Replacement Pickups for My S540LTD - Jemsite
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6
Replacement Pickups for My S540LTD

I have a '91 S540 with the old IBZ pickups and I'm looking for advice. First off, I'm not really into the active pickup thing so passive it is. I want a bridge pickup that is hot and has some sustain and neck that is smooth but not too bassy. I play mostly classic rock but I like my sound to be a bit on the heavier side. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 08:18 PM
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Re: Replacement Pickups for My S540LTD

I loved the old IBZ/USA pickups, so I'd leave them as is and throw some signal boost before your amp for a different tone option.
jallen is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 01:58 AM
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Re: Replacement Pickups for My S540LTD

I have evo's in mine with a fastrack in the middle.I use it for the same music as you.Since every piece of wood is a little different,it could or could not give you what you are after.I've always had good luck with evo's in s540's.
musicdr is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Re: Replacement Pickups for My S540LTD

Yeah Im actually doing the same search man seeing as how I have an S520EX and Im about to grab a used S540LTD.

There are a few pickups that I keep coming back to in my search, through personal recommendations from guys at multiple music stores, to searching the sites of DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan, to people on this forum.

Those are DiMarzio Tone Zone or Air Zone in the Bridge, and Air Norton or PAF Pro In the Neck. I can't really comment to much on the middle pup since my current main guitar is a S520EX w/ an HH config, so my search has not included HsH, but after a quick search on Dimarzio's sites it looks like recommended choices would be Chopper, Fast Track 1, or Air Norton S, plus I have heard plenty of people with S540's use the Air Norton, Red Velvet, Tone Zone HSH setup. So much so that when I had this conversation with the guy that sold me my S520 he scoffed at me when I brought those pups up, and said "man every one has done that already".. do Evo's or evo 2's. But plenty of people have dont that too so, I dunno. lol

Now as far as Seymour Duncan a 59 in the Neck and JB bridge or Jazz in the Neck and Duncan Custom or Custom/Custom in the Bridge are also great choices too, for maybe a little less output and a little bit fatter a sound than DmZ.. especially into a high gain amp.

either way it really depends on what your aiming for in the end, and more importantly what your plugging into. the stock pups in that guitar may sounds great on one and amp and not so great on another, and the same can thing applies to your guitar with new pups as well, ya know?

But I'm pretty much looking for the same thing as you, so I'll let ya know what I come up with and you can do the same. the only major difference between you and I is that I am looking for a pup configuration versatile enough to go from classic rock/metal to Jazz/Bluesy since my practice-for fun playing is reminiscent of my teen age years, while my studio playing tends to be for Hiphop/Rap and RnB records. Lots of half dirty mute picked dark sounding licks.

anyway hope this helps a bit.. lets see what we can come up with!

Last edited by OneShot; 02-25-2009 at 08:30 PM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2009, 07:57 AM
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Re: Replacement Pickups for My S540LTD

Bare Knuckle Holy Divers with an Irish Tour single.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2009, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Re: Replacement Pickups for My S540LTD

I just went through the same thing with an S520wnf I picked up. It came stock with a V7/V8 combo, and I actually liked the PU's, but wanted something more. I waited until I needed to restring my RG3120 so I could pull the P/U's from it to try in my S. They are a Tonezone and PAF pro combo. Wow, what a difference those made in that guitar. The RG is Mahogony with a maple top, so it is a bit more bright, but not much. I think the thickness of the S, or lack of I should say, makes up for the maple top of the RG, so both guitars sound similar. I love this PU combo. Powerfull and aggressive in the bridge and smooth and creamy in the neck. I play through a Mark IV and I have what I think is a killer tone. Everything from classic 80's to grunge to new metal to prog, the S is covering it all. I put them back into the RG and went and got a set from Sam Ash, popped them in the S and they sounded Identical to the ones I pulled from the RG. I won't experiment anymore. Of course, tone is subjective and it is just one mans opinion.
mesaman is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2009, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6
Re: Replacement Pickups for My S540LTD

Well, I think I've finally decided. I'm going with an Air Zone in the bridge, an FS-1 single coil, and either an Air Classic(more "output balanced" with the Air Zone) or a PAF Joe(probably better, but too hot to be balanced easily). I do a little recording on an old Zoom 16 track and the people I do it with do a variety of stuff. I didn't want to get pickups SO hot that I can't have some variety. If I need to "metal" it out, I think I can do enough of that with the amp. If you see this, please let me know what you think about those choices. Thanks for all your help!!!!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2009, 07:57 PM
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Re: Replacement Pickups for My S540LTD

Just for the record,the IBZ F2 is the same pickup as a Tonezone just HOTTER and the F1 is basically a Breed! One of the best Dimarzio combos ever!! Do not waste your money changing them,consider yourself lucky your guitar got them instead of the cheap and crappy pickups found on later 540LTD's and RG's. If you do decide to derface your classic axe let me know and i'll buy the whole set off you!! I'd want the stacked humbucker single coil(C2) also.
corey j grieve is offline  

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