Continuing on from my DiMarzio Transition Bridge review, here is my DiMarzio Transition Neck review. As per the bridge review I installed the Transitions into my Ibanez RG 550 (basswood body, maple neck/fret board, Edge bridge with brass block and spring claw), and tested them through my Blackstar HT-5.
I first tested the Transition neck through the dirty channel of my HT-5. The Transition neck pickup at first seems like a vintage humbucker, but there is more to it. With a moderate output of 258mV and a DC resistance of 10.23Kohms its not going to make your amplifier scream on its own, but it does have some nice modern tonal features. With an EQ specification of 6 (bass), 5.5 (mids), 5.5 (treble), the Transition is once again a very tonally balanced pickup. The ceramic magnet gives the pickup it’s edge over some other medium output humbuckers with a much faster attack than you would expect. Once again it doesn’t sound harsh like some ceramic magnet loaded pickups, rather it is quite smooth sounding.
The Transition’s relatively low compression and balanced EQ specs ensure that everything sounds nice and organic, even under large amounts of gain. It is capable of both sweet sounding fluid legato runs and very defined high speed alternate picked licks. Notes and chords lower down the fretboard have plenty of definition, and sound sweet. Play higher up and you get more edge, but there is definitely no mistaking it for a neck humbucker. The output and resistance specs make it a great accompaniment for the Transition Bridge model, as it is a much softer and cleaner sounding pickup. It doesn’t quite have the same sizzle and crunch that the bridge pickup provides.
Just like the bridge model, the Transition neck is a very responsive pickup. It cleans up beautifully with a roll of the guitar’s volume control, and picking softly really sweetens up the tone. It can have the subtleties of a single coil and the punch of a humbucker. All of this will just depend on your pick attack and guitar’s volume.
Splitting the Transition neck with the IBZ/USA noiseless single coil I have installed in the middle position provides excellent in-between strat style tones. It’s tonally quite similar with a nice snap like the in-between position with the Transition Bridge, but with a warmer, more rounded feel.
The Transition Neck is once again very impressive on a clean settings. Strum or pick gently and it provides beautiful warm sparkly tones, dig right in and it barks back at you in a muscularly way. Open chords sound beautifully well defined, and bluesy licks have so much soul to them.
Overall the Transition Neck is a fantastic partner for the Transition Bridge, as well as a great neck pickup in its own right. It’s blend of vintage tone with modern dynamics makes it extremely versatile pickup for many styles of music. Players will love how responsive it is to touch and playing dynamics. The balanced EQ will make it very good for a wide range of rigs too. If you’re looking for an organic, responsive pickup that is capable of anything from blues to heavy lead work then check out the Transition Neck model.