Finally got my USRG30!!!! - Jemsite
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2002, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 140
Finally got my USRG30!!!!

Hey Guys,

Well, at long last I am now the owner of a 1996 USRG30 in transparent blue (Thanks, Joe P.!!!!)

Now, I'll once again resurrect the beast of a topic... what should I do about the pickups. I've played the sucker for a week or two now, and I don't HATE the current pickups (PAF Pro and Tone Zone)... but I am thinking that I can do better for nice and tight chunking with balls and a sweet singing solo sound through my TriAxis or MP-1 or GSP-2101.

So, the ever present question of the the hour is.... what have you other USRG series guys put into your guitars rather that the stock stuff? I am a prog metal shredder wannabe by nature. I plan on trying to do some jazz stuff as well, but I think I will use my S540LTD for that after I install a Tone Zone in the bridge.

Right now I have the following pickups to choose from for the USRG30:

Steve's Special
Humbucker From Hell
Air Norton
Super 3

Has anyone used a Humbucker from Hell in these guitars? Thoughts? Anyone have any recordings they have made with these pickups in their USRG?

The TZ in the bridge just seems a tad too flubby for me there. I am thinking that the SS would do very well instead.

I REALLY like the teeth shattering solo sound that Paul Gilbert and Bruce Bouillet had back in the early Racer X days on tunes like "Scit Scat Wah" and "Scarified". I think they used those old P90 type pickups back then, but I am not sure.

Also, I am interested in what people think in terms of sweep picking with the HFH vs. the Air Norton.

Thanks guys,
Jeff
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2002, 05:24 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: LR, AR
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jeff, glad to see you alive again. congrats on the usrg. for the old racer x stuff PG used super distortions and duncan mini hums. for the sound you seem to be wanting, the tried and true petrucci rig seems to fit the bill. air norton and steve's special. i prefer the AN over the HFH for sweep picking. the HFH is what it claims to be: a single coil in a humbucker size. you can coil tap an AN to get that(i know, i did it to my rgt...very fat neck single coil). the AN has a mushy quality that makes the sweeps have a more legato type tone. very piano like. the HFH is thin, whereas both sound good, the HFH is more YJM style and the AN is more JP. either way, it all comes down to if you want thinner strat style tone in your sweeps or a fluid thick fat paf tone to them i prefer the latter.


rich
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2002, 07:41 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Richmond, Kentucky
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You should add that you wont be able to hear notes as clearly for sweeps with the air norton. The humbucker from hell would give you the clear (im a good sweeppicker tone) whereas if you want to hide somethings go for the air norton in the neck. You seem to be wanting more chunk so youve basically answered your own question. Use a steves a special and the bridge and counter that with a humbucker from hell. Interesting mix if you ask me
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 12:48 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: DFW, Texas
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My 30 came with a SS in the bridge...works quite well (definitely has teeth!), but I think I might prefer the TZ, so one of theses days I'll swap it out.
Greg
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 12:50 AM
 
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you trying to say i'm sloppy? GRRR! j/k. its all preference. i like the fatter tone for sweeps. but i also like my single coils for it, too. at the end of the day its whatever you want to go for. the bell like thinned, tone from the HFH is good, but i think it's too thin for me. i like the AN overall, but for sweeping, the paf pro and fred are really good. the AN for me is more for longer sustained notes and fat legato. i set my ANs to be tapped as a single much like a strat single coil to get that YJM type sweeping tone, so i cover both bases with the AN.


rich
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 01:03 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Richmond, Kentucky
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No im not saying anyones sloppy. Im just saying a clearer sweep tone will come from pure singles ala yngwie. . Oh well. Im sloppy anyhoo
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by rty13ibz98
jeff, glad to see you alive again. congrats on the usrg. for the old racer x stuff PG used super distortions and duncan mini hums. for the sound you seem to be wanting, the tried and true petrucci rig seems to fit the bill. air norton and steve's special. i prefer the AN over the HFH for sweep picking. the HFH is what it claims to be: a single coil in a humbucker size. you can coil tap an AN to get that(i know, i did it to my rgt...very fat neck single coil). the AN has a mushy quality that makes the sweeps have a more legato type tone. very piano like. the HFH is thin, whereas both sound good, the HFH is more YJM style and the AN is more JP. either way, it all comes down to if you want thinner strat style tone in your sweeps or a fluid thick fat paf tone to them i prefer the latter.


rich
Hey Rich,

Yep, I'm still alive and kicking. Though I can't say the same for the top of my computer desk since I have been smashing my forehead into it repeatedly battling with setting up the new computer for recording.

