Which DImarzio 7 string pups? Currently have Paf7's

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by eightsixboy, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    Hi all,

    Loving my new RG752 but I'm wondering if the pups are letting it down a little.

    I don't mind the Paf7's, have had 3 752's previously and just left them in there but they are a little scooped and under powered in a sense. Just wondering what you guys would recommend for an upgrade?

    I'm not looking for tons of midrange or anything, but something more balanced would be great, but nothing mushy or dark, I like somewhat open and brighter sounding pups etc.

    Was thinking either Crunch Lab, D activator or even a Super Distortion 7 for the bridge and an Air Norton in the neck?

    I play mostly prog metal/rock and heavier stuff in general but I still love the Petrucci tones from the awake era which I believe where just the Blaze pups?

    Thanks for any input :)
     
  2. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Evo bridge/Air Norton neck would be a good fit. Maybe an Ionizer set :yesway:

    The AN isn't a drastic change from the PAF, just a little hotter, more mids, and slightly smoother top end, which makes it great for lead work. I've had both in the same guitar and ended up keeping the PAF since I mostly use the neck for cleans.

    The Evo7 can get a lot heavier than you'd expect from a Vai pickup. Lots of upper mid snarl, tight lows, and great clarity. The Blaze Custom is similar, but with a slightly warmer voicing all around, so it's more "growl" than "snarl" amd a bit thicker compared to the Evo.

    I've never been a fan of the Crunch Lab in general. It gets really cloudy and loses definition, even with the bar side towards the bridge. It's cool on single note lines on higher strings, but is just too tubby for heavy rhythm playing IMO. I've had the D-Activator 7 in a bunch of guitars and it does heavy sounds really well, though it can over-emphasize low end if your guitar is naturally dark sounding, which was the case in my old LTD AW-7. Killer in neutral-to-bright guitars :metal:
     
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  3. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    All of the above.
    I'd add a D-Sonic for bridge position and remove the D-Activator from the list. I found that DAs were muddying my tones. They do give excellent coil splits, but in serial the tone was too muddy, and I experimented on 2 guitars. I think they have too much string pull and if the pickup cavity isn't deep enough, you won't be able to get clear tones out of them.

    At the moment I have my RG7421 with an AN7+EVO7 combo and these really work well there. The AN7+D-Sonic7 combo is also a functional pair. With the Air Norton, I put the slug coils inside and with the D-Sonic, the bar also goes inside. They sound better this way, to my ears anyway.
     
  4. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    I am waiting on a crunch lab for my 6 string funnily enough but well see how that goes I guess. Was mucking around doing a comparison between a super distortion I have in my RG657 and the Paf7 in my RG7321 the other day, both guitars are in C standard and the Paf7 is way more defined, the SD was muddy in comparison. Looks like I might be getting rid of the Super distortion and the tone zone's in my 6's, maybe the CL as well depending on how it sounds.

    Its weird how some of these pups now appear muddy or undefined when in comparison to the PAF7.

    On a side note, have you tried the X2N7? I know its extremely hot but just wondering if its really defined for lower tunings?

    I've noticed the higher output dimarzio's tend to either have to much bass or to much mids, I think something more even across the eq range would be better?

    Have heard good things about the d-sonic, might have to check one out. Still in two minds if I stick with super low output or go much higher etc. One thing I do like about the PAF is the transparency or "openness" they seem to have. Not sure if any higher output pups will really achieve this?

    I think I had the D activator 7 string years ago and yea it was muddy as you said. I still have the box somewhere at home so I should double check what I actually had, can't remember if it was the d activator or illuminator.
     
  5. HighPotency

    HighPotency SS.org Regular

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    From what you seem to desire in a pickup, I think the Air Norton would be a good choice for a neck pickup. The LiquiFire is too muddy and bloated in my opinion but it could probably benefit from an Alnico 2 magnet swap. I am a fan of the Crunch Lab, though some people say it sounds too compressed. It is a bit compressed sounding, though not as bad as the DActivator, and it still retains responsiveness and clarity very well which makes it very versatile. That's with the 6 string version, though. I'm not impressed with the Titans in the slightest which haven't been mentioned but I just like to throw that out there.

    If you're absolutely limited to Dimarzio, based on what you're considering I would suggest CrunchLab and Air Norton. If you're up to it, I think the Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentient fit your needs very well, too. I used to be Dimarzio exclusive until I got my KM7 with the Nazgul and Sentient, they really impressed me.
     
  6. oracles

    oracles Australian in Canda

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    D-Sonic and Air Norton.
     
  7. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    If you don't hate the tone of the PAF's, and are up for something different, you can keep the pickups and replace the passive chitterlings with a Seymour Duncan modular preamp, and voila, your passive Dimarzios are now active. Perhaps the active output may be to your liking...
     
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  8. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Petrucci was using, I believe, a Blaze-equipped UV on that album, as well as I believe one of his six strings here and there. I know at that time he was using an Air Norton in the Neck, and at some point he switched from the Tone Zone in the bridge to a Steve's Special, which is about as close to a 6 string Blaze as you can get, because he liked the Blaze so much in the UV.

    So, an AI/Blaze set should handle classic petrucci well, and that's where I'd tell you to start.
     
  9. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    Can't go wrong with the Air Norton in neck position. What about a Titan for the bridge?
     
  10. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    I have ordered a Air Norton to go in the bridge, I'll keep the PAF in the neck. I like the idea of trying neck pups in the bridge as they generally seem to be more open sounding and low output.

    I actually just put in a blaze neck in the bridge about a week ago, loving it so far, sounds like a PAF but maybe 20% more output, but we will see how the air Norton compares.

    Good thing is, if I do get a crunch lab or other bridge pup I will already have a air Norton and blaze neck pups to pair with it.

    I just stick with Dimarzio as BKP as to $$$ over here and I never really like any SD, even the JB and 59 I didn't really get the hype around them. I have had a Pegasus and nazgul in a iron label 7 a few years ago but honestly can't remember if I even liked them now or not haha.

    That's kind of what I have now, just a lower output version, I put a blaze neck in the bridge. Compliments the PAF really well.

    I think I will give that a go if I don't stick with my neck pup in the bridge thing I have now. I'm still a bit undecided on higher output pups, especially on 7's. After playing 6's with super distortions and crunch labs I do kind of prefer the more open and clear PAF type pups.
     
  11. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    The Pegasus might be the pickup you're looking for, I really like it on my 7.
     
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  12. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood SS.org Regular

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    The Pegasus is the metal version of a PAF to me.
     
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  13. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    That's interesting actually, always thought they would be just a EMG kind of vibe. But then again I'm not well versed with Duncan's.

    I'll have to keep this in mind. I have just bought a second hand crunch lab 7 of ebay, so we'll see how it goes in the 7 string form. If I don't like it I can just sell it and get something else.

    Kind of annoying that there isn't a ton of 7 string options, at least not from Dimarzio. PAF and Blaze seem to be scooped and bass heavy, everything else seems to be either super high output or muddy ie tone zone 7 or Super D etc. People have recommended the D activator 7 and Titan so they might be the last Dimarzio I try before maybe going a Duncan. I'm really hoping that just having the CL with the bar facing the bridge will be the perfect 7 string pup for me.

    BTW the air Norton 7 will be going in later today as it arrived from japan, so I'll see how that sounds in the bridge first. If no good I'll just use it in the neck with the CL 7 when that gets here.
     

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