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Offline CityofBlindingLights

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The Norton
« on: April 03, 2009, 10:12:03 am »
Since SO many people keep asking about this pickup, and I never have time to type everything up all of the time (although I love the pickup enough to do it), I thought I'd just make one all-encompassing thread on what I think is DiMarzio's best pickup: the Norton.


Descriptions
CityofBlindingLights:
The Norton is, for lack of better description, the bastard child that would occur if a Tone Zone got it on with a FRED. It's got the harmonics of the FRED, but the output and a bit of low-end balls of the Tone Zone. Although, it's a bright pickup overall. It's got the nice midrange crunch needed for good overdrive and distortion, and a very distinctly PAF aftertaste.

buddroyce:
I guess I should probably add the description and say that it's got the sweet smooth distortion that makes the Duncan JB so popular but has better bottom end (at least in my opinion) and doesn't have the annoying honkiness. It's also got that 80's hair metal / old school Van Halen vibe if that's what your going for. ie. Your ideal tone is lots of smooth sounding mids, polished top end and nice tight bottom end (kinda like your run way super models of the day).


Soundclips
Thanks to Avenger316 for the following sound clips:
Clean
http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6491396

dirty riffing
http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6429843

dirty solo
http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6429913

Thanks to LuredMaul for the following soundclips:
http://webpages.charter.net/luredmaul/

Clips

titled Norton Air P.A.F

I never had any intention to share this clip as I had just installed the pups and hit record; The patch used was heavy on the DELAY,CHORUS and Reveb,I'm used to this patch and just played what came to mind searching for what the pups did well and didn't do well. In this perticular guitar the "feel" of the Norton didn't work for me (Air Zone Won) I also tried the AIR mod ( brought on by this forum) on one of the S1(chrome polepiece P.A.F Pro) pups I had laying around. If I remember right,this is an Alder bodied Jem guitar thru a POD XT Live.

According to wsx3, Reb Beach used to use the Norton, and has kindly provided us with YouTube clips:
I have heard that Reb Beach from Winger used a Norton when he played with Dokken.  Here's a couple of vids

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FFzMdyAZdk[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y41SCE-JjDA&feature=related[/youtube]

Wxs3 has also dug up an artist who's actually using the Norton in a mahogany bodied guitar (thanks again to wxs3):
I finally found someone who uses the Norton.  He has the HFH in the neck.  Not sure of what model ESP guitar he plays but here's a link

http://www.myspace.com/marcpattison

It almost sounds like a TZ except a little lighter and more harmonically friendly.  I may have to check it out.

Furthermore, our very own Orkestra's band, Aghast, has a myspace, page, and he uses the Norton: http://www.myspace.com/aghastuk


Virtual Vintage Experiment
Avenger316 has also performed the Virtual Vintage mod on his Norton, here's the entire thread with the process, and sound clips before and after:
http://www.dimarzioforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=444.0

Some youtube videos:

I found this video of a guy with a Norton playing some chuggin.  Hope this helps you out.
YOUTUBE LINK REMOVED

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iXqy8XOwd8[/youtube]

Great clip of the Norton as well.

This post and thread will be edited, added to, and modified as time passes/more information accumulates.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 06:50:52 pm by CityofBlindingLights »

Offline buddroyce

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Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2009, 11:14:32 am »
Thank you for the info page Nick. I probably won't sticky this one just yet. I guess I should probably add the description and say that it's got the sweet smooth distortion that makes the Duncan JB so popular but has better bottom end (at least in my opinion) and doesn't have the annoying honkiness.

It's also got that 80's hair metal / old school Van Halen vibe if that's what your going for. ie. Your ideal tone is lots of smooth sounding mids, polished top end and nice tight bottom end (kinda like your run way super models of the day).
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Offline AllDimarzio

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Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2009, 04:02:27 pm »
Not being a smartA$$ here but if it's so great why does hardly anyone use them? I had one and thought it was OK but not any better or worse than a lot of other Dimarzios. I think I like the TZ better for what i would use a norton for. Mine was in an RG, maybe I need to hear one in a Gibson.

Offline Kodzen

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Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2009, 07:22:25 pm »
One thing that Norton excels than other pup (within the same output range) is CLARITY and great harmonics, very useful for rhythm.
It's capable for doing many things for pop to metal, and especially if you're playing EVH stuffs.
Have to admit it's not the best for leads (some would say it's a bit ice-picky but not to the annoying level), but I'm using the neck for almost all of the leads so no problem for me.
Of course you can't compare it with a TZ (nothing compares to it) but it's definitely a keeper.
So far only TZ and Norton survived in some of my guitars as a bridge pup, having them both is enough for me, so far at least

Offline wxs3

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Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2009, 08:14:09 pm »
I have heard that Reb Beach from Winger used a Norton when he played with Dokken.  Here's a couple of vids

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FFzMdyAZdk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y41SCE-JjDA&feature=related
My first aftermarket pickup was a Super Distortion back in the 70's.  I strayed and tried Rio Grandes, Duncans, and EMGs only to come back to Dimarzio.  Funny were life takes you.

