As per my Dominion bridge review, I installed the Dominion neck pickup in my Japanese made Ibanez RG450DX with basswood body, maple neck/rosewood fretboard, and Edge Pro bridge. Basswood is a very middle of the road tone wood, and is a good test base for pickups.
The Dominion neck is the perfect neck pickup to go alongside the Dominion bridge. It sounds great, both with clean and dirty settings. The Dominion neck is nice and balanced – it doesn’t get too thick and muddy, but it still has a distinctly neck pickup sound.
With a ceramic magnet the Dominion neck has a nice quick attack, which works great for distorted lead work further up the neck. Resistance is at 8.39Kohms, so it’s not too compressed and responds well to a players touch.
It’s a beautiful pickup for clean tones too. The Dominion sounds nice in regular series wiring, with a full tone and lots of presence. It really shines when wired in a parallel setting. It provides a very convincing sharp and sparkly strat-like tone with a little extra girth.
Basswood is a fairly middle of the ground tone wood that can sometimes get a bit flabby. The Dominion neck works particularly well in basswood, as the ceramic magnet really tightens up the attack. This makes for a far sharper tone than some may be used to from this particular tone wood.
The Dominion neck’s tone is quite similar to the DiMarzio PAF Pro. I don’t typically like to do these comparisons, but it feels right to do so here. With DiMarzio listing the tone for the Dominion neck as 5, 6, 6 (bass, middle, treble), and the PAF Pro as 5, 5, 6, you can see they would sound quite similar. With the ceramic magnet the Dominion has the aforementioned fast attack, and probably a little more focus than the PAF Pro.
As I mentioned in my Dominion bridge review, both Dominion models split nicely together to provide quacky strat tones. They also great with both pickups in series, with a great in-between tone which can work nicely for thicker sounding soloing lower down the fretboard, and chunky clean rhythm tones that aren’t too sharp or muddy.
Like the Dominion bridge, the neck model is fantastic for heavy blues, rock punk and metal. It provides excellent clean tones when needed, and is a very expressive pickup for distorted lead work. It sounds both modern and classic at the same time, and will also work nicely with other medium to high output bridge pickups.
Overall the DiMarzio Dominion neck pickup is an amazing pickup that will suit a large contingent of guitar players who like playing modern aggressive music, but also like to play in other styles from time to time. Mark Morton and DiMarzio really have put together a fantastic combo with the Dominion pickups, and I see them being a popular choice for years to come.
A big thanks to DiMarzio for providing me with the DiMarzio Dominion pickups to review.