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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Smile Another J.Custom Tone/Pickup Question

Hey guys, I've always been a lurker here but I do have a question that I would like to ask! Reposting this from TGP as I didnt get much response there so I figured this is the place to ask haha.

I've been playing an Ibanez J.custom for a while now, specifically an older 2004 RG8570nt.

Plays great, feels good, looks beautiful as well. I've swapped out the previous pickups which were them DiMarzios (TZ, TV, AZ) as they sounded really 'blankety wet' to me? Suhr pickups took their place (SSH+, ML, SSV). The Suhrs definitely sound better to my ears, cleaner if you must.

The question I have is, I can't seem to get the guitar to sound bright, as in like sparkly bright, spanky-ass kinda sound. Like the kind where notes jump out immediately with a sparkle. Now I know that's not what Ibanezs are for in general but I really do like the feel of the neck and the way it plays. Is there something I can do about the guitar short of selling it and maybe getting a tele?

Is it just the nature of the guitar? ie. mahogany body wood and thin wizard 5-piece neck. Is it a bridge thing ie. floydroses in general. Are there pickups that I should look at? ie. been looking at some p90-ish humbuckers.

I've researched on stuff that I can do, ie brass blocks, titanium saddles, even full on hantug titanium lo-pro edge bridges ($799), SS refret (could use a refret by now), but I guess I want to check out my options and with some opinions here before I do anything insanely expensive.

Oh, I play through a fender reverb clone. Bondi Delmar>Lovepedal Kanji>Suhr Riot>Boss DD20. If that helps.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 01:23 PM
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Re: Another J.Custom Tone/Pickup Question

The mahogany body is the root cause... people buy mahogany guitars for this tone. Sure a real thick maple top can brighten it a bit but only so much (the RGs top is relatively thin).

But there are few things worth trying...

1K-ohm pots. These will make the guitar brighter. The RG probably has 500Kohm pots like the JEMs.

Not sure how the axe is currently wired but typical Ibanez wiring offers no single-coil options for the humbuckers. Might be worth adding a coil tap pull-push knob (no extra holes) with the existing pickups to get true single coil tone from either humbucker.

There are things i put in the "monster cable" category where people pay a lot and start hearing things. Edge/LoPro Trem updates fit into this category. Stainless frets fit here too but if you're getting a refret SS might possibly maybe make it a slight bit little brighter.

To recap I'd expect you'll either temper your expectations or find a different guitar with basswood or alder body. Enjoy!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Another J.Custom Tone/Pickup Question

Aww snap, I guess that confirms what I've always suspected.

Alright, I'll check out the 1K-ohm pots to see if it will brighten is up. Thinking of swapping in some Dimarzio Titans and leave it as it is, a shred guitar, for now.

Are there alder-bodied J-Customs? Let me go check them out as I really am enjoying the feels of the current J.Custom I have, pretty sure any other J.Custom would have the same vibes.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 08:19 PM
 
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Re: Another J.Custom Tone/Pickup Question

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Originally Posted by Fretness View Post
Aww snap, I guess that confirms what I've always suspected.

Alright, I'll check out the 1K-ohm pots to see if it will brighten is up. Thinking of swapping in some Dimarzio Titans and leave it as it is, a shred guitar, for now.

Are there alder-bodied J-Customs? Let me go check them out as I really am enjoying the feels of the current J.Custom I have, pretty sure any other J.Custom would have the same vibes.

Thanks!
The JCRG20126 has an alder body with flame maple top. HH pickup configuration though, with stock Duncans. With Suhr pickups and a push-pull tone, you should be able to get some single coil spanky tones. Most Suhrs I've played, even with mahogany body / flame maple, can get quite spanky. I think it's possible with what you have, but alder/basswood will definitely be brighter naturally.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 10:11 PM
 
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Re: Another J.Custom Tone/Pickup Question

Personally I'd go back to the Blue Velvet middle. That is a great pickup. Not so much by itself but makes great split coil sounds.

Not familiar with the Suhr SSH+ but has been pointed out, this is a mahogany body guitar so it will have a tendency towards a dark sound. I find the EVO 2 to be a great pickup in mahogany. It's a Vai pickup so there is a lot of presence but it doesn't sound harsh like it might in basswood or alder.

Not sure what neck sound you're after I've also had a lot of issues with these guitars. I had an RG3120 which is extremely similar to your guitar. That uses a PAF Pro in the neck which sounds great. It's a fairly treble-balanced pickup.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 10:41 PM
 
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Re: Another J.Custom Tone/Pickup Question

Probably a dumb question, but have you tried diming the treble on your amp? I find that I can get a very wide variety of sounds from bright to dark by utilizing my amp's settings.
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