pickup recommendations for a 540p? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
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pickup recommendations for a 540p?

I'm going to be putting together a 540p body with a H-S-S configuration

what would you recommend as far as pickups?

i play alot of 80's type metal and some classic rock mostly.. i use a fat strat for the bluesy/jazzy stuff

thanks in advance for your input
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 12:09 AM
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Re: pickup recommendations for a 540p?

This will help us help you:

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: pickup recommendations for a 540p?

Right... good read... ok, here goes..

1. What type of music do you like? Be specific about bands or particular guitarists.
For this project, I wanted to build up a 540p like the one I used to have when I was a kid and played a lot of 80s rock/metal through it. I'd like it to be versatile enough to play things like Dokken/Great White/Skid Row/Living Color/GnR/Cinderella/Poison/etc but also things on the heavier side like earlier Metallica, Pantera, and Megadeth.

I'm not doing any recording or anything serious like that and I depend on my ADA MP-1 and other rack effects pretty heavily too.

2. What type of equipment are you going to be playing through? A 10 watt "Rouge" amplifier is never going to sound better, no matter what pickups you put in your guitar......sorry
I mainly use two of my smaller amps. One is a Peavy Studio Pro 112 and the other is a Fender stereo chorus. As I mentioned above, i use an ADA MP-1 and I also have a couple of older ART rack effects as well.

3. What are the specifics of your guitar? I find myself having to browse the web all the time to find out the specs of peoples guitars...
A. Is it a trem or hardtail?
B. maple or rosewood board?
C. how many frets?
D. what controls are on it?
E. What type of wood is you body made from?
F. Are your pickups direct mounted, ring mounted or in a pickguard?
It's a 540p body with a 540s neck. The body should be Alder if its true to the 540 specs. I just bought it and it hasn't arrived yet so I can confirm this after its in my hands. I'm just pre-planning the build.

a) It's got an edge trem
b) the neck is from a sabre, so, it should be maple with a rosewood board on it.
c) 22 frets.
d) there are 3 micro switches, 1 vol knob, 1 tone knob
e) Alder
f) i believe theyre direct mounted

1) 1. Why are you changing your pickups? So many times I see people wanting to change their pickups because they think they HAVE to based on other peoples advice. What is it that YOU don't like about your current pups? What would you like to be different in a set of new ones?
I purchased the guitar with no pickups, and I just wanted to put something cool in there instead of just trying to find the original pickup set. I figured this would be a good opportunity to build up something I could use as a solid player guitar, so, I wanted to purchase/setup a nice pickup combination.

2. Are you looking for any particular brand, and if so...Why? Do you have previous experience with that brand, or maybe a bad experience with another brand? Are you going on someone's advice or on your own research??
No, nothing specific, I'm not a label whore when it comes to pickups... yet... I could EMG, DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, etc .. whatever.. was just hoping I could soak up some of the knowledge/experience/trial-and-error of others on here.

3. Often times people think they need new pups because their guitar is making funny noises, or sounding weak....... sometimes there's nothing wrong with their pups. Sometimes it's other electrical problems like a loose jack, a dirty pot or switch, a loose or broken solder joint...... etc. If you DO have a problem like this.....DESCRIBE IT IN DETAIL. Guitar electronics are actually very easy to fix yourself.
No, it's nothing like that, I'm just building one up and wanted some input/advice from the Ibanez experts on here.


I recently got back into playing, so, sorry if some of these are noob questions or ive answered ridiculously in any way above.

Last edited by yamasaki760; 11-19-2012 at 08:40 AM. Reason: added a googled 540p image
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2001
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Re: pickup recommendations for a 540p?

Huh, I always wondered if the 540R, P and S necks were the same and interchangeable.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: pickup recommendations for a 540p?

apparently so. the one i bought has the "custom made" inlay on the neck and the seller did say the neck came from a Sabre.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 02:00 PM
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Re: pickup recommendations for a 540p?

I just bought a Duncan JB for the exact same guitar. I'm a big Dokken fan and that's what he used before they came out with the Screamin' Demon for him. The Skulls & Snakes guitar is alder.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 05:43 PM
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Re: pickup recommendations for a 540p?

Super 3 bridge.
Tone Zone S middle.
Air Norton S neck.

Punchy, clear and versatile as all hell.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 08:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Re: pickup recommendations for a 540p?

I'll 2nd the Air Norton S, both of my 540ps have one in the neck. I really like the stock IBZ/USA bridge pickup too. No opinion on the middle tho, I never use it
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 02:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Re: pickup recommendations for a 540p?

Yep, Super 3 or D Activator, and Air Norton.

The Super 3 was very popular for a lot of years.
Also used by Jon Norum of Don Dokken, Russ Parish of War & Peace (with Jeff Pilson of Dokken), Vinnie Moore, and Bucket Head of GnR.
They came stock in the High End Fender Talons (Team J. Craft) guitars.
I have one stock in my talon, and once get used to it, everything else just sucks.

But you should go to the DiMarzio site and use the pickup selector tool.
It's a good idea to base your choosing on a pickup you are familiar with.

When I waslooking for a new sound I based my new pickup on the EMG 81/60, and Super3/H3 of the Talon V. I came up with a D Activator.

I love all 3 of the above in different ways
Super 3 / H3
D Activator Bridge & Neck
EMG 81 / 60

the best pickups for metal, and rock.
Metalica, Poison, Dokken, Ratt, etc... and also alot of new stuff.

In Fact, the RG3XXV has the D Activator bridge, Air Norton S

Last edited by Mr_Scary; 11-23-2012 at 02:16 AM. Reason: added the info on RG3XXV
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Posts: 43
Re: pickup recommendations for a 540p?

I cant thank you guys enough for the great input and advice.

thanks for taking the time

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 01:43 PM
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Re: pickup recommendations for a 540p?

super 3 in the bridge and fast/pro tracks in the neck and mid.

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