Middle Jem Pickup - Useless? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2001, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

I find myself asking this question whenever it gets in the way. *How often do I use this pickup? *I hate to say this but only about 1% of the time. *When I do it's with the H-S split combo in position 2 or 4. *I guess it's because if I want that 'single coil sound' I could just grab my 74 strat and play away...

On my Jem10 I keep the middle pickup low, almost flush with my pickguard. *It's noisy. *It just gets in the way.

I've decided to create a project Jem body where the middle pickup will not be routed and a 3 position (LP style) switch is installed - just centered and below the neck pickup. *I'll suppose I could tap my humbuckers if I want to.

Has anyone done this or is there a production Ibanez similar to this spec?

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2001, 06:46 PM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

You can do what I do...

Disconnect that garbage single-coil... and lower it completely out of the way... then wire up the two humbuckers with a 5-way switch... (IE Prestige and most S models)

I usually just experiment... make sure positions 1 and 5 are humbuckers and just do random coil splitting from there... which works well enough. *If you need one, I can get you a basic wiring diagram by Friday.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2001, 06:49 PM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

I find the middle PU an indispensable tool with the JEM, UVs and any guitar. I think it's just a matter of personal taste and styles because many feel it is useless.

If i were building a custom axe (in fact i have!) i would add EVERY option possible, instead of reducing them. But that is just me. I'd rather have things i dont need now (but might as tastes/styles change) and just not use them. Good luck... glen
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2001, 07:57 PM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

I agree....with Glen, I love the middle pickup....I can get a terrific clean sound with lots of pop out of the middle/bridge humbucker combo....unfortunately this doesn't have the same amount of gain as just the humbucker alone...and often you have to account for this by bringing up the volume a bit....but I think the middle pickup is great. *It's all about styles and what you're going for.....admittedly, I too only use this pickup just once in a while....and I too keep them (I have more than one Jem) down pretty darn low because they do interfere with my picking; however, I love the option and would be dissappointed if it wasn't there. * Opinions vary!
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2001, 10:19 PM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

To me the middle PU doesnít look badÖ even if not used. It can get in the way, but you can just crank it down like Jay does. There is one reason I would loose the middle PU though. I would like to have a PU located somewhere between the present positions of the middle and neck. Iím weirdÖ I know. I think there is a tone there that I would really like.

For your idea, I would think that a custom body would be in order unless you feel alright about plugging the hole in the middle, applying a little putty and re-painting. I assume you would re-paint a custom anyway.

Iím no custom guitar wiz, but I have been giving a lot of thought to personal custom specifications. I figure, why build one if I can buy one with most of the features I need. My main reason for a custom is to do some wacky things that Ibanez would never consider. I think a Jem with no middle pickup kind of falls into that categoryÖ Itís probably worth it.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2001, 10:51 PM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

I always thought one of the coolest pickup configurations I've seen was in one of George Lynch's ESP's, it was 1 humbucker that was on rails and had a little electric motor that would move the pickup from the bridge position to the neck position. *I heard a couple of demo things with Lynch playing and the pickup moving back and forth, it sounded really cool, almost kind of a wah / phaser type sound. *The only downside was the guitar looked pretty crappy with a trough cut all the way down the middle of the guitar but talk about making 1 pickup a versatile pickup!
Back to the original topic, I use the single coil on my Jems and UV's quite a bit, mostly for anything bluesy, I don't know what I would do without it really, besides, I think guitars with HSH config look better than just 2 Humbuckers.
But that's just my opinion.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2001, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

Agreed, I feel the guitar 'looks' better with a full pickup config. *Glen makes a good point that it's a matter of personal taste - perhaps it's what YOU want from the guitar. *

Hey Jeremy - If you think Lynch's pickup was cool, you should check out the Roland VG-8 guitar synth. *It allows you to 'virtually' move the pickup anywhere up the fretboard at almost any angle - on the fly! *Of course you can also choose what kind of pickup you want to use too.

Thanks for everyones feedback. *I'll post pictures when I'm done with this custom. *Maybe I'll have it ready for Jemfest?

One more thing - I guess this probably falls more into the 'Mods' category... sorry Glen, I should of posted there!

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2001, 10:11 AM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

* * * * *The closest model I can think of to meet your specs is the RG-520. It has just the two 'buckers and no single. It has a fancy-shmancy wiring configuration to try and squeeze-out single coil sounds in the split positions. I've not played one so I don't know how well this works.

* * * * * * * * I think Ibanez got a lot of flack for not having a model without the single in the way. Now if they'd just move that da^^n volume knob outta the way! *
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2001, 10:20 AM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

Aren't the JPM's 2 hum only?

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2001, 11:58 AM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

Yep, JPM is 2 hum only bliss, as are the JS models. *I think that if you want the single coil sound the middle pickup on the JEM works great (of course, duh!) *The clean coil tapped JS sound is also very close, but the clean sound on a JPM (while nice) doesn't sound like a single coil...
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2001, 01:13 PM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

Personally, i like having the volume knob within reach of my pinky. It's a little more tactile to me than using a volume pedal.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2001, 04:22 PM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

I love the middle pickup sound...as long as it's a good pickup, which, unfortunately, the JEM's isn't.

I've written this on this forum before...it seems like the middle pickups Ibanez puts on all their guitars (the ones that even include them anymore!) are like an afterthought.

I'm much rather replace the middle pickup with a strat pickup or something with a hotter, more defined sound than the Jem's - then I don't have to take my '74 strat (if I only had one!) on the gig.

It really depends on your style of playing. *Straight ahead crunch has no use for the middle p'up. *If that's what you play and the p'up's in your way then go for it...take it out or whatever. *If you have any occasion to play with a clean sound, definitely try something different...even if it's not pink or green. * :-p

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2001, 01:55 AM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

If you're looking for a middle pickup with a little more power, consider a Blue Velvet. I have one guitar set up with Evolutions & a Blue Velvet, one set up with Air Norton-Blue Velvet-Tone Zone, and one set up with Air Norton-Blue Velvet-Steve's Special. The pickup has a great tone, combines well with split humbuckers, and has enough output to make it much more useful (IMHO) than the Jem single coil. As a matter of fact, I'm debating replacing the Evo single coil in my VWH with a Blue Velvet just because it's such a sweet pickup.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-01-2001, 04:34 PM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

hey bduersch, Sorry for the extremely late reply, but I am in the same situation; the volume drop makes using the single coils difficult. I have a 7VWH with the humbuckers replaced with a PAF pro in the neck and a FRED in the bridge and the original Evo SC in the middle.

did you get the Bridge or the Neck version of the blue velvet?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-01-2001, 09:24 PM
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Middle Jem Pickup - Useless?

The middle pickup is NOT useless! Ever try playing without distortion? The front mid position sounds beautiful for clean tone! .. With EVOs anyways.

The mid rear gives you kind of a 'Eugene's Trick Bag' kind of tone but sound even closer if the rear pickup is single coil.

What split?
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air norton , black pickguard , bridge hum , bridge humbucker , bridge position , clean tone , coil split , coil splitting , coil tap , custom guitar , neck pickup , neck position , paf pro , paul gilbert , strat tone , tone zone , versatile pickup , volume knobs , volume pedal , wiring diagram

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