (like the Tone Zone, for instance), it feels pretty balanced. Like I said, I run a setup with a lot of mids, but going between my old 7620 and this, I didn't feel like there was an absense of midrange when I switched guitars - it was just more even.

It's less organic than a TZ, so if you're looking for a good blues/rock pickup or something for old school rock (Van Halen, for instance), I'd look elsewhere. The clean's pretty bright, but useable, it splits well for a strat-y in between sound, this is the pickup that prettymuch invented high gain low B chunk, and it's still VERY similar to what Petrucci's using, so copping that soaring G3 tone of his with a moderately distorted Mesa is a cinch. In fact, that's where this one really comes into it's own, I feel - as a lead pickup, saturated but still clear, in a smooth, liquid, compressed, and round amp setting. There may very well be something better out there, but it's a sound where I plug in and feel immediately at home.

-D

"...and everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon."

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Unread 11-03-2005, 08:52 AM   #27
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While I'm at it...

Blaze Single.

I LOVE singlecoil tones. Absolutely love 'em. I'm a big fan of bluesy, edge of breakup stuff, think SRV doing Little Wing, and while you can get good sounds like that from humbuckers, a single coil is really the way to go. So, I was pretty excited to have a true single coil on my seven when I got my UV.

Frankly, I was disappointed. The thing I've always loved about singles is their airy high end and sparkle, and this pickup is almost totally lacking in this regard. It's cold, it's sterile, and while it does an acceptable job of copping the strat-y in-between sound in position 4, that's really about all I use it for. Clean, it's just very dry sounding, and distorted, it doesn't have the explosiveness to it that I look for in a single. Hell, if I want a strat sound clean, I've had better luck coping a Jimi vibe with the neck humbucker.

It might sound better in a different bodywood or in the neck of a 22-fret guitar, and as I said it's nice for the option of an in-between strat sound, but it's just not a terribly inspiring pickup otherwise. Sadly, it's the only Dimarzio single seven in production, but word on the street is they're working on a few more, so we'll see.

-D

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Unread 11-05-2005, 02:31 PM   #28
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Bare Knuckle Pickups War Pig

Bridge position.

Had this in a couple of months now. Previously had a DiMarzio Blaze in there, which was good but lacked output to my ears, and the mid scoop was particularly pronounced in this (alder) body. Also tried the Evo 7 in my friends Ibanez Universe. I nearly got one until he got the 6 string War Pig for his SG, and just HAD to get one. What I like about it most is the clarity across all strings. To my ears it has just the right balance of mids, treble and bass. I am afraid I've never been a good as some at describing sounds. Harmonics are now ridiculously easy to pull out of what I had thought was an inherently muddy guitar. Output is in EMG 81 territory for sure, but with more tone to my ears anyhow.(I have one in another guitar). It has solid but defined bass response, and much as I love the Evo 7, this is EXACTLY the sound I was after.Also the guy at BareKnuckle will wind you pretty much anything you want, if you ring and discuss it with him. Shouldn't think you'd get to chat with Larry Dimarzio or Seymour very easily!!
I have a clip of it I made for my friend to hear. It's at http://media.putfile.com/BKP
There is only one thing I'm dissapointed with, I couldn't have the distressed covers that the 6 string comes with .Sadly he's not tooled up to make 7-string covers. I personally cannot think of a better pickup to have put in it!!Just need a Universe to put round it now!!!
Manufacturers page www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk

PS they come with a lifetime warranty to the original owner as well

PPS I know the playing sucks, was a bit drunk after long day!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 11-05-2005, 05:42 PM   #29
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EMG-707

I use a pair of these in my LTD M307, and the bass is ridiculous. I'm playing a dual rec head through 2 recto 4x12's, 1 with vintage 30's and 1 with celestion custom 90's. My amp is set up with the diodes on, in hundred watt mode, channel 3 with modern selected. I keep the bass knob at about 2.5 to 3, and I need no more bass than that. I actually got the second cab because the 4x12 with the 90's in it couldn't handle the bass enough by itself to turn it up, the bass turned to mud = me pissed off! The guitar is all mahogany body and neck and neck-through to boot. The room we are playing in may also be affecting this, but we do have some foam up and bass traps in the corners. I'm interested in trying an 81-7 to just have more control over the bass.
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Unread 11-05-2005, 11:22 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7StringofAblicK
Blaze Custom-

Installed RG7321
Color-White
Tone-Initial sound smacked the stocks in the face. Clean was cleaner and brighter, tone was more thick. However (though it may be the guitar, since the stocks were the same way), the gain on this guitar is slightly mild. All my other guitars had a gain advantage, but it is so subtle that the untrained ear might not hear it.

