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DimarzioForum.Com => The Pickup Place => Everything you wanted to know about .... => Topic started by: CityofBlindingLights on April 03, 2009, 10:12:03 AM

Title: The Norton
Post by: CityofBlindingLights 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.
Title: Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
Post by: buddroyce 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).
Title: Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
Post by: AllDimarzio 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.
Title: Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
Post by: Kodzen 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
Title: Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
Post by: wxs3 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
Title: Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
Post by: CityofBlindingLights 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!
Title: Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
Post by: carryonplease 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.
Title: Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
Post by: DocNrock on May 19, 2009, 07:01:27 PM
Great thread...I like my Norton.   ;D
Title: Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
Post by: wxs3 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.
Title: Re: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Norton
Post by: buddroyce 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.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: wxs3 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!
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: wxs3 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.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: LuredMaul 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
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Tom63 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.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: HeyNorton! 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.................... :'(
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: FeinMusic on July 29, 2009, 03:15:09 AM
 Alright, City.  You win.

The Norton is back in my guitar.  I'm 21 in two weeks and I damn expect you in a blues club to help me inch out the kinks
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: CityofBlindingLights on July 29, 2009, 06:41:00 PM
Alright, City.  You win.

The Norton is back in my guitar.  I'm 21 in two weeks and I damn expect you in a blues club to help me inch out the kinks

Haha, sounds like a plan :). If you're in northern Jersey/New York, lemme know (I'll probably be there- I spend a lot of time in local blues bars...)
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: FeinMusic on July 29, 2009, 08:03:39 PM
I'm all over the place.  I know we have an open blue in Hoboken but I'm sure there's a lot of places in New York
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: FeinMusic on July 30, 2009, 08:41:26 PM
I'm wondering if maybe disconnecting my bridge tone knob might give the Norton that extra oomph or would it not even be noticable?
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: LuredMaul on July 30, 2009, 09:09:52 PM
it adds a touch
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: alfaromeo90 on July 30, 2009, 11:08:36 PM
disconnect it anyway.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: wxs3 on July 31, 2009, 12:04:52 AM
disconnect it anyway.

+++1
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: LuredMaul on July 31, 2009, 12:07:19 AM
you could also try a 1meg ohm volume pot and keep the tone control.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: CityofBlindingLights on July 31, 2009, 01:43:57 AM
disconnect it anyway.

+++1

+2. It's at least worth a shot, and is quite replacable if you want it back.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: 5150 on August 04, 2009, 09:24:55 AM
I'm wondering if maybe disconnecting my bridge tone knob might give the Norton that extra oomph or would it not even be noticable?

Trying raising the bridge pickup a tad.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: FeinMusic on August 07, 2009, 12:21:55 PM
Has anyone used the norton in the bridge pole pieces facing the neck?
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: CityofBlindingLights on August 07, 2009, 04:35:00 PM
Has anyone used the norton in the bridge pole pieces facing the neck?

I haven't, I've always been satisfied with it how it is. It would probably add a touch of top end, which imho would make it overly bright and reduce that low end grind that I love.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: LuredMaul on October 13, 2009, 02:10:20 AM
Clip from FeinMusic

http://www.dimarzioforum.com/user_uploads/luredmaul/TailspinRoughMix100909.mp3
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: FeinMusic on October 13, 2009, 02:23:51 AM
All the guitars except the acoustic guitar and the chorused guitar are done on the Norton in the bridge of a Les Paul Studio Lite "ClownFace" apparently.  It's going straight into a proco "The Rat" pedal into a 65 fender Bandmaster head and Marshall 4x12 cab

The chorused guitar is an HFH in the neck with a modded boss CE-3 going through a 73 Super Reverb and I think the acoustic is an Esteban lol
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: slugworth on January 05, 2010, 12:01:59 PM
Back on topic, I just wanted to add some thoughts on why I love the Norton...

First it REALLY has a TIGHT low end.  If you like to shred down low and not have it come out like a thunderous ooze, then Norton is your ticket.  Even with crazy high gain and playing speed, every note down low will come out well defined and scorching.

Second the harmonics are just out of this world.  If pinch harmonics turn you on, Norton will make your toes curl.  I love being able to roll back on tone and volume and STILL be able to rip out a screaming pinchy.  And Norton's harmonics are very rich and musical, not too piercing or screechy like with some high output pickups.

