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DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG  Black For 42mm Nut (1-5/8)

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The DiMarzio D Activator Humbucker Set contains one D Activator Neck standard spaced (neck) pickup, and one D Activator Bridge F-spaced (bridge) pick...Read More

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OVERVIEW

The DiMarzio D Activator Humbucker Set contains one D Activator Neck standard spaced (neck) pickup, and one D Activator Bridge F-spaced (bridge) pickup. Easy to install, they'll bring a variety of powerful new tones to your guitar.

DiMarzio took a close look at the most popular active neck and bridge humbuckers to see if they could capture all of the good qualities and eliminate the disadvantages: cold sound, limited dynamics, running out of headroom when played hard, and the need for batteries. The end results are the D Activator Neck and Bridge. They use coils tuned to specific frequencies. The purpose is to shift the resonant points of the pickups to the fundamentals and harmonics that you want to accentuate from the guitar, and they respond instantly to hard or light pick attack. The sound is powerful, clean, and open, with excellent harmonic overtones and very tight lows. The best way to describe the D Activator Neck pickup is that it is big, bright, and open sounding with surprising string - to - string balance. The D Activator Bridge has an enriched harmonic quality and the notes want to sing.

Both the D Activator Neck and Bridge pickups were designed to eliminate the sterile edginess commonly associated with active pickups. The D Activator Bridge pickup is about 25% louder than the D Activator Neck. Developing both pickups as a set from the ground up, DiMarzio adjusted the volume levels on the pickups so they are balanced. That way when you switch from the neck to the bridge, you don't hear a drop in volume - also a frequent problem with active pickups. And they don't use batteries.

D Activator Neck
There's a big difference between a pickup that sounds bright and one that sounds thin. A thin-sounding pickup will be brittle on the highest frets and empty-sounding in the mids and lows. The D Activator neck model doesn't do this - both the wound and plain strings remain tight and bright up the neck, and very well balanced. This allows the D Activator neck model to function well in both longer scale bolt-ons and shorter scale, set-neck guitars.

D Activator Bridge
An interesting fact about the most popular active bridge pickups is that they aren't incredibly loud. Instead, they have a strong, focused attack that hits the amp very hard and makes them feel more powerful than they actually spec out to be. This is an important characteristic that DiMarzio needed to capture with the D Activator bridge pickup. They wanted to avoid the limiting effect that can occur with active pickups when they are played hard. This pickup is passive with a lot of headroom, and it responds quickly and accurately to changes in pick attack. A hard pick attack doesn't cause the signal to flatten out, and picking more softly or rolling the volume control down lets the sound clean up naturally.

Like all passive pickups, D Activators require controls with a minimum value of 250K ohms. 500K is the standard all around value.

Captures all of the good qualities of traditional humbuckers while eliminating the disadvantages.

FEATURES
  • Tuned to frequencies that matter for guitar
  • Accentuates stronger fundamentals and harmonics
  • Responds instantly to hard or light pick attack
  • Excellent harmonic overtones and very tight lows

SPECIFICATIONS

D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG

  • D Activator (neck)

    Wiring: 4 conductor
    Magnet: Ceramic
    Output: 385
    DC resistance: 11.41 k

    D Activator (bridge)
    Wiring: 4 conductor
    Magnet: Ceramic
    Output: 470
    DC resistance: 7.22 k
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
DiMarzioD ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG
 
4.9

(based on 11 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Improves sound (5)
  • Good quality (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Concerts (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (4), Professional musician (3)

Reviewed by 11 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Amazing pickups for the money. Highly recommended

By Jeremy G.

from Oak Harbor, WA

About Me Experienced

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Good Quality
  • Improves Sound

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Concerts
    • Metal
    • Practicing
    • Sound Improvement

    Comments about DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG:

    Purchased these to replace the stock pups in a Schecter Omen 6 (walnut satin, basswood body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, 25.5" scale) as while they were adequate, they were lacking in many departments. The first thing I noticed after installing them was that the bridge pickup is considerably brighter than what the stock bridge was. Not harshly so, but definitely a lot more bite to the sound. Also noted that the low end was considerably tighter. Of course, the output is much higher as expected, along with a great deal of clarity. I will also report as others have that playing on the plain strings, especially in higher registers, that the bridge pickup gives a kind of "cocked wah" sound which I personally love.

