Dimarzio Liquifire vs. SD Sentient

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by AgileButt, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. AgileButt

    AgileButt SS.org Regular

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    Looking for a neck pickup for my basswood body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard guitar. I've heard amazing things about both pups, and although I'm sure there have already been posts about this, I want to gather whatever insight I can possibly get before pulling the trigger.

    I play mostly modern progressive metal type stuff, so like Monuments, Periphery, The Safety Fire, Veil of Maya, Dead Letter Circus, etc.. I don't do much "shredding," but still need the pickup to articulate well in the medium-high register, but not sound too overly rounded or shrill.

    I do lots of coil-splitting for clean/ambient-type sounds, and for slap-guitar riffs as well.

    thanks!
     
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  2. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I haven't played the Liquifire, but I've used the Air Norton 7 a lot and I think they're pretty similar (right?). And I've got a guitar with the Sentient in it, too. Honestly, I think they're pretty similar. To my ear, the SD Pegasus/Sentient combo shares a striking similarity to the Dimarzio Tone Zone 7/Air Norton 7 combo...

    The Sentient seems to have a bit more "character" to it compared to the Air Norton 7; less dull maybe. Don't know how else to describe it. Both I think are somewhat generic sounding neck pickups. No "chime," no "cluck," no mud. Definitely not shrill, but both might be accused of being overly rounded. The AN7 particularly so IMHO.

    I'm a bigger fan of the Dimarzio PAF7 in the neck. It has a nice "chime" to it that I personally like from a neck pickup, and it splits to a single coil really well. Very clear but not harsh, though I like to swap an Alnico 2 or 5 magnet for the stock ceramic mag (which is a bit "clanky").
     
  3. Electric Wizard

    Electric Wizard guy incognito

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    Between the two I'd probably go liquifire. It's a bit smoother and more liquid (go figure). I've not been that impressed with the sentient, generic is a good descriptor. It works but is more bright and dry than I would like. The liquifire also produces better split tones in my experience.
     
  4. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    cardinal: I've had the AN7 and LF7 in the same guitar and they're pretty different overall :2c: the Air Norton is a good bit more "vintage" in feel/eq and is better for cleans than leads IMO. The Liquifire, on the other hand, is more modern and handles leads better than cleans, but is by no means to be overlooked for clean tones :)

    I've never tried the Sentient, but you really can't go wrong with the Liquifire for an application like this. The Sentient is normally described as a cross between the '59 and Jazz, which are both fairly vintage in character. Great for cleans, but I've been sorta let down by both for lead playing.
     
  5. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Ah, OK. I thought I had read that the Liquifire was a tweaked Air Norton, but even if that's true, little tweaks can make a big difference. Good to know.
     
  6. MAJ Meadows SF

    MAJ Meadows SF on a tone quest

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    I'd say Liquifire because it is more unique sounding than the Sentient. Overall the Sentient is a good neck pickup but just nothing that really blew me away. It pairs nicely with the Nazgul, Pegasus, or Black Winter, it's voiced correctly, is a hotter neck model, but also a bit "safe" tone wise. It doesn't try to stand out and does the job. It would work for what you want, but the Liquifire is a smoother, more "fluid" sounding neck model (I guess hence the name).
     
  7. sandwichamwin

    sandwichamwin SS.org Regular

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    I just popped a Sentient into my RG1527 and agree 100% with the above. Was let down with the pegasus+sentient combo - just a bit meh. Might give them a chance in another guitar, maybe mahogany.

    In basswood I would definitely recommend the Liquifire!
     
  8. Legion

    Legion is a bloody army.

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    Really?
    I'd have expected the opposite, with the LF being so middy it'd have a higher perceived output...
     

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