Goods-Off the bat the mids were present, no doubt about that. The highs were rolled off and the bass was solid and clear. This is the perfect lead pickup, especially on a nice tube amp. nice hot and clear tone, and the cleans were spectacularly clear and punchy.

Bads-Almost too much midrange for a serious rhythm player. again, i think the gain thing may be guitar related, but none the less it is apparent.

Outcome-One sexy ass guitar, with a good tone. Nice cutting sound, but slightly heavy on the mids (for me at least). Would LOVE to hear it in mahogany, as it will probably react like an EVO i think. Very similar to the EVO, with some rolled off highs (which lessens it's brisk attack). I would send it to a lead player, but would tell a rhythm player to check out a JB or Blaze.
Update...

This review above was in my friends guitar, the 7321. I didn't feel that i gave it enough chance so i decided to order one for myself (having read/heard so many other people saying they loved it). I purchased it along with an AN7 for the neck, in creme (go ahead, laugh).

First off, it and the AN7 look SO bad in my black 7620 now. it has that metal edge loook, but it's classy and subtle (less in your face than the 321 w/the white pup).

Secondly, the New 7's were not that bad, really. They had a nice attack but didn't have as full of a sound...a little thin i guess (i'll probably be selling these as well).

Once i plugged in, the difference was really huge. On the clean, the BC was very clear, warm actually. For some reason the 7321 seemed much colder on the clean. i'm guessing this in part was due to the wood quality (though both are basswood) and the setup. The 7620 sets up much faster than the 321; so i feel more resonance in the actual guitar itself. Distorted it was sweet. It had an awesome lead sound (which i did notice before) but the rhythm was very muscular. It had less highs than the New 7's, but since the mids were spiked it still had a nice clarity and punch...plus, it was much more full...exactly what i was looking for. and the gain issue i had on the 321 was not present on the 7620...plenty of gain. To be honest, I had to turn it down a tad because it was a bit increased.

Yea, it kicks ass. BONUS, it fit right into the guitar...new screws and all. I did not have to do one thing to accomodate the guitar...a direct replacement (i saw above that someone w/a 7420 had a small issue).

AS for the AN7...nothing new here, bad ass. Suprisingly, I have it barely above the body of the guitar, pretty far away from the strings. I thought i could get more clarity by doing this, but feared i'd lose bass response and output...wrong. It seems just as loud as the BC, but with more of a warmth of course. It doesn't have as much bass as one of my other guitars that also sports one in the neck, but it is much closer to the strings; I actually prefer it further away for distortion. it's much clearer, more smooth, and doesn't affect the ouput.

Now I too have one sexy ass guitar that is just full on brutal. It's a very versatile combination...lethal even. Jaw dropping looks and awesome tone.
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Unread 11-19-2005, 07:04 AM   #31
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EVOLUTION7
i installed my evo7 one week ago in my rg1527 i had to route slightly the pickup cavity because the evo is as tall as the cavity, so if you want to install it in your axe you have to screw it to the wood!!!!!!! and the cable underneath is very clumsy!

first of all i want to say that i play with a medium action ( not too low )
the reason i say this is:

i immediatly noticed how the sound was much more clear but it wasn't the high gain monster i was expecting i played with the pole piece for a day or two and came to this conclusion

using this pickup very near the string lead to a very powerful but trebley
sound, while if you put it a little back the sound reamain clear but balanced
i use now the polepiece to individually set the string
so i have the right amount of output and clarity for each string

the good:
clear hot output, nice in clean ( with medium space between pickup and string ) and crispy split, crunchy and very rock on distortion

the bad:
maybe in ibanez guitar is a bit unconfortable to install and set up properly, need a bit of routing, on some setting clean channel go into crunch

the verdict:
i learned how to live with this beast, since the day one i lowered my action a bit, i set the polepiece and found a very nice suond, i'm very happy
(and it was a present too! )
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Unread 12-03-2005, 02:09 PM   #32
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DiMarzio Air Norton 7

my guitar is an rg1527 with stock PU's, 10-56 strings, running through a mid-heavy mesa/boogie setup where i either need an ultra-clean or a heavy distorted sound. weird enough i play most high-gain chord-work with the neck-pickup, which produces an extremely rough and hard to handle sound. since the stock PU's really disappointed me in comparison with the stock new7's of my RG7621/0, i started reading through these forums and finally bought an Air Norton 7.

many reviews mentioned the "slight" lack of brightness of the Air Norton. its quite an underexageration. the air norton really lacks brightness and when using both, bridge and neck-pickup during solo's then its impossible to correct it with your amp. the pickup made it impossible for me to play chords in neck positions and the lead lacked presence, clarity and punch for palm-muted solo picking. in short: i was heavily disappointed by the air norton. last week i replaced it by a blaze neck and i couldnt be more happy!
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Unread 12-11-2005, 01:37 PM   #33
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Custom pickups for 7-string guitars

Hello.

