Like many people, I have found the SZ520QM to be unique guitar with unique tones and feel. But like many, when we look for a more, I'll call it "main stream" sound (like a Gibson RG or even a Fender anything) we find the tonal range to be limited. Sustain is absolutely great. But the tone range when on the full neck setting and middle toggle (series two inner coils), if the tone pot is turned down (from about 5/6 to 0), the tone gets muddy, harmonics are weak, mids disappear. While this may sound like I don't like this guitar...quite the contrary. With the tone pot 6-10, both vols pots set midway or better, especially on the bridge pickup...this guitar rocks. I just think it can do more than Ibanez put into it. As such, I'm looking a different modifications. I'd like you opinions:
1) Rewire the 2 vol/1 tone pots to a 1 master vol/2 tone. It seems to me that if a player could dial in the tones better between the two humbuckers, some of these issues could be resolved.
2) Replace the volume pot to an audio taper (Bourn or CTS) to give it more control...even control over the volume. The stock pots must be linear as they jump in volume at first then produce not much change.
3) Upgrade the two new tone pots to Stellartone Tonestylers. If you have not heard of these...check out the web site. In short, they are a 12 position tone pot...each position has its own capacitor thereby doing a much better job at keeping the mids and highs when the tone pot is rolled down.
4) I'd like to replace the 3-way toggle to a 5-way....but can't find one that will fit the original hole. I don't want to cut the body to fit a "fender" like 5-way. The 5-way would give two additional settings: One being a parallel setting with the two inner coils (would be like two single coils instead of humbuckers) and the other parallel with the two outer coils.
The other three set are full neck, full bridge, and series middle coils (stock).
5) Finally, I'm thinking of changing the pickups to Seymore/Duncans Jazz pickup for the neck and (I think) SH4's for the bridge. Popular opinion seems to indicate that they are a good match.
I don't know if I need to do all the above, some of the above...I'm looking for opinions. Thanks in advance for any information.