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Tone Zone or Norton?

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  • Tone Zone or Norton?

    A guy offered to trade me either a Tone Zone or a Norton for a Zoom effects unit I never use, but I don't know which one to take.

    I usually use a Marshall JCM 900 or a Fender Blues Jr. amp with an overdrive pedal for extra spice. I like a lot of different classic tones from Jazz, Country, Blues, and Classic Rock up to things like 80's Hair Metal, Satriani, and King's X at the heavest end of my spectrum.

    I tried a Norton in a Les Paul a while back and didn't like it. However, now that I have more experience with pickups and getting various tones, I've thought about trying one again. The Tone Zone seems way to heavy for my taste. However, I've read that a lot of guys love it for Classic Rock and heavy blues. They say it gives a bolt neck guitar a deep Les Paul type sound.

    I'll probably put the pickup in either a Yamaha Tele (alder w/Bubinga fretboard) or a Yamaha with a Floyd Rose (alder w/rosewood).

    Which would you get?
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  • #2
    Re: Tone Zone or Norton?

    trade for both.


    • #3
      Re: Tone Zone or Norton?

      norton all the way. the tone zone is good for classic rock and heavy blues but it tends to be to bassy and middy. norton is cleaner and is way more responsive to how you play. it is a very diverse pickup.
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      • #4
        Re: Tone Zone or Norton?

        My co-guitarplayer has a guitar with a Norton and a Tone Zone. The Tone Zone has a really murky clean sound if it's not split. The Norton sounds fine.


        • #5
          Re: Tone Zone or Norton?

          I love my Tone Zone. It IS very bass and mid heavy, which is REALLY good for heavy metal. Probably not your thing though. Tone Zone is a very powerful pickup with an extreme voicing. Because of that, people either love it or absolutely hate it. Norton might be a better choice in this case.
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          • #6
            Re: Tone Zone or Norton?

            Between the too, guitars, amps and styles aside, I feel that the Norton is the more versatile of the two, the TZ can be a bit hard to handle at times, depending on your amp, and gain structure, also with other pups (regarding lower output pups). Given the current trend of many amps to be as thick as possible the Norton might do you better. If you preamp lacks bass though, then the TZ might do the trick. Clean I feel the Norton is better especially split/paralleled, and combine with some other medium to lower output pups, can even be used in the neck of a thin and bright sounding bolt-on, although it might be a bit much ... but if it's going in an LP (some reference made to that), and you didn't like it, well if it didn't have enough bass for you or seemed a bit thin, then the TZ might do you.
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            • #7
              Re: Tone Zone or Norton?

              the norton sounds a lot like the peavey wolfgang bridge pup FWIW
              it has a lot of mids and a lot of honk.
              crunches real good but can be brittle/harsh depending on the guitar?
              in a les paul dimarzio says it has "classic rock crunch"