Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

  1. #1
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    1,654

    Default What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    I've got a PRS SE with a thick mahogany body and neck and an ebony board which leans a bit towards the brighter side. Right now I have a Dimebucker/Distortion Neck combo in it. I like the SH-6N, but the Dimebucker is, first, not as hot as I expected/wanted it to be, and second, way too trebly, even with a 250K volume pot. It does have some redeeming characteristics like extreme tightness, but my guitars with Black Winters sound much more powerful, meaner, and full by comparison.

    I'm looking into the X2N because I want something hot, powerful and over-the-top, but a bit more robust than the Dimebucker. I'm wondering what are you guys' opinions of it. I originally went for the Dimebucker because the Duncan site lists it as their hottest passive, yet, at least in my guitars, the Black Winter pretty much obliterates it. I want to be able to plug my different guitars and have similar levels of saturation without having to adjust anything. I'm wondering if the output specs DiMarzio lists are not exaggerated as well. I'm particularly interested in how it compares to other high output pickups I have experience with like the Dimebucker, Duncan Distortion, or Black Winter. Is it a brighter pickup or is it rounder/fatter like the Invader? Is it tight? Is it very compressed? Is it upper-mid or lower-mid focused or is it more balanced? Does it have the "aww" sound many DiMarzios have? Does it have and emphatic attack or is it smoother?

    Can anyone please point me into any clips where they compare it to anything else for reference? I've heard a couple, but wouldn't mind hearing more.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 04-22-2019 at 09:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sheffield UK
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    I have had an X2N in the bridge of a guitar I hand built in 1993. I knew nothing at the time about replacement pickups, but when I mentioned Slayer and Metallica in the guitar shop I went to, to buy a set of H/b's, they immediately pointed me toward the X2N (paired with a Tone Zone). The X2N has stayed in place ever since, but the Tone Zone was swapped out after about 15 years for a D Activator-X Neck. TZ is far too muddy for the neck IMHO.

    The X2N has it's place, and that is obviously not for sweet clean sounds. I have it set up with coil split and series/parallel P/p's. This adds a lot of versatility for blues/crunch tones, but is barely noticeable when the gain goes up. I find the EQ is fairly well balanced in the X2N, though one of the mistakes I made when building the guitar was placing the bridge pickup rout extremely close to the bridge itself. This probably has shifted the tone towards the higher harmonic frequencies, robbing some of the bass it may have had. I still love it for metal rhythm and the guitar is currently set for drop C#. It works best with the gain rolled back a bit, and my X2N is set fairly low into the body (6mm from the strings) to tame the output.

    The next highest output bridge pickup I use is the JB, and the X2N has about 15-20% more output at the same string height. I dropped the X2N height to even them out somewhat. I prefer the X2N to the JB, though I am not exactly sure why yet (had the JB about 1 year). The X2N is more pleasing for fast rhythm to my ears, JB is a bit scratchy.

    Hope some of this helps

    BTW I run a DSL40CR and a BOSS GT-100 (4CM).

  3. #3
    Tone Member heem6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    Here's a clip I recorded with an X2N bridge pickup.
    Ibanez basswood body, maple neck, recorded direct to computer with a tube preamp. Hope it helps.

    https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/...ongID=10304724
    Heem6
    www.HeavyMetalStrat.Proboards.com

    3 Fender HM Strats * Mahogany Vandenberg w/Super Wizard neck * Kramer Baretta Infinity Sustainer * EVH B&W Replica * Mighty Mite Hard Ash Strat * 2 Hot Rodded Kramer Strikers * Custom-built Jackson San Dimas Clone * Damage Control Demonizer Tube Preamp * Lexicon MX200 Multi-Effects * Rockman Distortion Generator * Marshall DSL1-HR * VHT 1x12 Cab * Echoplex EP-1 * Ibanez Analog Delay * JOYO EQ Pedal

  4. #4
    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Wichita, KS
    Age
    63
    Posts
    1,883

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    I once had a Les Paul with three X2N's.... Didn't matter which pickup or combo I used - it sounded obnoxious. No subtlety or definition to the sound - just a loud blare, heavy on the mids. They actually work better as a bass pickup for metal.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    I'm not a big DiMarzio guy, but I think the X2N is a great metal/hard rock pickup. It seems to do well in a range of guitars, but I have had really good luck with it in mahogany. It probably sits in between an Invader and a Distortion, leaning a bit more towards the Distortion.

