Can the Ibanez RG652 can sound like a strat?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Guitarjon, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I love that thick sound of a Stratocaster's neck pickup but I sometimes prefer the feel of an Ibanez with the slim neck.
    One of the reasons that I dig the 5 position switch on my Ibanez guitars is that you have the 2nd and 4th positions which are basically split-coil sounds.
    If I understand correctly the 2nd position features both the humbucker's inner coils and the 4th position is the two neck humbucker coils in parallel.

    The Ibanez guitars have a bit of a reputation for not sounding as thick as say a Fender or Gibson and I also always found this to be the case sometimes.
    However when I tried the 4th position again through a Deluxe Verb Vibrato amp model in my Axe Fx III I immediately felt like, YES, THIS IS IT!
    The feel and sound is very similar to a Fender to me.
    Super stoked about this sound actually!

    Anyway, I made it into a short clip to test the sound and you can check it here if you want:



    What do you guys think?
    Does it sound enough like a Fender or does the sound still give away that it's an Ibanez RG (superstrat)?

    Ps: this guitar is so nice.... dr00l
     
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  2. Seabeast2000

    Seabeast2000 Tropospheric Holocenian Contributor

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    Sounds Stratty to me. Nice work. This leads me to think about the parallel neck bucker wiring option. Isn't that essentially a superfat single coil tone with more output?
     
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  3. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I'm not even a 100% sure about that parallel thing but I'm pretty sure it's that.
    Other than that I don't know much about it other than that it sounds killer!
     
  4. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    I love positions 2 and 4 on my 652. GREAT for cleans, though I do like position 4 the most.
     
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  5. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I always thought that for a 24-fret guitar, the Ibanez RG does a great Strat impersonation. They have figured out a way to get the neck pickup into a pretty good spot.
     
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  6. mlp187

    mlp187 Burrito Master Contributor

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    That’s pretty good! Both the playing and the tone!
    I understand why you are asking though. It’s still not quite the same. But damn does it sound nice in its own way.
    I ended up getting a strat for this reason, and well, because i love an excuse to acquire guitars.
    Truth be told, the playability of my Ibby is unmatched by my strat and its tone isn’t enough to make pick it up and play.
    Also, if you decide to get a strat, I recommend an EBMM Cutlass. It’s much nicer than any strat i’ve owned, and hands down has the best sounding neck pickup i’ve ever heard. I’m hanging onto it for recording purposes.
     
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  7. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Yeah the 2nd position is definitely cool too but it's more quacky and thin, still very useable.

    Sweet! And yeah I agree.
    Vai has really inspired me a lot since I think his more 'stratty' tones sound super nice...
     
  8. MoJoToJo

    MoJoToJo SS.org Regular

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    Great tone & riffing but not sure if I agree that a Fender sounds thicker than an Ibby though.
    I have a '09 HSS AM Standard with Callaham bridge/block upgrades & I don't think it sounds thicker than my Ibanez in fact more thin in comparison. Just my opinion though.
     
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  9. BornToLooze

    BornToLooze SS.org Regular

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    I think it depends on the pickups. My Strat has Hot Rails in the neck and bridge, and the one in the neck is really thick sounding, but the one in the bridge is kind of thin sounding.
     
  10. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Everyone's interpretation of 'thicker'can vary of course but my strat has a very thick sound with a lot of weight to it.
    It has to do with the body and neck but also the Texas special pickups.
    however, I have owned and played a few strats that weren't nearly as meaty sounding.

    Yep. A big factor.
     
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  11. nyxzz

    nyxzz SS.org Regular

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    just picked up a cutlass rs and holy shit it smokes all fenders ever
     
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  12. AirForbes1

    AirForbes1 SS.org Regular

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    I really like the Ibanez 5 way switch (I just got my first RG). I think that the 4th position is the bridge + neck inner coils.

    Any HH guitars I get, if there's a way to get a 5 way switch in, I'm absolutely wiring the pickups like this.
     
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  13. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    With my guitar the second position (the one after the bridge pickup) has the two inner coils on at the same time.
    The 4th one has the two neck coils in parallel.
    All 3 of my HH Ibbies have those switching options.
     
  14. Takk

    Takk SS.org Regular

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    Great playing and tone! I've owned a RG652FX and a Strat at the same time and yes the 4th position on RG sounds quite similar to Strat but not the same. Strat has much more depth and clarity.
     
  15. AirForbes1

    AirForbes1 SS.org Regular

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    Neat. On my 652, 2nd position is bridge parallel, and 4th is bridge + neck inner coils.

    I never use the 3rd position of both humbuckers. Maybe, I should get the neck in parallel wired up in the 4th spot, and go inner coils for the 3rd position.

    Of course, that only gets me part of the way there because your playing is great. I've seen a number of your videos now. I'm actually using your Metallica Helix set-up when I'm doing the whole guitar karaoke thing.
     
