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DiMarzio Air Norton S Strat-Sized Humbucker DP180


DiMarzio Air Norton S Strat-Sized Humbucker DP180

From the manufacturer:

The Air Norton S™ is the Strat® replacement version of the full-size Air Norton™. It’s warm sounding, very well balanced, and has the same unique tonal characteristics as the original. The original Air Norton™ wasn’t designed for a specific position or type of guitar, but it has become most popular in the neck position of trem-equipped guitars for progressive music. (Thanks, John!) The S version is also a very good bridge pickup for all types of rock. Its combination of medium output and harmonic bite are very effective for single-note soloing as well as chords.

The original Airbucker™ pickups have an air gap between the magnet and the pole pieces. The Air Norton S™ doesn’t have this feature, but the sound, output and feel are so similar to the original that we couldn’t call it anything else. It’s very good in the neck position with The Tone Zone® S or Super Distortion® S in the bridge, or in the bridge position with a Pro Track™ or The Chopper™ in the neck. We like The Cruiser® or Fast Track 1™ in the middle with either setup for brighter sounds in the 2, 3, and 4 positions.

Best videos/sound clips:

The DiMarzio Air Norton S is the strat-sized version of the original Air Norton. It is most commonly used in the neck position by progressive players who desire sharp attack in their notes, with medium output and bite. Single notes are articulated with amazing clarity and edge for fast passages and solos, and chords have a nice body and midrange punch. Listen at 2:35 in this video to hear an arpeggiated chord, noting the Air Norton S's accentuated midrange and mellow low-end. Hear the pickup in parallel for a strat-like sound at 3:53, or in series at 4:04 for a fatter humbucker sound. Listen at 5:53 to hear the Air Norton S on a gain setting, with its amazing edge for a crisp cutting sound. Or jump to 7:00 to hear it in parallel mode on a gain setting for a percussive strat sound. Dial in even more gain (8:17) and the pickup starts to scream with amazing bite and saturation.  The video goes on to demonstrate the pickup in a number of applications in both series and parallel modes. The DiMarzio Air Norton S is a killer sounding pickup with an aggressive harmonic bite that roars.

The player is Lucas Fowler and he is playing a 2008 Fender Nashville Telecaster through a Splawn Quick Rod 100 head into a Splawn 2x12 cab.


The DiMarzio Air Norton S is a great pickup to fatten up your strat for a thick and articulate sound. This video highlights the glassy clean tones you can get from this pickup, with its amazing midrange response and low-end punch for absolute clarity and depth. Each note is crystal clear and cuts through evenly without sounding shrill. This clip primarily covers clean tones but if you jump to 11:15 you can hear the gritty sound you can get from the Air Norton S, with plenty of midrange growl for rhythm and leads. Or listen at 14:40 to hear some of the shred tones this pickup excels at. The options are limitless with the Air Norton S pickup.

The player is Ahmad Ikram Bin Ahmad Hisham and he is playing a Yamaha EG303 Strat.


The Air Norton S really shines in a lead context, as demonstrated in this clip. Listen from 0:23 - 0:30 to hear it in action, noting the crystal clear bell-like tones you can get with it -- with a fat compressed sound, tight midrange, and a rounded high-end.

 The player is Vincent Gargano and he is playing a 2009 American Fender Strat through a Carvin X100B with Avatar 2x12 Cab with Celestion V30's. There is also a Boss DD-6 delay in the effects loop.


If you like to shred, the Air Norton S is a great pickup choice. Check out this quick clip highlighting the articulate tones you can get with this pickup. Even with a lot of gain on tap the Air Norton S cuts through with amazing clarity, giving each note ample punch and definition on fast passages and riffing.

The player is using an ESP LTD MV200.



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