Options to replace Air Norton neck on mahogany J.Custom?

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Offline Piing

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Options to replace Air Norton neck on mahogany J.Custom?
« on: September 06, 2022, 11:00:14 PM »
 I am looking for something with less congested bass and more harmonic-friendly. On the bridge I have a Satchur8, which I love.

From the Vintage Output options I am considering:

DP103 PAF 36th Anniversary
DP190 Air Classic,
DP156 Humbucker From Hell
DP213 PAF Joe

Any suggestion?

The Air Norton is practically flat, while all the above mentioned are compensated with lower bass and higher treble.
Air Norton:
« Last Edit: September 06, 2022, 11:04:29 PM by Piing »

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Offline mmmguitar

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Re: Options to replace Air Norton neck on mahogany J.Custom?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2022, 12:42:32 AM »
If you don’t mind some counter-recommendations:

If your guitar has 24 frets, I’d suggest a Gravity Storm neck over the PAF Joe (both are medium output tweaks on the PAF Pro, for players who play leads with the neck pup). Same goes for subbing the Bluesbucker for the Air Classic at the lower end of the output spectrum (I find they’re better for clean work while still sounding great overdriven). The GS and BB both have terrific split sounds, as well.

Edit: I looked and saw that you’re already experienced with the Gravity Storm. I found the PAF Joe less aggressive (going for more of a  “Les Paul neck pup without the mud” vibe), with the split tone just not as god as the GS.

The Humbucker from Hell is more on the extreme end of what you seem to be looking for; and none of the others are really a substitute for what it does (neck pup that sounds like a bridge pup).

The 36th is the only one mentioned that I haven’t tried (I tried the PAF Master neck first and have stuck with it, so far).
« Last Edit: September 07, 2022, 12:50:06 AM by mmmguitar »

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Offline Piing

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Re: Options to replace Air Norton neck on mahogany J.Custom?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2022, 01:22:42 AM »
Thank you for the suggestion.

I had a Gravity Storm bridge on a RG550LTD, but never had the neck version. I did like it, so it can be a good option for the neck. I am going to consider it.

Theoretically, it has less highs and it is more prominent at the bass than all the ones I was considering, even more than the Air Norton. But maybe that is not much relevant for the final result.



« Last Edit: September 07, 2022, 01:25:24 AM by Piing »

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Offline Piing

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Re: Options to replace Air Norton neck on mahogany J.Custom?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2022, 05:23:00 AM »
I've found a Gravity Storm neck for a good price on Reverb :) I've already pulled the trigger

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Offline mmmguitar

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Re: Options to replace Air Norton neck on mahogany J.Custom?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2022, 03:04:26 PM »
Hopefully I haven’t led you back to the same terrain you were trying to escape!  ;D

For what it’s worth: I’ve owned a lot of guitars that arrived with an Air Norton in the neck, and I always end up replacing them with a Bluesbucker or one of the other pickups I mentioned, for the same reasons you mentioned. I replaced an AN/TZ set in a 24 fret guitar with a Gravity Storm set, then ended up selling the GSs after deciding I preferred lower output pickups. But I did prefer the GS neck to the Air Norton.

All that being said, the AN can make for a great bridge pickup. I just never understood Ibanez and other brands deciding that it was the only Dimarzio they liked in the neck position.

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Offline Piing

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Re: Options to replace Air Norton neck on mahogany J.Custom?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2022, 08:39:40 PM »
Hopefully I haven’t led you back to the same terrain you were trying to escape!  ;D

For what it’s worth: I’ve owned a lot of guitars that arrived with an Air Norton in the neck, and I always end up replacing them with a Bluesbucker or one of the other pickups I mentioned, for the same reasons you mentioned. I replaced an AN/TZ set in a 24 fret guitar with a Gravity Storm set, then ended up selling the GSs after deciding I preferred lower output pickups. But I did prefer the GS neck to the Air Norton.

All that being said, the AN can make for a great bridge pickup. I just never understood Ibanez and other brands deciding that it was the only Dimarzio they liked in the neck position.

No problem  :) If the Gravity Storm it is not what I want for that guitar, I can use it on a S540FM. And I may also try the Air Norton at the bridge of that S540FM

I do love the Bluesbucker neck. It has a very interesting P90ish tone. I have it installed on a RG550LTD with the 3 position switch (series/split/parallel). But I want something different for this j.custom

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Offline Piing

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Re: Options to replace Air Norton neck on mahogany J.Custom?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2022, 05:58:30 AM »
Already replaced. The Gravity Storm neck is a keeper at this J.Custom! It has a special character and the harmonics easily come out of nowhere at the slightest touch of the right hand thumb when picking. None of that was present with the Air Norton. It did not sound bad at all (requiring some surgical EQ to make it shine), but just a "correct" pickup without special sauce
« Last Edit: September 12, 2022, 08:55:45 AM by Piing »

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Offline mmmguitar

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Re: Options to replace Air Norton neck on mahogany J.Custom?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2022, 04:12:12 AM »
Already replaced. The Gravity Storm neck is a keeper at this J.Custom! It has a special character and the harmonics easily come out of nowhere at the slightest touch of the right hand thumb when picking. None of that was present with the Air Norton. It did not sound bad at all (requiring some surgical EQ to make it shine), but just a "correct" pickup without special sauce

I'm glad to read that you're enjoying it. If you think of it, please bump this thread later on with your subsequent impressions of the pickup.

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Offline Speeddemon

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Re: Options to replace Air Norton neck on mahogany J.Custom?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2022, 12:58:52 PM »
No problem  :) If the Gravity Storm it is not what I want for that guitar, I can use it on a S540FM. And I may also try the Air Norton at the bridge of that S540FM

I actually have the Air Norton in the neck of my S540FM and love it there. Has a ToneZone in the bridge. Very balanced guitar. That TZ came out of a Charvel So-Cal where I found it a bit too boomy/muddy in the lows.
In use: 13x DiMarzio (7 gtrs), 7x Duncan (3 gtrs).
Got preference? ;)