New pickup install day

Cole Justesen

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So I have been reading nothing but amazing things about Lundgren pickups, especially in 7 string guitars. So I decided to take the plunge on a set. Sebastapol Music had a set that included the M7 bridge and Black Heaven 7 neck.

A little prelude to this set... I have been fighting my Ibanez RG752 a bit, and have been trying to get a set of pickups that really work with it. So far I had the PAF7s which are really good, but the bridge was a bit tame. Honestly the neck was pretty killer though. I swapped the bridge for a Blaze Custom and liked it more, so I decided to match it with a Blaze neck. I personally wasn't too keen on the Blaze neck as it was much warmer than the PAF7, though it blended nicely with the Blaze Custom. Still trying to find the ideal sound, I was looking at going active with either a set of EMG 57-7/66-7 or the new Seymour Duncan Loomis set. I ultimately decided to give the Lundgren set a go.

Thanks to the routing of the Ibanez, I was going to have some kind of work to modify the pickups to fit. I decided to take the base plates off of the PAF7s and mount the Lundgren set on them. It was an easy swap and the pickups mounted without a single issue!

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Here is what they look like in the guitar...

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Now I haven't got to play much with them so far, but what I have done while setting pickup heights, has shown me that these are incredibly articulate. The Black Heaven is very dynamic while still retaining clarity and tightness. The M7 is really, really tight and incredibly articulate. I know I am in the honeymoon phase, but what I am hearing now is exactly what I was looking for. I am beyond ecstatic to have these in this guitar! I am not sure that I can say they are better than the EMG 57-7/66-7 set I have in my E-II Horizon FR-7, but they are definitely quite impressive.

This was quite a fun little project to do! Not only did the guitar get a new set of amazing pickups, but while the strings were I off I took the time to round all the fret ends and put a slight radius on the shoulder of the fret board. The way the frets were cut didn't feel very comfortable on my hands (especially coming away from my E-II guitars); so now I have a very comfortable feeling guitar to play, along with a sonically pleasing response.

Cole
 

rgk7

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Love the M7. There is an old "paper" one in my 1077xl with a Blaze bridge custom in the neck and I installed a set of M7s into a RGD7 LACS which is mahogany = killer
 

Cole Justesen

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I initially wanted an M7 set, but the more I read about the Black Heaven, I thought the combination would suit my playing style better. Now that said, I still really want to try the M7 neck. As well, I would like to try the Black Heaven 7 bridge too.

My RG is a special run, but it also uses mahogany for the body with the quilted maple top. I think that both sound incredible.

Cole
 

Passtheapathy

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Glad you like it so far, they look great in the guitar too! Curious to hear your thoughts after some more time with them. I have a set of M6s in my Aristides and they’re awesome. Those and Aftermaths are my favorite pickups I’ve tried for metal so far.
 

Cole Justesen

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Just before I bought the Lundgren set, I was checking out what BKP had. I was tempted to try the Painkillers, as they sounded most similar to Lundgren set that I could hear in demos. If it weren't for the DiMarzio routed body of my guitar, I would not have been on the fence with the Lundgren pickups in the first place. Fortunately, I had a work around.

Cole
 

Cole Justesen

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Yeah it is quite a nice looking guitar. Once I saw it, I new I needed to own it lol. I am not a maple fretboard guy, most of the time, but this design is nicely done. It originally came with cosmo black hardware, which I thought looked off. So I swapped hardware to black. I like the black better than the OEM color.

Cole
 

stretcher7

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Yeah it is quite a nice looking guitar. Once I saw it, I new I needed to own it lol. I am not a maple fretboard guy, most of the time, but this design is nicely done. It originally came with cosmo black hardware, which I thought looked off. So I swapped hardware to black. I like the black better than the OEM color.

Cole
I was thinking the bridge was different! You swapped it out, looks fantastic!
 

Vegetta

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I'm such a goof that now whenever i see the Hipshot High Mass Bridge I think Merrow Sig and not Ibanez who invented it and uses it on everything.

I like the blue finish on that RG a lot.
 

AkiraSpectrum

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Glad to hear you got some pickups that are exactly what you were looking for!

Wow that Ibanez is hot, to the max!
 

Cole Justesen

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I was thinking the bridge was different! You swapped it out, looks fantastic!

I did swap it. I actually really liked the OEM bridge, just hated the color. I did just find a source for the Gilbraltar II in black, so I ordered it. I will be pulling the Hipshot bridge and putting a black Gilbraltar II 7 string bridge on it.

I'm such a goof that now whenever i see the Hipshot High Mass Bridge I think Merrow Sig and not Ibanez who invented it and uses it on everything.

I like the blue finish on that RG a lot.

The blue is very nice! It very much looks like a tropical ocean next to a sandy beach.

Glad to hear you got some pickups that are exactly what you were looking for!