Pete Biltoft, Vintage Vibe Guitars here.

I am very new to this forum.

Jim Soloway suggested I register & let people know I can offer custom 7 string pickups. I made the blade pickups shown in Jim's post dated 11/12/05:

http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/sh...highlight=blade

In addition to blade pickups I have made 7-string HB pickups and 7-string strat style single coils. I am interested in building P-90 style pickups too.

I make all the custom pickups I offer myself in my shop in California.

Reviews of my pickups are posted on harmony Central (no 7-string reviews yet):

http://www.harmony-central.com/Guit...e_Vibe_Guitars/

Reviews of my P-90 pickups are posted on All Things Guitar:

http://www.allthingsguitar.com/2005...ageVibe/P90.htm

And reviews of my SP-90 (strat-size P-90 style) pickups are posted on All Things Guitar:

http://www.allthingsguitar.com/2004...e%20Vibe/vv.htm


Pete Biltoft
Vintage Vibe Guitars
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Unread 12-22-2005, 06:15 PM   #34
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Here I go: Tonezone 7 / Air Norton 7 combo in Alder guitar with maple neck, rosewood fingerboard and 5-way switch with positions 2 & 4 with coils in parallel (no tone pot).

Dimarzio Air Norton 7

I suppose there's nothing more to add to what is already said, a sweeeet sounding pickup with great clarity, ideal for that legato stuff. The cleans aren't wonderful, but they're not bad either. In single coil mode has an "acoustic-like" sound that I love.
I'm sure this pickup will sound great in any kind of wood, really a must for any 7-stringer

Dimarzio Tonezone 7

Well, the Tonezone is a pickup with a great character, I would say; It's VERY sensitive and reacts amazingly to your picking, with a very smooth and fluid sound when shredding, but it screams like a bitch when you pick it hard or when doing pinch harmonics. And of course, it works damn well for rhythm too, with a bone-crushing bass response. I've read some reviewes saying that the TZ becomes muddy when riffing, well, do what I did (disconnect the tone pot, or get a 1k volume pot for the TZ) and you'll enjoy a very rich and full sound.
The clean sound... In serial I never use it, but when splitted it just sounds incredible, It's the clean sound that I was after for a long time.
If you have an alder seven (which is rare, I guess) put this baby on it, you won't regret!
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Unread 01-04-2006, 10:14 PM   #35
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From Jim Soloway:



I've been using DiMarzios in all my 7-strings for years. I still like them but I decided to try to push the envelope a bit with some custom boutique pickups from Lollar and Vintage Vibe. I've been just thrilled with both of these pickups and I highly recommend both. These are both available direct from the manufacturers for anyone who's interested.

The Vintage Vibes are blades that many of you have seen on the photos I've posted of our recent bubinga 7-string. They're true P90 single coils with blades instead of screws. They're incredibly clear with a great P90 growl. I don't believe there's anything similar. The fit was a little iffy. They were a bit big for the rings although if you're doing a direct mount, they did fit the route with no difficulty. In either the neck or bridge position, they do have the usual single coil hum, but in the middle position running both pickups, they are absolutel drop dead slient. Pete Biltoft ar great at custom winding and he'll do any output level that you request. They are available with black, tortoise, and MOTO fronts. The price is about $160 for the pair.

The Lollars are in my new personal Swan LN7. They are based on his Imperials, which are a high quality PAF style pickup, but they are underwound for a lower output level. That produces a bit more clarity and a tighter low end. Jason is a great pickup maker and these are simply the best 7-string humbuckers that I've ever played. They are balanced, clear, and warm. I never play with distortion, so I can't really tell you what they'd sound like with a lot of gain, but I've always felt that if a pickup can do clean tone well, it can do anything else and thes pickups do clean tone just incredibly well. Jason built these for me with tortoise front to match the binding and I'm sure that he can also do some other fronts as well as the usual black. Like Pete, he can also do a variety of output levels, but I have a feeling that these pickups would get too dark if you wound the much brighter. You'll have to check with Jason Lollar for a price on these pickups, but his standard 6-sting Imperials are $300 for a pair, so expect to pay a pretty hefty premium.

