DiMarzio D-Sonic 7 Pickup \m/

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by zimbloth, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    Well, now that I've had a couple weeks with this pickup, I figured I'd share some of my official thoughts on it. If this is in the wrong section, I apologize. The pickup section said something about waiting 3 months and well, the restless masses demand another DS7 review! If this gets deleted, no biggie :yesway:

    Anyways, on to business...

    The Guitar: Ibanez K7 FB, mahogany body
    The Rig: Mesa/Boogie Triaxis/2:90 w/ TC Electronic G Major--> Mesa 4x12
    Orientation: Solid bar towards the bridge

    Tone:

    After initially being slightly underwhelmed with the tone, I soon realized I had some duds strings on there. When I switched to different strings (Ernie Ball 10s), everything changed and I've been in heaven ever since.

    I've tried almost every pickup DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan and EMG makes, and I think I've been looking for this pickup all my life. It just seems to have a unique quality of heaviness that has to be heard to be believed. It has an incredible crunch, with all the attack and bite you could ever want, but still sounding heavy and complex, not sterile. It has a lot of low end, but is very clear and warm, not muddy at all. It's middy but it doesn't honk, it's not like a Blaze Custom or a Tone Zone, it has just the right amount of mids to sound mean and in your face, but not over the top. It has all the articulation and treble you'd want, but it's not harsh or too bright.

    In the past, pickups have done one of these things as well, but didn't have the whole package like this does. There's just not one aspect of this pickup that doesn't sound perfect. If you're shredding, playing blistering fast virtuoso leads, intricate rhythm riffs, or just doomy single note licks, it seems perfectly suited for all of that. I feel like this pickup should replace the Blaze as THE 7-string pickup people seem to goto by default. It just has everything the Blaze has, but with infinitely better articulation and punch. Power chords are still just as warm and heavy, it's just not quite as scooped.

    I should also note that, even at near-defeaning volumes capable of playing stadiums with, there is absolute ZERO noise or hum, even with the volume knob maxed out, as long as you have some kind of noise-gate engaged (which goes for really any high-gain tube amp situation). No feedback, no hum, nothing. Dead silent. I can stand right next to the speakers and hear really nothing, yet if I hit a note on my amp I'd be thrown back at the wall ala Marty from Back to the Future. With 0 noise suppression, there is bit of faint hum if you aim your guitar up to an electrical outlet or something, but I've yet to encounter any situation, either at home or live at stadium volumes, where I hear a damn thing. The bottom line is, a certain pal of mine will argue to the death that this is a noisy pickup, and I will goto the grave saying the opposite.

    This is just the best pickup ever. In the right guitar, I still love many of the 7-string pickups out there, such as the DiMarzio Blaze/PAF/Evo/JP7/Air Norton and the Duncan JB/Custom/Invader. The EMG 707 can be cool too. All around though, the D Sonic just has given me the best all around experience of any pickup I've ever heard. Lead tones, rhythm riffing, deep rich low notes that growl like a monster, singing harmonics and terrific bite, everything you could want this delivers. It's like the PAF7 in a way, but way more powerful (especially in the lead department, rhythm is kind of similar).

    Granted, perhaps with other rigs or guitars with different tonal properties, this pickup might not be as cool, who knows. But, if I had to have one guitar with one pickup, I would not even hesitate to choose the D Sonic.

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    FILTHnFEAR, Michael and The Dark Wolf like this.
  2. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    Terrific review! :yesway:
     
  3. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

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    I'm not much of a DiMarzio fan, but I must admit that this one has me intrigued. Nice review! :yesway:
     
  4. 7StringofAblicK

    7StringofAblicK Contributor

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    +1
     
  5. Mr. S

    Mr. S tacos?

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    awesome reveiw man, any chance of sound clips? ;)
     
  6. Plaschkes

    Plaschkes Israeli 8 Stringer Contributor

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    +1! The people demand clips!
     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Great review! Definately agree about the tone. It's a very dynamic pickup in that you can easily get it to sound bright, middy, or bassy, or adjust it to sound balanced. It's as if my tone controls are all on steroids. With this pickup, almost any tone imaginable is possible.

    One thing I want to point out, from my experience, and maybe you can affirm this or tell me it's just my imagination…but…this pickup is high output. We all know that, but my DS7 actually overdrives the hell out of my amp, which is great with my tube amp. If I go clean, I have to roll the volume down to about 7 or 8. My EVO7, which is supposedly less output, only overdrives a tiny bit at full volume.

    My theory is this: The EVO7 might be higher RMS output, but I think the DS7 has a higher peak output. Playing light gives you a light sound and playing hard gives you a very hard sound. It's almost like a reversed compressor or something. I love the dynamics of this pickup, just thought I'd share.
     