    The neck pickup offers a fuller, warmer tone as expected. When switching from bridge to neck, I don't hear any change in volume. Playing rhythms, even in heavy gain applications gives a surprisingly clear sound.

    I primarily play various styles of metal, mostly a mix of thrash and death and these pups fit the bill quite well. They also clean up quite well and can produce some nice clean tones, although you may need to roll back your guitar volume a bit. I'm also able to get some passable blues and rock tones with these. You won't be "locked" into one particular tone here, although these are intended for use in high gain applications which is my reason for purchasing. Well worth it if you're looking for a hot, high output pickup without having to venture into active territory.

    So for my fellow metalheads:
    Will they squeal? Yes, the harmonics practically leap through these. Do they djent? You bet!
    Produce face-melting leads? I'm going in for facial reconstruction soon..
    Do they clean up? Yup!
    Will they clean the house and walk the dog? Still waiting on that one..

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    5.0

    One of my favorite pickups now...

    By Spiff

    from WA

    About Me Experienced

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Functional
    • Good Quality
    • Improves Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Pro Upgrades
      • Recording

      Comments about DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG:

      I really like the sound of EMG active pickups but I hate changing batteries. So I gave these pickups a shot. Wow! Tight, responsive, punchy and plenty of output. I have recommended these and will continue to recommend them. The only drawback is that Musicians Friend only sells this set in black. DiMarzio offers pickups in pretty much any color or finish so I think Musicians Friend should offer them in more of the finishes. I have D-Activators in 4 of my guitars. One of them is a 7 string with D Activator 7's in it. They are just as awesome in a 7 string guitar. I was actually surprised how good these sound on a clean channel. They are very warm and smooth.

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      5.0

      Dimarzio Rocks!

      By Brin

      from Minneapolis

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Improves Sound

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG:

          A good product that takes about 20 minutes of your time as a soldering iron. It was an exceptional upgrade

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          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Oddly, Not for the EMG enthusiast.

          By JJL

          from Tokyo, Japan

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Inexpensive
          • Sounds Excellent Split
          • Surprisingly Versatile
          • Tight Focused Sound

          Cons

          • Clips Clean Channels
          • Output Is Very High
          • Poor Emg Imitation

          Best Uses

          • Instrumental Rock
          • Progressive Metal
          • Shred

          Comments about DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG:

          This is the pickup that Dimarzio promises will closely mimic the famed EMG 81 and 85 pickups. They do an excellent job at fixing the issues of the limiting effect and "sterile" sound associated with active pickups. Oddly enough these characteristics are part of the core EMG sound, and once changed the pickup takes on a new character quite dissimilar to the previously mentioned most rectangular of battery powered black pickup powerhouses.
          The new sound here is distinctly Dimarzio. The sound is very tight and focused, with an open wah feel on the higher strings. Fast palm muted runs up the neck stay tight without ever becoming shrill on either pickup. Lead sounds from the bridge pickup are excellent with a clarity and attack I have yet to find in other pickups. In my PRS custom 24 the notes seemingly jump out of the amp, particularly during tapping passages. While rolling the volume down the open wah feel is more present, and yields some surprisingly nice medium gain tones. Split sounds are pristine and far more convincing than the stock HFS/VB combo. Also, without an artist name attached to the model they are rather inexpensive in comparison to the rather inflated prices commanded by boutique manufacturers today.
          Unfortunately the finely tuned frequencies of these pickups seem to clip clean channels of even the most robust 100watt amp heads with the volume on 10. This can be remedied by lowering the pickup height and rolling back on the volume. I wish there was a lower output, possibly alnico magnet version available. The neck pickup is very treble heavy and I could see how it might sound a bit too bright in bolt on/maple neck guitars.
          These are my favorite pickups made by any manufacturer on the market today. If you buy them as EMG replacements you will probably be disappointed, but if you want an excellent offering from Dimarzio look no further.

