Guitar Pickup Review

DiMarzio X2N 7 Humbucker

The X2N 7 is obviously the 7-string variant of DiMarzio’s legendary X2N humbucker. When some players talk about the X2N, they think about a brutally hefty take-no-prisoners punch to the solar plexus that can knock out the heavyweight champ.

Right off the bat, there is a general opinion of the X2N that I think might limit some players from giving it a try. But fret not (ha! a pun!), I’m here to put those fears to rest. You can see my take on the regular X2N in a Jackson PC1 superstrat and as a set in a Les Paul. The short version is that it’s much more musical than some might have you believe. Let’s see how that translates to the X2N 7.


This humbucker is going into an Ibanez Universe 7-string. That’s a basswood body, 24-fret maple neck, 25-1/2″ scale rosewood board, and Edge 7 locking tremolo system. The harness is original, as is the middle Blaze single coil. The guitar has a standard tuning of low B on the 7th, using 09-54 strings.

The Ibby Universe switching that I’ll be covering is as follows:

Ibanez Universe Switching

As you can see, there is an auto-split situation going on in between the bridge and middle position, which is why the middle single coil is part of the dicussion.

Dual Resonance? Virtual Vintage?

Does it or doesn’t it? Let’s look at the actual labels on baseplate of the example that I have on-hand:

X2N 7 Patent #s
X2N 7 Patent #s

4,501,185 is for Dual Resonance. 5,908,998 is for Virtual Vintage.

Dual Resonance is basically mis-matched coils.  According to the patent, it is pretty much about putting a similar number of turns on each coil. But with different wire gauges. Virtual Vintage is where they add ferromagnetic material to tweak the impedance.

In the older format of material that DiMarzio put out there, you can see any applicable patent relating to the product. In that information, no, there is no patent of any type associated with the X2N 7. So I’m going by the labels you can see in that photo. However, the DiMarzio website currently indicates that they had “come up with a new way to use our dual resonance coil design to solve the problem” of the seventh string sounding too muddy.

What does that mean? Who knows? LOL! Just an interesting factoid. Maybe the will tell us more about it at some point down the road.

DiMarzio X2N 7
DiMarzio X2N 7

Is the X2N 7 loud? Oh, yes. Is it too loud? Depends on if you know how to work those little knobs on the front of your amp! HaHa! Maybe you think you need to put on the helmet that you wear before being shot out of a cannon. LOL!

Ease up there, pardner. You’re in for a wild ride, but it’s just not as crazy as some might have you believe. And by some, that’s probably people that have never even been playing with the X2N 7 before.

For all the surprise at how much more versatile the regular 6-string X2N is, the X2N 7 is even more so. I think the key factor is in how DiMarzio is approaching the low 7th string. It’s not just like taking the mids and low-mids and the lows and keep in that trajectory. In some instances, that’s how you end up with lame 7th string tones and can be how 7-string guitars can get a bad rap.

Consider taking the EQ graph of the original version. Now grab it on both sides and stretch it out a bit, if that makes sense. It normalizes in your ears to that authoritarian X2N vibe that have known since the late 70s. But by re-engineering the coils to suit the end result, the voice manages to have an open-sounding flavor that counters the tight-fisted aggression. In other words, imagine hitting your most brutal jaw-breaking riff… but the clarity of every note comes through.

And you can expect the incredibly saturated magnetic field to be overflowing with opportunity to suit your most demanding playing styles. Power slides, harmonic squeals, dive bombs, dissonant chords. You’ve got it. Lows are precise and in control while the highs will give you a hair cut without making your ears bleed.

In The Middle?

Speaking of, when sliding over into the in-between with the middle single coil. Remember that you’re getting the X2N 7 “neck coil” blending with the middle single. Not sure many people are expecting for any “quack” in this setup. But you do get a heck of a snappy voice when on a clean amp settings. If you use a lot of processing for ambient clean effects, this is where it’s at.


Series – 15.141 K
Inductance – 11.036 H
Split – 7.554 K
Split – 7.607 K
Parallel – 3.793 K
Magnet – Ceramic
Output – 510 mV

DiMarzio X2N 7 Tone Guide
DiMarzio X2N 7 Tone Guide

The X2N 7 is going to be good for hard rock, shred, metalcore, prog rock, doom, thrash, extreme metal, hardcore, classic rock, punk, djent, nu-metal, 80s metal, blues rock, garage, prog metal, fusion, grunge, heavy metal, and more. The X2N 7 comes with 4-conductor lead wire and is available in black with your choice of nickel, gold, or black pole/bar colors.

For reference, this DiMarzio X2N 7 humbucker pickup evaluation was conducted with the following: Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. ADA MP-1 Tube Pre-Amp loaded with Tube Amp Doctor ECC83 Premium Selected tubes, using the ADA MC-1 MIDI Controller. Fryette LX II Stereo Tube Power Amplifier. Physical cabs use are Marshall 1960BMojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.

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