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DiMarzio Air Norton humbucker DP193


DiMarzio Air Norton humbucker DP193

From the manufacturer:

The Air Norton™ started out simply to be the Airbucker™ version of the Norton®. We thought it would make a distinctive-sounding bridge pickup with high-gain amps, but we soon discovered that it’s a radically neat neck pickup, too. The tone is deep and warm, but not muddy. It’s hot, but not distorted. It’s even got cool harmonics, which are really unusual for a neck humbucker. The patented Air Norton™ magnetic structure reduces string-pull, so sustain is improved; and pick attack and dynamics are tremendously controllable and expressive. Combine the Air Norton™ with an Air Zone™, The Tone Zone® or Steve’s Special™ in the bridge position for a perfect blend of power and tone, or use an Air Norton™ in the bridge position with an Air Classic™ Bridge model in the neck position for a distinctive medium-output blues-rock sound.

When the Air Norton™ is in the neck position, it's a warm, open-sounding pickup with enough power to balance with all bridge humbuckers. Try it with 500K pots for maximum treble and harmonic presence. In the bridge position, the sound is medium output with solid lows and biting harmonics. You can try it here with 250K controls, or a 500 K volume and 250K tone to fatten the highs up a little. Combines well with Air Classic™ in neck, and also with The Cruiser®, The Chopper™, and Blue Velvet™ single-coils.

Best videos/sound clips:

Here's one with the Air Norton in the Neck position of a Telecaster, being played through an Ibanez TBX65R amplifier. After a whole lot of playing on the bridge pickup (in this case, the DiMarzio Super Distortion T), the Air Norton gets the spotlight at 2:45, when he takes a solo using the neck pickup exclusively. The Air Norton sounds great here, nice high end that cuts through the thick power chords that are laying down the rhythm. Check out 3:10 for the harmony guitars. Really nice playing, really great sounding pickup.

This one features the Air Norton in the Bridge position of a Gibson Les Paul (looks like a 57 Reissue) being played through an EVH 5150 III. He noodles through a bunch of heavy rock standards, so I'd just drop the "needle" anywhere between 0:00 and 3:42 for the nice heavy drop-d riffs. At 3:42 he tunes the low E string back up, and plays more cool stuff in standard tuning. Watch for the single note playing at 5:51 for a nice illustration of the Air Norton's crisp high end.

This video is another one by Alex Starbard, this time playing a Stratocaster with the DP193 Air Norton in the neck position and a DP192 Air Zone in the bridge through his Ibanez TBX65R amplifier. He begins by playing some clean rhythms, starting at 0:04 with the Air Norton alone, then he puts the pickup selector in the middle position at 0:50, allowing us to hear the Air Norton combined with the Air Zone. At 1:34, we hear the Air Zone alone, rounding out the clean demonstration. He turns on the distortion at 2:30 and we get to hear each pickup position, starting with the bridge, playing some crunchy rhythms. At 3:30, we hear both pickups combined, and at 4:20 we hear the Air Norton alone playing distorted rhythms. Nice upper mids through this amp, and I like the definition the Air Norton is giving him when he plays some of those add9 chords. We get to hear how each pickup position sounds in a lead context starting at 5:18, with the Air Zone. At 6:18, we hear leads played on both pickups combined, and at 7:00, we get the Air Norton alone. I like how smooth this pickup sounds here, very pleasing to the ear, especially in places like 7:15 and 7:35.

Here's a guy that has improved his low cost guitar with the addition of the DP193 Air Norton in the neck position. He is playing an Ibanez GRG270BK through a Line 6 POD X3. He is playing a neo-classical composition entirely on the Air Norton. The danger with most humbucking pickups in the neck is that they tend to get muddy, especially when playing fast runs or sweeps. In this example, though, I'm happy to say that the DP193 Air Norton does just fine. Check out 0:55 to 1:10, where the sweeps are clear and smooth without becoming muddy and undefined. Well played, nice tone.

I really like this one, because it illustrates the tonal versatility of the DP193 Air Norton. This guy is playing entirely with the Air Norton in the neck position, but he is using the pickup with one coil shorted out, making only one coil function. This gives it the sound of a true single coil, which is great, since he's copping the David Gilmour sound. He's playing an Ibanez RG470FM through a Marshall JMP-1 tube preamp through a Marshall 20/20 tube power amp, and he's using the Boss GX-700 for the phasey color. 0:41 to 0:57 are my favorite parts. Doesn't really sound like an Ibanez at all here. Sounds like an old Strat. So many sounds possible with an Air Norton!


This one is nice because it features the DP193 Air Norton exclusively, this time in the neck position of a custom Ibanez RGA121 played through a Line6 Vetta II. He starts off playing octaves over the backing track, before getting into some Steve Vai inspired single note lines. If you just move the position marker to any point in the video, you'll get a good representation of how this pickup sounds in a high gain solo context. It's very clear and glassy in the high frequencies, but somehow doesn't sound like an icepick in your ear. Instead, it's very smooth and rich, with good harmonic content allowing the guitar to cut through in the mix. Check out the playing from 2:20 to 2:42. Good stuff.


This video compares a variety of pickups, including the DiMarzio Air Norton neck humbucker.  The player is Martin Moyan and he is using an Ibanez JEM 70V Premium.


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