J Custom RG8550 pickup advice (help!)
A few months ago I bought an RG8550MZ (one of three in spinal red that came to Australia apparently) and I love everything about this beautiful guitar except one very important thing - tone!
My issue is that the neck and bridge sound quite muddy and dull (Air Norton and Tone Zone), the middle pup (True Velvet) is very bright and a bit thin, and positions 2 and 4 are more tinny than quacky...
I should note that under heavy gain the humbuckers sound very good, but for just about anything else (i.e. I've played a few covers gigs with this axe) the humbuckers tones are a bit dull / muddy and the middle position too bright and thin, so it's very hard to EQ out any of the deficiencies.
My experience with this Dimarzio set in other guitars - particularly the tone zone in basswood guitars, is that it has sounded much better. However, given this J Custom is mahogany with a maple cap, I'm thinking the TZ / AN buckers are not a very good match. I can see how this happened given Ibanez throws this set in all their basswood prestige models and it works well, but I'm a bit disappointed they didn't better match the pups in such an expensive, top end instrument.
Either that, or this guitar is made purely for 80's hard rock and metal, and nothing else...
I'm thinking a Seymour Duncan JB / Jazz set, with a Duckbucker in the middle position might be the fix. I've used JB's in other guitars and I like the general EQ and flavour of that pup much better.
I'm also thinking the duckbucker in the middle will mean greater balance across all positions while also retaining a decent clean / almost single coil clean tone in positions 2,3,4.
Does anybody have any input on my problem and whether my theory about this humbucker set in a mahogany-bodies guitar seems about right?
And what of my problem Seymour Duncan set to fix the problem?
Thanks very much guys... I'm a bit stressed that I've paid circa $AUD4000 for a 'dull' sounding guitar (particularly after I sold a Tremonti PRS to fund it), so I'm really hoping a better sounding match of pups will fix this right up!