From the manufacturer:
The Evolution® Neck and Bridge humbuckers are the result of two years of research to come up with the right sound for a very demanding player: Steve Vai and his Ibanez® Jems. Both pickups are designed for maximum impact and power. The neck pickup is fat, punchy and loud. The bridge pickup is tight, aggressive and louder. Both pickups have our patented dual-resonance configuration to reproduce more harmonic overtones than conventional humbuckers. Evolution® pickups are not polite-sounding, and they’re not for the inexperienced, but – if you’ve got the chops and a hot amp – your sound will burn. The Evolution® pickups were originally designed with live gigs in mind, but they have so much presence and definition that they’re great recording pickups, too; they slice right through even the densest mix.
The Evolution® bridge pickup works best for soloing where the sound must cut through. Low notes are very tight, and the highs have a lot of presence, enabling the pickup to be heard in almost any situation. Obviously, the Evolution® was designed for Steve's Ibanez® Jems, but it can add a lot of punch and definition to Gibson® Les Pauls® and similar set-neck guitars - even the lowest bass notes really jump out of the amp, and feedback occurs easily with a wide range of harmonic overtones.
Ethan's picks for best videos/sound clips:
The DiMarzio Evolution pickups are extremely powerful and articulate, designed to cut through the mix with ease for brilliant solos (after all, they were designed for Steve Vai). This video highlights some of the Evo's beautiful clean tones, as well as some of the best virtuoso lead sounds you will ever get from a pickup set. Listen to the first 30 seconds to get a glimpse of both pickups in action. You definitely get nice warmth from the neck and crisp highs from the bridge, making for a brilliantly balanced clean tone. Jump to 0:35 to hear the neck pickup alone, with its deep lows and crisp highs for a bell-like tone that is extremely articulate. Split the coils (1:40) and you will start to get a single-coil sound for shimmering cleans. Skip to 2:08 to hear the bridge pickup kick in with a bit of overdrive dialed in. This is really where it shines, boasting musical harmonic overtones with pure presence and definition.
The player is using an Ibanez RG3120TW through Amplitube 3.
Here is a quick shootout video comparing the DiMarzio Evolution bridge pickup to an EMG 81. Both pickups are being used in a high-gain metal context and each pickup has its own character that makes for a subtle variance in tone. Beginning with the DiMarzio, the Evo has the natural responsiveness you get from a passive pickup, allowing for great dynamic response -- especially in terms of pick attack. It has a slightly brighter tone and a little less gain on tap, yet it is still very thick and crunchy with amazing articulation. The EMG in comparison (listen at 0:20) is a tiny bit darker sounding with more of a warm and rounded tone. The active nature of the pickup lends to a smoother, more compressed sound with great sustain and saturation. The DiMarzio Evolution and the EMG 81 bridge pickups are both solid pickup choices for high-gain applications; it ultimately comes down to preference between an active and passive sound.
The player is Salvatore Melillo and he is using an Ibanez RG550 (Evo) and RG321 (EMG) through an Axe FX through the Marsha HBE amp model.
Here is an in-depth look at the DiMarzio Evolution pickups. Listen from 0:00 - 0:35 to hear some of the brilliant lead tones you can get on a high gain setting. Quick runs are easily articulated and cut with amazing precision and bite. These pickups also do a great job adding harmonic overtones to your sound with a very musical feedback. Skip to 0:40 to hear a scooped metal sound that is perfect for palm muting, chugging, and heavy riffing. You can also get great clean tones (1:30) with these pickups for a balanced sound with plenty of chime. The neck pickup has a lot of natural warmth and thickness that makes for a vibrant solo tone (listen at 2:20). With infinite sustain and musical harmonic overtones, you will easily be able to get that melodic virtuoso sound these pickups were designed for.
The player is Michael Pardo and he is using an Ibanez RG4EXFM1 through a Line 6 Pod XT Live.
This clip compares the DiMarzio Evolution to the DiMarzio Fred pickup, both of which were designed to compliment the playing styles of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, respectively. The comparison begins at 0:50 and multiple licks are played to demonstrate the difference between the pickups. You'll notice that there really isn't much variation in the sound between the two pickups; there are only a few subtle nuances that make each pickup unique. For instance, the Evo tends to have a little more bass, yielding a rounder sound that is warm and bold. It is also a higher output pickup, so there is more gain on tap for thicker saturation and harmonic overtones. The Fred in comparison seems to have a little more focus in the midrange, resulting in a cutting lead sound that has amazing bite and clarity. It is a medium output pickup, yet it still has plenty of gain on tap for soaring lead tones with infinite sustain. Both pickups are extremely articulate and can cover a lot of tonal territory for killer sounds.
The player is David Wallimann and he is using a Parker Nitefly guitar.
The DiMarzio Evolutions are dynamic pickups for rip-roaring leads with virtuoso precision and tone. They are tight and aggressive with a high-output sound and are incredibly sensitive to sharp pick attack -- making sweet arpeggios, fast passages, and shredding leads easy to accomplish with incredible articulation and punch. They have a very musical character that tends to bring out a lot of harmonic overtones in your playing, giving your tone an epic and melodic feel. If you are looking for a pickup with insane definition and a brilliance that will cut through any mix, look no further than the DiMarzio Evolution pickups.
The player is Orkhan Julfa and he is using a Jackson Dinky Professional through an M Audio 9624.
This video compares a variety of pickups, including the DiMarzio Evolution series. Skip to 0:12 to hear the Evo bridge pickup on a clean setting, noting its natural breakup and presence. Hear it on a high-gain setting at 1:02, with its tight bottom end and aggressive rhythm sound. Listen at 1:08 to hear how well it operates in a lead context with its cutting highs and brilliant harmonics. The neck pickup (1:45) is nice and fat sounding on a clean setting, with a warm low end and high-end sparkle for a glassy clean tone with great punch and definition. With some gain on tap (2:45) you can get really creamy leads with a bell-like timbre and organic sustain. The DiMarzio Evolutions are dynamic pickups that are perfect for anything from aggressive rhythms to wailing leads.
The player is Martin Moyan and he is using an Ibanez JEM 70V Premium.