  6. #6
    I poop my pants and wear KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    I came from outer space - that's how I know your name!
    Age
    52
    Posts
    34,104

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    The X2N is stupid hot. That's a good thing. It is thick and very even voiced IMO. Anything crappy about your guitar's inherent tone, will of course, be amplified that much also.

    A 2x4 and a PRS Custom Shop would sound the same using one. The Series/Split/Parallel option is a must do for versatility.

    Had one is a Kramer Superstrat years ago. Currently have one in a Hello Kitty Strat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

  7. #7
    Chris JB_From_Hell's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio
    Age
    39
    Posts
    18,112

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    I originally went for the Dimebucker because the Duncan site lists it as their hottest passive
    Tried the Dimebucker twice, lasted a few weeks or a month the first time, maybe a few days the second.

    It's an interesting pickup... sounds like a Telecaster with a bunch of sludge poured over it. I agree about it not seeming THAT hot. Invader blows it away.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    Check out Bareknucle pickups , or EMG .

  9. #9
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    1,654

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    Thank you all for the replies!

    You all make it sound like the X2N is very over-the-top, which is exactly what I'm looking for.

    Do you guys think the SH-6N would be a good companion to the X2N in the Bridge?

  10. #10
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    albany, ny
    Age
    42
    Posts
    28,892

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    probably yes

  11. #11
    Ultimate Tone Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Sayreville, NJ
    Age
    46
    Posts
    578

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    The X2N is awesome. I had one for years in an old Kramer. It's pretty over-the-top and gives an EMG 81 a run for its money; though, the X2N is more even balanced and not quite as bright.

  12. #12
    Super Toneologist
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    1,474

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    I got mine in a MIJ Charvel SoCal I bought used on craigslist. I never ever thought I would like the X2N, but figured I'd give it a shot. I was totally wowed. I think this guitar might have a Super D in the neck, but I've bought another X2N to wire in parallel for the neck to match the look of the bridge. My X2N is far from the string because whoever installed it put in long springs, and as you try to raise the pickup in the pick guard, when the sprint fully compresses the screw slips and pulls out of the pickup, and the pickup sinks back down in the body. So I need to fix this. Just remember my guitar is quite different than yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    I've got a PRS SE with a thick mahogany body and neck and an ebony board which leans a bit towards the brighter side. Right now I have a Dimebucker/Distortion Neck combo in it. I like the SH-6N, but the Dimebucker is, first, not as hot as I expected/wanted it to be, and second, way too trebly, even with a 250K volume pot. It does have some redeeming characteristics like extreme tightness, but my guitars with Black Winters sound much more powerful, meaner, and full by comparison.

    I'm looking into the X2N because I want something hot, powerful and over-the-top, but a bit more robust than the Dimebucker. I'm wondering what are you guys' opinions of it. I originally went for the Dimebucker because the Duncan site lists it as their hottest passive, yet, at least in my guitars, the Black Winter pretty much obliterates it. I want to be able to plug my different guitars and have similar levels of saturation without having to adjust anything. I'm wondering if the output specs DiMarzio lists are not exaggerated as well. I'm particularly interested in how it compares to other high output pickups I have experience with like the Dimebucker, Duncan Distortion, or Black Winter. Is it a brighter pickup or is it rounder/fatter like the Invader?
    In between the Invader and DD I'd say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Is it tight?
    i'd say yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Is it very compressed?
    No overly so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Is it upper-mid or lower-mid focused or is it more balanced?
    More balanced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Does it have the "aww" sound many DiMarzios have?
    I know what you are talking about, but no. It doesn't have the DiMarzio Aww.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Does it have and emphatic attack or is it smoother?
    More of an attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Can anyone please point me into any clips where they compare it to anything else for reference?
    Go listen to Killed By Death from Motorhead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    I've heard a couple, but wouldn't mind hearing more.

