Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound - Jemsite
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound

Hey guys, I'm looking for a replacement pickup to put in my FP 'cause I want a little more power in the bridge position than the Paf Pros give me. Those are the pickups that I'm considering but I don't have experience with most of those pickups aside from what I read from Harmony-Central reviews and the Dimarzio website. I am leaning towards the Dual Sound right now but I would appreciate any comments and information you guys could provide me with about these pickups. I know a lot of people like Tone Zones and it's a a tried-and-true pickup in basswood but I want something different.

The main character I'm looking for in the potential replacement pickup is good (artificial) harmonic response, pronounced mid range, tight bass, and clear highs. I also like humbuckers that has good dynamic response and ones that tend to sound more like single coils when I roll off on the volume knobs. The Dimarzio website wasn't too much help since their description says these things about all of the aforementioned pickups. So any inputs would be appreciated. Thanks in advance

-Bo
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 11:12 AM
 
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Re: Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound

If that's what you're looking for then I would say take the Dual Sound out of the mix. It's the most compressed one of the bunch. I have a couple SD's and they're great for thick chording, but they are not the best at cleaning up, or having good dynamic response. Of the pickups listed, the Fred and Norton sound like the closest to your personal description. The TZ would be good too, but I would go with your instincts that you want something "different", and the Fred and Norton are definitely different. The Air Zone is a great bridge pickup too. It's a little more open and dynamic than the Tone Zone, but it still has the same kind of tonal response, whereas the Fred/Norton have the pronounced midrange, with better harmonics. If you want significantly more lows for chording than the PAF Pro then take the Norton. But if you just want a little more power and response, then maybe the Fred is best.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound

Hey man, thank you so much for your input! I really appreciate it. Another question though. I'm also considering Air Norton, so how does that compare to Norton? From what I read up, there's a considerble output difference between the Norton and Air Norton where the Air is lower, at 270mV and the Norton is 352mV so I suppose Norton is a hotter pickup. Aside from that, is there anything you can say about these two?

-Bo
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 07:21 PM
 
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Re: Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound

If you want *a little more* power but keeping the same kind of tone, you should try the Breed.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 07:50 PM
 
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Re: Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound

I hated the AN in the bridge position. It's thin and anemic. The "air" technology has something to do with a slight separation between the magnet and the poles, from what I've heard. Like there's a filler strip in there separating the two. In other words, it's somewhat of a weakening of the magnetic pull. I don't know how they compensate for it with the windings or whatever. But with the reduced output, I feel you get a reduction in low end power between the two. They may read the same frequency response on a pickup tester, but when you're actually playing, each frequency area is essentially competing with all the others. The AN seems to lose any authority in the low end. Dynamically speaking, harder hit notes will tend to deliver less low end crunch, when compared to the same non-air pickup. But that's an advantage for neck pickups and in situations where you're trying to stay bright and jangly in a lead situation. But the PAF Pro is doing that for you already, and you want to change that.

That's why I think the Air Zone is a decent bridge pickup. (not necessarily for you in particular) because it eliminates the objection people have to the TZ sounding too thick or "bricky". Some say to move the TZ away from the strings a little and it's better. In a roundabout way, the AZ sort of does that from the inside. It moves the magnets away from the poles internally so you can have the AZ right up against the strings (improving the attack and dynamics) while still not getting muddy.

Don't get the AN for bridge. It's really only a neck pup IMO. The Breed, while it may be a good choice for you, is wound up real hot like the TZ, and is pretty thick sounding. It sounds to me like you really don't want to let go of the sparkle and sizzle in the high end that you're getting right now from the PAF Pro. You just want to add some chunk and output to it, but still retain the harmonics and dynamics. That's why I still think the Fred and Norton are good choices, and maybe the Air Zone.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound

Hey man, great information. Thank you SO much! I'll definitly give Norton a try. I really learned alot from you

-Bo
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-15-2005, 02:04 AM
 
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Re: Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound

I've got a Norton coming in about a week or so to throw in the bridge of an RG3120... I know mohagany is a different beast than a FP Jem, but I myself am interested in shedding some light on dimarzios most mysterious pickup. Bridge-wise i'm wanting to compare it to The Tone Zone, PAF Pro, and Evolution. Perhaps i'll post some input when i've had some time to tinker with it.

Mike
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 01:40 AM
 
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Re: Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound

After hearing about the Air Zone, I decided to do a little research and sure enough MORE people seem to like the Air Zone as opposed to the Tone Zone. Not to say that the Tone Zone is a bad pickup in any way, but it seems to me like the Air Zone would be more versatile.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 04:17 AM
 
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Re: Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound

I would personally go with the ToneZone, Breed, or X2N. Thats plenty of power right there! The AirZone is nice too, I had one in the bridge of my RG550 a little ago, very nice! But i prefer the tone in the ToneZone.
I only really play high-gain pickups now anyway, usually a Bill Lawrence L-500XL. But the X2N is really powerful too!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-22-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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Re: Tone Zone, Air Zone, Norton, Fred, Or Dual Sound

a FP is basswood, right? try a super3 for the bridge. i have it in a old hm strat and am getting a purple one for my rg770. those are really agressive and highly dynamic. not too hot, and cut like a knife in basswood guitars. respond really well to all types of harmonics. its like a moodier super distortion/dual sound. coil taps well, too.


rich
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air norton , basswood guitar , basswood guitars , bridge pickup , bridge position , coil tap , dual sound , neck pickup , neck pickups , neck pup , paf pro , paf pros , super distortion , tight bass , tone zone , volume knobs

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