In regards to Gilbert using SD mini-hums. Any idea which ones he used? I see that there are 3 varieties today. I am looking at the tone curves for these three PU's and trying to match them to a HFH or AN curve.
http://www.basslines.com/website/tonechart.shtml#spec

It looks like the Vintage Soapbar has an emphasis on highs and mids with less bass, whereas the Hot and Custom Soapbars have a pronounced midrange (i.e. "frowny face" curve )

Seems like if PG was using the Vintage Soapbar, I would like the HFH more (as opposed to the Petrucci standby, AN). Heck, maybe that's the reason he went with the HFH on his custom PG models with Ibanez? I'll have to check and see if the PGM models with the HFH in the neck are also made of alder like my USRG30.

Thanks for the thoughts dude... sure wish it wasn't such a pain to stick these in and pull them out myself. I'm considering a fellow listmember here to do the work (Hey, Scott!) instead, but I would rather get it right the first time.

I'll let everyone know if I make a final decision.

Later,
Jeff
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 03:31 PM
 
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Location: A Mile High (USA)
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I'm pretty sure that there weren't any alder-bodied PGM's. I think they're all basswood, with the exception of the PGM800 & PGM10th which are ash and the PGM900 which was a mahogany Talman.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperfrommars1
You should add that you wont be able to hear notes as clearly for sweeps with the air norton. The humbucker from hell would give you the clear (im a good sweeppicker tone) whereas if you want to hide somethings go for the air norton in the neck. You seem to be wanting more chunk so youve basically answered your own question. Use a steves a special and the bridge and counter that with a humbucker from hell. Interesting mix if you ask me
Sniper... did you mean that last part as "interesting" like "wow... that may sound really cool" or "interesting" like "whoa... does this guy practice S&M with water buffalo or WHAT?!?!?".

Anyone else out there ever use an HFH/SS combo in their axe?

I can't say that I want to HIDE anything... oter than my hideous poorly muted out of tune sweep picking. j/k Really though there are quite a few tones I enjoy hearing in terms of sweep picked stuff. Off the top of my head was the previous mention of Paul Gilbert and his "Scit Scat Wah" kind of stuff. Then there is Tony MacAlpine from his "Maximum Security" days (he used an Al DiMeola Neck model for this... I have one and am putting it in my Fender HM). I also really dig Victor Smolski's tone on the two Mind Odyssey cds, "Signs" and "Nailed To The Shade". Unfortunately I can't find any info on what he used back then, just new info about his band "Rage" which I REALLY don't care for.

Do you think there will be any problems with the fairly large discrepancy in output voltage between the HFH and SS, i.e. 226mV and 390 mV respectively?

Thanks,
Jeff
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkelm
My 30 came with a SS in the bridge...works quite well (definitely has teeth!), but I think I might prefer the TZ, so one of theses days I'll swap it out.
Greg
Hey Greg,

I thinkwe MAY have rapped about this before, but why do you think you would dig the TZ more than the SS in the bridge? Let me know if there is anything I can do to give you a clue as to how this sucker sounds with a TZ in there. Do you own a POD? Maybe you can create a POD patch, send it to me and then I can upload it to my POD and record some of my God-awful noodling direct to hard drive and send it to you to compare sounds? Let me know if you think I can be of help.