Wow that Ibanez is hot, to the max!

There are only a few Ibanez guitars throughout the past few years that I have gotten excited about. This happens to be one of them. So much so, that I knew I needed to buy it. The pickups still sound fantastic on day 2, and I hope that the love continues.

Cole
 

Emperoff

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That's a nice one. I'm really tempted of buying a pair of cheapo Ibanez pups just to get the baseplates since I'm having the same problem.

Bear in mind that the pickups lose some of the spank when going from nickel silver to fiberglass baseplates but I guess it's a small compromise to get the Lundgrens in (which are pretty bright to begin with).

Yep, I'm definetely stealing your idea! My guitar even has the same woods as yours. Thanks! :D
 

Cole Justesen

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That's a nice one. I'm really tempted of buying a pair of cheapo Ibanez pups just to get the baseplates since I'm having the same problem.

Bear in mind that the pickups lose some of the spank when going from nickel silver to fiberglass baseplates but I guess it's a small compromise to get the Lundgrens in (which are pretty bright to begin with).

Yep, I'm definetely stealing your idea! Thanks! :D

One thing I thought about doing was taking the original base plates and straightening the legs, then cut them to size so they could fit the guitar routing. The other option is to completely cut the legs off, file them flush to the base plate and mount that between the bobbins and the DiMarzio base plate. I might have lost some spank, but to be honest I couldn't imagine anymore from the pickup set. They are quite spanky, however I didn't hear how they sounded before the swap.

Cole
 

Emperoff

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One thing I thought about doing was taking the original base plates and straightening the legs, then cut them to size so they could fit the guitar routing. The other option is to completely cut the legs off, file them flush to the base plate and mount that between the bobbins and the DiMarzio base plate. I might have lost some spank, but to be honest I couldn't imagine anymore from the pickup set. They are quite spanky, however I didn't hear how they sounded before the swap.

Cole

I considered all of those things as well, but seriously, your idea is so much better. I just wish somebody would sell the flat baseplates that BKP uses, but this will do the trick.

For the record, Lundgren sells the M7C which is an EMG style M7. The housing is 2mm thick, thus 2mm further from the strings than the uncovered ones. That affects the tone way more than the baseplates, so no worries!
 

Cole Justesen

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I am with you there! Obviously somebody has to be fabricating these types of base plates, we just need them to sell them directly. I was considering BKP for that exact reason, but I really had no idea of which (except maybe the Painkiller). I also saw that Tesla pickups use those kind of base plates on a few of their 7 string pickups.

I thought that swapping base plates was a good alternative than modifying base plates or guitar routes, so I wanted to share that with anyone else stuck in the same position. So I am glad that you found it helpful.

Cole
 

Max7

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Very nice guitar!! I got the same model a few weeks ago and loving it. Even upgraded the bridge to a hipshot. Not for the looks, but I just enjoy the feel of hipshot bridges. Did you end up swapping yours back to the G-2?

Like you, I'm looking for the right pickups. Lundgren definitely seems like a top notch option.
I have only used DiMarzio pickups and was considering putting the Titan or Illuminator set in mine. Reason number one being I don't want to do any carpentry. Your option tho has kinda refreshed the idea of getting Lundgren pickups. That and the delivery times on DiMarzio's in Europe is crazy long.
Are you still running this pickup setup and how did your wire the 5 way switch? Is you Black heaven ceramic or alnico?

Cheers.
 

Adieu

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Why didn't you just mix the Blaze Custom bridge and PAF7 neck if those parts of the sets suited you?
 

Zhysick

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Well, one and a half years is considered a necrobump? I don't think so...

Ok, I'm just gonna say that OP had to give himself the prestige fret ends treatment to a Prestige Ibanez.

'Nuff said.

Beautiful guitar thou...
 

Cole Justesen

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I have since sold this guitar. Unfortunately I started developing pain on my fretting hand after playing this guitar. No amount of stretching and warming up before seemed to help. I had a 5 string E-II bass that was really comfortable, so I decided to try an E-II 7 string and found that my hand didn't hurt after playing. I think the thin, flat design of the Ibanez was causing me to have to press harder than I needed to with the E-II. I was bummed because that Ibanez was a killer guitar.

To answer a few questions. I did swap the Hipshot for a black Gibraltar II bridge. The Hipshot was weird for the low B string and it was kind of pain to pull the string through the body and then through the saddle. I didn't have that problem with the Gibraltar II.

As far as using the PAF7 with the Blaze, I didn't like the way they sounded with each other. The Blaze had more of a modern sound and the PAF7 just didn't work with it to my ears. The Lundgren set definitely sounded like they fit together.

Since this wasn't brand new when I bought it, I can't speak to the fret ends when it was new. That said, they definitely needed to be addressed when I received it.

Cole
 


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