Recently, I got an X2N to replace the Breed bridge in my guitar... so yeah, might as well give a review on this unique pup.
The X2N is Dimarzio's highest output humbucker, right up there with 510mA of output as compared to the Evolution bridge (404mA), Fred (305mA) and Tonezone (375mA). It looks hella nasty with its twin bar magnets.
On to the tone... the X2N is a MONSTER on gain. Expected eh? But the thing is, most applications of the X2N has been with scooped mids, your standard heavy metal eq setting, which gives it a thin sound. The tone guide at dimarzio's shows the mids of the X2N is on par with its treble and thats quite a lot of mids! So!
When you up the mids on your amp so its say, Bass 6 Mids 7 Treble 5, you get a THICK crushing tone. Very different from what you usually heard from players using the X2N. Of course, should you like Chuck Schuldiner's tone, that scooped mids with high treble, or Michael Romeno's tone, the X2N will do that with ease.
On using the X2N as a lead as per Chuck Schuldiner, it sounds thin (scooped mids) but very very cutting. Its got a lot of bite and the sustain is great!
If you up your mids, the tone starts to fatten up a lot, however, you wouldn't get a Tonezone thickness lah... check out the recording below for how thick it can go.
Now, for other applications, the X2N is surprisingly versatile! If you are on a clean channel, the X2N's high output would probably overdrive your amp if it doesn't have high headroom but then that sounds very much like a tube amp abt to break up, nice cruncy tone.
On clean clean, I imagined the X2N turning my guitar (Ibanez S520EX) into a strat, albeit with slightly thicker tone! When I turn the X2N to parallel wiring, I get a great funk guitar tone! Yes, its great for strumming funk lines and your pop songs.
However, overall clean tone is thin although it retains its cutting qualities and its not as warm as a Breed but still it does not sound synthetic.
In a nut shell, the X2N is a tremendous pup for high gain music and even within that, it can be versatile going from thick to thin all the while maintaining a crushing drive. On the other hand, the will be others who are more interested in whether it can handle other forms of music and thats where it can do it. Of course, don't try jazz with this.
And yes, I love it to death.
Here is a recording of the X2N in action. The Left and Right rhythm guitars are all using the X2N and so is the Lead.
Equipement and settings as follows.
Guitar (Ibanez S520EX with X2N bridge) --> TS9DX (standard TS9 setting with gain at 8 oclock, level MAX and tone at 1 oclock) --> Boss SD-2 (Lead channel, level at 10, tone at 1030, drive at 1.30) --> Roland Microcube (JC setting, tone at 12) --> Computer using cakewalk SONAR
Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to go thru the clean tones of the X2N in the recording but well, here it is in all its heavy metal glory.