  16. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    @Guitarjon nice playing, as always you present us a super clean playing and well produced tune.

    Now about the subject of comparing a super strat like THAT Ibanez and a REAL strat like a Fender and check if they sound similar... well, that's a big jump... First we have to define what is the "Fender Strat" sound, which is obviously subjective, but we can all agree that resumes to... single coil sound... which brings up all the differences between all the different true single coil made pickups. One changes the magnet type or strength, the wire gauge or its number of turns and the end tone changes. More so, one changes the distance of the pickup to the strings and all the characteristics of the pickup changes, so, IMO this is an inglorious approach to the problem...

    Add some FXs to the mix and everything gets blurred.

    This subject has been one of my researches in guitar, I've been modding my HH passive guitars in order to understand how different coil combinations sound. Also, a little research on passive single versus humbucker delivers a large deal of information, for example, that a true single coil sounds different of a coil split humbucker in the same position because they'll have their coils voiced differently, as per definition: different wire, different number of turns, different relation between the coil and the powering magnet and so on. Even the material use in the pole pieces changes the overall end tone because it will model the magnetic field differently and it has direct impact on how the strings vibrate... and how it gets exited by their vibrations.

    So, in a pretty fast answer to the problem, no, an HH super strat can't sound like a true strat because of everything.

    However, it can sound close, with similar characteristics that make us think of a strat tone... and this is because of... single coils being used at the same position.

    Considering the conventional Ibanez 5 way switch wiring is, from bridge to neck:
    1. Bridge, coils in serial wiring.
    2. Inner coils in parallel wiring.
    3. Both bridge and neck in serial wiring, but their mix is parallel.
    4. Neck with its coils in parallel wiring.
    5. Neck with its coils in serial wiring.
    My studies have thought me a few things, and i'm not academically educated in electrical science.
    • 2 coils in series have their power added
    • 2 coils in parallel have and average power of both
    The first situation is straight forward but the second tells us that if the 2 coils in parallel have different outputs, their parallel mix might (it will) sound thinner than one of the coils and stronger than the other...

    Another thing is that, though commonly accepted that a parallel wired humbucker has an approximate tone to a single coil, truth is it does not. As far as tone is concerned, it might be halfway between the humbucker wired in series and one of its single coils alone. One is hum canceling (parallel wiring), the other is not (single coil).

    In one humbucker with similar coils, the tone difference between its isolated coils is pretty subtle in the neck, more noticeable in the bridge and it resembles the audible EQ variation when acoustically one plucks the strings toward the bridge versus toward the neck. This was, in fact, the original purpose of the 3 pickup strat, since all its coils "were the same" (given the available tech possibilities at the time)...

    So, this to say that, can an Ibanez RG (as a representative of super strat HH guitars) sound like a regular strat, yes, they can get close, considering the audience (musician included) knowledge and sound acuity.

    My taste, when wiring an HH guitar, goes for different middle positions than those typically found in Ibanez guitars, I prefer single coil split sounds in positions 2 and 4 (only one of the pickups is active) and a series mix of inner coils in position 3, for it will deliver a modulation of what a middle humbucker would sound like. This means that when going from position 5 to 4, I'll have a drastically drop in volume (power). I compensate this with a compressor in the loop (or after the preamp). I've also found to prefer more vintage powered pickups (less output) for it allows me to get more natural compressing from the amp, raising its input gain.

    ... then it is all about what one likes, but one can only know by testing. I've been using mini connectors to swap pickups and switches to test different wiring options and keeping the same overall guitar setup (which can drastically change how a guitar sounds). It has become my obsession (kind of a healthy one, minus the soldering fumes). I'm always looking for crazy switches like the many superswitches, rotary and the more recently available Freeway switches... There are so many great tones that can be produced from 2 humbuckers that so many guitars players will never know...

    So, if anyone reached this part of the post, my apologies, some how I got carried on with the subject...:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  17. yuri_1973

    yuri_1973 Romantic Shredder

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    which type of mini connectors have you used? any pic? I've been longing to find easy to use and small connectors, but haven't found yet anything satisfactory.
    Thanks in advance!
     
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  18. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I've been using this type for almost a decade. Brand and model may vary, but they are more or less all the same.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Pablo

    Pablo Resident Wanker

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    I
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  20. Pablo

    Pablo Resident Wanker

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    It’s absolutely a nice tone... but to be honest, an RG with a neck humbucker in parallel sounds nothing like the neck single coil of a good Strat.
    Personally, I much prefer humbuckers in parallel as oposed to split - with the added benefit of noise cancellation, it’s a no-brainer, in my book.
    However, if you truly want your guitar to sound like a Strat... why not simply work towards the aquisition of a fiddle of the Fendery persuation?
     
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