Dimarzio 7string selection help

atron28

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Hello 7 string community

I'm looking to mod my Ibanez 7321 (basswood body, 7 string) to be gig-ready and I definitely want Dimarzio pickups. I already have too many guitars with EMG pickups (including a jackson with 707's) that I use for metal, so I want to use the Ibanez for more versatility among between different rock genres since I also play in a 90's/2000's cover band. I've looked at several discussions, but still having trouble deciding

I'm looking for a pair of pickups that have good warm crystal clear cleans and overdrives and solid distortion without being too muddy, too bright, or too weak, but still dynamic, every note in a chord rings out clear, and can still handle a good palm mute and solo. I'm looking to use it to play pretty much anything: skatepunk, alternative, blues, classic rock, even thrash or death metal if needed (but not as a focus, too many discussions and reviews focus on metal). Like I said, something more versatile and dynamic since I finally want to move past EMG's

Here's what I narrowed it down to so far (but open to other suggestions)
Neck: Air Norton 7, Liquifire 7, or PAF7
Bridge: ToneZone 7, CrunchLab7, Titan7

Let me know what you all think and has worked at well for you, thanks

-A
 
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If versatility is your moto, lower the output of the pickups. You don't need super high output pickups when you can add gain at the amp.

For the neck pickup, either the Air Norton 7 or the PAF7 will do fine. The LIquidfire 7 may be a bit too much.

For the Bridge pickup, also consider the D-Sonic and the Blazes (Neck, Bridge and Custom). The Blaze Neck works pretty well in the bridge position and the Blaze Custom was my goto pickup for a very long time. The Air Norton 7 in the bridge can also sound pretty cool.

Do consider the volume pot's value, since the bigger the value, more open the guitar will sound.

What are you thinking about the switch, 3 or 5 position?
 

atron28

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If versatility is your moto, lower the output of the pickups. You don't need super high output pickups when you can add gain at the amp.

For the neck pickup, either the Air Norton 7 or the PAF7 will do fine. The LIquidfire 7 may be a bit too much.

For the Bridge pickup, also consider the D-Sonic and the Blazes (Neck, Bridge and Custom). The Blaze Neck works pretty well in the bridge position and the Blaze Custom was my goto pickup for a very long time. The Air Norton 7 in the bridge can also sound pretty cool.

Do consider the volume pot's value, since the bigger the value, more open the guitar will sound.

What are you thinking about the switch, 3 or 5 position?
Thanks for the tips, I considered the blaze for bridge as well, but saw mixed opinions on it. I need to buy new 5 position switch. I already bought a push/pull pot, but it didn't cost very much, so I could get a different one, what do you recommend?
 
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Blazes are an "old" pickup, but a legit one in my opinion. The Blaze Custom has more mids and a bit more output I think. The Blaze neck in the bridge position has a nice tone to it as well.

Regarding pots, I've moved away from push/pulls because they are not fast/easy to activate (you need to grip them) and one may change the pot's position when doing so. Regarding the pot's value, I've been on the 1Mega Ohms for a few years already, they do open the guitar's tones. The volume pot's value works a bit like a LPF and a HPF simultaneously, the higher the pot's value, the broader the spectrum will be... more or less... and this is my perceived feeling about that, not a scientific paper.
 

TheWarAgainstTime

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Ibanez uses the same 5-way switch and wiring configuration in most of their 7 string models, including the 7321, which is already great for versatility IMO. Every position is hum-canceling, and the 2nd and 4th positions are great for cleans, so there's no need for adding a push/pull control.

It's hard to beat a dual PAF7 setup for versatility. You may prefer a different bridge pickup depending on how much heavier stuff you need to play, but it's at least a good starting point. You can also find them for relatively cheap since they've come stock in a ton of Ibanez models over the years.
 

Matt08642

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I’ve tried to PAF7s, the Crunch Lab 7, and the Titan 7, but ultimately landed on the Blaze. It just IS the seven string sound to my ears.
 

atron28

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I’ve tried to PAF7s, the Crunch Lab 7, and the Titan 7, but ultimately landed on the Blaze. It just IS the seven string sound to my ears.
Which blaze did you end up for the bridge position, neck, bridge, or custom? Odibrom mentioned any of those could work well.
 

atron28

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Ibanez uses the same 5-way switch and wiring configuration in most of their 7 string models, including the 7321, which is already great for versatility IMO. Every position is hum-canceling, and the 2nd and 4th positions are great for cleans, so there's no need for adding a push/pull control.

It's hard to beat a dual PAF7 setup for versatility. You may prefer a different bridge pickup depending on how much heavier stuff you need to play, but it's at least a good starting point. You can also find them for relatively cheap since they've come stock in a ton of Ibanez models over the years.
I actually tested a guitar with PAF7 in both neck and bridge positions. I really did like the sound in the neck, so that's why I'm tied between that and the AirNorton7, which I haven't tried, but may give me a little more something for my leads, from what I read. I'll definitely consider that.

I didnt feel it had enough oomph for what I'm going for rhythm playing in the bridge, though
 

oceanrose

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I would go with a Blaze custom bridge and an air norton neck. Blaze bridges are great for modern style and has that low mid punch that is so fun to palm mute on and great for lead lines but some may find it compressed. I swapped mine out because i prefer abit more open, aggressive, and tighter pickup. PAF 7 neck is versatile, but its balanced sounding to the point where i personally found it lacking character. Air norton has that woody neck pickup tone and is great for leads and still can pair nicely with higher output bridge models. Liquidfire is also great for fluid solos and juicy leads.

For thrash and death metal styles, i was really considering the super distortion and did a bunch of research on it. I found the sound clips of it sounds amazing and despite being on the higher output side, many still say that it is still warm and clear and punchy. If i had not chosen BKP i would choose between blaze custom or risk trying super distortion.
 

Crungy

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The PAF7 is a good all around pickup in my opinion for dirty or cleans. I have one in a 7321 as the only pickup and I love it. Sounds great for drop G on up. Maybe not as much oomph as a Blaze in the bridge but you can always add some low/low mids to compensate.

The Blaze had a little more oomph to it and also a ton of clarity with a 1 Meg pot as the great @odibrom said. I don't find the low end overbearing, it feels really good on palm mutes.

Another to add to the list:
I have an Evo in a 7420 that I really like for B standard. I didn't care for it with drop A but I'll have to try it again. It seemed kind of blurry sounding but I didn't try it with a lot of different amps on my axefx.
 

atron28

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Based on a little more reading and your guy's responses that the blaze is the way to go in bridge, particularly blaze custom 7. My EMG's I find to already be compressed and scooped, so then maybe not the Blaze bridge for me. Unfortunately Dimarzio website doesnt even offer the Blaze Custom 7, so where should I look the find one for a good price and not worry about getting punked on the order?
 

Mura

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Have you checked out the Ionizer 7 set?

They are not often talked about, but they are great pickups with high versatility among Dimarzio's pickups.
I have used them in the past, and they have a very bright treble and good separation of each chord note, almost like a modern arrangement of the PAF7 with more power.
The coil split sound is also my favorite with a glassy Telecaster-like sound.

However, the bass is solid but deep, so if you want to play death metal, you may need to shave the Low firmly at the front end of the amp.
 
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Based on a little more reading and your guy's responses that the blaze is the way to go in bridge, particularly blaze custom 7. My EMG's I find to already be compressed and scooped, so then maybe not the Blaze bridge for me. Unfortunately Dimarzio website doesnt even offer the Blaze Custom 7, so where should I look the find one for a good price and not worry about getting punked on the order?
The Blaze Custom were removed from DiMarzio catalogue some years ago, but you can order them directly... or try the used market.
 

atron28

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Just put inquiry with Dimarzio about their Blaze Custom 7. As alternative, @odibrom mentioned the D-Sonic 7, and I read some good things about that in bridge (with bar facing bridge side), esp when paired with AirNorton7 or PAF7. Anyone with experience with the D-Sonic 7, particularly with basswood?

Btw, which cleans and single coil (hence why I want to use push/pull pot) sound better between AirNorton7 and PAF7?
 
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Just put inquiry with Dimarzio about their Blaze Custom 7. As alternative, @odibrom mentioned the D-Sonic 7, and I read some good things about that in bridge (with bar facing bridge side), esp when paired with AirNorton7 or PAF7. Anyone with experience with the D-Sonic 7, particularly with basswood?

Btw, which cleans and single coil (hence why I want to use push/pull pot) sound better between AirNorton7 and PAF7?

I've used the D-Sonic7 in a mahogany guitar with floating bridge, basswood guitar with hardtail bridge AND fretless basswood guitar with a hardtail bridge, 2 different D-Sonic 7 to be exact. They performed pretty well on all. I can't really remember if I preferred them with the bar coil facing the bridge or neck but there was one position that to my ears sounded better, more balanced. I must say that the difference is kind of minimal to my nowadays understanding of it. The'll do the chug and the softer gain rock with no problem. Some say these are a bit noisy, but I didn't found them as such, mine have been dead silent when in humbucker mode. One must also understand that internet opinions frequently lack background and context and everyone and their mother can post a review of anything without even knowing what that thing really is or what it does... so take that with some seasoning...

For clean sounds, the lower output the better for humbuckers, since too hot ones will be hard to clean up. I found the Blaze Neck a bit too much some times, D-Actvators 7 way too much for me and the Air Norton 7 has always delivered. Regarding coil splits, now that gets tricky, because lower output humbuckers have generally weak sounding coil splits, while hot humbuckers have generally good to really good sounding coil splits (DA7s had great coil splits). However, a compressor somewhere in the chain may tame some beasts pretty well and grow other puppies.

I found that super hot humbuckers are not for me because of the way I use my gear and the tones I have in my head... so consider that factor as well.

Do note that a pickup is a pop in/out piece of hardware that has a simple job, the rest is mostly up to the user and gear. Most can't ID any specific humbucker in a high gain blind test. What feels good for some may feel shit to many. Don't be afraid to swap whatever pickup you install for another closer to your preferences... which one will only understand under experimentation through the time tested trial and error method.
 

bostjan

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Hello 7 string community

I'm looking to mod my Ibanez 7321 (basswood body, 7 string) to be gig-ready and I definitely want Dimarzio pickups. I already have too many guitars with EMG pickups (including a jackson with 707's) that I use for metal, so I want to use the Ibanez for more versatility among between different rock genres since I also play in a 90's/2000's cover band. I've looked at several discussions, but still having trouble deciding

I'm looking for a pair of pickups that have good warm crystal clear cleans and overdrives and solid distortion without being too muddy, too bright, or too weak, but still dynamic, every note in a chord rings out clear, and can still handle a good palm mute and solo. I'm looking to use it to play pretty much anything: skatepunk, alternative, blues, classic rock, even thrash or death metal if needed (but not as a focus, too many discussions and reviews focus on metal). Like I said, something more versatile and dynamic since I finally want to move past EMG's

Here's what I narrowed it down to so far (but open to other suggestions)
Neck: Air Norton 7, Liquifire 7, or PAF7
Bridge: ToneZone 7, CrunchLab7, Titan7

Let me know what you all think and has worked at well for you, thanks

-A
I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but there's no one pickup that can do everything perfectly without dialing it in for each sound.

That said, if you think of the tonal palette as a block of clay, you can do the most moulding if you start with the most signal and then dial everything back to taste. If a pickup lacks output in a certain frequency range, and you want to beef it up, your options on how to do that get more intrusive and more expensive and typically don't work out as well.

Like, if you want a great pickup for skate punk, then we can make some good recommendations, but that same pickup isn't going to translate as well to blues playing or probably even classic rock.

I think people are recommending the Blaze Custom because it's kind of the midpoint between all of those things you mentioned with a little extra balls. You can definitely play some alternative with it, and with dialed back gain and rolled off treble, you can handle classic rock and even approach blues (or at least play convincing bluesy licks), and you can dial in the opposite and approach death metal with it.

For a neck pickup, the Air Norton 7 is pretty universally lauded as the go-to neck pickup for more diverse styles.

Pretty much everything else mentioned has mixed reviews. Probably because those pickups work great for somethings and not so well for other things.

I don't really worry so much about choosing a pickup with great blues tone or whatever, so take my impressions with a grain of salt. Also, any pickups I didn't particularly like will have a sample size of one pickup that I tried, so take into account that the one I tried might have just been a dud.

AN7 - For me, a good tonally balanced pickup. Nice rich upper mids, but not screechy. Has a little silkiness to the lower half of the EQ curve. (neck)
PAF7 - I tried this one in the bridge position and was underwhelmed. It just sounded weak and bland to my ears.
TZ7 - Mud city. (bridge)
DS7 - It was okay. Just a little throaty in the mids, but nothing shocking. Mine was particularly noisy. I tried checking solder joints and grounding and I'm convinced that it was the pickup and nothing I did. Not like so noisy it was broken, just mildly and consistently annoying. (bridge)
Blaze Bridge - Nice and chunky, great classic tone with well rounded mids and not too much low nor high. Mine is in an all maple guitar and it's not too bright.
Blaze Neck - It's okay, but not in a "meh" way, just that there's nothing really to complain about, but also nothing about it that makes my eyes sparkle much anymore. Granted, I've had the Blazes for most of my life now. It's a little more rounded than the AN7, but still has a fairly aggressive output. Nothing to sneeze at and nothing to dismiss. Might be a tad hot for your taste.
Evolution 7 - This might be my favourite Dimarzio. Very clear and bright. It cuts through mixes well and harmonics really shimmer. But the output of the pickup is hot as hell. I've used them in the bridge and in the neck.
X2N7 - More the death metal pickup. Really aggressive, grunty, bright, and bold. Seems less bright to me than the EVO7, though, but if I do the EVO7 in the neck, this is about the only thing that can keep up with it in the bridge position. I bet it'd be easy to dial in good skate punk tones with it, though. If you use a tube amp, it's like putting a blaze bridge through a tube screamer. If you are playing through a modeler, though, be careful, since it's likely to clip the input stage at full volume. (bridge)
 

Robslalaina

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I’ve tried to PAF7s, the Crunch Lab 7, and the Titan 7, but ultimately landed on the Blaze. It just IS the seven string sound to my ears.
I'm not going to Lie about it: I agree. I've tried other pickups too but I'm Caught in a web. I would choose the Blaze anytime I Need to because Good God does it sound Sickening, like Choirs of devastation.
 

Baelzebeard

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Given your description, and based on my experience, I would recommend Titans.

They're tonally balanced, clear but not shrill. Good bass, but not muddy. A good neutral pallette to base your various styles from.
Strong output, but not compressed.

My other Dimarzio 7 pickup experiences.

-Blaze Custom(bridge) is awesome, but hotter and less dynamic.
-D-Activator(bridge) like the Titan, but brighter in general, more clarity.
-Illuminator(bridge) half way between Titan and Blaze Custom.
-Ionizer(neck) scooped a little. Good for cleans, leads are meh.
 


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