Here are links to both companies sites for anyone who's interested.

http://www.vintagevibeguitars.com/

http://www.lollarguitars.com/

Born of Fire//--\\ Consumed by it
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Unread 02-07-2006, 12:12 PM   #36
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I posted the following at the carvin musuem forums. It is sort of a review of both the Tone Zone 7 and the carvin C26T bridge pickup and compares the two. This is in my carvin home built alder neck through alder body guitar with the carvin active/passive eq modual.

Here it is:
For a while now I have been contemplating a bridge pickup change on my NT7 home built guitar. I studied the C26T sound for some time because there was something I did not like but could not put my finger on. I finally figured it out. The C26T sounds alright from the E string to the low E string but when you get to the low B there seems to be some high end roll off. When I would adjust the actives to compensate it made the rest of the strings too trebly. So that is it, the C26T just doesnt balance well with the Low B.

I am not saying this is the case in all instances. Now the spec of my guitar are:

Alder neck through alder body with the active/passive module.

I ordered a dimarzio tone zone and installed it yesterday. I can not comment on how it compares to anything other than the C26T as that is all I have had on this guitar. It took a little filing of the base plate to get it in. I did not feel inclinded to reroute the guitar. I like the looks of the C26T better but the sound is more important to me.

The tone zone sounds more even accross all 7 strings to me. It has a little more midrange and pinch harmonics are easily attained. In passive mode it sounds nice and open. In active mode there is slightly more bass with the eq set flat and is slightly compressed. I can back off the bass and up the treble on the guitar and it sounds good across all 7 strings. It sounds good clean as well. It is not muddy at all in my guitar

I don't know if there is another dimarzio that sounds better. I was considering trying the blaze custom but I am satisfied with the tone zone 7.
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Unread 04-08-2006, 10:18 AM   #37
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Here I go again, this time with a review of the Blaze Pickups (Installed in a Basswood Baritone Agile Interceptor)

Dimarzio Blaze (neck):

If I have to name something that has impressed me about this pickup, it's his clarity and definition. It's very good for fast legato runs, and has some Vai kinda sound playing leads, omeway agressive. For rythm, it can't find something special on it. I prefer the Air Norton for that.
Playing clean, it has a better sound than the Air Norton IMO, more bright, but that can simply be my preferences. Anyway, when tapped sounds too bright for my tastes. It's a nice pickup, but is overall below the Air Norton.

Dimarzio Blaze (bridge):

Well, I must say that the Blaze semt to be the pickup that I was looking for for a long time, but, now that I got it, It's not that great at all.
Let me explain, the Blaze bridge is an AWESOME rythm pickup. It's tight, it's defined, and has punch and growl with total clarity. But for leads, I really missed that mids, you can crank them up with your amp, but It's not the same. I'm not saying that it sounds bad, it has a ver nice fluid tone and som serious scream on it, but compared to my tonezone installed on an alder guitar with no tone knob, I must say that the tonezone literally DESTROYS the Blaze for playing leads, it's just amazing. The tonezone is an amazing pickup if installed in a correct wood. But the Blaze is an all-around bitch than sounds much better for rythms that any other Dimarzio I've tried. I don't have much to say about it playing clean, just too treebly for liking the sound, but overall, a damn great pickup.
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Unread 05-06-2006, 10:31 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperoff
Here I go again, this time with a review of the Blaze Pickups (Installed in a Basswood Baritone Agile Interceptor)

Dimarzio Blaze (neck):

If I have to name something that has impressed me about this pickup, it's his clarity and definition. It's very good for fast legato runs, and has some Vai kinda sound playing leads, omeway agressive. For rythm, it can't find something special on it. I prefer the Air Norton for that.
Playing clean, it has a better sound than the Air Norton IMO, more bright, but that can simply be my preferences. Anyway, when tapped sounds too bright for my tastes. It's a nice pickup, but is overall below the Air Norton.

