Help fix my RG3120, please! - Jemsite
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Help fix my RG3120, please!

Hey guys,

I've had a 2000 RG3120TW for about 8 months, which I bought second hand. I love it, but I find that it sounds thin on the higher strings. Also, I could never get artificial harmonics (for squeals and divebombs) to work quite right (hovering finger above 3rd fret on G string for example and plucking).. They just don't scream and sustain - they quickly fade. I got it professionally set up and it helped, but not to the extent I was hoping for - he said the neck was out of alignment and that the pickups were too close to the strings (I didn't think so). That helped my high E from sliding off the fretboard at least.

Anyway, I got a 2001 RG3120DR last week, second hand again, from the same dude! This 3120 sounds thicker / darker and doesn't have that thin texture on the high strings that I get from my 3120TW. Although harmonics aren't that great on this one either!

They both have stock pickups, Tone Zone bridge and PAF Pro neck, and usually the Tone Zone sounds dark, thick and is full of harmonics! Between the two 3120s, the pole heights are different, whether they came like that or previous owner(s) did that. The 3120DR's pickups are lower but the pole pieces stick out much more.

What is going on with my 3120TW? Should I try adjusting pole height on the Tone Zone? I haven't adjusted pole height on pickups before so I don't know how I'd go about this. Is it possible the action is too low that it's choking the sustain of my artificial harmonics? Frets on 3120TW are level. The action on both guitars is reallllly low (not really buzzing though), but that doesn't explain the thin high end on the 3120TW.

I love both 3120s but would love them even more if I could solve these issues, especially for the 3120TW!

Last edited by Steveche; 01-23-2016 at 07:00 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 03:38 PM
 
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Re: Help fix my RG3120, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveche View Post
I've had a 2000 RG3120TW (...) I could never get artificial harmonics (...) Anyway, I got a 2001 RG3120DR (...) harmonics aren't that great on this one either!
Can you get artificial harmonics on other 25.5" scale guitars? I mean, isn't it you? Can other people get artificial harmonics on your guitars?

Anyway artificial harmonics are not a pickup issue, as you can get them with the guitar unplugged. They're low volume, but you can hear them. So pickups are not to blame.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help fix my RG3120, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachmaninoff View Post
Can you get artificial harmonics on other 25.5" scale guitars? I mean, isn't it you? Can other people get artificial harmonics on your guitars?

Anyway artificial harmonics are not a pickup issue, as you can get them with the guitar unplugged. They're low volume, but you can hear them. So pickups are not to blame.
I doubt it's me. I've been playing for 10 years now, so it's not new to me, and I've only played ESP / Ibanez with 25.5" scale for most of it. My RG565, RG770DX reissue, RG3570Z and even my indo RG370DX have harmonics that sustain very well.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 10:28 PM
 
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Re: Help fix my RG3120, please!

This kind of problem is impossible to diagnose without having the guitar actually in hand and on the workbench. The best thing I can suggest is to go over it from head to tail. Pull the strings off, make sure all of the tuners are tightened (both the small philips screw and the tuner hold down collar), tighten the nut hold down screws, Pull the neck off to insure there's no problems in the pocket, screw the neck in nice and tight, check that the trem actually sits correctly on the studs and that the studs are locked. check the studs for any wiggle in the body AFTER they are locked to insure the anchors are secure, check the trem block to insure that it's tight. check ALL of the electronics to insure you don't have any broken or grounded solder joints....don't forget the output jack. Re-string with a new set, maybe try a different brand- you never know. Go through the entire setup process again, don't assume anything......verify.

Last, if none of this helps much- re-wire everything to insure there are no electrical problems.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help fix my RG3120, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
This kind of problem is impossible to diagnose without having the guitar actually in hand and on the workbench. The best thing I can suggest is to go over it from head to tail. Pull the strings off, make sure all of the tuners are tightened (both the small philips screw and the tuner hold down collar), tighten the nut hold down screws, Pull the neck off to insure there's no problems in the pocket, screw the neck in nice and tight, check that the trem actually sits correctly on the studs and that the studs are locked. check the studs for any wiggle in the body AFTER they are locked to insure the anchors are secure, check the trem block to insure that it's tight. check ALL of the electronics to insure you don't have any broken or grounded solder joints....don't forget the output jack. Re-string with a new set, maybe try a different brand- you never know. Go through the entire setup process again, don't assume anything......verify.

Last, if none of this helps much- re-wire everything to insure there are no electrical problems.
Thanks RGT. The thin sound bugs me more than the artificial harmonic thing. I checked the guitar for loose things, seems fine. I may have found something though! I was comparing my 3120's earlier this evening and noticed that the 3120TW's pickup positions 2 and 4 make a lot of noise (hum). I'm guessing this guitar isn't wired in default, and one the previous owners had it rewired to get single coils in positions 2 and 4, but may have messed something up in the wiring, causing the bridge humbucking position (position 1) to sound thin (sounds like less output compared to the 3120DR). What do you think?

Default Ibanez HH pickup configuration is 1 (bridge), 2 (bridge + neck inner coils), 3 (both humbuckers), 4 (neck parallel), 5 (neck series)???

This, to me, sounds like 1 (bridge, but thin / less output), 2 (bridge single coil or both inner coils), 3 (both humbuckers), 4 (neck single coil), 5 (neck)

How can I actually find this out? I know nothing about electronics / wiring. Bring it to the tech?

Last edited by Steveche; 01-17-2016 at 12:44 PM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help fix my RG3120, please!

So I finally figured out the culprit of the thin sound on the 3120TW! I brought it back to my tech who previously set it up. He double checked the HH wiring and all was good. He tested the pickups and said half of my bridge pickup (tone zone) was dead. It wasn't giving a reading for half the coil.

So time to put in a new pickup and see how she sounds! Just debating btw tone zone, evolution, d activator or mega drive.

Last edited by Steveche; 01-26-2016 at 07:22 PM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 08:37 PM
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Re: Help fix my RG3120, please!

I love the d activator, but I'm not much of a dimarzio fan so that either says something really good or really bad about that pickup
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 05:45 PM
 
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Re: Help fix my RG3120, please!

Have you tried a Dominion? Extremely versatile pickup, easy harmonics, and cleans up nice too
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 07:17 PM
 
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Re: Help fix my RG3120, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirltop View Post
Have you tried a Dominion? Extremely versatile pickup, easy harmonics, and cleans up nice too
The Dominion is a killer pickup for all the reasons you listed, but if the OP's guitar is already sounding thin then the Dominion may not be the best pick as it would make a thin sounding guitar very thin sounding.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help fix my RG3120, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirltop View Post
Have you tried a Dominion? Extremely versatile pickup, easy harmonics, and cleans up nice too
I have not. Will keep that in mind, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
The Dominion is a killer pickup for all the reasons you listed, but if the OP's guitar is already sounding thin then the Dominion may not be the best pick as it would make a thin sounding guitar very thin sounding.
The bridge pickup had a dead coil, which is likely the culprit of the thin sound I've been experiencing. A new pickup should solve this!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 10:03 PM
 
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Re: Help fix my RG3120, please!

Fair enough then, the Dominion may be right up your alley then!
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