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Tell me about the DiMarzio Air Norton, please.

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  • Tell me about the DiMarzio Air Norton, please.

    I've wanted to pull the trigger on this pickup for so long. I think I just might.

    I overall like the DiMarzio Evolution in my Les Paul. I like that it's not chirpy, scooped, and low output like a Jazz, for example. However, sometimes I wished it wasn't as fat in the lows.

    I've wanted to try the Air Norton for a while. What I was hoping it would do is not be brighter than the Evolution, but for it to be leaner on the low-end. I like the DiMarzio 36th Anniversary, for example, way better than the Duncan '59N because it's smoother, but at the same time, it's not boomier. It's fat, but it seems like the fatness is coming from above the very low-end, which translates into a throaty warm neck pickup tone that I like. I was hoping the Air Norton to be a hotter and more mid-focused version of that. Something that plays nicer with super high output, mid-forward bridge pickups.

    I am worried, however, that the Air Norton may not be hot enough. The Evolution's output is perfect. I wouldn't want less. However, it seems like the Air Norton isn't even on the same tier of pickups on the DiMarzio site as the Evolution.

    Last, I'd like to discuss orientation. Which of the two coils is hotter on the Norton? I think the coil offset is greater on the AN than on the Evolution, correct? So it would make more of a difference depending on which side the hotter coil faces?

    So... I'm not sure. I mean, I really want to try it. But at the same time, I'm worried I might end up with yet another neck pickup that I'm not happy with.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 03-11-2024, 04:55 PM.

  • #2
    Mostly the Air-Norton is used in basswood RG guitars with lots of distortion. I think that is how it got a reputation as being mid-focussed.

    However if you check the lastest version of Dimarzio tone chart its EQ rating (recently updated) is 6-6-6-5.5. This is much more balanced than what they had on the website before.

    EDIT: NEW vs OLD tone chart graphic was added.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Teleplayer; 03-11-2024, 10:08 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Teleplayer View Post
      Mostly the Air-Norton is used in basswood RG guitars with lots of distortion. I think that is how it got a reputation as being mid-focussed.

      However if you check the lastest version of Dimarzio tone chart its EQ rating (recently updated) is 6-6-6-5. This is much more balanced than what they had on the website before.
      Yeah, I don't extpect it to be the same, but at the same time, I have some room to play with the orientation. I'm not 100% sure, but many people seem to point the hotter coil towards the neck the way Petrucci used to, right? I could flip it to make it be more Les Paul-friendly.

      That, and also, I don't really trust those DiMarzio EQ all that much. They report the Dominion as being really fat, when it's one of the tightest, driest, leanest bridge pickups I've played myself.

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      • #4
        I can't offer any help with the orientation aspect. I felt with the air-norton a 25.5 in scale strat-like guitar it has that slightly fizzy and bright sound you may not like. If the Evolution neck is the reference point, I'm pretty sure the air-norton will be brighter. I'm not a Petrucci fan (at all), but I recall a long time ago he was using the air-norton neck pickup as a lead distortion tone so it might be very different application to what you have in mind.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, i did

          Hi, https://www.tonejourney.com/post/dimarzio-air-norton-dp193-review For my blog i reviewed Air Norton as moderate output bridge humbucker for brown sound. Well, i must say i was very impressed. Long story short, turned the bridge tone of superstrat into a Les Paul kindo tone. I was not expecting that.
          Official Author of Guitarism Section of SOUND Magazine, TR

          Click Here to Guitarism Blog for Special Interviews, Reviews and Articles

          "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." Frank Zappa

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          • #6
            Originally posted by nienturi View Post
            Thank you! So the hotter coil is the slug coil, then. Awesome.

            What do you think about it on the neck position? You go over the bridge position, but not so much over the neck position.

            I want a pickup that's mid-forward with some upper-mid bite and some lower mid throatiness, but not too much of a boomy low-end or a scratchy high-end like many of the Duncan humbuckers can be. Do you think the AN would fit that bill?

            Also, do you think it's the same output range as PAF-types? Cause I need it to be hotter than that.

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            • #7
              Try a series cap to get rid of some bass. Cheapest fix, that does exactly what you want!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ToneFiddler View Post
                Try a series cap to get rid of some bass. Cheapest fix, that does exactly what you want!
                OK... what cap and where in the circuit? Please tell me more.

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                • #9
                  Click image for larger version

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                  series cap to taste.
                  i would start with 10nF which is 0.01uF.
                  4.7nF is most of the time too much bass cut for me.
                  but 6.8nf or 4,7 || 2.2 nF ist sometimes perfect. It depends on the pickup (DCR and L) though.
                  more than 10nF it gets more and more unnoticeable.

                  you can also wire a parallel resistor to the series cap to lessen the low cut effect. Just search artie‘s Demud mod
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Thank you! I'll look into that.

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                    • #11
                      You're welcome!
                      The Tone should be before the highpass or it will behave different
                      (which makes it hard to do, if you want to share tone for bridge and neck and only have one tone pot (but than there are stereo pots ...)
                      but it's a Les Paul in this case anyway)
                      Last edited by ToneFiddler; 03-13-2024, 03:10 AM.

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                      • #12
                        and i usually wire the series cap combined with a push pull pot, so i can short it and therefore have the normal/original sound.
                        Also good for A/B comparison

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                        • #13
                          Oh, I don't have a tone control.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
                            Oh, I don't have a tone control.
                            That‘s no problem at all! It will work as supposed.

                            it‘s just if you wire the series cap before the tone control you get „weird“ behavior

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
                              Thank you! So the hotter coil is the slug coil, then. Awesome.

                              What do you think about it on the neck position? You go over the bridge position, but not so much over the neck position.

                              I want a pickup that's mid-forward with some upper-mid bite and some lower mid throatiness, but not too much of a boomy low-end or a scratchy high-end like many of the Duncan humbuckers can be. Do you think the AN would fit that bill?

                              Also, do you think it's the same output range as PAF-types? Cause I need it to be hotter than that.
                              I havent played it on the neck more than 10 years. All were on superstrats and played mostly moderate to high gain. All i can remember is middy, vocally, relatively clear (for a 12K humbucker), relatively articulate and warm humbucker. Not too boomy but AN did not have a clearity of Jazz. I think you may like it. Actually i liked AN on the birdge so such that i have bought another to try it on one of my guitars months ago but still couldnt have spare time to install it.
                              Official Author of Guitarism Section of SOUND Magazine, TR

                              Click Here to Guitarism Blog for Special Interviews, Reviews and Articles

                              "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." Frank Zappa

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