Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
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Exclamation Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Good day all!

Quick intro: Iím new to Jemsite, but have been playing guitar on and off since 1988. Iíve just had the very unpleasant task of retiring my í91 Jem77FP and I am in desperate search of a worthy replacement for her. She has helped me become a guitarist and has helped mature my ear to recognize the tone Iím after.

I play mainly metal and progressive rock but I also enjoy the cleaner stuff. The guitars Iíve been considering are: 1. Ibanez J-Custom 2. Jem7VWH 3. ESP KH-2 and 4. Musicman Petrucci. Iíve been leaning towards a J-Custom as I prefer a thicker sound with more bottom-end than Jems typically offer, but Ishibashi Music (Japan) recently let me know that they are no longer allowed by Ibanez to sell new J-Customs internationally. I missed the deadline by a week or twoÖ The ESP KH-2 is not a versatile guitar IMO, so Iíve crossed that one of my shortlist and the Petrucci, as much as I love the guitar, does not have a double locking trem which is a must for me.

That leaves the Jem 7VWH, which I adore!! (Especially now that theyíre no longer coming out with the Edge pro.) Iíve also heard good things about Ibanez Rules where I plan to place the order. It has always been a dream to own a professionally set-up guitar and this is exactly what Ibanez Rules promises. Any thoughts?

My concern and the reason for my post is that I am not that fond of the Jem7VWHís lack of bass and mids especially when using the bridge pickup. I would prefer to use a pickup in the bridge that boosts mids and bass similar to a Tone Zone but has enough output to match the EVO in the neck which I think sounds very good! I need the bridge pickup to be good for Metal rhythm playing as well as high gain solos to make the JEM a little more versatile for the styles I play. I would prefer not to replace all the pickups. Only the bridge if possible because I donít want to loose the JEM sound completely, otherwise I might as well buy a RG Prestige and do all the modsÖ

Is it realistic to modify a JEM to get this sound Iím after or should I rather look for an RG type guitar that leans in that direction? Have any of you experimented with pickup combos in the 7VWH with positive results? I would sincerely appreciate any suggestions incl. guitar- and pickup selections and pickup combinations that could possibly do the trick for me. I appreciate any input even if it just helps steer my thoughts in the right directionÖ

Kind Regards,

Jacques (ZarK)
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 09:11 AM
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Well Ibanezrules Rich's reputation for giving guitars the best set up is very very well established on this site. If you are going to be looking to buy a new Jem, he would be the man to buy it from, from what I've heard.


If you want to a JCustom you can find some nice models on a particular auction site You can get some great second-hand models. Or if you are after new ones there are dealers on there that cater for that as well, but you won't get the guitar set up like Rich would set up the JEM. Your best bet is to talk to Rich about this, email him directly and he'll give you some advice relating to the pickups question and JCustom availability.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Thank you for the sound advice. Appreciated.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Vai used the Paf Pro in the early years. The Breed pickups are often overlooked for some reason. For me the Tone Zone is not bright enough for me, but a lot of American Ibanez people like them. I would love to hear Satch's Fred or Mo Joe in the 7VWH.

As for looking for a new guitar, how could you overlook the PRS Custom24?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

My opinion on this has pretty much never changed: buy the guitar you want based on playability, unplugged tone, and looks. Pickups are a easy swap, and the mod makes it easy to achieve the sound you want. Especially if you have a good tone wood to begin with.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.
~d~
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenw5094 View Post
Vai used the Paf Pro in the early years. The Breed pickups are often overlooked for some reason. For me the Tone Zone is not bright enough for me, but a lot of American Ibanez people like them. I would love to hear Satch's Fred or Mo Joe in the 7VWH.

As for looking for a new guitar, how could you overlook the PRS Custom24?
My recently retired Jem came out with Paf Proís. I can highly recommend them! A Paf in the neck position has the sweetest tone. They are of lower output however and I would prefer a pup in the bridge position that is more suited to metal riffing than the Pafs. It also needs to be hot enough to match the Evo in the neck. Alternatively I would need to replace both humbuckers, but then Iím concerned that Iím steering completely away from the Jem toneÖ which probably defeats the purpose of forking out for a Jem if I could rather pimp a Prestige to get the tone Iím after. Higher output and more pronounced bass and mids is what Iím after especially if I end up buying the Alder bodied 7VWH to replace my 77FP. If I were to go for breed pups, Iíd probably rather go for the basswood bodied 7VBK instead of replacing the Evoís in the 7VWH. I thought the Tone Zone would be a good match for an alder body guitar. It should brighten up the tone a bit? Only concern is that the TZ has less output than the Evo in the neck. I would therefore need a more powerfull pup in the bridge to have a balanced pair?

