Dimarzio Tone Zone and Air Norton, opinions?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Longgone, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Longgone

    Longgone Member

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    I`m looking for a pair of humbuckers to replace the stock p/u`s in my PRS Standard. I`m thinking of the Dimarzio Tone Zone and Air Norton combo. I`d be pleased to hear any opinions you may have on this pair of pups?
     
  2. dunara

    dunara Member

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    Tone Zone = muddy; Air Norton = better; Steve's Special = wonderful, if you can find them....
     
  3. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Member

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    I don't think the Tone Zone is muddy at all. It sounds great in the bridge position of my partscaster. It's fat but not muddy, great for OD tones. Not so great for clean tones though.
     
  4. Pushead

    Pushead Member

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    I've used the Tone Zone in a few guitars and really like it. The same with the Air Norton. But none of those guitars have been mahogany/maple combs. They're mostly Alder.
     
  5. grapeshot

    grapeshot Supporting Member

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    That is a really good combo. I have the 36th Ann PAFs loaded in my McCarty and those are great pickups. I also like the Super Distortion and HB from Hell combo.

    Have you used the pickup selector on the DiMarzio website?
     
  6. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I can't comment on those pickups but I put in a Dimarzio Fred and PAF-Joe recently in an Ibanez I rewired and it came out great. :)
     
  7. nodata2000

    nodata2000 Supporting Member

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    I briefly had a guitar with an Air Zone and Air Norton...it was a nice combo
     
  8. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    I have the Air Norton S in the bride in my Strat and I cannot tell you how amazing it is in that application, good clean, fantastic overdriven.
     
  9. Go Cat Go!!

    Go Cat Go!! Member

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    I can't comment on the Tone Zone but did I have the Air Zone on the bridge of one of my guitars. I couldn't wait to rip it out. It was to "boomy" for me. I play mostly clean or just at the edge of breaking up. My days of metal mayhem are over. I replaced it with a Virtual PAF and couldn't have been happier.

    I have the Air Norton at the bridge of one guitar with a PAF Joe at the neck. As a bridge pup the Air Norton is fantastic. It's more modern sounding than a PAF without being too hot.

    Dimarzio makes some great pups for all different tastes. They won't kill your wallet either.
     
  10. tonydetiger

    tonydetiger Supporting Member

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    I've always felt the opposite. The Tone Zone is the best rock humbucker I've ever used. I've never gotten along with the Air Norton. I've found it to be the muddy sounding pickup.

    I've heard that the Dimarzio Humbucker from Hell is actually a good fit as a neck pickup with the Tone Zone.
     
  11. _MonSTeR_

    _MonSTeR_ Member

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    I'm another one that thinks the Tone Zone gets too muddy too fast. The regular Norton is a very similar pickup but a little less bass response and is a little tighter.
     
  12. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    I had a few guitars with this combo and liked them a lot.
     
  13. dunara

    dunara Member

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    +1 - the Tone Zone's bass response makes it sound muddy to my ears, although if you like high-gain sounds, that bass reponse will give you 'chug' 'till next Tuesday.
    The 'Fred' is quite good to my ears, but I repeat; the 'Steve's special' humbucker is one of the best sounding pickups I've heard.
     
  14. Pinelake

    Pinelake Member

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    I use a ToneZone in the bridge position on my Strat. Works really well for me... both cleans and growl.
     
  15. JaySwear

    JaySwear Member

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    the air norton is definitely my favorite neck position humbucker. great cleans, and great clarity with distortion. don't think you'll regret that one. never used a tone zone though, so can't say for those!
     
  16. Longgone

    Longgone Member

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    Thank you all for your comments and opinions. I`ve gone to the Dimarzio website and put in my playing specifications. The Tone Zone and Air Norton come up time and time again. I also see them paired as a combo for sale all over. Some other p/u`s mentioned for the bridge were the AT-1, the Super Distortion and the PAF 36th. The search on the neck pickup yielded the Air Norton as well as the Liquifire and PAF Joe. Meanwhile, I`m still thinking.
     
  17. Longgone

    Longgone Member

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    A little update. I did purchase the Dimarzio Tone Zone and Air Norton and installed them in my PRS Standard. The Tone Zone is super fat with plenty of bottom end and enough mids to cut through the mix. The biggest surprise to me was the Air Norton. This pickup in the neck position is very cool, it is nearly as strong as the Tone Zone which in itself is novel but this pickup goes from smooth to growl with a turn of the guitar volume knob. I`ve never enjoyed soloing with the neck pickup as much as I have with this pickup. The Air Norton is definitely a keeper. I`m going to continue to try pickups in the bridge position until I find one that really excites me but for now I`m going to work with the Tone Zone. The combination of the two pickups also yields some interesting tones but the Air Norton by itself is a real standout. I like this one a lot.
     
  18. tylerfreak

    tylerfreak Member

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    from the commets its obvious that the pickups are really dependant upon the guitar they go in, ie. tone zone may sound either perfect, or too fat/muddy depending on the guitar. i have had an old ibanez mij mahogany body with maple top that had this pickup combo, and it was killer for rock tone, super fat, juicy and still had some "pop" to the notes. i could see how the combo might venture into the muddy category with a guitar that was just a little fatter.

    remember also with pickup changes that eq changes on your amps will probably be necessary. i did try a super distortion with the air norton neck, and it just didnt work, the super d was rather thin in comparison and not a good match despite eq changes...i think it would match with a bright neck pickup like the previous poster said.

    in my opinion if your keeping the air norton, youll need a "fat" bridge pickup to match. maybe check out a wcr godwood, or some of the motor city pickup offerings; these for the mostpart are fat and chewey but retain their clarity.

    best of luck!
     
  19. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    glad it worked out!
     
  20. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    I also recently discovered the joys of the air norton, but mine is the s sized version and I have it in the bridge of a strat. What you say is so true it goes croom clean to mean in a twist of the voluem knob.
     

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