Norton has an open-ish tone that it inherited from the Tone Zone.  So you won't sound like angry bees, mosquitos, or other flying insects.

I love that its output is medium, that means I can match it up with a lowish output neck pickup and they can still play nice together.  But even not being an insanely high output pickup, the Norton can still get as hard and heavy as you could ever use.

Now... does anyone know where the Norton name came from?  That's something I've always wanted to know about the Norton.

Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: FeinMusic on January 05, 2010, 02:27:42 PM
I like to think Edward Norton.  He's a balanced actor
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: slugworth on January 19, 2010, 12:59:31 PM
I like to think Edward Norton.  He's a balanced actor

Edward Norton wasn't around as an actor when the Norton pickup came out, so that couldn't be it.  I did some searching around and found this thread, though:

http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f35/dimarzio-pickup-names-35556.html

It claims that the Fred is named after Fred Flintstone, and the Norton after Ed Norton, which is the name the character on The Honeymooners played by Art Carney that was the inspiration for Barney Rubble in the Flintstones.  The Honeymooners is a bit before my time, but I have seen a few episodes.  And I have probably seen every episode of The Flintstones.

Also the same Norton referred to by Eddie Murphy in his famous, "Norton!  Why don't you come over here and ... ... ..." bit.  You know, back in the early-mid 80's when Eddie Murphy was one of the greatest stand-up comedians around, and not doing dumb movies dressing up like big fat people.

I believe it.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Sensates on February 06, 2010, 12:58:47 AM
Do you guys know of any 7string pickups that sounds similar to a Norton? I'm looking for one to put into my Schecter 7 string bridge.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: CityofBlindingLights on February 06, 2010, 01:58:57 AM
Do you guys know of any 7string pickups that sounds similar to a Norton? I'm looking for one to put into my Schecter 7 string bridge.

Take an Air Norton 7, and remove the airbucker spacers...
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Sensates on February 06, 2010, 09:51:54 PM
Do you guys know of any 7string pickups that sounds similar to a Norton? I'm looking for one to put into my Schecter 7 string bridge.

Take an Air Norton 7, and remove the airbucker spacers...

Any guides on how to do that? I've seen a few on how to "air" the pups, but no pics  :-\
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: oilpit on February 27, 2010, 12:47:55 AM
I was looking through sound clips in this thread, and I noticed that there were no clips of what IMO the Norton does best, a medium gain, lead sound....so I set about fixing that.


The clip is a Norton, in the bridge of a 2004 Gibson Les Paul standard, into Guitar Rig 3.  I used the Brian May Lead patch, with the delay turned down just a bit, to try and preserve the sound of the pickup. 

I have to say, just for my ego, that I had a bit of trouble with latency, so there are a few more mistakes than I would like, but regardless of how good or bad my playing is, I do think the clip does a pretty good job of showing what this pickup sounds like, under this kind of application.

I should not that in the middle I briefly switched to the PAF Pro in the neck, just to give an idea of the balance between the pickups.
Hope you enjoy!

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=8812815
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Jerryman on March 12, 2010, 02:58:21 AM
I was looking through sound clips in this thread, and I noticed that there were no clips of what IMO the Norton does best, a medium gain, lead sound....so I set about fixing that.


The clip is a Norton, in the bridge of a 2004 Gibson Les Paul standard, into Guitar Rig 3.  I used the Brian May Lead patch, with the delay turned down just a bit, to try and preserve the sound of the pickup. 

I have to say, just for my ego, that I had a bit of trouble with latency, so there are a few more mistakes than I would like, but regardless of how good or bad my playing is, I do think the clip does a pretty good job of showing what this pickup sounds like, under this kind of application.

I should not that in the middle I briefly switched to the PAF Pro in the neck, just to give an idea of the balance between the pickups.
Hope you enjoy!

