New Pickups - How much do they help - Jemsite
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-17-2000, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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New Pickups - How much do they help

I was think of buying some new pickups for my RG. I want *a smooth fusion tone like Allan Holdsworth or Shawn Lane. The stock Ibanez pickups sound muddy, but how diffrent will new pickups be. I have a Yamaha DG-60 amp and can't get anywhere near their tones. Allan Holdsworth uses DG series amps, so how can he get a tone so diffrent from mine. Maybe some of your tone is in your hands, but how can his hands totally change the sound. Will a change in pickup help? If so, what pickups? Any amp setting suggestions? Will any effects such as compressors help?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-17-2000, 08:19 PM
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New Pickups

Eek. Lotsa questions, few answers.

Pickups always help; especially in the RG series. And the pickups you get will certainly change the sound your getting but...

You'll probably never get a sound like Holdsworth. I'd have to say at least 60% of his tone is in his hands.

Your also looking at effects units (god knows what he's using now) as well as a totally different guitar made out of totally different woods.

Try a Seymour Duncan JB in the neck and maybe a Dimarzio PAF or Duncan Alnico Pro II in the neck.

Tone, especially from the great players, is more in the hands then you would think.
jeffrey is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-17-2000, 09:28 PM
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New Pickups

I find that guitarists that have been playing for 15+ years have a tendancy to stick with what they started with and vary little.

Case in point; Steve Vai played Charvel/Jacksons through Marshalls for a long time before Ibanez endorsed him. You can hear those tones again in his current guitar/rig.

If I were to change pickups, I would look to see what Holdsworth used to use and in what guitar. Then tailor that combination to match your RG's construction.

It's a starting place, and will probably set you in the right direction. You may even end up going through a couple different combinations. I know I did.

Good luck.

Vaibanez is offline  
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-17-2000, 09:40 PM
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New Pickups

Why not try one of these?

Before using Steinberger/Klein and subsequently Carvin guitars, his signature model Ibanez did have a basswood body, so you might be on the right track.

Now all you need are his fingers and his brain...

darren wilson is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-17-2000, 09:58 PM
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New Pickups

* * * * Yeah pickups will certainly change your sound but keep this in mind.....Artists do not always use what they endorse. I've heard Allan is especially guilty of putting his name on all kinds of things.

* * * * * * *I have also heard, however, that the Yamaha line of digital modeling amps are very good. I've been wanting to try one out.

* * * * * * * * * Good luck with your tone quest. You may just have to lock yourself up in a room and practice legato techniques for about 5 years, though.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-19-2000, 01:30 PM
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New Pickups

Dimarzio (i think..uh oh!) MAKES an Allen Holdsworth pickup.... that might help get you closer! plus, just look at the guy - i mean, maybe if YOU looked like that, you would get the tone he has.. heheh...
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-19-2000, 01:31 PM
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New Pickups

oops! somebody beat me to it!! and its Duncan, no Dimarzio!!
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-19-2000, 03:32 PM
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New Pickups

When I first started playing guitar and heard Steve Vai and found out that he used Evolution pickups I of course had to swap the stock pickups for those Evolutions.

BAAAAAAAAAAD mistake. The guitar I had (and still have) is a RG270. Changing the pickups didn't do anything to the sound. The only thing that happened was the I had about $300 less cash.

I will personally never change the pickups again, better to buy the whole guitar than just pickups.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-19-2000, 04:16 PM
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New Pickups

I've gotta say here than an EVO pickup is as far removed from a stock Ibanez pickup as an apple is from a bicycle.

There is simply no comparison (unless maybe you're playing through a JC Penny practice amp...)

First, the stock pickups on an RG270 scream like the devil. *I don't mean that in a good way, either. *The slightest little bit of feedback and they go microphonic. *Add to this the fact that they sound like garbage and you've got nothing good.

The Evolution pickups, while not my cup of tea, offer a ten-fold gain boost over those stock pickups as well as a severely increased midrange response which is easily capable of taking your face off (which is mostly what I don't like...)

*They also, just like every other DiMarzio pickup I've played, do not go microphonic when you breathe on them.

In my personal experience, the single fastest way to change the tonal character of your guitar is to change the pickups. *

This said, it's also a very personal trip to take. *Just because Steve Vai plays an Evolution, or because I feel the Steve's Special is God's gift to the six-string guitar *doesn't necessarily mean it's for you. *Start experimenting with pickups. *DiMarzio offers a 30 day exchange policy. *USE IT.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-19-2000, 07:13 PM
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New Pickups

Hey Ryan,
* * * * * * * *Can you tell me a little bit about the Steve's Special? I'm looking at swapping p'ups out in my stock RG-570. (The 2000 model Sour Apple Sparkle)
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2000, 12:14 PM
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New Pickups


The Steve's Special is a high-output humbucker with the distinction of being the only such beast which has a scooped midrange sound.

This allows it to remain crystal-clear even at the highest gain settings. *I was initially interested in it because I like the clarity of the Blaze II 7-string pickups. *According to DiMarzio's tone chart, the Steve's Special has a very similar frequency response, so I tried it out.

I now have one in both of my RG-560's and I plan to get one for my V-custom guitar.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2000, 06:31 PM
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New Pickups

Ok Example,
Recently I replaced the PAF Pro on my JS1000 with a Breed.
What I think it gave me was the "bang, whack, crash..etc." feel that really takes a high output pickup to achieve.

With the PAF I could merrily roll along with some great tones, but didn't have the real aggressive egde from a NPUP I was lookin' for.

I wanted the warmth but also the attack in the same breath. The Breed gave me this over the PAF ( due to the higher output and slightly better harmonics, it makes tappin' and sweepin' a dream )

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2000, 06:43 PM
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New Pickups

Thanks Ryan.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 07:28 AM
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New Pickups

Seymour Duncan Holdsworth Model in the bridge Seymour Duncan '59 in the will get what you seek IF you play like Alan Holdsworth...if you don't, put a Duncan JB at the bridge (TB-4 Trembucker).

I got these in my RG.
I can play 70's rock, Satriani, funk, blues and fusion and they all sound good if you know how to use your tone control...

Try them out first though, and it is worth writing to Seymour Duncan for advice, they are very helpfull.
DD is offline  
post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 11:00 AM
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New Pickups

When I play my Steve's Special through my Recto channel amp setting where I have it EQ'd to boost the mids and cut treble and bass I get a pretty good Metallica-like sound (this is on a JPM). *I've also tried it the other way where I scoop the channel on the amp and that sounds more Metallica-like. *I like this p/u a lot, it begs you to turn up the master on your rig because the more you turn it up the better it sounds (without getting uncontrollable).

Also take in to account that on a JPM it is mounted directly onto the body which probably effects it in some way (I haven't A/B'd it against one that was floating so I don't know), also the guitar itself I think is superb quality and probably shapes the sound quite a bit.
lgascoig is offline  

air norton , allan holdsworth , basswood body , carvin guitars , custom guitar , dimarzio paf , dimarzio pickup , evolution pickups , ibanez pickups , legato technique , output pickup , paf pro , playing guitar , practice amp , seymour duncan , shawn lane , steve vai , string pickup , string pickups , tone zone , volume pots

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