Dimarzio Blaze (bridge):

Well, I must say that the Blaze semt to be the pickup that I was looking for for a long time, but, now that I got it, It's not that great at all.
Let me explain, the Blaze bridge is an AWESOME rythm pickup. It's tight, it's defined, and has punch and growl with total clarity. But for leads, I really missed that mids, you can crank them up with your amp, but It's not the same. I'm not saying that it sounds bad, it has a ver nice fluid tone and som serious scream on it, but compared to my tonezone installed on an alder guitar with no tone knob, I must say that the tonezone literally DESTROYS the Blaze for playing leads, it's just amazing. The tonezone is an amazing pickup if installed in a correct wood. But the Blaze is an all-around bitch than sounds much better for rythms that any other Dimarzio I've tried. I don't have much to say about it playing clean, just too treebly for liking the sound, but overall, a damn great pickup.
You ought to test the Blaze Custom, if you haven“t already. The mids on that pickup is what makes it slay.
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Unread 05-25-2006, 04:53 PM   #39
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Swineshead Pickups:

In general:
I got GITD bobbins, and I'm somewhat disappointed with the dim glow. They definately glow, but the light output is only about 20% of what my GITD knobs are doing.
The backplates are huge. Very thick, rectangular, with plenty of unnecessary material. I had to chop the corners off in order to fit the pickup in the cavity, and it's a pretty large cavity. I would have had to have done even more chopping if they were going in my rg7620. The instructions they came with were short and sweet.

CL7N-
I ended up slanting this pickup by accident so that the bass side is slightly closer to the neck than the treble side.
This pickup packs quite a punch for being advertised as a medium-output pickup. It sings very well with plenty of bass and mids. Wired in parallel, it really doesn't seem to lose much output, and gets a very nice nasal tone to it. In series, it sings with a great deal of clarity, it reminds me of the AN7N, only with a tiny bit more bass.

HT7B
This pickup seems to lack the balls I had hoped for. Not quite bright enough for my tastes in bridge pups. The tone is clear and focused, but rather punchy in the mid. This isn't a bad thing, it's just not what I expected. I'd compare it to a TZ7B with some of the mid shifted to lower mid. It cleans up wonderfully.

Overall: You know, for the money, I would think you could do better. I'm very happy with the CL7N and I'm moderately satisfied with the HT7B, but I think my tastes are more in tune with the clarity and power of EMG's, or at least the diversity of the Dimarzio AN7/EVO7. My draw to these pups was purely cosmetic, and I'm not even blown away with that.

IMO- These are good aftermarket pickups at a premium price.

Overall: + 1/2
Price: £125 pr.
Looks: 3/5
Tone: CL7N=5/5, HT7B=3/5
Service: 5/5
Convenience: 2/5

[URL="http://sites.google.com/site/bostjanzupancickhereb/"[/URL]
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Unread 09-10-2006, 04:10 PM   #40
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Dimarzio Evo7 Bridge
Korina Epiphone V 7

Due to the fact i was fitting this is korina, not a very popular wood it was sort of a guess, a good one though.

The Evo7 is a great bridge pickup, palm mutes are awesome and is incredibly tight at my rate of distortion (Think Train of Thought - Dream Theater). The lead tone i find is okay but quite harsh, all depends on what you're playing. I normally switch to neck position for a much smoother sound. Overall when distorted it is well balanced

The Clean sound i find is quite clumsy, not much warmth (on it's own that is)
When paired with the neck pick up on the middle setting it sounds alot richer.

I have a Dimarzio Drop Sonic in my Ibby six string which is set ALOT lower, my evo7 is set much closer to the strings but the volume drop between the neck and bridge positions is none existent.

Overall I would say this pickup is fantastic, it sounds alot tighter than my DropSonic6 and with alot less string noise aswell. I know not many people are going to have Korina guitars... but im sure it will sound just as awesome as it does in my V

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Unread 09-30-2006, 08:28 PM   #41
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Dimarzio Tone Zone
Mahogany (RG2027)

-This is, fortunately, going to be a very short review. I traded an evo7 for this, as i wanted something with a bit more, well, balls. This wasn't it. No treble, and just awfull for any leads as it sounds flat, dull and has no sparkle. Rythm, i'd say ok, but still suffering from the lack of any pronounced highs, just makes it all sound muddy and lifeless. Avoid this pickup in mahogony if you can.

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Mahogony (RG2027)

-I really do remember liking the sound of this, very very very clear, with being able to hear every single string in a 7string chord through a "metal" amount of gain, very impressive. Does scream as well. However, in mahogony I found it too clean, just lacking in character, and really not having that gutsy dirty sound to it. It's a hot, very clear pickup, but not aggressive.

