Suggestions on pup swap for Ibby RG J Custom

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by ToneLab, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. ToneLab

    ToneLab Bedroom Playa

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    Hey guys,

    I picked up this awesome RG J Custom guitar this year. It is a mahogany body and has SD Custom 5 and Jazz in it. I love the guitar but am starting to question the pups. I love the Custom 5 in another mahogany guitar I have (Jackson MIJ Dominion) but not sure here. The bridge pup is good for metal rhythm, but leads tend to be fairly dark and not dynamic and soaring, and then as you switch up to the neck with the Jazz it gets really thin and brittle really fast. The guitar will be in standard and I want to do 80s to modern metal and shred. Leads are really important. It is a very different guitar than my RG655 with different woods, heaviness, thicker neck, diff trem (edge zero) etc. I love the Tone Zone and Air Norton in the RG655 and I have had good luck with Dimarzio and want to go with those but worried the same rules with a basswood RG don't apply. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/showthread.php?t=309416
     
  2. You

    You รพ

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    Most of the sound that you speak of will be coming from the amplifier/cabinet, and the aforementioned pickups when it's plugged in. Of course this not the question in hand, so I would recommend perhaps a Seymour Duncan Pegasus if versatility is important.
     
  3. Casper777

    Casper777 Slow Player

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    A set of EVO pickups would fit I think. They sound amazing in mahogany... And do wonders for leads...
     
  4. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly Contributor

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    I agree with Casper777. EVO's are great pickups! :yesway:
     
  5. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    Something similar to the Custom 5 but without all the dark characteristics, try out the Custom. The pickup roars in mahogany and can do classic and modern lead metal tones.

    Or should you go Dimarzio, grab either the Evo or Evo2. Personally I prefer the Evo2 for a more smoother tone, but you can't go wrong either way.
    EDIT: Gonna add the Breed here (it's my favorite pickup). Think of it as a PAF with Evo's characteristics.
     
  6. PBGas

    PBGas SS.org Regular

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    I have the custom 5 in my J Custom and it stays! Absolutely great pickup for mine at least! I had a previous J Custom years ago and I also kept that Custom 5 in there as well. I'm doing 80s metal and hard rock as well as some modern stuff also. Depends upon the amp you are using. We all hear things differently and this one definitely works for me!

    As others have said, the EVo2 and Evo are great as well.
     
  7. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    You might just swap the magnet in the bridge pickup to a ceramic one, effectively turning the pickup into a regular Custom (SH-5) :2c: I have the 7 string version in a 7620 and it's killer for lead work :yesway: great harmonic content and very cutting, but not piercing or too bassy for heavy rhythm playing. I've never been a fan of the Jazz in general, but I love the '59 paired with a Custom.

    On the Dimarzio side, I'd definitely recommend a PAF Pro for the neck. I've got one in a neutral-to-dark sounding RG and it's super clear and glassy for cleans and open/tubular on leads. It's not liquidy like an Air Norton or Liquifire, but is still conducive to shredding if you want since it has a strong, vocal midrange presence. For the bridge, I'll echo a few others and suggest the EVO2 or regular EVO for a little extra edge. Maybe a Breed bridge to pair with the PAF Pro since they're both based on hot-rodded PAF models?
     
  8. SqWark

    SqWark SS.org Regular

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    I have an RG8420 and am going thru the same dilemma. Custom 5 sounds good but I still feel something else could sound better. Had an EVOII in another mahogany/maple top Ibanez and it sounded great. Am tempted to try a Dimarzio Steve's Special in this one.
     
  9. cardinal

    cardinal Strat 7 Guy

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    The Custom (with a ceramic magnet) might be more to your liking. The Tone Zone 7 is standard issue in the J-Customs. I like them. Good solid rock pickup that responds well to boosting an amp, but it doesn't naturally track fast without helping with a boost. But good dynamics and I think has a good voice for leads. The EVO is a screamer but I'm not sure if it'll "soar" for you.