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=8812815


Thanks for that Clip. I really like that tone a lot. Now I want a Norton.Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: ACH91332 on May 10, 2010, 10:47:07 PM
I've heard people say the Norton can be too loose or muddy in the bottom end for hard rock styles. Like palm muting and stuff with decent amounts of gain. How tight is the Norton compared to the Steve's Special? I have a SS right now and its alright but totally lacks mids I was just wondering if the bottom end is anything like the SS. I don't really have a problem with the SS being loose but I've heard people saying its not very tight so hows the Norton in comparison?
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: oilpit on May 10, 2010, 11:56:46 PM
I have always found the Norton to be plenty tight, that being said, it will feel looser/more vintagey than the SS


As a general rule to tighten/brighten lower the pup and raise the poles

and to muddy/warm up raise the pup and drop the poles

That being said, the Norton isn't flubby, by ANY stretch of the imagination
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: ACH91332 on May 11, 2010, 12:01:41 AM
Yeah I'm looking for tight and punchy, maybe the Norton isn't my thing.. :( The Evo 2 seems interesting though.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: oilpit on May 11, 2010, 09:05:43 PM
Just posted this in another thread, but I'm putting it here as wee, this was recorded to prove that the Norton is tight...

All of this is a Norton in the bridge of a Les Paul, into guitar rig 3
The first riff is called The Body and the Blood by a GREAT band called Vendetta Red, the rest is just random stupid nonsense

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=1043265&songID=9131629
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: slugworth on May 12, 2010, 12:19:37 AM
I've heard people say the Norton can be too loose or muddy in the bottom end for hard rock styles. Like palm muting and stuff with decent amounts of gain. How tight is the Norton compared to the Steve's Special? I have a SS right now and its alright but totally lacks mids I was just wondering if the bottom end is anything like the SS. I don't really have a problem with the SS being loose but I've heard people saying its not very tight so hows the Norton in comparison?

Wrong.  All wrong.  Norton is about as tight as it gets down low.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Whitmore on May 12, 2010, 04:47:29 AM
Not true.

Q Tuners are as tight as it gets on the low end.

The Norton is still bloody tight though.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: nitraus on November 14, 2010, 07:57:29 PM
does anyone use it on an alder guitar? how does it sound on clean tones?
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: slugworth on November 16, 2010, 08:49:52 AM
My take on Norton in the Neck...

I read a glowing review from another forum member who paired the Norton in the neck with the Tone Zone in the bridge, so I decided to give it a shot.  22 fret guitar.  Mahogany, but thin sounding for mahogany.

I have the Tone Zone adjusted exactly to my liking, medium height, and it sounds fantastic in the bridge.  But with the way I have it adjusted, the Norton was way too loud in the neck, even with its height far away from the strings.  I already had this guitar wired up for switching the neck pickup from series to parallel and splitting either coil so I was able to test all of those sounds.  My favorite sound by far from the Norton in the neck was with the slug coil active.  Kinda creamy and vintagey.  Good sound, but not good enough for me to keep the Norton there.  Running it normally (series), I couldn't help but thinking I'd much rather be playing through an Air Norton instead.

For grins I decided to flip the pickup around.  Since I was really digging the slug coil split, I thought maybe I'd like it more with that coil towards the neck.  But as soon as I flipped it... yuck!  All switching options were fail.  I'm sure someone like COBL could give us the technical/scientific explanation (which I'd actually be interested in) but the harmonic tones were just all wrong with the pickup installed this way.

Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: oilpit on August 06, 2011, 07:54:42 PM
I just made this demo of my new Andy Timmons BB Preamp, I used my Strat with a Norton/Cruiser/Chopper demo.  Hope you guys dig the tones, the Norton is just unreal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8F5DWgkjeQ
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: zenmindbeginner on August 07, 2011, 11:50:20 AM
Great job on the demo Oilpit! It sounded great on my iPhone, I'm gonna check it out on my Mac as well.  :)
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: wxs3 on August 07, 2011, 03:22:25 PM
Nice job oilpit! Nice tone
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: KH Guitar Freak on September 03, 2011, 09:19:08 AM
Got a F spaced Norton installed in the bridge position of my Schecter Tele USA, in conjunction with a 36th anniversary PAF neck in the neck position. Both can be individually coil splitted. Suffice to say that the Norton is an underrated pickup, and I dig the tones. Works fairly well coil splitted as well. I dig it coil splitted and running in conjunction with the full humbucking setup of the 36th anniversary PAF neck. Very Rolling Stones like in tone... :D
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: buddroyce on September 03, 2011, 01:18:55 PM
I already have the pickup. I want that pedal now.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Speeddemon on September 04, 2011, 05:11:26 AM
does anyone use it on an alder guitar? how does it sound on clean tones?
Yep, in an alder bodied (maple neck) Charvel So-Cal Pro Mod.
like this one.
(https://www.dimarzioforum.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcharvelguitars.net%2Ffiles%2F2011%2F05%2F-150553504663912051.jpg&hash=7a25d6a4294a6c6f06057c6429f013dd6a7c52e6)

So far, mine has 2 mods to it; (3 if you count the pickup change) a push-pull volume knob, to split the Air Norton (neck) and a D-Tuna. Planned mods are a Floyd Upgrades big brass trem block and a brass trem-stopper.

