DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck
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DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck

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DP221 D Activator-X Neck, Humbucker guitar pickup from DiMarzio in the Medium Power series.


3 user reviews
Prices starting at $85 Average price: $100

DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: DiMarzio
  • Model: DP221 D Activator-X Neck
  • Series: Medium Power
  • Category: Humbucker guitar pickups
  • Added in our database on: 07/07/2012

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Buy new DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck

Amazon DiMarzio DP221 D Activator X Humbucker Neck Electric Guitar Pickup Black Regular Spacing $84.99
Amazon DiMarzio DP221 D Activator X Humbucker Neck Electric Guitar Pickup Black Regular Spacing $91.97
Amazon DiMarzio DP221 D Activator X Humbucker Neck Electric Guitar Pickup Cream Regular Spacing $122.33

DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck user reviews

Average Score:4.0( 4/5 based on 3 reviews )
 1 user review33 %
 1 user review33 %
 1 user review33 %
jkessel04/30/2012

jkessel's review"Little better than the bridge"

DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck
Dimarzio D Activator X neck, has ceramic magnet with 2 very large rail pole pieces. While I absolutely hated the bridge version this wasn't as bad. I didn't try this in the bridge so can't comment how it sounds there but in the neck it wasn't too awful. Still had the crazy mid bump to it but I guess being lower output and in the neck position if wasn't as prominent. It had a more normal sound to it, nothing extreme and very out of the ordinary like the bridge was. Still wasn't for me but these were much more manageable. They were smooth and deep sounding like a neck pickup should be, but not enough clarity for me. Like most neck pickups this was very bassy so for cleans and bluesy leads it can work wonders. Very smooth so it can make leads creamy, but I like a more cutting neck pickup. I like to be able to play fast leads on the neck pickup while still having clarity and articulation. The rails are good for giving a very even balance in string volume. On some pickups with individual pole pieces when you bend a string it moves out of the magnetic field resulting in slight loss in volume and sustain. Rails are one big pole piece so no matter how much you bend the string it’s still over the rail so there’s no loss in volume or sustain. Along with that these pickups just looked great. Although I wasn’t much of a fan of the sound these sure do look cool. I had them in a red guitar with black hardware so the white bobbins and black rails really made the guitar pop.
But so overall this wasn’t for me but I can definitely see why some people would like them. It has a modern twist on a classic sound.
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tjon90109/29/2011

tjon901's review"A good sounding super hot neck pickup"

DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck
With the old original X2N I could never imagine using it in the neck position so I was quite surprised when I first saw this pickup. I had to give it a go. Dimarzio seems to want to try and make a more versatile X2N. To me this is strange because the X2N is a one trick pony metal machine and it does that well. This pickup looks like an X2N but it is way more civilized and some of the brutality seems lost. Having a super hot neck pickup is risky because if it the pickup has a lot of high end you will have an ugly sounding neck pickup. You want a fat neck pickup. This pickup seems to be on the border line. The big rail magnets are a bit weaker than the old guy so there is less magnetic drag on the strings. The pickup is also 4 conductor so you can also split it. This pickup has a bit less output than the old X2N. They have also EQ'd it well for the neck position. The high end is dialed back a lot and the low end is boosted so you get a fat neck position sound. This is what you want in a neck pickup. Even with the dialed back high end the huge magnets still pickup a ton of pick attack which is part of the X2N and D-Activator sound. This extra attack helps keep the big low end from getting overpowering and muddy. The pickup cleans up well too which is something the old X2N could never do. This pickup compliments the old X2N or the D-Activator bridge pickup nicely. Its rare that you can find a hot neck pickup that sounds good and is hot enough to balance out a hot bridge pickup. This is one of the best from Dimarzio
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Hatsubai03/26/2011

Hatsubai's review"Mix between an X2N an D-Activator"

DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck
The DiMarzio D Activator-X is kinda like a reinvention of the well known X2N but quite a bi tmore versatile. This pickup has the two huge blades that the original X2N had, four conductor wiring and a ceramic magnet shoved inside it.

The X2N is a very well known pickup, and quite a few people have tried it. DiMarzio seems to have wanted to develop a more modern take on the pickup, and I think they did a pretty good job at it. For one, it has a ton less output compared to the original, but it’s still powerful enough for easy legato runs. The pick attack is very focused and has this upper mid thing going on, which is really cool. The bass on this is powerful enough to where it sounds fat but doesn’t get muddy like so many other neck pickups. The treble is also pushed back a touch to help the midrange sing a bit more.

This pickup works nicely in any wood combination out there, so there shouldn’t really be an issue when it comes to matching it with specific guitars. It sounds nice split, and the parallel tones are pretty neat too. It looks like it’s suited more towards metal, and I’d agree, but it can actually do some good clean tones if you watch your gain levels. Despite it being more suited towards rock and metal players, the pickup is fairly open sounding but with some sweet touch of compression going on to keep everything nice and tidy.

If you’re looking for a neck pickup to go with your X2N, or if you already have the D Activator-X, this is probably one of the pickups you wanna check out. It’s still fairly new, so it might be a bit harder to find on the used market, but that’ll change soon.
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DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck images

  • DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck
  • DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck
  • DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck
  • DiMarzio DP221 D Activator-X Neck

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