Late last year I reviewed the brilliant DiMarzio Jake Bowen signature Titan bridge humbucker. Ibanez have finally released the new signature Jake Bowen Titan guitar at the Winter NAMM 2014 show. To co-inside with this I figured I better hurry up and get my review written of the Jake Bowen signature Titan neck humbucker.
With a ceramic magnet and a DC resistance of 10.37 Kohm, the Titan neck has a moderate output and low compression. The EQ specifications of 5.5 (bass), 6 (mids), and 5.5 (treble), and like the bridge model offers a balanced tone that should suit a lot of guitars.
I loaded the Titan neck into my custom Ibanez style guitar , which has an alder, maple neck with rosewood fretboard and Gotoh licensed Floyd Rose with big brass block. As usual I tested the Titan bridge through my Blackstar HT-5 head, running into a 1×12″ cabinet loaded with a Celestion Vintage 30. Periphery are known for playing in an array of low tunings, but for this review I stuck with E standard and dropped-D tunings.
Switching on the dirty channel of the HT- 5, the Titan neck offers up a smooth, fluid lead tone that doesn’t get bogged down in mud. Single notes have a great attack that sounds fat without being overbearing. The Titan neck provides a high degree of articulation and dynamics that allows every nuance of your picking to come through, even with tons of distortion and other effects.
The low resistance wind and moderate output ensures that the Titan neck cleans up amazingly when rolling back the guitar’s volume knob. This provides single channel amp users in particular an excellent way of going from super high gain tones to responsive cleans all with the turn of a knob. The tone is nice and warm when picking softly. Dig in and it brightens up and gets a little hairy.
Head over to the clean channel and the Titan neck really hits the spot with some real vintage PAF-style sparkle. Like some other DiMarzio neck pickups that have been released recently, the Titan neck almost has a fat sounding single coil or higher output P90 vibe. The Titan neck sounds really alive, for lack of a better term.
Jake uses quite a bit of reverb, delay and chorus in clean parts of his music. If a pickup’s tone isn’t quite balanced enough it can make things quite messy. The Titan neck does an amazing job of keeping everything together, and allowing the tone of the guitar to come through, even with heavy, multiple effects use.
As mentioned in my bridge model review, the Titan neck splits well with a titan bridge humbucker. The two split and combined create some amazing Strat tones. It works really well in a clean setting, being versatile enough to be used for blues, funk and more. It also provides a brilliant canvas for sound-scapes using various layered effects. With some overdrive it is perfect for screaming blues and most forms of rock.
Overall the DiMarzio Titan neck humbucker is the perfect partner for the Titan bridge, as well an an excellent neck pickup in its own right. Periphery’s music may be divisive amongst the guitar playing community, but DiMarzio and Jake Bowen have teamed up to create an excellent, versatile pickup set that will not only cater to the “djent” crowd, but to the greater rock and metal community too. The Titan neck’s moderate output and low resistance makes it perfect for shreddy fluid solos and clean passages alike. The split options provide even more versatility, so if you like your music heavy, and also like to dabble in blues, funk and other styles that benefit from stratty single coil tones then the Titan neck, or neck and bridge combined are a fantastic set to consider.