Anyway, I like its clean tones as far as humbuckers go. It's quite balanced and definitely not muddy/choked. I think, clean, it comes quite close to the clean tone of a Duncan JB.
But because of the higher treble content of a JB I wouldn't go for it in an alder/maple guitar. I have tried a Duncan Distortion in that guitar once; super tight and punchy. Ultimate tone, were I to play late 80's/early 90's thrash only (think Kreator meets Dark Angel).
The Norton does metal well too, but just less 'extreme' than the DD. I like a more 80's hard rock/heavy metal tone for this guitar, since it's my Adrian Smith-axe for a Maiden tribute, so nice match. (yes, I'm aware that AS used Super D's)
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Rand-O-Monium on November 09, 2011, 04:53:11 PM
Back to the name thing,I thought it was one of Satriani's "prototypes" while working on the Fred,as well...
Glad they released it,it's sounded great in every guitar I've tried it in!
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: David McGrath on April 29, 2012, 08:27:44 PM
I recommend the Norton for a more aggressive distorted rock tone on a 335 with a P90 in the middle position.

I also use a Bluesbucker in the neck position,it being a P90 - like model in a humbucker size(way superior to the Duncan Phat Cat,in my opinion!);I like P90's /sound -a - likes,in the middle position.

The SDS1 is a Di Marzio special order single coil -size P90 sounding model,which sounds great in the middle position,wired out of phase,and on its own volume control,it adds great presence to humbuckers such as a Breed in the neck position,and a Super 3 in the bridge position.You need to be able to dial off the nasal reverse phase tone a tad,when using a distorted tone.

The SDS1 is a very good middle position strat pickup on it's own with distortion.
Title: Norton in Neck?
Post by: gauchosilvertone on April 30, 2012, 12:06:53 PM
Over at Jemsite one member recommended I try a Norton in the neck of my 1990 RG550.  I'm sick of the wimpy, honky tone of that guitar (my default guitar is a Gibson SG) but I have a feeling it could be awesome with the right pickups (for me- meaty, ballsy, don't care too much about super fast articulation or anything.  Plus it's gotta clean up well and sound as good overdriven and with light distortion as it does under high gain).

I've got a Tone Zone coming for the bridge.  What are your experiences with a Norton in the neck?

Thanks!

Gaucho
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: slugworth on April 30, 2012, 10:41:53 PM
IMO it's too big, too loud, too much.  I'd sooner use a Tone Zone in the neck.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: gauchosilvertone on June 24, 2012, 05:22:19 PM
I did try the Norton in the neck.  It did require lowering it a good deal, but the volume didn't overpower the Tone Zone.  The problem was with the tone... too airy, the attack was too fluffy and not responsive enough. 

It will probably find a semipermanent home in my mahogany strat.  It sounds pretty good there.

I'm curious as to the Tone Zone in the neck though.  Why would you be more apt to try that than a Norton?  Just doesn't make sense to me since the TZ has more output, more bass, and more mids. 

Gaucho
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: mesa0131 on June 25, 2012, 02:14:57 AM
Well put Gaucho, I am leery about putting anything in the neck of my guitars that has high range rolled off on the eq. the further away from the bridge you get, the louder and darker the tone gets. So even it out with a brighter pickup! I think the Paf pro is my go to as its got body and warmth yet cuts through nicely. Crystal clear with enough low and mid to keep a thick response. Plus split and parallel works nicely. Norton or tonezone in the neck? Hmmm, no thanks. Too much output for me. But had I the option I would try out of sheer curiosity.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: KH Guitar Freak on July 21, 2012, 04:23:46 PM
Hmmm, I actually was considering getting a Norton installed in the neck on one of my guitars. Comes with a Dimarzio Tone Zone/ Dimarzio HS2/ Dimarzio Air Norton combination. When I have the Tone Zone set up as I love it, the Air Norton seem a little too low output compared to the Tone Zone. This is even with it being very close to the strings. I wonder if someone is wrong here...  :o
Title: Re: The Norton -flipped in the bridge
Post by: m3tafunj on September 12, 2012, 10:30:38 AM
I flipped my Norton 180 degrees in the bridge slot because I didn't like the way it accentuated the high notes on the B and E strings.  It almost made them sound thin to my ears. 
So now the coil that was nearest to the bridge is closer to the neck and vice versa.   Flipping it, seemed to accentuate the mids near the center of their range instead of the upper mid range, but the low end loosened up a bit.  It sounds pretty fat for leads, but if I use it for chords con the clean channel of either of my solid state amps, it overdrives the amp easily.  I guess I could lower it a tad.  It also seems like I can get harmonics (pinch and tap) easier this way, but maybe I was just lucky and my fingers kept landing on the right spots.   

