When Steve Vai approached DiMarzio about pickups for a new incarnation of his signature JEM, they worked together and developed the Dark Matter 2 Neck, Bridge, and Middle models. These pickups are specifically EQed to match the earthy, organic aura of the JEM. High output pickups can sometimes have anomalies in the high register, meaning they have some sharp edges. While the Dark Matter 2s are definitely high output like Steve's other pickups, thy are engineered with a slight softness on the top end. The Dark Matter 2 represents a change in direction for Steve Vai towards a more organic, smoother sound with softer highs and less raw power. The sound of the single-coil Middle Model is designed to integrate smoothly with the Dark Matter 2 humbuckers, as well as add a distinctive voice of its own. It has a modern rather than vintage sound. The emphasis is on balance and smoothness, and it has enough output to work well with the Dark Matter humbuckers.