This is the 7 string version of the Air Norton pickup. The Air Norton has been gaining popularity recently mostly because of John Petrucci. John Petrucci Is the ugitar player for the progressive band Dream Theater and he is pretty much a hero for prog guitar players around the world. He does not use the pickup anymore but when Dream Theater was at their most popular this is what he was using. You can say this is an early version of the Liquifier, which is what Petrucci uses now. This is the 7 string version which is great because the pickup selector for 7 string guitars is a lot less than the selection for 6 strings. Lots of modern and contemporary players are switching to 7 strings and they need their pickups that they are use to. This pickup features 4 conductor wiring with a 13k output. The EQ on this pickup is slanted towards the low end to give you a smooth lead tone. This is a great pickup for progressive and contemporary lead playing. This pickup is super smooth without getting muddy. This pickup was pretty much designed to go in Petruccis guitar. The pickup sounds best in basswood guitars which is what he uses. The pickup has a very neutral tone so it will take the tone of whatever wood you are using. The lead tones on this pickups are smooth and fat. It has a lot of low end but it does not become muddy. The notes come out nice and clear even with the fat tone. It has a very distinctive tone when playing leads as well that has a modern sound but a bit of vintage bite to it as well. If you have heard any Dream Theater song with a solo you have heard this pickup. If you are looking for a great neck position pickup for your 7 string this is a good choice.
The DiMarzio Air Norton 7 is probably one of the more famous pickups in their line, thanks in part to John Petrucci and Ibanez using them throughout most of the J-Custom line. This pickup features DiMarzio’s “air gap” technology which basically means there’s a space between the pole pieces and the magnet. It features slugs on one coil, adjustable pole pieces on the other, a ceramic magnet and four conductor wiring.
If you’ve ever wanted a fat, silky smooth, compressed lead tone, this is your pickup. I can’t recommend this pickup enough for those wanting that awesome Petrucci-esque lead tone. The midrange on this is heavy but not boxy, the low end on this is huge without sounding too woofy, and the treble is pushed back to keep the treble strings from getting too piercing. Split coil sounds are absolutely wonderful, and it sounds really good in parallel, too.
If you’ve ever heard Dream Theater, you’ve heard this pickup being used. John used this throughout most of his career, and his current neck pickups are just tweaked versions of this. It works in any wood out there, but I find it sounds best in basswood. There’s just something about an Air Norton 7 in basswood that makes everything seem “right.”
If you’re in need of a fat neck pickup, this should be your primary choice. They’re very abundant on the market, so they should be easier to find than the current variants of this pickup. While it’s struggling to stay relevant with DiMarzio’s recent LiquiFire 7, it’s still an awesome pickup. The biggest issue with this pickup is that it has a ceramic magnet. Because of that, it doesn't sound quite as "gooey" as the original Air Norton does. However, it does sound close, so it shouldn't be too big of a deal.
Very good neck pickup from DiMarzio again. The microphone is very warm and has an output level that allows it to match with most bridge pickups but avoid putting more potent than 7 changes with it (my case) because after it's hard to find a balance .
Small detail, the microphone is so low that it should instead be mounted on a basswood guitar. On a better guitar, prefer the liquidfire (instead of a guitar Basswood with maple top), the blaze neck (instead of a guitar, alder) or activator of the neck (instead of a Mahogany guitar).
Good mic but to choose that in a very specific case or so so if you already fan of the six strings.