This is in a RG1570 running through either a Vox Pathfinder 15w or Roland Cube 80, which needs to be replaced before I can really judge the tone from the Norton. 
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: JackGriffiths on January 09, 2013, 05:29:02 PM
It seems this is a much loved pickup on here - I'm looking to get one for the bridge of a mahogany HH Telecaster to replace an old Dual Sound - just too much output and warmth for what I need - I'm completely in love with the sound of PAF Pros in mahogany but have been keen to try this one out for some time now, for something a little more punchy and powerful, yet still dynamic, responsive and articulate. So far, I've read all the stuff about it I wanted to read; tight low end, powerful upper mids, clear top end, awesome harmonics, etc. How do you think it compares to a PAF Pro, for reference, in the bridge in mahogany, for just that little bit 'more'? The guitar has a single 500k volume pot, no tone.

Jack
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: mi2tom on January 10, 2013, 02:20:01 PM
"tight low end, powerful upper mids, clear top end, awesome harmonics" is totally a description of the Evo2.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: JackGriffiths on January 10, 2013, 02:49:12 PM
"tight low end, powerful upper mids, clear top end, awesome harmonics" is totally a description of the Evo2.

I am very keen on the Evo 2, but I was concerned that even the Norton would be too hot for what I'm after. Is there any of the organic, dynamic quality of the Norton in the Evo 2? After reading a few more reviews, I think the Norton could be a little too dark.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: mi2tom on January 11, 2013, 03:34:31 AM
From your description the evo2 fits but its definitely a hot pickup this evo2. Dynamic the evo is but if you're looking for those vintage organic then look elsewhere for this evo2 is definitely a modern tight sounding pickup.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Speeddemon on January 12, 2013, 10:25:00 AM
It seems this is a much loved pickup on here - I'm looking to get one for the bridge of a mahogany HH Telecaster to replace an old Dual Sound - just too much output and warmth for what I need - I'm completely in love with the sound of PAF Pros in mahogany but have been keen to try this one out for some time now, for something a little more punchy and powerful, yet still dynamic, responsive and articulate. So far, I've read all the stuff about it I wanted to read; tight low end, powerful upper mids, clear top end, awesome harmonics, etc. How do you think it compares to a PAF Pro, for reference, in the bridge in mahogany, for just that little bit 'more'? The guitar has a single 500k volume pot, no tone.

Jack
It will do just what you asked.
I had a PAF Pro in a mahogany/maple top'd Ibanez bridge a long time ago and I remember it being a bit wimpy and too neutral for my taste. The Norton definitely has more power and oomph going on, but not as much as the Super D/Dual Sound. Also, to me the Norton seems to have more character to its tone than a PAF Pro.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Butch Snyder on January 22, 2013, 07:36:29 AM
I wanted to give my opinion of the Norton.  My Norton isn't store-bought.  It's an Un-aired Air Norton; which makes it a Norton.  I can see why folks who like the Duncan JB, love the Norton.  Where the JB has a harsher upper-mid tone, the Norton's is smoother.  It really has that cool 80's tone but is still relevant.  Under gain, notes are still articulate and clear.  The tone is warmer and beefy; but not a huge wall of sound like my Air Zone was.  Clean, it's got a cool sharpness to the tone, but it's still got a sweetness that sustains very nicely.  Now, I use my Norton in my Strat.  So, we have an alder body and maple neck/fretboard.  I use the stock 250k pots with the Norton only connected to the volume pot.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Speeddemon on October 28, 2013, 12:37:47 PM
Does the Norton sound different (in the bridge position) when you flip it, so that the screw-pole pieces face the neck?
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: mookyshoots on May 12, 2014, 12:28:33 PM
I just dropped a Norton into my Jackson Adrian Smith SDX and all I can say is WOW!  Such a great sounding pickup. I wish I'd tried it way sooner.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: RayBarbeeMusic on July 05, 2014, 04:33:55 AM
My take on it: 