P.S. I love PRS guitars. There are a number of brilliant guitars I would love to own for different reasons. At this stage however, Iím looking for my main guitar and the more guitars I try the more I just end up with an Ibanez in my lapÖ
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcord View Post
My opinion on this has pretty much never changed: buy the guitar you want based on playability, unplugged tone, and looks. Pickups are a easy swap, and the mod makes it easy to achieve the sound you want. Especially if you have a good tone wood to begin with.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.
~d~
That sounds like a very sensible approach to me. Iím not sure if any Jem produces good unplugged tone, as you put it. They do sound good through a good rig though! Jems are very ergonomic and feature rich and I do like their styling! My main limiting factor is that I donít have all the higher end guitars readily available for testing back to back here at the Southern tip of AfricaÖ Iíve had the privilege of testing a number of good guitars and I have a relatively good idea what Iím after. I need the guitar to be able to produce the singing leads that progressive rock players produce, but I also want the guitar to produce the heavier tight bottomed riffs associated with my favourite metal bands. I love the powerful sound of EMG 81ís in the bridge position for example, but would prefer a more organic tone. I know itís a compromise, but Iím trying to find that sweet spot where the two styles I enjoy playing so much, meet. I had my heart set on a J-Custom with mahogany body and Tone Zone Air Norton combo because I prefer the more pronounced bass this guitar should offer, but after receiving the bad news that I could no longer import a new one from Japan, I started considering getting another Jem with hotter pups and possibly replacing the bridge pup with a pup more suitable for metal riffing with a more pronounced tight bottom endÖ

Maybe I should invest in a few pups and change them out until I get more or less what Iím after. I just hoped someone out there might have experimented with different pups in a JEM 7VWH or 7VBK (for that matter) so that I could have some references to start working fromÖ I donít have much experience with an Alder bodied guitar. Mainly basswood and some mahoganyÖ

No one out there been fiddling with their Jemsí pups who wish to share the experience and info?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 06:59 PM
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Don't write off the Petrucci until you've tried it. The trem on it is great.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elcid View Post
Don't write off the Petrucci until you've tried it. The trem on it is great.
I've tested all the guitars I've mentioned and have to agree, the Petrucci is a great instrument! If only it had locking nuts and fine-tuners... Otherwise a very very impressive guitar!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 04:56 AM
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zark77FP View Post
I've tested all the guitars I've mentioned and have to agree, the Petrucci is a great instrument! If only it had locking nuts and fine-tuners... Otherwise a very very impressive guitar!
I've had mine for about 4 years now and quite honestly if you actually play it, you don't miss the locking nut. The locking tuners and straight string pull are perfect on those guitars and fine tuners aren't relly an issue either since (if you know how to stretch them properly) the strings don't have much, if any, winding on the post to slip...it's a great guitar.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

This thread started out with me needing some input to help me decide which pup to replace the bridge EVO in a JEM 7VWH to get the rythm tone and bite needed for metal riffing. Now I'm also considering a JEM 77VBK and even more seriously, I'm reconsidering the MM Petrucci! If members of JEMsite are so positive about their Petrucci's, it does confirm my first impression... I'm not totally sold yet, but which Petrucci models would you advise I check out? Anyone know how the normal 6 and BMR6 compare?
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Quote:
Ishibashi Music (Japan) recently let me know that they are no longer allowed by Ibanez to sell new J-Customs internationally.
Does it mean J-Custom will be available outside of Japan? Recently I saw J-Customs in the Ibanez dealer in Singapore.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xklusivly4u View Post
Does it mean J-Custom will be available outside of Japan? Recently I saw J-Customs in the Ibanez dealer in Singapore.
Second hand they can be sold internationally, but not new. As far as I know J-customs where never intended for sale outside of Japan although until recently you could order them directly from Japanese retail shops. I'm totally bummed by this as I missed the deadline by less than a week... Instead I'm looking at a Prestige or Jem with a professional setup and possibly different pups from Ibanez Rules. Alternatively I'm also seriously considering a Music Man Petrucci, either the original JP6, the newer JP6 BMR or even the latest JPX which is the first Music Man that reminds me of an Ibanez, which is a good thing. Just need to get my mind around a painted mahogany neck… (sticky neck with resonance and tone or satin neck with less tone.) Why must everything always be such a compromise?
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

evo neck is not that hot ... you shouldn't have any problem pairing it with the TZ... but I recomendo you something like the D-Sonic or the new chrunch lab
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Replacement pickups for Jem 7VWH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by _FR0D0 View Post
evo neck is not that hot ... you shouldn't have any problem pairing it with the TZ... but I recomendo you something like the D-Sonic or the new chrunch lab
Thanx for the input! I've just started reading up on the Crunch Lab and LiquiFire... Sounds like two awsome pups from the reviews I read and the samples I listened to... I think the D-sonic has more bottom end, but the Crunch Lab sounds more balanced. I am ashamed to say I didn't even know about this combo until I started looking at the MM Petrucci's...
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