Dimarzio Evolution
Basswood (UV7BK)

-Now we are talking however! Whereas with the 2027 i always thought this pickup was too clear, in the UV (recently installed) it's tightened up the low end and got rid of the flubbiness on the low A (or B string if you are in standard tuning ) that seemed to plague the Blaze and Blaze Custom. In short, this pickup makes for a fantastic tight thrash sound. I'd never really believed that it was close to EMG like, but it is a nasty little gained fueled monster. All the problems i had with in mahogony have reversed, and i find it ballsy and really aggro while retaining the clarity. Very nice. In fact, i think, so far, my favorite bridge pickup in basswood.

edit: I just took this pickup to a rehearsal, and jezus! Does this thing cut through, really good at cutting straight through the mix. Very pleased with it

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Unread 10-17-2006, 10:59 AM   #42
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Dimarzio X2N-7
Ibanez RG7620

First off - this thing is LOUD! Not uncontrallable loud, but definently very hot. I know people are concerned with the magnet pull of this on the strings but don't be, i got mine about 2mm away from the strings fretted at the 24th and have no magnetic pull problems. Despite being very high output this pickup is very clear and very articulate. It's got a really tight responsive low end (some people might think it sounds cold/thin but once you get it in a mix with bass and drums, it'll cut through like no other and sound punishing) and the high end is pretty smooth but it has this crisp high end presence/sizzle/bite thing going on that sounds so aggressive. The midrange is in there to, not scooped very much so that it doesn't sound tinny or thin/dark, and not so much midrange that it's way fat/honky and muddy/uncontrollable. If you're looking for a more natural or organic sounding pickup don't look to this one (even though if you were even considering the X2N-7 organic/natural sounds aren't probably what you're looking for anyways). Harmonics jump off this very well. Another thing people are concerned with are the cleans - I can get excellent bridge cleans with this in series without it distorting my amp, and it only gets better when you coil tap or coil split it (hello Strat!). This is probably the closest thing to an EMG/Dimebucker/Bill Lawrence 7-string pickup without having to route out your guitar or pay for a custom shop fabrication. Just awesome for metal and sounds absolutley brutal.

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Unread 10-21-2006, 09:26 PM   #43
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Pickup: EMG 707
Installed in: Ibanez RG7420

When I first purchased my RG7 I thought the pickups left a lot to be desired, since then I have played some others and i think my pickups were duds, anyhow - I decided to try something huge. This was back in 1998, and I got a pair of 707's from EMG. It was fun to buy them because you had to go and ask them to make them for you (not sure if this is still the case). I ended up trading a few emails and phone calls with the EMG folks. The were very nice and a pleasure to work with. I took them to a local guitar modding / repair shop and they set them up. First off, these things are very different than every other pickup I have used before. Some of it bad, some of it good.

Mounting Differences
First off the Ibanez RG7s don't use pickup rings, so you get to see the metal plates down there in the body. I have always thought that a bit un-tidy, but oh well. The EMGs are physically larger (width and length) than your standard humbucker, so the pickup cavity had to be enlarged. Some of you might go into shock at the thought of someone strapping your axe on the mill and having a go, but the guys I was working with were first rate all the way. In fact most of the half circle hole at the top and bottom of the pickup "trench" was eliminated by the larger 707.

Also note that the 707's are active pickups, so a 9v battery was added into the control cavity of the RG7. I also had a treble boost circuit added (also from EMG) to help give definition that I had been looking for.

The Good
These things are very high output. That is a blessing and a curse today. When working with a tube preamp or a long cable the 707's are a lot of fun because they can send a larger voltage (peak to peak) signal through the line. When playing through the Mesa V-Twin it is possible to drive it so hard that it all devolves into meaningless hash. I know there are some folks who like that though. The sound quality is very EMG, so if you are fan of that kind of sound you can get it in full. They will go very metal indeed (maybe more metal than I wanted at times). The treble boost circuit worked very much as desired and can really add a great deal of definition to low rhythm parts.

The Bad
The large signal output can sometimes be trouble to a modeling system like Line 6, where it really does not care that much about the nuances of the input signal. In addition it can sometimes feel like you are not quite in control of the tone as there is a so much output at times, and if you are really playing hard you can get outside of the range of "golden" input to your amp. What that boils down to is that you need to really learn how to work with them, and (in my opinion) there is some learning curve involved.

Overall - a great move, and it sounds very different than my other guitars and is very useful in a variety of situations.