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  8. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    ^ Yep. it reminds me sorta like a scooped, tight-bass JB-7. It has that same 'prettiness' of tone, and lots of clarity. It actually sounds terrific clean, just like the JB. It is indeed very dynamic, for a Dimarzio.
     
  9. Cancer

    Cancer Cancer:The Crucifuct

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    Were you able to experiment at all with the pole bar direction? If so, any thoughts.
     
  10. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    No, I haven't even thought to put the bar towards the neck. I wanted to get the best articulation and tone as possible, and I think with the bar set to the bridge it's best. It's not as if the higher strings are too bright or anything, so I see no reason to reverse it. But, it's possible it would sound great reversed too....but I have no plans to try it.

    I kind of agree with the 'tight-bass' JB7 comment, I think it's a lot different, but I think JB7 fans would enjoy the tone the DS7 delivers. DiMarzios just usually aren't this in-your-face sounding. As for Bostjans comment about the output, it does drive the front end pretty well, and to be honest I don't really like the clean tones that much, but I'm not really a fan of bridge humbucker cleans anyways. I don't think its too hot though, it gets a phenominal sound from the tubes, at 380mv the dynamics are definitely incredible. My experiences with the over the top output DiMarzios like the Evo and X2N are that, they sound good, but they aren't in the same league as this pickup. This pickup is like a PAF7 mixed with a Blaze but completely balanced and clear.

    As for clips, perhaps sometime soon I can record something either with my Triaxis direct, or the Tri (or F30) mic'd. Not just yet though.
     
  11. includao

    includao Banned

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    what you are using in the neck pos? just curious.
     
  12. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    I still have the stock DiMarzio PAF7 in the neck. Though I love that pickup, I am trying to sell it and put an Air Norton in there.
     
  13. LEWY7777777

    LEWY7777777 SS.org Regular

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    Hey bostjan is that the Ds7 on Dionysus that song rules its my name!:hbang:
     
  14. teof

    teof SS.org Regular

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    Okay guys, now it's my turn. Going place my orders with Eric after some advice from you guys. I'm going for a AN7/DS7 combi to replace my current Blaze/Blaze on a UV. For the experienced users of DS7, would that give me a much tighter tone and cut down on the harsh highs?
     
  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Harsh highs with Blazes? The D Sonic 7 has quite a bit of presence, but the nice thing is that you can reorient the pickup to cut down on the presence. The AN7 has a rich creamy tone that I can't imagine anyone disliking. :D
     
  16. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    Tighter/Heavier tone? Yes

    Cut down on harsh highs? Perhaps, if not, just lower your highs on the amp.
     
  17. jtm45

    jtm45 SS.org Regular

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    Do you reckon the DS7 would sound as good in a basswood bodied RG7 (7620)?

    Would you class it as a 'hot' pickup in the same way as the Blaze bridge ?
    You reckon it's a good pickup for really heavy/tight sound through a high-gain amp?

    I'm very tempted to try one instead of going for the more traditional Blaze in the bridge.
    It sounds a bit more tonally interesting too.
     
  18. shadowgenesis

    shadowgenesis Yarrrrrr

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    Well this is the pickup of choice for Petrucci, and his sig EBMM is a basswood body. And personally, I'm obsessed with his tone. :shred:
     
  19. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    Sorry I took so long to respond, I just got back from vacation. Heavy tight sound thru a high-gain amp is what this thing was made for. It seems to me like a combination of the Blaze and the PAF7. It has the best qualities (IMO) of both yet does what each can't do alone. I think it would be awesome with basswood. Mahogany has more mids bit basswood probably has deeper lows...whatever the case, this is a pickup I really feel would excel in any guitar. The tone is unreal, give it a shot :yesway:
     
  20. jtm45

    jtm45 SS.org Regular

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    Cheers Nick:yesway:
    No probs about the delay. I figured you were probably not around as i hadn't noticed you posting much.

    I think that's what i needed to hear about this pickup.
    The only thing that concerns me slightly is the relatively low DC resistance (think it's around the 14ohm mark?).

    Is it quiet compared to the Blaze (as in not as loud,not hum-wise)?

    Where did you buy yours from Nick and if you don't mind me asking,how much are they over there?
    It's pointless me even trying to get one from a UK supplier 'cause they charge ridiculous money for them and it'll take forever to get here too.

    I know that quite a few U.S. Dimarzio suppliers wont ship to the UK for some reason.

    Where do you reckon would be my best bet to get one from (price-wise and prompt delivery wise)?

    Thanks again Nick:yesway:
     

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