It is really, really bright.  It has absolutely nothing to do with a JB, Custom 5, or other things I've seen it compared to.  I've had a lot of those over the years and still do, the Norton is a humbucker, so are those, that's about the only comparison I'd make.  Norton is a very bright pickup with more upper mids than most PAFs.  In stock form with 500k volume, I find it unbearably bright.  A3 and/or 250k can tame it enough to not make me squint when hitting a high string, and then it becomes a tolerably bright PAF with more upper mids and output. 
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: harmonics on September 15, 2014, 06:20:33 AM
hello
what do you think of this video?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkQrhhcl6Ac (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkQrhhcl6Ac)

i think it's a volume problem

i am disappointed that the norton has not a big sound like an evh or sh4
but i bought it to be close to the fred

if you want a fatter sound, you will need an eq or change the pickup

for the harmonics, i really don't know if the fred was the best over the norton
someone said that here
maybe

An evo must be tried too

Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: mertay on January 23, 2018, 05:28:23 AM
Last night I also converted an air-norton to a norton to test it in the neck position.

The basic eq is like placing the air-norton extremely close to the strings without dynamics poping. Tighter on the high strings but loser on the low, some change with the screw-pole hights do help. Also, its extremely sensitive to positioning. The pickup must slant to the body a bit to get a reasonable neck character, height adjustment isn't enough.

The tonezone didn't keep up with it. Its not the output but the mid.s, it can be solved by flipping the magnets non-cast side on the tonezone to match the tightness and mids. I still have to experiment with height a bit more but I'm positive then it will work.

This mod. is only for those who play with a lot of gain (shred), don't expect it to sound (actually, react to dynamics) as nice with bluesy overdrive. Looking at the dimarzio site, after this mod. the Breed set got more of my attention before to get a middle-ground between this mod. and standard (alnico with high-out without over the top...).

Update; yeah it worked, I also decreased the norton a bit more than I'd normally do with lower-output pickups and got it to a territory where it can be named "versatile" on the neck position. As dimarzio site says its usable on the neck, but consider something higher-output than the tonezone if you don't want to deal with modifying.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: StevenMikel on April 10, 2021, 06:35:32 PM
 I've heard some people say that the Norton isn't bright enough and I've heard people say that it is too bright. I think that how bright or dark the Norton sounds depends on the guitar it is in. I have a Norton in the bridge of a Ibanez RGT42FM and wish the Norton was a little brighter and a very tiny bit more open sounding but, I think that lack of brightness is due to the neck thru construction of the guitar. I like everything about the Norton, the output is just right for the music I play(all kinds of rock) and the tone balanced with enough bass to sound full but not muddy. I need to try the Norton in a bolt on neck guitar made of a bright sounding wood like swamp ash before I say for sure that the Norton is bright enough or not.

 I posted a couple of questions in the stickied DiMarzio Mods thread but, I'll ask them here too. Has anybody swapped the A5 magnet for a ceramic magnet ? Has anybody half aired a Norton ? I'm putting a Paf Pro in the neck of the same guitar(RGT42FM) and wondered what would happen if I swapped the hex head pole pieces of the Paf Pro with the screw head pole pieces of the Norton .
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: Guitar74 on May 03, 2021, 04:21:59 PM
I think one of the best descriptions of the Norton that I heard was "It sort of keeps everything you love about a Duncan JB and gets rid of the things you hate about a Duncan JB". I would tend to agree with that. It's like a JB with a little less of that upper mid spike that you either love or hate. At least to my ears.
Title: Re: The Norton
Post by: buddroyce on May 04, 2021, 07:51:09 PM
I think one of the best descriptions of the Norton that I heard was "It sort of keeps everything you love about a Duncan JB and gets rid of the things you hate about a Duncan JB". I would tend to agree with that. It's like a JB with a little less of that upper mid spike that you either love or hate. At least to my ears.

I love that description of it!