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Dimarzio D Activator set

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          By John

          from Nashua, NH

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Good Quality
          • Improves Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Concerts
            • Practicing

            Comments about DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG:

            I recently bought a set of these D Activators for a lower model Ibanez RG I own to replace the stock V7 and V8 humbuckers that came in the guitar (which werent bad to be honest)due to me wanting more growl,high end and volume. These fit the bill perfectly and have added some brightness to a basswood guitar. I cant say enough about the tone and definition that comes out of these. They burn through the red channel on my Mesa Rectifier but another thing they do real well is sound great clean! Just a great set that has plenty of thump. Well done Dimarzio and thank you MF for great service as always!

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            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great pickups, better price.

            By Dylan

            from Virginia

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Buyer

            Comments about DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG:

            I bought this set of pickups to replace the stock Alnico pickups in my mahogany body Epiphone Les Paul Standard. The pickups that come with the Epis are nothing to complain about but more of a "jack of all trades, master of none" type deal.

            I play a lot of metal, specifically melodic death metal, and wanted to get as close as I could do that classic Gothenburg sound while still using passive pickups and not being stuck with just one sound (as I do play a wide variety of genres as well).

            I have always admired Ibanez guitars and noticed that, when not using their own pickups, generally go with DiMarzio, so, I decided to check them out as my starting point.

            Well, you can see where my ending point was. After a long talk with some of the guys over at the DiMarzio forums, I came to the conclusion to try these out. The only other DiMarzios I was interested in getting would have been the PAF 36th and the Crunch Lab or a set of Dominions. However, both, I felt, were a little too strong in the lower spectrum. The Les Paul stock pickups that I already had (at least the bridge) was too bassy to begin with and I wanted to get a more mid to high, hot sound. I love my mids and I love my highs, and these have both.

            The only other pickup that I was considering getting would have been a set of Seymour Duncan Distortions but I felt these were not quite as dynamic.

            I had my techie install them for me so, I cannot comment on the installation but I assume it was a breeze and even he complimented on the nice hot sound they had. Pinch harmonics pickup very easily now and the sustain lasts tremendously longer than my old pickups. The neck pickup is very hot and mainly the only one I play on (as I play lead) but that's how it was with my old set any way. I do play on the middle sometimes and it almost has a hot single-coil sound with more fullness. The bridge pickup is very good for rhythm but was a little bassier than I expected so not too tremendously good for hot, screaming leads, but definitely good for hammer-on rolls and sweep picking.

            These pickups are also very articulate and clean. I can strum a full chord with the gain cranked up and still distinguish each individual note while still retaining heat and distortion. Bassy trilled notes are very articulate and do not get lost in the mix, and notes have a lot of punch to them.

            I will say that these are still a jack-of-all-trades style pickup but much more skilled in certain areas than my previous ones. I am very happy with them and have no regrets at all. I would easily stick these in my next guitar. If you are looking for something hot, articulate, punchy, but still like playing a slightly wider range of genres, I think you can't go wrong here, especially for the price. With a coupon and a sale, I paid about 100$ for these here as opposed to being twice that much normally. I do not think I could have got a better deal.

            Thank you for excellent pickups, DiMarzio.

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Screamers

            By Bobby P

            from Cheyenne, WY

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Good Quality
            • Hot Passives
            • Improves Sound

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Concerts

              Comments about DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG:

              I bought these to replace the stock pickups in my RGD320 (Ibanez's VK series pickups, pretty weak for my tastes) I had replaced the stock ones in my 7-string S series with the Crunch Lab and LiquiFire, but decided I wanted something with a little more bite, scream, and overall output than those two this time, so I decided to try the D Activators.

              Holy cow! My RGD320 went from a lifeless dud to a SCREAMER! Lots of output, which is something I like. The installation is just as involved as any other pickup swap, so be prepared for some soldering.