Later,
Jeff
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by rty13ibz98
you trying to say i'm sloppy? GRRR! j/k. its all preference. i like the fatter tone for sweeps. but i also like my single coils for it, too. at the end of the day its whatever you want to go for. the bell like thinned, tone from the HFH is good, but i think it's too thin for me. i like the AN overall, but for sweeping, the paf pro and fred are really good. the AN for me is more for longer sustained notes and fat legato. i set my ANs to be tapped as a single much like a strat single coil to get that YJM type sweeping tone, so i cover both bases with the AN.
rich
Now THERE is something I hadn't thought of. Is there any way to get a good idea of how a particular PU will sound when coil-tapped? For instance, does it just effect the output voltage in a impedance-divider sort of way, or is there more to it than just a decrease in output voltage? The only thing that I DON'T like about coil tapping the AN is if I have to drill any holes in the body to accomodate a DPDT switch to coil tap the sucker. I like all 5 of the sounds I get from the 5 way switch right now when it comes to CLEAN stuff. The 2nd and 4th positions have always been equated to CLEAN tone for me. BTW, I may have missed it somewhere on this site, but is there a wiring diagram or explanation of the 5 positions on these USRG guitars somewhere? I mean, heck, if somehow the 5 position switch already DOES the coil tapping then I may be set. Thanks for any info you can give me on this.

Regards,
Jeff
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by rty13ibz98
you trying to say i'm sloppy? GRRR! j/k. its all preference. i like the fatter tone for sweeps. but i also like my single coils for it, too. at the end of the day its whatever you want to go for. the bell like thinned, tone from the HFH is good, but i think it's too thin for me. i like the AN overall, but for sweeping, the paf pro and fred are really good. the AN for me is more for longer sustained notes and fat legato. i set my ANs to be tapped as a single much like a strat single coil to get that YJM type sweeping tone, so i cover both bases with the AN.


rich
Hey Rich,

Do you have a USRG guitar? The stock neck PU is the PAF Pro but the tone I am getting from it is not EXACTLY what I am looking for. How would you describe the PAF Pro vs. the Air Norton in terms of tone? I mean, looking at the tone curves for those two they look a HECK of a lot different from one another. The AN seems to really have alot of bass and mids and rolled back treble, whereas the PAF Pro has gained down mids and bass and a treble peak. Granted, the PAF Pro compared to the HFH is very different animal as well. Just trying to pick everyone's brain.

Thanks,
Jeff
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaijem777
I'm pretty sure that there weren't any alder-bodied PGM's. I think they're all basswood, with the exception of the PGM800 & PGM10th which are ash and the PGM900 which was a mahogany Talman.
Thanks, Vaijem777. Saved me the time of looking into this myself.

Later,
Jeff
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 04:42 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 1,568
Quote:
Originally Posted by SliderJeff
Hey Greg,

I thinkwe MAY have rapped about this before, but why do you think you would dig the TZ more than the SS in the bridge? Let me know if there is anything I can do to give you a clue as to how this sucker sounds with a TZ in there. Do you own a POD? Maybe you can create a POD patch, send it to me and then I can upload it to my POD and record some of my God-awful noodling direct to hard drive and send it to you to compare sounds? Let me know if you think I can be of help.

Later,
Jeff
In humbucking pickups I generally prefer bumped up mids rather than scooped. Same reason I think I'd like the AN in the neck. Either a TZ of AZ is going into the bridge as soon as I get around to it. Thanks for the sound sample offer...I think I just need to do the swap.
Greg
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 140
[quote="gkelm
In humbucking pickups I generally prefer bumped up mids rather than scooped. Same reason I think I'd like the AN in the neck. Either a TZ of AZ is going into the bridge as soon as I get around to it. Thanks for the sound sample offer...I think I just need to do the swap.
Greg[/quote]

Greg,

Is there a particular artists tone that I might be familiar with that you would say is the "bumped up mids" tone that you are going for? As I haven't experimented much with pickups and stuff, perhaps I just don't know WHAT I want in terms of tone. I tend to prefer CRUNCH and BALLS over mud and bass heavy stuff. I tend to equate CRUNCH and BALLS with what I will call "bright" sound as opposed to "warm". When I hear what most people term as "warm" I tend to think of it as bassy and flubby as opposed to tight and crunchy. It's unfortunate that we have to use such subjective terms for tone, but one's man trash is another man's treasure, right? Anway, maybe I can get a better understanding if you give me an artist who's tone you admire.

Later, dude,
Jeff
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Tags
air norton , clean tone , coil tap , coil tapping , humbucking pickup , paf pro , paul gilbert , strat style , super distortion , sweep picking , tone zone , tony macalpine , wiring diagram

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