    I've struggled with Duncan 7-string neck pickups. The Full Shred seems ok. My fav neck pickup has been a Dimarzio PAF 7 with an Alnico II magnet. Very warm and dynamic, but not boomy like the Duncan '59 can get.
     
  10. ToneLab

    ToneLab Bedroom Playa

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    Guys here is what Dimarzio recommended. Thoughts?

    You might get good results with an F-spaced Transition bridge model (DP255F) in the bridge position and an F-spaced Illuminator neck model (DP256F) in the neck. Both pickups have a little more output than the current pickups, and you might want to reduce the drive or input gain control on your amp a bit to compensate
     
  11. PBGas

    PBGas SS.org Regular

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    I tried the Transitions in one of my J Customs a while back. It was ok. I found it sounded a bit strange on the higher gain settings. Now, I never tried it with my Bogner and probably should give that a whirl at some point seeing is that is what Lukather is using with those pickups.
     
  12. ToneLab

    ToneLab Bedroom Playa

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    Bumping this up. I asked DiMarzio again and they are convinced the Transitions will be better than the EVOs. I doubt many people here have experience with the transitions. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.
     
  13. SqWark

    SqWark SS.org Regular

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    I've narrowed my search down to DM crunch lab, EVO II and AT-1.
    Was hoping you'd pull the trigger on something first so I could benefit from your insights :)
     
  14. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    I tried them for a bit. Transitions are really cool. Nice and smooth. While they don't do modern metal as well as Evos normally would, they're still hot enough to keep up. But when it comes to rock or harder prog, these are wicked. They also clean up really nicely when you roll the volume down, which is always a plus (for me at least).



    Yeah, it's easy to say just listen to Luke's "Transition" album, but it's really a great representation of the pickup's sound.



    Now I need to get these for a project myself...
     
  15. ToneLab

    ToneLab Bedroom Playa

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    Ha! I'm more confused than ever! Dimarzio always throws me for a loop when I ask them. I do like the Illuminator neck in the 7 so that sounds like a good suggestion but I don't want to sacrifice the hi-gain rhythm tones in the bridge.
     
  16. ToneLab

    ToneLab Bedroom Playa

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    Thanks BI! Not sure this is what I'm going for, ha ha. BTW - I was jamming your album this week.
     
  17. SqWark

    SqWark SS.org Regular

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    Ha! Tell me about it. I am a fellow 'pickup swapping addict' so while I still have a lot to learn I do have some knowledge after trying many different pickups with different tone wood combinations.
    What I have found is that the Mahogany/maple top guitars (I have several) do better with a ceramic bridge pickup. I love the alnico 5 magnet pickups in my ash and alder guitars but every time I try one in one of my mahogany/maple guitars it just isn't tight enough on the low end (custom 5 comes to mind and Tone Zone previously).
    That being said I tried a few of the super high output ceramics (D-activatior X, X2N) and those just took my head off. Too much in every regard.
    I also want to try the Illuminator, just trying to get around the fact that I personally prefer Petrucci's tone back when he used the crunch lab/liquifire combo.
     
  18. ToneLab

    ToneLab Bedroom Playa

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    Good points. I never thought about the magnets for body woods and with one exception I think my experiences line up with yours. Curious - of your top 3, what is the attraction to the AT-1? I don't know much about the pup other than I'm familiar with some of Andy's work.
     
  19. SqWark

    SqWark SS.org Regular

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    Probably mentioning it several times made it sound like I was really high on that pickup. Truth is it is just one I want to try out. It's a bit of a mystery but everything I've heard has been positive. My only concern is that it may not have enough kick to it. In all likelihood I'll just go with a crunch lab/liquifire combo. Safer choice.
     
  20. ToneLab

    ToneLab Bedroom Playa

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm leaning that way as well, as you said, safe choice. I have a Liquifire laying around so that helps. Have you had EVO2s? Thoughts on compare/contrast between them?
     

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