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Unread 01-05-2007, 11:13 PM   #44
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pickup: X2N7
guitar: RG 7321

1st impression--the low end is huge. lots of bass and low mids without getting muddy. Not as much scream as I expected, but harmonics are effortless. Very rich and thick sounding, similar to a duncan custom custom, except with a much tighter low end.

After some tweaking--Very responsive. This is not the one trick pony that I was expecting. While this pickup excels at anything high gain, it also works very well for blues, jazz, and of course, shred. Clean sound is usable in series, and very nice when split. Much better than the stock POS unit this guitar came with.

Now this guitar needs a new neck pickup. Blaze, Paf, or jazz...not sure yet.
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Unread 02-02-2007, 12:55 AM   #45
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Dimarzio Blaze Custom

Had this in the bridge of my 7321 for about half a year now. No matter what I did, I never really got the tone I was looking for. Being mainly a rhythm guy, I think that with the BC, finding a good compromise between tight palm mutes and nice sounding upper strings is really tough. Or to put it the other way round: Finding a setting were your low notes don't sound muddy and "soft" while the high end doesn't literally make your ears bleed is pretty much impossible.
Even after many hours of tuning the settings on my pod, trying many amps, cabs, micings, eq and compressor settings etc, rhythm still sounded pretty washy.

I could not really put my finger onto what is wrong with my settings, and to be quite frank, the last thing I expected it to be was the BC, but that was exactly it.

People sometimes recommend the BC over the regular Blaze, arguing that the mids are less scooped, which ist right, but they neglect to say that the BC seriously rolls off in the treble. This means that in order to get some balance in your tone, you must turn up the treble and presence on your amp, and resurrecting those buried high frequencies leads to the same as resurrecting human beings does: They get ugly, walk the streets moaning and eat your children. So by all means, beware!

Keep in mind though, I based my opinion mainly on rhythm with the occasional solo. If you play both, you will probably not sound good at either. For mostly lead and depending on your style this might be the right pickup, but to me this was a bad choice.

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Dimarzion Evolution 7

This came in the used Schecter Omen 7 Extreme I recently bought. At first, I was disappointed. All those patches I had so thoroughly tweaked for my 7321 with a BC sounded trebly as hell. My first reaction was: "Man, the BC is already slightly rolling off towards the treble, if it wasn't, it would sound like *this*! Maybe i should look for a pickup that rolls off even more."

Wrong.

As I said before, once something is gone, bringing it back is a bitch. On the other hand, if there is too much of something, you can always cut, and that'll always sound better to the human ear. So what I did was cut back a little on the presence and it was...well it was an epiphany.

Harsh treble - gone.
muddy palm mutes - gone.

I was baffled, thinking "hey, where's the compromise here?". Well, there isn't one.

Suddenly it all became tight as hell, powerchords were well defined and sounded serious as hell. It's so much more fun to play percussively now, you really can snap and thump along with the drums, it's just pure, unfiltered joy. I fell in love with this pickup, I really did. Yesterday our keyboarder came over and we composed a little, and she was blown away by the sound. Crisp, mean, grunty without getting all screachy at the top end.

I A/B'ed the BC and Evo7 several times, and even when the BC was on patches I had tweaked for hours and days to make the BC sound good, it did not come close to a slightly modded version with the Evo.

I would like to try the Blaze Neck in the bridge position, which seems to be an insiders' tip, but as of now, man, am I in love with the Evo. And to think I almost traded it for a Blaze Bridge!
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Unread 02-27-2007, 01:03 PM   #46
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Seymour Duncan Jazz installed in a 2027XVV (mahogany), neck position.

The samples on the SD website were a bit misleading. From the samples, you'd think that this is a very bright PU, but it isn't. Somehow they managed to make all strings sound the same (well, Jazz). Not a lot of treble. Very round. Good bass. Works great with octave fuzzes because it isn't bright.

Seymour Duncan Distortion installed in a 2027XVV (mahogany), bridge position.

The distortion has a very rock-inspired sound. Not a lot of bass (and definitely less than the Jazz in the neck), lots of upper midrange. Good clarity, dynamics and all. Not "Metal" sounding at all.

Edit: I also noticed after swapping PUs that with the distortion, the sound changes a lot from the fourth string upwards. B to D strings sound a lot different than the G to E strings which are even brighter. Compared to the Blaze Neck the distortion really is very bright.

