Re: dimarzio/ibz pickups from Shenzhen , China?
I would wipe them down with Naptha. They clearly do NOT look fake, but the shiny stuff on top is tape gum residue from protective stuff they put on top of the pickups to protect them from scratches in transit and when the guitar is built and in the store. It looks like they either got hot, or the tape residue was of poor quality and broke down. It's also possible that tape residue is why they ended up in China. If the tape residue got sticky on the pickups, then Ibanez couldn't use them, and they could have liquidated them. Or it happened while the pickups were still at Dimarzio and they liquidated them. Or it happened at Ibanez, they returned them to Dimarzio, and Dimarzio liquidated them. If I suggest that Dimarzio liquidated 2nd quality pickups, that could be construed as a negative toward Dimarzio, and I don't mean that, and I truly do think it was Ibanez, or Cor-Tek in Korea that liquidated them. Cor-Tek's Korean factory closed about a year or two ago with short notice, and they moved all production to Indonesia. It's entirely possible Cor-Tek liquidated these.
We have heard reports of "some" Korean guitar builder that would sell our pickups (USA made Seymour Duncan and/or Korean made Duncan Designed) through dealerships if they ordered too many.
There is one thing I would add to this. The single coil does not look like a USA-made Dimarzio. I would have to see a photo of the bottom of it to tell for sure. The way there are notches in the bottom near where the eyelets would be looks more like Ibanez' stock Japanese plastic bobbin. From the bottom, if it's a stock Japanese single coil bobbin it will have square holes in between each of the pole pieces, very easy to see. Also I do not remember Dimarzio single coil pole pieces being that flat against the covers. They usually have some stagger to them and are raised above the cover. But I'm not an expert on current Dimarzio single coil production. If anyone from Dimarzio is reading, how am I doing?