Pickup advice for J Custom - Page 2 - Jemsite
All Other Guitars (including Prestige) Discussion about other Ibanez Guitars not covered in the above topics. Includes J-Custom, USA-Custom, Prestige subforum.

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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

musicdr I'm looking at the air classic as well
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 11:54 AM
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

Gilberts "silence followed by a deafening roar" was recorded with the air-classics though it was standard neck-bridge rather than the bridge pickup being placed on the neck.

Also if its ok for some, flipping the magnet on the tonezone worked great for me as I had the same problems with you guys on my 3120. Lonephantom also describes how to make the half-air mode for tonezone, it get even more open sounding then but then becomes too trebly when used with air-norton.

I also modified my air-norton to a regular norton. Its a bit edgy for clean stuff but great for distortion, very similar to newer petrucci pickups. I guess in a week or 2 I'll make a video you'll hear the cleans as there is almost no sound demo on web.
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 01:31 PM
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

I installed a set of Bare Knuckle Holy Divers in my J Custom and they won't be coming out anytime soon. Paired nicely with the mahogany body.

I always wondered who at Ibanez decided to put the Tone Zone in mahogany guitars.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 11:22 PM
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by scalelokt View Post
Lots of great advice here thanks so much. At the moment I'm looking at the transitions, the Paf, and the Gravity Storm. Anyone else tried a Gravity Storm with Mahogany? The SD Distortion really interested me in my metal days, but I'm not sure how much it would fit my style now. These days I'm doing a lot of clean and "Vai tone" leads. I'll always love the metal there's no doubt, but I'm more interested in a beautiful clean and a great lead tone at the moment.
Hi scalelokt,

I am curious to know what was your choice replacing the pups for the mahogany j-custom and the results.

I was not entirely happy with the Gravity Storm, although their sound was great on a RG550LTD (basswood). More details here: http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f21/an...ml#post1519801
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2018, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

So as time went on I decided I wanted to make the J Custom more of a metal / screaming solo guitar, pretty different than when I originally posted this. With that said I actually put a D Activator X in it which is extremely high output. It's hard to explain but it's like the J Custom just made every pickup I put in it sound sort of low output and lifeless, so I decided to put in one that was just really intense to see what happens. Turns out it sounds great and I'd highly recommend it, but that's IF you want the metal kind of sound. If you are looking for a Vai-ish tone out of a Mahogany J Custom I would say of all the pickups I put in it the Evo and the Gravity Storm are still my favorite. Bottom line though, that guitar is so amazingly well built and beautiful, but man is it picky about what pickups are in it. I went through so many before I found anything I liked.
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-09-2018, 05:08 AM
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

I've finally put back the Tone Zone (bridge) and Air Norton (neck). This is how it is supposed to sound! Now I am really enjoying this j-custom
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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-09-2018, 02:01 PM
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

I like the PAF Pro in the neck of everything (and I have one in the neck of a mahogany 3120), and if you already like the Evolution in the bridge, it IS very nice in mahogany.
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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-09-2018, 10:30 PM
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by scalelokt View Post
So as time went on I decided I wanted to make the J Custom more of a metal / screaming solo guitar, pretty different than when I originally posted this. With that said I actually put a D Activator X in it which is extremely high output. It's hard to explain but it's like the J Custom just made every pickup I put in it sound sort of low output and lifeless, so I decided to put in one that was just really intense to see what happens. Turns out it sounds great and I'd highly recommend it, but that's IF you want the metal kind of sound. If you are looking for a Vai-ish tone out of a Mahogany J Custom I would say of all the pickups I put in it the Evo and the Gravity Storm are still my favorite. Bottom line though, that guitar is so amazingly well built and beautiful, but man is it picky about what pickups are in it. I went through so many before I found anything I liked.
The first aftermarket pickup I was exposed to was the X2N in a red RG760 that belonged to the other guitar player in my middle school’s jazz band. I do not remember thinking of it as a “metal guitar” because I did not think of things like that. It was simply a “really awesome guitar” I got to play in Jazz Band sometimes which perfectly normal as far as I was aware. I had been playing for about 1 year so I was not aware of much if I’m honest, but it was fun. The X2N was fun! I do not recall what it sounded like though.
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 05:30 AM
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

I'm confused, Mahogany is a type of hardwood, a guitar pickup is an electromechanical device, the two things are not related, the pickup cannot 'hear' the wood.

If you can't get your tone out of that guitar then it doesn't suit you and you should change it for a different instrument or you should play it until you're used to it.

I have dozens of different guitars made from many different materials and I sound like me on every single one of them irrespective of pickups, timber or hardware.

