DiMarzio Gravity Storm Neck – review

The new Steve Vai signature Gravity Storm Neck provides a fat humbucker tone with single coil attitude.

Continuing on from my Gravity Storm Bridge review, here is my DiMarzio Gravity Storm Neck pickup review.

As per the bridge model review, the Gravity Storm Neck was installed into my Ibanez RG550 20th Anniversary, with a basswood body, maple neck and fretboard, and original Edge bridge loaded with a Floyd Upgrades brass sustain block.

Plugged in to my Blackstar HT-5 and dialed in on the dirty channel, the Gravity Storm Neck is a fat sounding pickup, with a similar output and tone to a PAF Pro, but with a bit more resistance. It has a quick attack thanks to the ceramic magnet.  It makes the Gravity Storm feel a little like you are playing a single coil pickup that just happens to be very fat sounding, and hum-free. It is a great counter-part for the Gravity Storm Bridge model.

The Gravity Storm is very smooth sounding, and works very nicely for legato work. It can get a little spongy down the low end of the fretboard on the wound strings, but it still sounds good despite this. Having a fairly high resistance for a neck pickup the Gravity Storm isn’t the greatest pickup for cleaning up when rolling down the guitar’s volume knob. This is probably due to the height I set the Gravity Storm at to work nicely with how I set the bridge model. You can always lower it a little to clean up the tone, but it might lose a little “oomph” .

Splitting the neck model Gravity Storm with a middle single coil pickup (DiMarzio made IBZ/USA stacked single in this particular guitar) produces a bright and jangly tones on the dirty channel, with plenty of twang when banging out single notes. It’s great for funky riffs and licks, and for a good change in feel when playing rhythm guitar predominately with a bridge pickup.

On the clean channel the Gravity Storm sounds beautiful and warm, but still retains great clarity and directness thanks to the ceramic magnet. Open chords in particular sound vibrant, and barre chord work is nice and clear. Dig in a little and you can get a little grit, but not to the extent of the bridge model.

Split the Gravity Storm with the middle single coil  and things get very bright and chimey. It does a very convincing job of generating true combined neck and middle single coil type tones found in a good Strat.

Overall the DiMarzio Gravity Storm Neck model is a top notch neck pickup for blues, rock, and heavier music styles. I can’t help but think it might be a cool pickup in the vein of the PAF Pro in the bridge position too, and plan to try it soon. The Gravity Storm Neck model is a perfect match for the Gravity Storm Bridge model, but that’s not really a surprise though. They were both designed by Steve Vai. If you are looking for beefed up single coil directness in a humbucking package, with enough hair and warmth for high gain fluid solo work you cannot go past the Gravity Storm Neck model.

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