Mark Morton of Lamb of God worked with DiMarzio for two years to develop a signature pickup set for his Jackson Dominion guitars. The end result of this is the DiMarzio Dominion bridge and neck humbuckers. Here I am reviewing the Dominion bridge model, coming soon will be my neck model review.
I installed the Dominion bridge into my new customised Japanese made Ibanez RG450DX, with basswood body, maple neck/rosewood fretboard, and Edge Pro bridge. Not exactly the same sort of guitar as Morton’s signature Jackson, but a good test base since basswood is known to be a fairly neutral tonewood.
The Dominion bridge is quite different to the original pickup from in his Signature Jackson Dominion guitars, the Seymour Duncan 59 Bridge. The 59 is based off the original Gibson P.A.F pickups, and is a moderate output, warm and full sounding humbucker, utilising an Alnico 5 magnet. Morton chose to go a slightly different path with his new DiMarzio model.
For starters the Dominion bridge is a much hotter pickup, and has about twice the resistance of the 59 Bridge. It also comes loaded with a ceramic magnet, which provides a much sharper, more direct attack. Mark opted for more spiked mids than that of the 59, and a little more bass and less treble.
All this results in a very tight, aggressive pickup that easily cuts through the mix. The Dominion has a very heavy, tight low end that doesn’t get muddy, and the highs really sing without getting too shrill. The ceramic magnet provides fast response to pick attack, making it a fantastic pickup for fast, precise rhythm and lead parts. It is particularly brilliant for tremolo picked rhythms found in some punk and metal styles.
I likened the Dominion bridge to a DiMarzio Tone Zone, perfected for basswood bodied guitars. I love the Tone Zone in alder, but stock found it a bit too thick and woolly for basswood. The Tone Zone has a massive chunky low end, and probably not quite enough highs for basswood. This results in a very boomy tone, without enough articulation. The Dominion bridge provides a massive chunky low end, but not so much that it’s too boomy, and there’s enough highs to compliment the mid-range.
Resistance is at a fairly high 16.5K (slightly less than the Tone Zone), but it’s not so high that you lose all dynamics. The Dominion bridge doesn’t do cleans especially well, but it does respond well to pick attack, and cleans up nicely when the guitar’s volume knob is rolled back.
Morton wanted a pickup that provided a great split coil tone, and the Dominion bridge delivers. Nice strat-like tones are possible when split with the Dominion neck. The tone is quite sharp with the classic strat “quack”.
The Dominion bridge fantastic for heavy blues, rock, punk and metal. It’s pronounced mids and super fast attack make it especially good for musical styles that employ very fast, precise picking. Tight players will love the Dominion’s articulate nature, and those who are not so tight should revel in being able to hear their flaws and use the pickup as a way of working on their technique.
Overall the DiMarzio Dominion bridge humbucker is a pickup both DiMarzio and Mark Morton should be proud of. It combines the best qualities of both vintage and modern voiced humbuckers, providing a great deal of versatility that is geared towards players of rock and heavier styles. It’s massive, tight, chunky low end, makes for awesome heavy tones, with the mids and treble responses making sure nothing ever gets muddy, even under a ton of distortion.
A big thanks to DiMarzio for providing me with the DiMarzio Dominion pickups to review.