There are basic ergonomic essentials for me, things that I'm used to, like trems that stay in tune, string gauges I prefer, slimmer neck profiles, low actions and larger frets, all these things should come as standard with better quality guitars but build quality is variable, some of my old guitars were difficult to set up perfectly but their inherent quality means they stay setup without further intervention. Other old guitars just dropped straight in and stayed put. Still others just don't behave no matter how much attention they receive, these I move on.

So this is where timber comes in, many of my old Japanese guitars have quartersawn maple necks, these necks do not move at all any more, they're set and forget.
The body is simply an anchor for the other half of the string tension, as long as it is rigid and doesn't move then the guitar will stay in tune and stay set-up.
The pickups and controls dictate the tonal characteristics but not as much as the length of the instrument cable you use.
As long as the pickups are well-made from good quality materials it really doesn't matter that much and the controls are even less important.

Pick an instrument that makes you want to play it, don't pick one that puts up a fight and makes you want to give up.
peromucho7 and FireEagle like this.
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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 02:05 PM
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

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Originally Posted by sepulchrave View Post
I'm confused, Mahogany is a type of hardwood, a guitar pickup is an electromechanical device, the two things are not related, the pickup cannot 'hear' the wood...

If you can't get your tone out of that guitar then it doesn't suit you and you should change it for a different instrument or you should play it until you're used to it.

I have dozens of different guitars made from many different materials and I sound like me on every single one of them irrespective of pickups, timber or hardware.
From a basic perspective I mostly agree.... because ultimately tone (phrasing & what you ultimately hear) is in the fingers.... but a mahogany RG for example sounds notably different than a basswood RG all things equal. The wood does impact the electronics, especially when you have decent pickups and don't drown the tone with effects. To your point that can be overcome unless you have just totally the wrong guitar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sepulchrave View Post
Pick an instrument that makes you want to play it, don't pick one that puts up a fight and makes you want to give up.
True but what mid-range or above guitar today would make you want to "give up"? One thing i'd counter with is not to lock yourself into a box. Work on your weaknesses, not your strengths and if that means playing a totally different style guitar go for it.
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 02:58 PM
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

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True but what mid-range or above guitar today would make you want to "give up"? One thing i'd counter with is not to lock yourself into a box. Work on your weaknesses, not your strengths and if that means playing a totally different style guitar go for it.
I think there are many music stores sending out mid-range guitars that are so badly set-up they're borderline unplayable, most of my Ibanez' have needed a neck shim to set-up properly which means they went to their first owner badly setup, for example I bought an absolutely mint and apparently unplayed RG7620 that was in fact completely unplayable.

These types of shops simply don't understand what a VAR is, they basically want free money for being the middleman, online means it's a straight race to the bottom where Amazon wins every time.
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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 11:18 PM
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by sepulchrave View Post
I think there are many music stores sending out mid-range guitars that are so badly set-up they're borderline unplayable, most of my Ibanez' have needed a neck shim to set-up properly which means they went to their first owner badly setup, for example I bought an absolutely mint and apparently unplayed RG7620 that was in fact completely unplayable.

These types of shops simply don't understand what a VAR is, they basically want free money for being the middleman, online means it's a straight race to the bottom where Amazon wins every time.
This is probably a thread topic on its own, but I've always wondered why guitar stores don't have the instruments properly set up, even on the higher end stuff. You walk into Sam Ash or Guitar Center and pick a $1,200 strat off the wall and the thing is usually a complete mess. And those are the easy ones to fix since they don't have Floyd Rose tremolos on them.

I'd be broke and my wife livid if the stores actually did this, because I'd be buying a lot more guitars from a retail location.
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 08:53 AM
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

The only reason why retail stores don't have guitars setup is poor management. Ever walk into a Sam Ash, you have almost-medicare age burnouts standing at the counter waiting to ring you up when they're not on cigarette breaks outside. The place does business in spite of itself.

Still even a poorly setup guitar is no reason for someone to "quit" or not to make a purchase. some of you throw out the term "unplayable" far too loosely. Just close your eyes and picture someone like Hendrix saying to himself in his early days... "I'm going to quit playing because this guitar is not setup to perfection". It's embarrassingly laughable
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 09:28 AM
 
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Re: Pickup advice for J Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by sepulchrave View Post
I'm confused, Mahogany is a type of hardwood, a guitar pickup is an electromechanical device, the two things are not related, the pickup cannot 'hear' the wood.
Experiment:

Attach a microphone to a piece of wood and record a signal.
Attach the same microphone to a different kind of wood (with similar dimensions) and record exactly the same signal.
Compare the spectrum of both recorded signals.

I don't know the result. I'm just speculating.
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