Modding My RG3EX1

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by kleinenenten, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. kleinenenten

    kleinenenten SS.org Regular

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    Picked up an RG3EX1 a few months ago, and am really digging it overall. Now it's time to trick it out! What would be some mods you think would work for me?

    It's this model in transparent gray burst- https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/RG3EX1

    I don't like the bridge, and I've thought of getting a Tight End one or maybe a Hipshot, but am unsure if they fit. Something smooth without screws to mess up my hand. It needs to be a direct replacement, as I don't want to drill new holes. Never done a bridge swap before, so this part is new to me. I also worry that if I change the bridge, the color won't match and I'll have to get new pickup rings and tuners.

    Also - pickups? I have an RG7321 with Black Winters, and an ARZ307 with a Nazgul/Sentient, but am looking for something different this go around. Definitely still heavy, but I don't need to retread the tones I've already got. I'm thinking more traditional metal like Iced Earth, old thrash, and that. Not the excessive gain the previous pickups have. Previously I debated the Duncan Distortion set, or maybe something with an Invader. Even the Pegasus/Sentient combo as I think they're less gainy, and aimed at prog metal, so still heavy. I'm a Duncan fan, as other pickups I've tried just don't sound as good to me (not that I've tried a lot, but I also don't have the time or money to keep swapping).

    Thanks, all!
     
  2. gunch

    gunch Riff Chugman

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    Don’t pull the whole bridge just get graphtech saddles

    as for pickups if you want old school metal tones go for name brand or semi boutique PAFs
     
  3. kleinenenten

    kleinenenten SS.org Regular

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    I've heard of those, but don't know much about them. Do they have screws that will stand up and scrape up my palm? I'm an absolute newbie at this - please be detailed. Links are appreciated if you have any!
     
  4. gunch

    gunch Riff Chugman

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    kleinenenten likes this.
  5. mlp187

    mlp187 Burrito Master Contributor

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    If I were in your shoes I would put a Gibson 490T in the bridge and a 490R in the neck. It’s my favorite set of pickups for diversity and overall sound. You can get heavy as hell or solid classic rock sounds out of them, and everything in between.
     
  6. Chris Bowsman

    Chris Bowsman Nu-Metal Apologist Contributor

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    I’ve had zero luck with PAFs for metal. I haven’t gone through the 8 million options available, but I do have an old Les Paul/SG with real PAFs, and for me, any higher output pickup is better.

    Check out the DiMarzio Imperiums. Easily the best passive pickup I’ve used.
     
  7. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    If I may pitch in about the bridge. The tight-end bridge is my favourite bridge of them all. I'd drill extra holes for the tight-end, I think it is worth it.

    Throw in a Graph tech tusq nut as well, while you are at it!

    And pickups is a hard one, that is so personal and subjective. I'm biased against DiMarzio in general but others call 'm their favourites..
     
  8. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

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    As other's have mentioned Gibson pickups and PAFs, I'll bring up a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates. My dad has a big apple strat with a pearly gates in the bridge and it's one of my favorite guitars to play for 80s/90s metal. I think it's slightly hotter than what you'd find in a standard les paul.
     
  9. kleinenenten

    kleinenenten SS.org Regular

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    Does anybody know if I can get the same color bridge as my hardware? Clearly, I want it to match. I have thought about going all black, but only if necessary. I really like whatever the current color is.
     
  10. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    Yes, the tight end is avalable in Cosmo black via Ibanezrules.com
    Gotoh has this colour as well. (If I'm not mistaken)
    But they don't offer other bridges than what you have right now I think.
     
  11. TrevorT

    TrevorT SS.org Regular

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    Before getting a new bridge I would just try to get some shorter saddle height adjustment screws. The saddles themselves are usually pretty comfortable as long as the screws aren't sticking out of them. You can usually find a set of screws for pretty cheap (especially compared to getting a set of saddles or replacing the entire bridge).

    If you do decide to replace the bridge, I think Gotoh GTC101, Gotoh GTC102, and Hipshot Ibby FP are the ones that would fit without drilling new holes. If you want the colour to match, you'd have to go with Gotoh (I don't think Hipshot makes their hardware in cosmo black).

    Edit: Actually I think the hardware on your guitar is powder cosmo right? In that case, cosmo black would get you close, but would be shiny rather than the more satin finish that your hardware has. I'm not aware of any other bridges that come with powder cosmo finish.
     
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  12. kleinenenten

    kleinenenten SS.org Regular

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    Honestly, I'm not even sure what the color is called. Do you know what size screws those would be? Is there a certain naming convention or anything? I can take them to my local hardware store and see. New screws would be the simplest fix for sure.
     
  13. TrevorT

    TrevorT SS.org Regular

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    I think the type of screws you need are M3 hex screws like these: https://www.amazon.ca/Guitar-Saddle-Bridge-Height-Adjustment/dp/B07BK7LR83
    (please excuse the Canadian Amazon link lol)

    Just make sure you get some shorter ones so that they don't stick out of the top of the saddles.
     
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  14. kleinenenten

    kleinenenten SS.org Regular

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    Just ordered a set of 6mm and 8mm screws. Let's hope it's that easy! Should know in a few days. That's definitely the cheapest option, and I really have no functional issues with the bridge, just comfort, so if it works, awesome!
     
  15. Vegetta

    Vegetta Change Everything

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    I have one of those with the designed by EMG humbuckers in it.
    It plays great but has horrible tuning stability.

    I did get a tusq nut but have not got around to putting it in. I dont want to toss a bunch of money into a sub $300 guitar but ideally i would swap out the tuners bridge and pickups as well.
     
  16. kleinenenten

    kleinenenten SS.org Regular

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    Mine has no tuning issues. I often go a few weeks without tuning it, and don't notice any issues. And when it is slightly out of tune, the strings pretty much go out of tune together, so it's at least in tune with itself. If it had functional issues like tuning problems I'd fix those first, of course. Doesn't matter how good the rest of the guitar is if it can't tune up!
     
  17. Manurack

    Manurack Nunavut Inuk

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    I have an RG 3EX1 as well with a sweet koa top, I replaced all the hardware to gold hardware on the guitar and that really compliments the koa top.

    A direct replacement bridge I got was a Gotoh bridge from guitarelectronics.com and I didn't have to drill new holes. I installed gold Gotoh tuners as well, I put a Gibson 500T in the bridge from my old Gibson Explorer and it sounds great with the basswood body. Have fun modding dude!

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

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    Set of DiMarzio D-Activator X set. Instead of coil split, do parallel to be different. Never liked splits sound.
     
  19. kleinenenten

    kleinenenten SS.org Regular

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    That does look nice! Do you remember the name of the bridge or anything? That looks pretty much identical to mine, and I’m hoping the new screws fix it up. I could only find black or stainless steel, so I went SS as I figured I’d eventually wear the finish shiny anyway.
     
  20. kleinenenten

    kleinenenten SS.org Regular

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    Exactly what does that mean? I’m primarily a bassist, and split coil etc. isn’t exactly how bass works.
     

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