Help with new guitar or new pickups - Jemsite
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2017
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Help with new guitar or new pickups

Hello everyone!
First post so hopefully I'm following the etiquette here. I know there are a million what pickups/guitar should I get posts, but I think this one will hopefully help answer some questions that I have that while still subjective, may have more decisive answers/opinions.
I'm the proud owner of a S1220 Prestige I bought years ago. For whatever reason, mainly frustration, I quit messing with guitar for a long time. I'm self taught and really got boxed in with what I had learned and couldn't figure out how to break out of my tendencies. Fast forward to now and there's a million different free guitar lessons online and since I've picked it back up I've really enjoyed it.
I like late 80's and early 90's metal like Pantera and Sepultura, but like any guitar player, I play blues as well. If anyone has some recommendations on some current metal bands that would be cool as well as I haven't came across any that stand out since I've started back playing.
So here's my predicament. Since owning the S1220, I've never really bonded with it for a couple of reasons. One is I can't seem to get a metal tone out of it that I like. I feel like a pickup swap could solve this part. It still has the quantum's in it now, but they sound so muddy to me. I think I want a pickup with a really tight bottom end, but I don't know what I lose to gain that. I know there's always a trade off.
What pickups for a tight punchy bottom end?

My second issue is that even though the S1220 has this really comfortable design, I find it uncomfortable to rest my picking arm on the top back of the guitar. My dad let me borrow a strat and I'll be damned if it doesn't feel easier to pick due to being able to rest my arm on that nice sloped back corner that strats and RGs have. I also feel like I can kind of pinch the guitar between my arm and body anytime I need to move up and down the neck fast, so not only does it help with my picking hand control, it helps with keeping the guitar from moving around as much while I'm trying to play fast. I don't want to be the guy that blames poor technique on the guitar, but if it helps, then it helps right?

So then I must get an RG right? What kind? Does the body wood really matter on those? I've been looking at the RG652AHM with the ash body and maple neck, because I wonder if the lack of a punchy, tight bottom end on my S1220 is due to the open grain unlaquered mahogany? Mostly I think it's just finding the right pickups and amp combination so maybe the wood should be an afterthought and just get what I think looks the best. Dunno, should make some difference right?
So sorry for rambling first post. Lots of questions in here that I hope you guys can help with.

Thanks for reading!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 03:37 AM
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Re: Help with new guitar or new pickups

Since you A/B'ed the S1220 against something else and found something else to be more comfortable, then you need to let go of the S1220.

It doesn't matter if the guitar sounds amazing because if you don't like the way it feels, you will always pick up something else when given the choice. Even when there is a choice between picking up an uncomfortable guitar and not picking up a guitar, the later usually wins.

When looking for a new instrument, I always suggest going to the shops and trying everything out. The most important thing is how it feels in your hands. Price, color, shape, sound, etc. can all be addressed later.

Like you, I would like to find an "everything" guitar and one thing I realized is to accomplish that, one should have humbuckers that split into single coils. While that will not get a Strat or Tele sound, it will work a lot better than trying to get bigger sounds from a Strat or Tele.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Good points!

I like the 4th position for those cleaner tones. Has the neck humbucker wired in series. Kind of wish the 2nd spot had the bridge humbucker wired in series.

I've been trying to play a lot of guitars, but we really only have a couple local guitar stores here. I haven't found anything I had to have yet though.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 09:30 AM
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Re: Help with new guitar or new pickups

Can you afford a second guitar? then keep the S for a while or sell it later. Do you need a tremolo? That's probably the first question i'd ask myself. I find the S too thin and undesirable but they're a long-running line, just not mainstream or a Strat. Pickups/wiring can easily be tweaked later, would be the choice of a buying a guitar as much as the color of the living room paint should be the choice of buying a home.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help with new guitar or new pickups

I installed some Dimarzio Titans last week and they were a pretty good upgrade. Trouble is after trying to do some of my own setup and really going over her, I've noticed that I've got some pretty decent fret wear on about 8 frets. It isn't causing any problems yet, but I could imagine that it will go much longer. Not sure why, but the frets on this guitar did not seem to hold up very well. I do tend to play in the same places though with maybe a tad bit too much pressure with my vibrato. I've been trying to go through my technique and clean up some bad tendencies so maybe I can avoid this in the future. It's got me looking at the Uppercut RG. Just having a hard time justifying the extra cost for what seems like a few slight upgrades.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 04:30 AM
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Re: Help with new guitar or new pickups

From my experience I know that the comfort of playing depends mainly on the shape of the neck, the width and the radius of the fretboard also minor but... finish (satin lacquer, gloss, none). In Ibanez frets are high so this is not a topic for me. Also the thickness, shape of the body ,hence the positioning, of the guitar. Important thing when I play a lot, of course it can be adjusted with a strap, but this is not always the solution. RG is always very comfortable for me, S is not necessarily (too thin body). The moment I grab the guitar and play a while to know it ... I feel good whit it so it's a comfortable instrument for me. I try to determine if it is convenient for my fingers, hands, shoulders and body posture.

Going back to the neck. Thinner does not always mean better. That's why I like ultra profile. For metal playing i found that wider fretboard is much comfortable. I have better note control with faster stuff (stratocaster, proline vs some RG's).
You need have some experience.. no one can't tell you. Of course It takes time. Visiting shops or borrowing is solution. It's fun. Don't be affraid or shame Of course you will always have to make a compromise. Good luck.

Pickups and built quality is next BIG topic..or forum.

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