Dimarzio Tone Zone And Air Norton?

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by chromeboy, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. chromeboy

    chromeboy Active Member

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    Hey guys, I have a 25th anniversary ibanez s model in neon green. I love the way it plays. I put in dimarzio d'activators in the neck and bridge position and a true velvet in the middle. I am not liking the d'activators at all, at least not on this guitar. They are way too thin sounding especially on the e,b and g strings. I was thinking on replacing them with the tone zone and air norton combination. I have not seen any videos on what these pups sound like on a s model only in rg's. Would you recomend these for my s model? It's a mohogony body guitar and most I have seen were on basswood bodies. I know ibanez put's those pups in their premium s models so there has to be something to it. Your thoughts are appreciated. Just added a pic. Can't see the headstock but the body is clear.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  2. SonVolt

    SonVolt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Dimarzio AT-1. You can thank me later :)
     
  3. Adrian R

    Adrian R Well-Known Member

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    I love the Tonezone! I have them in two of my guitars; Gibson Vs, Alnico V magnet, plenty of power, yet with a warm sound that you can only get with Alnico magnets. Tight and clear too... The Air Norton, not as much... to me it lacks some clarity and power, but you may like it, very buttery. I like ceramic magnets in the neck position for clarity.
     
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  4. DPTONE5

    DPTONE5 Well-Known Member

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    +1 on the Tone Zone for the bridge. Definitely not "thin" sounding. Had one in my Jackson SL1 and really liked it.
     
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  5. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    I didn't care for the d-activator 6 string set either.
    But the 7-string version is amazing!
    Like, not even the same pickup.

    I like the TZ. Thick & tight with those Dimarzio midz.
    I have one I need to put in a guitar that currently has a Duncan Invader atm.

    I'm also with Adrian on the ceramic mag in the neck.
    Seems to be the only way to get a clear sound with gain.
    Everything else sounds like the Tone control got rolled back too far.

    The Air Norton is decent. Think Petrucci.
     
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  6. Derek S

    Derek S Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty familiar with both of those pickups (TZ/AN), but not in an S model guitar, really have no clue what would be a better option in that (so I'm just wasting your time right now lol). I think the TZ is a beefy pup however and would be great in that model. I do know in my Mahogany RG models, the TZ gets taken out day one though and replaced with either the Dimarzio Transition or a Super Distortion, luv them both. The TZ is not a bad pickup by any means! There's a reason they slap it in everything haha. I just personally found those others a better match for the bridge spot on my guitars. The Norton is more than a solid neck option IMO and I think I've left one in place on one of my three RG's (the others were swapped for a PAF Pro and Evolution just for a little variety).

    Post a pic of that guitar BTW!
     
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  7. Bloodrock

    Bloodrock Well-Known Member

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    Never been a Dimarzio fan but when I bought my so-cal i loved the tone zone. I did lower it a bit due to it being high output, but it’s now my favorite pup for 80’s and VH tones.
     
  8. renips

    renips Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Here is my 1981 Ibanez Destroyer. I have the Air Norton in the neck and Tone Zone in bridge. This is an excellent combination in this guitar. Explosive sounding while retaining all sublties. The Air Norton sounds thick and full in this guitar when called upon. I chose the black pole pieces on black bobbin because it went with the vintage Kahler.
     
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  9. dslman

    dslman Well-Known Member

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    Diactivators are very thin to me .
    Also I HATE the True V's, but really like TZ, and AN they are nice full sounding pups.
     
  10. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Active Member

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    I recently put a ToneZone in my RG470 at the suggestion of a guy who bought an amp I recently sold. When he came over to pickup the amp he saw the RG hanging on the wall and gravitated to it. He claimed to be a huge Ibanez guy, personal contacts at the company (years back), etc.

    I told him I was thinking of selling the RG as I wasn't crazy about the stock tone and didn't want to go down the pickup swap rabbit hole. He suggested the ToneZone in the bridge; a PAF style, Alnico II, 8.2 ohm in the neck; yank the single coil and put in a 3-way switch. He seemed to know his stuff so I figured I'd give it one try before I moved on from the guitar so I started with the ToneZone. Bottom line the guitar is a keeper - really happy with the Tone Zone.

    Right now I'm in the middle of a rebuild on an old guitar I have so at some point in the future I'm going to do the rest of his suggestions. The first one worked out great so why not finish, right?
     
  11. Wildeman

    Wildeman Well-Known Member

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    Killer!
     
  12. Wildeman

    Wildeman Well-Known Member

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    20170326_080003_2.jpg
    That's sweet, here's mine. '89 body, '87 neck.
     
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  13. renips

    renips Well-Known Member

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    Love the finish on the body
     

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