Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z - Jemsite
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

When I switch from either bridge or neck pickup to the single coil there is a massive drop in volume. I have tried raising it as much as possible but it makes no difference. I am going straight into a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 100 watt head and the pickup is just unusable. Could it be a "bad" pickup or some sort of wiring problem ? (I bought this guitar recently second hand and it's in pristine condition. 2011 guitar in Galaxy White)

Thanks.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 01:52 PM
 
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

It's normal. Full humbucker sounds a lot fuller than single coils and split coils in parallell.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 02:03 PM
 
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

Yeah, singlecoils are generally quite a bit weaker than humbuckers. You have a couple options:

* Lower the humbuckers a bit so the drop isn't as noticeable
* Install a hotter singlecoil that has enough output to at least be in the same ballpark as a lower-output humbucker (Dimarzio's Area pickups might work here, and the Heavy Blues 2 would probably be perfect - it's a little darker than norma, so it'd be a good tonal match, as well)
* Just live with it. Some people prefer this configuration because it gives them a way to clean up their sound a bit by flipping the pickup switch.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

Many thanks for the input guys but I don't think this could be "normal"
I am just using a clean sound with no distortion for practising scales, legato etc and this pickup might as well not be there. My practise volume is not loud by any means but I have never seen this on any other guitar I have played and I have been playing for over 40 years. I'm talking about a drastic drop in output/volume. Anyone ever come across this before ? (Using the 5 way switch only position 1 and 5 are usable. The others sound like you have turned the amp down about 75%)
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 02:50 PM
 
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

Post up a clip. I'd be shocked if it's the pickup. 1 75% decrease in gain sounds totally normal when going from a high output humbucker to a singlecoil.

If you were telling me you had three or four stock 550s as well and they all sounded normal to you, but this one was different... maybe I'd think something was up. But, that doesn't sound abnormal at all.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 02:55 PM
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerTone View Post
Many thanks for the input guys but I don't think this could be "normal"
I am just using a clean sound with no distortion for practising scales, legato etc and this pickup might as well not be there. My practise volume is not loud by any means but I have never seen this on any other guitar I have played and I have been playing for over 40 years. I'm talking about a drastic drop in output/volume. Anyone ever come across this before ? (Using the 5 way switch only position 1 and 5 are usable. The others sound like you have turned the amp down about 75%)
Can you measure the resistances with a VOM ? Also can you tap the poles of all 5 coils (2 * 2 HB + the middle SC) with a metal object and observe anything weird there? If the problem was with the single coil alone, position 2 (neck + mid) should sound exactly like 1 (neck) and 4 (mid + bridge) like 5 (bridge). Maybe there is a short of some sort? Maybe some signal leaks to ground at those positions?
OTOH, if the problem was in phase, because, out of phase in 2,4 definitely sounds weak, then again, position 3 should sound just fine.
Anyways, measuring the resistances should manifest the problem right away. Get a digital VOM it costs 10 EUR and lasts for a long time.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 03:00 PM
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
Post up a clip. I'd be shocked if it's the pickup. 1 75% decrease in gain sounds totally normal when going from a high output humbucker to a singlecoil.

If you were telling me you had three or four stock 550s as well and they all sounded normal to you, but this one was different... maybe I'd think something was up. But, that doesn't sound abnormal at all.
The OP says he plays guitar for 40 years. I bet he has played a lot of HSH guitars. Also even in the case that the drop from neck/bridge to middle indeed was 75%, which IMO sounds too far fetched, at least by dimarzio standards, most mid SC pups are about 200 mV and HBs in the range of 400 mV, even then positions 2 and 4 should still sound louder than the middle one.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 03:04 PM
 
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

....in fact, if you'll forgive the slightly ****ty playing (I was doing dishes, which always effs up my calouses), here's a quick clip with my stock 550, into a Roadster, gain maybe 1 o'clock on Ch 3. The pickups are all about level, and especially at the end when I'm just hitting E chords you can hear how much leaner the guitar gets when I switch to the middle.

What you can't do is "feel" how it cleans up - I probably compensate a bit more by diffing in a little more (singlecoils have more attack, generally), and I'm probably more used to playing with less gain than most - but maybe it'll give you a baseline.

https://drewpeterson7.files.wordpres...5/04/rg550.mp3
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 03:04 PM
 
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerTone View Post
When I switch from either bridge or neck pickup to the single coil there is a massive drop in volume. I have tried raising it as much as possible but it makes no difference. I am going straight into a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 100 watt head and the pickup is just unusable. Could it be a "bad" pickup or some sort of wiring problem ? (I bought this guitar recently second hand and it's in pristine condition. 2011 guitar in Galaxy White)

Thanks.
Sounds like a good excuse for a pickup "upgrade" to me!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

Thanks again guys and thanks Drew for taking the time to do a sound test for me. Thank you Panix for the advice and tips. I reckon I just have to play around with this a bit more as it's my very first Ibanez guitar. I am enjoying it so far and love the fingerboard and jumbo frets. (mostly played Strats and Les Pauls over the years.) I can see myself wanting more Ibanez guitars. For the price they have to be the best value out there. I also quite like the Edge Zero even though it gets some poor reviews on here. With the ZPS3 it is very stable and easily adjustable.

Thanks again guys.

Last edited by KillerTone; 04-27-2015 at 01:19 PM.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 03:43 PM
 
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

Nice man, glad you're enjoying the guitar.

If it's your first time playing single coils and humbuckers in the same guitar, then yeah, it may take some getting used to. Does the volume drop you're getting sound about on par with what you're hearing in that clip? If so, that's probably normal.

If you want a hotter singlecoil, though, I suspect the Heavy Blues 2 would be a great middle position singlecoil in a HSH guitar - I had a pair of them in my Strat for a while, and while ultimately it wasn't the right pickup for that guitar, they certainly had no problem matching the volume of the AT1 in the bridge. They also recorded really well, even though I didn't care for how they sounded "in the room." I don't have a clip of an entire song I recorded using them on the net, but on the album teaser I put out, at about 0:21, you can hear a song I recorded with a HB2 in the neck. I should just put the rest of it up on youtube - it's a surprisingly good sounding pickup, a bit "stiff" feeling, dynamically (but that would work with a humbucker), but on tape it's a really ballsy sounding singlecoil.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ik6xByHazo
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 03:47 PM
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

nice shred man!
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 04:30 PM
 
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Re: Problem with single coil pickup on RG2550Z

Thanks man - it's definitely a bit loose and sloppy though, lol. Just kind of noodling around doing some mostly legato runs in Em, everyone's favorite key.
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