              The bridge pickup has some serious bite and amazing clarity for how high-gain it is. The low end is beautifully tight, never muddies up. The neck pickup has welcome warmth while still retaining pick dynamics and articulation. It's a beautiful pair, really.

              I play and record professionally, everything from Pink Floyd to Joe Satriani to Metallica to Meshuggah, and I feel like these pickups can cover it all. Definitely made the RDG stage- and studio-ready in my book.

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              5.0

              Powerful Metalic sound

              Comments about DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG:

              I like the packaging, plastic jewel cases, they came each in their own jewel case, and were clearly marked F Spaces, and were shrinked wraped together.
              These pickups have a wide open brite powerful sound, they do not seem warm to me at all. I compare them to an EMG 81/60 as not being as warm smooth, but more choppy high mids. they are even more brite and choppy then then a a Super 3, to me they I don't like them as much as my EMG 81/60, or DiMarzio Super 3/H 3,

              If you are looking for a metal sound, and I mean literally make the guitar sound as though it was made of metal, then these are for you... If yopu want a smooth growl I suggest the EMG 81/60, or Dimarzio Super 3 / and maybe an evo neck IDK..

              If you want a Pantera Dime sound, these are not for you... I suggest a lower mid range pup for that.. maybe a d Activator X IDK.
              These pickups have no flaw, they sound great, if you like the fore mentioned features I rated.. the qualite is spot on, wired up great, no lack of wire. Coil were wound great. even came with an allen/hex wrench to remove studs.. also came with mounting screws, and springs.
              Well worth the savings vs. buying seperately.. as a combe you can't go wrong.

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Just what I've been looking for...

              By Trey Brown

              from Huntsville, AL

              Comments about DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG:

              I'm an active guatarist and about to be playing on stage again... So glad I'll be performing with the D Activators! I strongly prefer and reccomend the D Activators over any active pick ups due to the soulful feel, tonality and ritchness of depth; From B.B. King to Cannibal Corpse, to finding that tone you've been searching for for years, you CAN achieve that with the D activators!!! Great job Dimarzio!!!

              -Trey Brown
              Huntsville, AL
              I'd give them 11 stars if I could... LOL..These are great pick ups! Been practicing music for 17 years... These are some of the BEST pick ups out there for high gain and clean styles of music. I own an Agile 3000 Prestige... Mahagony body and neck... Ebony fret board.

              The D Activators really utilize the tonality of the mahagony. A full, organic sound.. Works well with light overdriven tones, crisp cleans, and high gain tones.. Great looking pick ups as well....
              The D Activators are truly toneful and inspiring.... Utilizing the string reverberation through the mahagony, sustain for days... I'm a Death Metal Head but I enjoy classic blues as well. The D Activators allow me to enjoy the best of both these worlds.. Rolling the volume and tone knobs backs produce an amazing soulful tone... Very organic and smooth.. High gain distortion remains smooth, articulate... Great harmonics, natural and pinch... Chest thumping low end as well if you wish.Cleans are warm yet crisp. Clear and responsive with sensitivity to touch... Depending on your amp set up...
              For the price you are going to get A LOT more than you think... A great deal.. the full tonal pakage..

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Awesome pickup

              By Bill Dudek

              from Undisclosed

              Comments about DiMarzio D ACTIVATOR HUMBUCKER SET STD NK F SP BRDG:

              I bought this pickup to replace the Duncan Designed pickups in a Jackson KVX10 I had bought. The original ones sounded weak and really maded the guitar sound lousy when played alomng with some of the higher end guitars I own. The D Activators make this guitar sound incredible. I highly recomend them for anyone looking for a pickup that is going to sound good distorted. Also for anyone who is wondering how hard it is to replace your own pickups, this was the first time I ever touched a soldering iron and while it did take me a while to do it is absolutely something you can do yourself. I would recomend having a second set of hands around since my biggest problem we holding everythign togather while I tried to solder it.

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