banner

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Dimarzio Norton or Air Zone with Ceramic?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dimarzio Norton or Air Zone with Ceramic?

    Hi guys,

    first post here after reading several threads.
    Since I have swapped magnets and pole pieces in several of my Duncan and Dimarzio pickups, I'm curious about a new bridge pickup for my Jackson Soloist.
    I somehow dislike the Chrunch Lab I have in there. I tried different floyd rose bridges and brass blocks but in the end I liked the OFR with small brass block best for the bluesbucker neck.
    Usually I love the Duncan Distortion in several of my guitars.

    Has anyone experience with swapping the magnet of an air zone?
    I remember to like the Tone Zone in a Strat but I have a feeling that it's too dark and muddy to compete with a Distortion in my Soloist and I read that a ceramic magnet could help tightening the bass frequencies and adding highs.
    Compensating the extra output of the ceramic vs. AlNiCo5 I would tend to the air version of the Tone Zone.
    Not sure how the Norton would fit the bill instead.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    I had an Air Classic/ ceramic Norton set in my PRS CE24, and it’s magical. Currently trying a different set, but the DiMarzios are going back in.

    The ceramic Norton is great for anything you’d want a bridge pickup with some bite for. Blues, rock, metal, whatever, and the split sounds are great.
    "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

    Comment


    • #3
      Actually I have no experience with the Norton. I consider it as alternative to the TB-6 without magnet swapping.
      Are there any substitute pickups with the same coils as the Norton but maybe with dual hex rows?
      I just made a deal on an EVO 2 because of the similarities to the Norton resistance of ~14k.
      The EVO 2 already has a ceramic magnet in it. Is there a point replacing one row of hex screws with filister heads to get closer to the Norton?
      Other way around - how about putting an A5 magnet into the EVO 2?

      Comment


      • #4
        I can't comment on any mag swaps, but I have the Air Norton/Tone Zone in my main axe (think Les Paul construction and wood combo with a soloist body) and there's nothing muddy there. It chugga chugs no problem but the only time it's muddy is when I turn down the treble on the amp (guitar is tuned down to C). And the Air Norton in the neck is great for smooth solo lines.
        --------------------------------------------------------
        1973 Aria 551
        1984 Larrivee RS-4 w/ EMG SA/SA/89
        1989 Charvel 750 XL w/ DMZ Tone Zone & Air Norton
        1990's noname crap-o-caster plywood P/J Bass
        1991 Heartfield Elan III w/ DMZ mystery pups
        1995 Aria Pro II TA-65
        2001 Gibson Les Paul Gothic w/ PG-1 & SH-8

        Comment


        • #5
          Try the Evo 2 as is, it’s a good pickup. Don’t get too hung up on DCR, especially with DiMarzio. Compare their DCR to the outputs, and you’ll see it’s not a good spec to obsess over.

          The Norton is one Fred coil, and one TZ coil, so I doubt there’s a Norton with alternate pole pieces. Most of their pickups are unique to one another, so there’s not as much “these coils with that magnet” going on.
          "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

          Comment


          • #6
            Forgot to mention, the Norton isn’t really like the Distortion. It’s not as hot, and a lot warmer.
            "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

            Comment


            • #7
              Forgot to mention, the Norton isn’t really like the Distortion. It’s not as hot, and a lot warmer.[/QUOTE]

              I'm aware of the DCR and that it's hardly an indicator, just thought the Norton and EVO 2 might be similar like the Duncan Customs or JB/DD etc.
              Sure pole piece length, form and magnet have influence on the output as well. Output wise they aren't that far away. I just realized they advertised different DCRs than on the website:
              Click image for larger version

Name:	Dimarzio.jpg
Views:	130
Size:	183.1 KB
ID:	6128199
              Here it says 14k for the Norton while webiste says 12,62k.

              Good info that Dimarzio works differently and go the extra miles developing each pickup new.
              I have a Full Shred in one of my Jackson RR which isn't that hot either but feels similar to the Distortion.
              It lacks a bit of bottom and mids but still is a good alternative to the TB-6 (I will try an AlNiCo 8 magnet in the FS soon).

              What DCR have the coils of the Norton?
              I think the Tone Zone has offset coil winds as well?

              I will check the EVO 2 as soon as it arrives..

              Comment


              • #8
                Norton is around 12.5k.
                i used one for years to great effect. I swapped a bunch of pickups thru my rg520qs after i took it out.

                Recently i reinstalled it, and it was very bright and harmonically insane. I had to cut the tone to 6 or so to get a usable sound.

                i was quite frankly surprised by this. I expected it to add in the beef that the full shred can sometimes lack. It did that, but also made the high end very bright in a not good way.

                i like the full shred muc much better.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just made another deal on a Norton.
                  If it's way too bright I might give the bigger brass block anoter chance.

                  I always read about a half-air mod for the Tone Zone.
                  Since an Air Zone seems hard to get I wonder if I should just get me a Tone Zone and full-air mod it?
                  Shouldn't be too much different to the half-air thing - just need to insert something to distance the magnet from pole pieces and slugs..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mr. Lime View Post
                    I just made another deal on a Norton.
                    If it's way too bright I might give the bigger brass block anoter chance.

                    I always read about a half-air mod for the Tone Zone.
                    Since an Air Zone seems hard to get I wonder if I should just get me a Tone Zone and full-air mod it?
                    Shouldn't be too much different to the half-air thing - just need to insert something to distance the magnet from pole pieces and slugs..
                    I have an Air Zone in the parts box. Shoot me a PM if you have something to swap for it.
                    "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Norton has two magnets - the main magnet, then a smaller magnet on one side. Might complicate a magnet swap. I think the Norton has ceramic qualities already with the bright high end and tight bottom. An EQ pedal before your amp can tighten the lows even more.
                      Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                      Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
                      http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good to know!

                        Well in the meantime while I'm waiting for the pickups to arrive, I put an AlNiCo 8 into the Full Shred.
                        First I didn't liked it at all. It was very sensitive to pole piece adjustments but didn't feld right no matter how I turned the screws.
                        Then I made a row filister heads like the Screamin Demon has.
                        That helped but the bass frequencies got woofy. I swapped the hex screws with the filister screws of the E-A-D strings and now I find the sound quite good.
                        Looks a bit like a Wide Range style humbucker. Still very sensitive to hight adjustments but the EQ is way more balanced now.
                        I'm not sure if it's a keeper. It sounds good and is kind of a middleway between big brass block and small one.
                        Slightly reduced highs but big tight bottom end. I just don't like how it feels. The Duncan Distortion emphasizes pitch harmonics much better and is way more fun to play although it sounds thinner..

                        Any ideas what could help?
                        The TB-6 has longer pole pieces but this should cut even more highs right?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Norton is one of my favorite bridge pickups, it can do clean and nasty, but I never considered it overly bright.

                          FWIW, as far as I know it only has a single A5 magnet, don't know of a second magnet in it, maybe you're thinking of the spacer?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Having played a bit with the Norton I found it to be slightly better than the Chrunch Lab but it was kind of polite sounding to me.
                            Not really aggressive or tight but it was okay in the Jackson Soloist. Nothing too special to be honest.
                            Then I swapped the pole pieces to hex screws I had laying around and this really did the trick.
                            Wow, suddenly the basses were tight like in the chrunch lab before and it feels super fast. Highs also got more edge and it's way more responsive.
                            That's an easy mod but I can really recommend it.

                            I'm still waiting for an EVO 2 and a Tone Zone to compare but the Norton with the Hex pole pieces is a keeper now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Put a ceramic mag in the Norton. You’ll dig it.
                              "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X