Active humbuckers have a distinctive sound - powerful, clean, open sounding, with excellent harmonic overtones and very tight lows. The down side for many players is that they also sound cold, have li... Read More
Active humbuckers have a distinctive sound - powerful, clean, open sounding, with excellent harmonic overtones and very tight lows. The down side for many players is that they also sound cold, have limited dynamics and run out of headroom when played hard. And of course, they need batteries. In 2006 DiMarzio took a close look at the most popular active neck and bridge humbuckers to see if they could capture all of the good qualities and eliminate the disadvantages. The D Activator neck and bridge models are the result. The DP220 pickup has the same loud yet clean sound as the active humbuckers players are familiar with, and killer harmonics. They also respond instantly to hard or light pick attack. In a word, the DP220 pickups rock. And they don't need batteries.
Recommended For: Bridge
Tech Talk: An interesting fact about the most popular active bridge pickups is that they aren't incredibly loud. Instead, they have a strong, focused attack that hits the amp very hard and makes them feel more powerful than they actually spec out to be. This is an important characteristic that DiMarzio needed to capture with the D Activator bridge pickup. They also wanted to avoid the limiting effect that can occur with active pickups when they are played hard. This pickup is passive with a lot of headroom, and it responds quickly and accurately to changes in pick attack. A hard pick attack doesn't cause the signal to flatten out, and picking more softly or rolling the volume control down lets the sound clean up naturally. Like all passive pickups, D Activators require controls with a minimum value of 250Kohms. 500K is the standard all around value, and our 1Megohm tone control is best for long cable runs.
Reviewed by 6 customers
Displaying reviews 1-6
I put this pickup in the bridge of my Epiphone G400. This pickup sounds fantastic. The build quality is solid. I would recommend this pickup for both rock rhythm and lead. It has a really tight, punchy sound that has a solid bottom end. After it is properly EQ'd with your equipment, you will have a LOUD, responsive pickup. This pickup is highly sensitive, and the guitar "feels" different to play, but that is because of the louder, punchy sound. The pickup looks well-built and the build quality seems very high. The pickup is made in the USA, and appears to be made out of quality parts. I opted to create my own set with a Liquifire in the neck, and the two pickups really compliment each other. If you are looking for a tight, focused sound with clarity and sustain, I highly recommend a D'Activator as long as you are happy with the volume and responsiveness of the pickup.
I play in a band with a buddy who has a cheap esp ltd m (mahogany body i think) and he just installed this D Activator Pick Up Set. They are fantastic. I have always been a Gibson guy and have always stood by my Gibson pickups 500T and 496R but I may be a changed man. These things rip. I really don't know what they would be like for softer music but for Metal like Killswitch Engage or Soilwork style, they are the best. These Pickups are very even with tone and that is why it works best with Mahogany bodies. Check out the DiMarzio website for all the details on how their pickup tones are. If you want to have a great metal sound without sounding overly harsh, these are awesome... and love that they come in a set.
First off, here is my setup. I have this pickup installed in the bridge of an Ibanez RG5EX1 guitar, made of basswood/maple neck, with a floating trem. My main amp is a blackheart litle giant 5w head with the matching 1x12 blackheart cab. For distortion, I use a variety of pedals, mostly a Digitech Grunge pedal. Anyhow, this pickup sounds absolutely huge. It's a very dynamic pickup and it is incredibly articulate. Low notes are extremely tight and high notes are not shrill at all. I feel that Dimarzio's description of this pickup emulated an active pickup is very precise. Get one; you won't regret it.
This pickup is everything I was looking for in a metal-style sound. Serious crunch, tight lows, ripping highs yet not hollow/thin sounding like many stock humbuckers. I used it to replace an older Washburn pickup, which had good sound but created immense feedback at louder volumes. This keeps the feedback in check yet puts out massive gain. Chris Broderick endorses them so I figured I would give them a try. The perfect substitute for an active pup. Who wants the battery maintenance and extra routing to increase the size of the pickup cavity in your guitar? Not worth the headache when this is available.
I installed these in a ibanez RG520 and I dont know why I waited so long. The 520 is a mahogany RG so its a bit more dense than a basswood typical RG so this review might not help if thats what you are installing them in. These are super even in frequencies. Lows are tight , mids cut and highs have a little bite but nothing is too extreme. They are totally unforgiving to your right hand technique so be warned. I thought the EVO in my other RG was transparent as far as technique goes but this pickup is alot more unforgiving. If you are a sloppy player this is not for you. Oh and just for the record dont buy this because Muhammed Suiczmez from Necrophagist uses one. He told me personally he never used it. He uses EMG 81/85 live now and all recorded solos are a JEM in the neck position with EVO's.
I bought the camo bridge D-Activator to replace a Mo-Joe I had on a BC Rich Gunslinger. I liked the Mo-Joe but wanted more power and harmonics for solos. Bought this one blinded, just for the specs and camo look. After I install it and play the first chords my head exploded. Great tone, pretty clear on attack and round sound for riffs and solos. In my opinion is the best DiMarzio pickup for rock players.
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