In 2006, DiMarzio took a close look at the most popular active neck and bridge humbuckers to see if they could capture all of the good qualities and eliminate the disadvantages: cold sound, limited dynamics, running out of headroom when played hard, and the need for batteries. The end results are the DiMarzio D Activator™ Neck and Bridge. These pickups use coils tuned to specific frequencies. The purpose is to shift the resonant points of the pickups to the fundamentals and harmonics that you want to accentuate from the guitar, and they respond instantly to hard or light pick attack. The sound is powerful, clean, and open, with excellent harmonic overtones and very tight lows. The best way to describe the D Activator Neck pickup is that it is big, bright, and open sounding with surprising string-to-string balance. The D Activator Bridge has an enriched harmonic quality and the notes want to sing.
There's a big difference between a pickup that sounds bright and one that sounds thin. A thin-sounding pickup will be brittle on the highest frets and empty-sounding in the mids and lows. The D Activator neck model doesn't do this – both the wound and plain strings remain tight and bright up the neck, and very well balanced. This allows the D Activator neck model to function well in both longer scale bolt-ons and shorter scale, set-neck guitars. It also makes for a good bridge pickup if you want a sound with a lot of snap and power. Like all passive pickups, D Activators require controls with a minimum value of 250K ohms. 500K is the standard all around value, and the DiMarzio 1Meg ohm tone control is best for long cable runs.
Recommended for Neck position. Can also be used in bridge position.