Offline CityofBlindingLights

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Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009, 10:43:23 pm »
EDITS: Created and bolded topics (to organize everything), and added Orkestra's band under the Sound Clips heading.

Edit to this post: And wxs3, thanks for the Reb Beach sound clips! Just noticed you posted them, adding as we speak!

Offline carryonplease

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Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2009, 02:14:30 am »
Just got back from hours of playing my new norton :)

i dropped this in the bridge of my SG and i was immediately very very happy. I was a little worried because I like to hear things before I buy them but i had to just research this one. Dimarzio makes quality stuff though, and im glad i picked this one.

Im playing it through a red bear mk60 (jcm 800) and it is incredibly versatile. It is bright, but not shrill, tight in the low frequencies and the mids are just awesome. It has great clarity for rhythm playing, which is what i normally do. Although i think ill have to adjust some of the screws because i seem to be a lot quieter on the higher strings. It helps nail an awesome classic rock tone but also was great for the "high-gain" applications i used it for.

Contrary to what has been said, I would say this pickup sounds a lot like the duncan distortion. but better.

Offline DocNrock

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Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2009, 07:01:27 pm »
Great thread...I like my Norton.   ;D

Offline wxs3

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Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2009, 08:34:34 am »
I've installed a Norton in my strat, replacing the fast track 2 that was in there.  After some tweaking, I found the sweet spot for this pickup and I have to say it reminds me of old Van Halen brown sound.  It's very harmonically friendly and balances well with the Pro track in the neck and fast track 1 in the middle.  I'll be playing the last gig with my band of butt heads this Sat with it and I plan on having a lot of fun with it (hope it pisses them off).  To me and my gear it's a great fit.
My first aftermarket pickup was a Super Distortion back in the 70's.  I strayed and tried Rio Grandes, Duncans, and EMGs only to come back to Dimarzio.  Funny were life takes you.

Offline buddroyce

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Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2009, 03:36:29 pm »
The Norton is great when you want that 80's brown sound feel to it. It's not 100% EVH's signature Brown Sound but it's definitely in that ball park. I personally find that it's got that EVH vibe along with some older Joe Satriani tones on. You can pretty much nail the tone Joe had for Surfing with the alien with the norton. Must be the similarities to the Fred that gives it that.
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Offline wxs3

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Re: The Norton
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2009, 06:09:05 pm »
Well, I got to play the Norton last night with the last gig with my band (see time for me to rant).  I usually run my amp hot and control the amount of gain by the volume on the guitar.  I was so freakin happy and played my ass off to the point that I had people coming to me and either wanting me to join their band or want to use me to start a new one.  The tone was fat, well defined and hot.  This is the best pickup that I have played out with.  After the show, the band members gathered around and stated how well the band sounded and ow well I played.  I definately left some pretty big shoes to fill for those guys, I wish them well. PAYBACK!!  Thanks Norton!
My first aftermarket pickup was a Super Distortion back in the 70's.  I strayed and tried Rio Grandes, Duncans, and EMGs only to come back to Dimarzio.  Funny were life takes you.

Offline wxs3

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Re: The Norton
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2009, 05:01:46 pm »
The Norton is also very good at getting a Jake E Lee type of tone (think Bark at the Moon).  This is hands down my favorite humbucker PERIOD!!!!  If I decide to put buckers in my otner 2 strats, they will be Nortons.
My first aftermarket pickup was a Super Distortion back in the 70's.  I strayed and tried Rio Grandes, Duncans, and EMGs only to come back to Dimarzio.  Funny were life takes you.

Offline LuredMaul

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Re: The Norton
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2009, 08:36:16 pm »
Clip link fixed. Again I never had intention to share this so go easy on the comments.
RG1570 Basswood guitar  Norton Bridge    Aired PaF Pro

http://www.dimarzioforum.com/user_uploads/luredmaul/NortonAirP.A.F.mp3

Offline Tom63

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Re: The Norton
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2009, 12:25:38 pm »
Clip link fixed. Again I never had intention to share this so go easy on the comments.
RG1570 Basswood guitar  Norton Bridge    Aired PaF Pro

http://www.dimarzioforum.com/user_uploads/luredmaul/NortonAirP.A.F.mp3
Hey, i like the sound of that Aired PAF pro which is wierd because i don't think i like the normal one. Dimarzio should sell it! (unless of course they already do) Good examples of the Norton too, think i will get one.
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Offline HeyNorton!

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Re: The Norton
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2009, 05:50:53 pm »
Hey guys! I just wanted to add some info here.  I Have had  a Norton in my RG520QS for 9 years or so.
During this time I had it set so I could do a full trem pull-up and was "rewarded" with a bright articulate sound.
Today, I raised it up to where it would normally be for a hardtail (about 1/8") and Whoo-Hooo!!!!!
Now, I have a Huge, Thick, Lower Midrangey sound!! 

The Norton is very sensitive to pickup height.  Probably as much as the Tone Zone.

All that time wasted.................... :'(