I've got a Jem 555 that I wouldn't mind getting to sound better, and a RG350DXZ I picked up in mint cond second hand that I'm sure can be improved without spending to much cash.
* Firstly, is it worth spending some time and money on these or just selll 'em and get a premium or better? Will these upgrades give a considerable improvement in tone?
The Jem 555 I bought when my grandma passed away so I would like to keep this one if I can get it up to scratch, plus resale money if I sold it is awful. The RG350 I could sell for the same money I paid for it, but overall I feel its a solid heavy guitar and I wouldn't mind a guitar that sounds good and I can take to parties etc and and not have to worry about it being abused.
Tone I'm going for - 90's Rock / Metal bridge pickup, Strat tone with the middle, middle/neck, middle/bridge. Must clean up well when winding the volume back. I played a Premium RG970 maple top with Dimarzio IBZ's the other day, I found the middle and neck pickup to be very nice, the Bridge was a little bright for my liking.
Other thoughts - I am aware the Gotoh trems may not fit. I DONT want to be routing out wood if i can avoid it. I've already sorted out the nut being way to high on the Jem.
The Jem 555.... Budget $100-$300AU + neck cost
The problems.. sounds a bit muddy, dull and lifeless, lacks character. Not 100% sure on the trem. Possibly neck replacement?
Brass block for trem - The edge 3 stays in tune well, is in good condition, but I hate the way the wammy bar screw tensions under the back of the trem system. I hope if i pull it apart I can get the wammy bar retention working little better ( may have a cracked plastic sleeve), Also I've found a bit of lube in the hole always makes things better
. I have read many mixed reports on the edge 3 trem..
* should I get the FU brass big block ( and will this reduce movement )? or is a Gotoh FR ( Edge Pro etc if the Gotoh wont fit ) a better option overall bearing in mind it is around 3 times the money?
* Finally, some drop in locking studs that I can just screw in, and not have to pull out and refit new bases would be nice... can you get these? anyone got a link to these?
Muddy tone / Pickups - These are Dimarzio Evo's. I'm thinking air the pickups, maybe installing a 0.047uf capacitor between the ‘hot’ wire on the pickup ( thanks to lone phantom for that tip) and try a alnico magnet in the neck pup. Any thoughts or advice here appreciated.
* I'm looking for magnets I can get to Australia without spending a fortune in shipping?
Neck replacement - If one comes up cheap on 3bay, I'm thinking genuine Jem or prestige or premium. Any thoughts or advice here also appreciated.
Any other thoughts, wiring upgrades?
The RG350DXZ - Budget $100-$200AU.... Sigh... it may be more with second hand pups
The problems.. sounds a bit muddy, dull and lifeless, lacks character.
Edge Zero II Trem - As new, works well, haven't tried it without the Zero Point bar.
Brass block for trem - The Killer Guitar Block is $100 US ( if it fits the Zero II??? ) + plus shipping this more than I want to spend, I can get a Gotoh FR for around the same dollars.
* Is there a cheaper brass block?
* Can I use an Edge II brass block and pull out the Zero Point bar?
* Should I put in a Gotoh trem ( if it fits ) over the Killer Guitar Block? its the same money
* Should I drop in the Edge 3 from the Jem with a brass block if I replace the trem in the Jem?
Any other advice appreciated.
Pickups INF 4, INFS 3, INF 3 -
* Is it worth airing the pups and drop a alnico magnet in the neck or just bin these and drop in some second hand pups?
* Any tips for improving the INFS 3 Singl coil?
Thanks guys, I know there's a lot of info and questions there.