DiMarzio D Sonic DP207 humbucker
From the manufacturer:
Our first heavy humbucker of the 21st century, the D Sonic™ is a high-output bridge humbucker designed for the extended low end and heavy chords that dropped tuning delivers; with serious treble response for single-note solos and standard tuning. The D Sonic™ is more than just a one-sound pickup, too. In addition to the standard series humbucking sound, our patented design utilizes 4-conductor wiring to access two different single-coil sounds plus parallel humbucking mode, for three additional sounds that are distinctive and versatile.
Those of you familiar with DiMarzio® history will note the visual resemblance to our old MegaDrive™ pickup, but the design is completely different. Installation direction makes a noticeable difference in the sound, particularly with overdriven amps. With the solid bar toward the bridge, the sound is a little brighter and better-defined, and this is the direction we recommend for heavy strings and low tunings. With the adjustable pole pieces toward the bridge, the sound is warmer and a touch louder, and we think this works best for standard tuning and more solo-oriented playing. Each coil has a unique tonal character, so the two split sounds are different, and parallel humbucking produces a third clean and bright sound.
Ethan's picks for best videos/sound-clips:
This clip compares the Seymour Duncan TB6 to a DiMarzio D Sonic bridge pickup on both a clean (0:27) and distorted setting (1:35). As far as clean goes, the D Sonic was a little more impressionable than the TB6. Overall, it just sounded fuller and more complex. There was a nice warm low-end to it and the midrange sounded a little more detailed. With the coils split, it had a livelier sound that was transparent and glassy without sounding sterile and dull. In terms of distortion, I think the TB6 wins. It had a low-end that was tighter, more focused, and clearer-- allowing notes to punch with smoother attack and saturation. The D Sonic had a more aggressive attack in the midrange but the low-end sounded a bit flubby. Although it was a little more open and airy, I felt like the distortion got lost in translation. If you’re looking for versatility, I think the D Sonic is a better choice. If you strictly want a metal bridge pickup, the TB6 might be the stronger choice.
Here we have a shootout video comparing three DiMarzio pickups to two EMG pups. Time codes are as follows: D Sonic – 0:06, EMG85 – 1:02, Crunch Lab - 1:59, Tone Zone – 2:55, and EMG81 – 3:51. This demo highlights these select pups in a heavy gain context over a backing track. Take a listen and let your ears decide what sounds best to you. Personally, I feel like each pickup has a lot to offer, although some have slight advantages in this particular application. I felt that the D Sonic had a very clear sounding distortion with a strong attack; however, I thought that some of the mids got lost in the mix on higher notes and I wanted to hear a little more bass on the lower notes. Both sets of EMGs seemed to handle distortion in the smoothest way, although there was a lack of attack and dynamics that made the tone seem a little dull at times. I prefer the EMG81 to the EMG85 because I think it has a greater presence in the mix and a more expressive attack. The Crunch Lab sounded extremely balanced in terms of frequency response and handled saturation very nicely, although I felt like some of the higher notes were unable to cut. The Tone Zone seemed to be a good fit for this style in terms of representing all of the frequencies, but I felt like the distortion wasn’t as tight and focused as the D Sonic or Crunch Lab. Overall, I think the DiMarzio pups sounded a lot more expressive and had a bit more character than the EMGs. In terms of choosing a DiMarzio pickup, it all comes down to preference, as each pickup brings a lot of the table with only subtle differences.
The player used various Ibanez RG series guitars through an Axe FX II.
This video highlights the DiMarzio D Sonic pickup in one of its strongest applications. You can really get that epic virtuoso lead tone with this pup (think John Petrucci). Under heavy gain, individual notes maintain absolute clarity and you can really hear some of the musical harmonics and overtones the D Sonic can produce. Higher notes never sound too thin or harsh, always boasting plenty of depth and body for smooth lead solos. For killer lead tone, check out the DiMarzio D Sonic!
The player is Scott Bis and he is using an Xavier Petit guitar through a NOS custom amp with a NOS 4x12 cab loaded with greenbacks and v30s. For effects he is using a Maxon OD808, TC Vintage delay, and a T-rex Room Mate.
Check out these hot metal riffs courtesy of the DiMarzio D Sonic bridge pickup. The high output and extensive low-end this pup has make for some killer metal tones. You can de-tune your guitar pretty low and each note will remain pretty clear and articulate. Individual notes cut with clarity and have a pretty sharp attack due to the D Sonic’s sweetened treble response, allowing fast passages and runs to slice with detail and precision. For heavy players looking to play in low, drop tunings and need a lot of power and punch (without all the mud), consider a D Sonic for your bridge pickup.
The player is Paul Ozz and he is using an Ibanez RG7 Swirl guitar through an ENGL Powerball amp.
This video compares a stock Dean pickup to a DiMarzio D Sonic in the bridge position. The D Sonic can be heard on a clean setting at 0:11, 0:32, and 0:50. This pup has a very transparent clean sound with crystal highs and deep, warm lows. Compared to the stock Dean pickup, the D Sonic has a glassier sound that is more full and open; there is more low and top end with a slight dip in the midrange. Dirty tones for the D Sonic can be heard at 1:17, 1:46, 2:17, 2:36, and 2:53. Overall, I think the D Sonic handles gain a little better than the stock Dean pup. Individual notes seem to come through with more clarity and there is a pleasant midrange that compliments the tone. Saturation sounds a bit cleaner and the tone overall is a bit more defined. Lead tone for the D Sonic can be heard at 3:05. Surprisingly, there really isn’t much improvement from the stock Dean pup in this application. The D Sonic may be a little bit smoother in the top end, but both pups sound pretty similar to my ears. Overall, swapping out the stock pickup for a D Sonic made for a big improvement, particularly for cleans and heavily saturated chords.
The player is André Oliveira and he is using a Stagg Strat through a Line 6 Pod XT Live.
This video demonstrates some of the beautiful crystalline clean tones you can get with a D Sonic in the bridge. Tones can be heard at 0:32, 1:45, and 2:41. The player demos using a clean chorus tone as well as a spacey ambient tone with delay and reverb. In the bridge position this pup has a very balanced frequency response. The lows are warm and have a lot of depth, the mids add a bit of snarl to the tone, and the highs top it off with a glassy shimmer. I’m particularly impressed by how very low notes resonate with great depth and clarity without sounding too boomy and blurry, while higher notes sparkle without sounding overly bright. The DiMarzio D Sonic pickup is more than capable of producing brilliant clean tones, on top of the high-output distortion sounds it’s known for.
The player is Vincenzo Avallone and he is using an Ibanez RG Premium 827 through a Lextac VST Amp with Lecab and Mesa Rectifier Impulses. He also uses a Nomad Analog Chorus and a Valhalla Shimmer for effects.