    Thanks!
    If you do a search you will see some X2N threads I started no too long ago.

    edit: I just went and played KBD and yep, X2N with a wah pedal. Just a great pickup (or is it my guitar?). It is a pickup that I'd have no problem with in a single hum axe. The lead sound is great - no need for a neck pickup. Instead of putting a second X2N in this axe in the neck, I might get a single hum pickguard and use my second X2N in the bridge of another guitar. I don't like any two guitars sounding the same, but the X2N sounds that good to me.

    And remember, I thought I'd hate it. I was going to make this black SoCal a Dave Murray Maiden HSH axe with a Super D and a PAF. I'll have to start that project over again.

    Also check out Fastway's Say What You Will.
    Last edited by DonP; 04-23-2019 at 04:34 PM.

  13. #13
    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Phoenix area.
    Age
    52
    Posts
    13,036

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    X2N in the bridge with a D-Activator n in the neck. It originally had a D-Activator bridge also, which I liked. But I wanted something more in your face for this guitar.
    If I want clean dynamics, I'll switch to the neck.
    Middle position is also quite useful, especially for crunch settings.

    Sent from my Alcatel_5044C using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sheffield UK
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    As I posted at the top, I really like the D Activator-X neck to go with the X2N. It balances well with the output and tone of the X2N, and it looks the same like a matching set. Take a look at the EQ on the Dimarzio site to see if it would suit you. Again I have mine with coil splits and series/parallel push/pulls.

    https://www.dimarzio.com/pickups/med...tivator-x-neck

  15. #15
    Tone Member Wolfshead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    288

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    Chuck Schuldiner used them.
    I've not had one for years but I loved any I had. I thought they were similar in terms of hotness to a Duncan Invader but better for solos.
    My website - https://stevenamckay.com/

    My gear - Various guitars, mostly Jacksons, Gibson SG Standard, Gibson Les Paul Classic, Marshall DSL20HR, MC212 Cabinet, Blackstar HT-Dist pedal.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    Hiya... Not to derail your plans, first I had the X2N & then the SD Invader. I had them both for several years, & I seemed to like the Invader better, especially when I was able to split the coils. Good luck~~ ��

  17. #17
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    1,654

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    Thank you all for the replies, dudes!

    I've tried the Invader, but it wasn't really my thing. I tend to prefer leaner and more cutting pickups ala Distortion, JB, and Black Winter. That's why I'm wondering if the X2N isn't overly fat. As long as it is balanced and not dark and/or stuffy, I think I'll like it. It is going into a brighter guitar, anyway.

  18. #18
    Mojo's Minions masta' c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tone Heaven, USA
    Posts
    3,251

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    I'm looking into the X2N because I want something hot, powerful and over-the-top, but a bit more robust than the Dimebucker.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    As long as it is balanced and not dark and/or stuffy, I think I'll like it. It is going into a brighter guitar, anyway.


    I think the X2N is a great choice here

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    I wouldn't call the X2N a dark pickup, but it is somewhat darker than a Duncan Distortion. Good choice for a bright guitar. Michael Romeo from Symphony X uses one in a mahogany guitar and he seems to do well with it.
    Last edited by hioctane; 04-27-2019 at 10:38 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sheffield UK
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: What's the DiMarzio X2N like?

    Mine is in a mahogany, set maple/ebony neck guitar. Not dark at all.
    I have read that Michael Romero plays the X2N with the Tone Zone in the neck. As I posted, I did inadvertently try this setup initially in 93', but never managed to get a pleasing tone from the TZ in that position (hardy ever played clean back then though).
    The TZ is still waiting to get the chance to shine in another guitar.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •