DiMarzio D Activator / D Activator X comparison

WarMachine

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Here lately i've been really digging the sound of my D Activators over my D Activator X, so last night i decided to do a swap in my Razorback. I recorded a little section of something that popped in my head i came up with a few days ago while the D Activator X was in there. So to compare, i dropped the standard D Activator set in there with the same strings, same patch in the PODGo, processing (compression and limiting on the master track) for all the tracks. For me, i REALLY like the darker mid character of the D Activator standard. The X version has a higher mid/treble bite going on that sounds great but just doesn't gel with what i like. Still a badass pup tho!







On the solo'd guitar tracks, here are the time stamps;

D Activator;
0:16 - 0:30
0:37 - 0:44
0:48 - 0:55

D Activator X;
0:00 - 0:16
0:32 - 0:37
0:44 - 0:48
0:55 - 1:00
 

WarMachine

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I'm surprised to hear how bright the DAX is. I always assumed it was a super smooth pickup.
Right? That's the thing that has kind of turned me off of the X version here lately. No matter what you run it through, its set for super high mids so it always has that little "twang" to it. Not a bad thing, just not what i'm jiving at the moment. Now i will be putting it in my Z and using it for lower tunings like drop A. I think it would really shine on that low of a tuning.
 

WarMachine

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This test has shown me I should get a D-Activator, that shit sounds gnarly.
For sure dude, i've used these since about 2009 and i love em! I've got 2 X pickups for the bridge; one in my Stealth and the other will be in my Z. But honestly i may try to flip the X for a standard version lol.
 

Shask

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I like pickups with high mids so i may have to try it. :lol:

I was just reading your old post about the D Sonic last night, lol. I still need to try one of those. I put a Super Distortion in a guitar last night, and it has me wanting to try some other Dimarzios.
 

HeHasTheJazzHands

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I was just reading your old post about the D Sonic last night, lol. I still need to try one of those. I put a Super Distortion in a guitar last night, and it has me wanting to try some other Dimarzios.
I like experimenting with pickups. Plus tonal boredom. ADHD sucks. :lol:
 

Shask

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I like experimenting with pickups. Plus tonal boredom. ADHD sucks. :lol:
I do too, but I am pretty happy with most of my guitars, so not many to experiment with, lol. The Super DIstortion is definitely not as bassy as I thought it would be, so I am thinking the D Sonic might work well in this guitar.
 

MatrixClaw

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I had the DAX in the bridge of my Bernie Rico Jr (D-Activator in the neck) for years and quit playing for a bit and then came back to it. It was WAY brighter than I remembered. Good to know that I'm not crazy. Ended up swapping them both out for a set of BKP Nailbombs and I definitely don't regret it.
 

youngthrasher9

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This test was eye opening for me. I’ve been using DA’s or Titans for like 6 years now and I think at some point I need to try the DAX. I had no idea that it was heavier in the upper midrange and I almost always gravitate towards pups with that kind of bite.

Also, these tracks sounded really, really good to my ears. Great job! Do you mind sharing what amp block you were using? It sounds heavy AF. I wasn’t considering a pod go but now I might have to.
 

WarMachine

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This test was eye opening for me. I’ve been using DA’s or Titans for like 6 years now and I think at some point I need to try the DAX. I had no idea that it was heavier in the upper midrange and I almost always gravitate towards pups with that kind of bite.

Also, these tracks sounded really, really good to my ears. Great job! Do you mind sharing what amp block you were using? It sounds heavy AF. I wasn’t considering a pod go but now I might have to.
Thanks dude! It is the Placater Dirty amp block. No boost in the chain, HBE on, Saturation OFF and a compressor at the end before the guitar to give it more sustain.
 

Crundles

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On the solo track I really like the D-Activator X, but I'm listening through a """gaming""" headset, and who the heck knows what it's doing to the frequencies 🤷‍♂️
 

ATRguitar91

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Love the D-Activator! Swapped one for the stock bridge pup in my Carvin 8 and it's probably my favorite pickup I've used. I didn't even realize there's an X version, but that was a bit too bright for me.
 

T00DEEPBLUE

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I have a D-activator 7 in my Solar Poplar Burl and its absolutely brutal and very hot output-wise but I do agree with everyone else that its definitely on the bright side. For downtuned chugs and caveman riffing the brightness is an asset up the upper registers get pretty nasally and thin.
 

WarMachine

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I prefer the DAX in this test, but they both sound great. As a fellow Pod Go guy, I just want to say your tone is awesome!
Thanks dude! It's nothing special at all man. I dont have any EQ blocks added to the POD, i just use a low/hipass filter on the guitar bus track to carve out the nasty frequencies. The best block bar far is the IR. I use the York Audio FDMN pack, V30 CNT for rhythm tones and for leads i just switch to the V30 CE-1 (Cone edge). Similar but definitely different enough to make the tone separate from the rhythm tones. No boosts, just the gate on the way in set to around -44, the Kinky Komp left at default settings, the NS-2 gate set at -44 and the Placater sim, HBE on and C45 on. Fat and Saturation both turned off.
 

WarMachine

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Love the D-Activator! Swapped one for the stock bridge pup in my Carvin 8 and it's probably my favorite pickup I've used. I didn't even realize there's an X version, but that was a bit too bright for me.
You should give the neck pickup a try as well. The D Activator for the neck is the absolute best neck pickup i've ever tried. I can't say enough good things about it. If i ever decide to try a new bridge pup, the d activator will stay in the neck for sure. Most neck pickups to my ears sound a little muffled/weak but the d activator is almost like adding a hipass filter on the d activator bridge. You get the darker sound, but the pick attack is beautiful.
 


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