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Unread 03-14-2007, 04:08 PM   #47
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Haven't seen this particular pickup/wood combo listed here yet:

Pickups: Seymour Duncan Distortion-7 and Custom-7
Installed in: Alder bodied Jackson Custom Shop Warrior with maple/ebony bolt-on neck

Distortion-7: I've always been a big Duncan Distortion fan, so this was a natural choice for me when I ordered the guitar. Unfortunately, the only way to get more balls out of the pickup was to boost the EQ in my ADA MP-1/Digitech TSR12 rack setup, which left me with a custom patch for one guitar. While these two rack units have plenty of room for multiple guitar-specific patches, it doesn't work right out of the box with all the other patches I've tweaked and perfected over the years, and I'm not too interested in doing that all over again, so something's gotta change.

As well, the guitar has an OFR-7, and it appears Duncan doesn't understand the concept of trem-spacing 7-string pickups, because the bass poles are aligned with the strings but the treble poles are too far off the mark for me. While a Distortion doesn't have to be spot on with the alignment due to the output level, if I decided to put the Custom-7 in the bridge, I'd be tonally screwed.


Custom-7: The first time I moved a Custom to the neck position of a guitar, I was hooked on it. But that was a 6-string, and this is a 7-string, and the difference is pretty drastic. The neck pickup aligns perfectly with the strings, and distorted rhythm and lead tones are nice and beefy. Unfortunately the cleans are as weak as they could be. I prefer a nice round and bright clean more than the muted/muffled Joe Pass tones.

I thought about moving the Custom to the brige position, but with the F-spacing issue, I'm nnot sure it's going to work.

Looks like I'll be trying a few DiMarzios based on what I've read here.
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Unread 03-17-2007, 06:42 AM   #48
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Blaze Neck installed in a 2027XVV (mahogany), bridge position.

Mh... It looked to me that the Blaze Neck in the bridge position was a sevenstring.org insider tip so I bought it and installed it.

First, the output isn't very high. It's also noticeably darker compared to the SD Distortion (but then, the Distortion is very bright). There is a ton of mids that forced me to take out a couple of dBs of my mids.

Also noteworthy is that the B string just doesn't sound good. There's something weird, clangy to it.

I also found that the amount of information -- the way the pickup reproduces what my hands do -- is lower in the Blaze than the SD pickups.

I guess the Blaze Neck in the bridge doesn't get my stamp of approval in mahogany.

Edit: I'm begging to like the Blaze Neck in the bridge. If I pick very strongly, it sounds pretty good and develops interesting harmonic structures. I will try how it sounds in the neck though -- I guess this is where it belongs.

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Unread 03-21-2007, 10:41 PM   #49
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Pickup: EMG 707
Guitar: Schecter Hellraiser

These pickups give a loud, clean sound. Not muddy, they are very tight and articulate. They are also VERY bright, and while there is enough bass to not have it sound thin i wouldnt say they are warm or dark pickups at all. Great harmonics, very quiet. As you go higher up the neck the high notes start to sing more and smooth out, which i thought was nice with the lows being so edgy and aggressive. The mahogany body of the hellraiser didn't seem to help much, which seems to match the general consensus that emg's are less effected by body woods than passives are. If you're looking for a sound that cuts, has great clarity, and is loud and aggressive then look no further. If you need something a little smoother or warmer/sludgier then I'd advise to look elsewhere, these pickups work great for metal and for when you need a really bright sound but when you need something more mellow and "vintage/classic", these are lacking in that department.

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Unread 03-21-2007, 10:50 PM   #50
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Pickup: Dimarzio DS7
Guitar: Ibanez S7420FMTT, bridge

First off, yes - this IS a very noisy pickup like others have noticed. Maybe it's just a problem with the 7-string version and not the 6-string, I dunno. Put it anywhere near an electical source and you get buzz and fizzing.

THAT being said, the tone of this pickup rocks. It's warm, but not dark or bassy/boomy. It's VERY clear and articulate, but without being very bright actually. It also growls really good with the mids and sounds very full but it isn't muddy or sludgy at all. The sound overall is very tight and precise, and yet still warm and smooth. Harmonics are very easy to pull off. It is high output but it's so clear and has such great clarity that it sometimes feel like you're playing a lower output pickup like a PAF or something. The clarity gives it kind of an EMG-ish vibe, and yet not as "crystaline" or metallic as an EMG, much warmer and smoother. This pickup to me kinda seems like a pickup that breaks all the rules, much like the Air Norton (to my ears) - full, warm, and smooth, and yet very tight, articulate, and clear. So far I'm loving it (except for the noise) but it sounds so good I think I'll be able to put up with the noise.

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