Evolution pickups - Jemsite
Pickups & wiring Discussion about pickup types, replacements, recomendations, switching, wiring diagrams and sustainer systems for ANY guitar, JEMs included.

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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-19-2021, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Evolution pickups

Hi everyone, hope you are all safe and sound. I'll try and make a long post short. I own a Ibanez Jem 505 with Evolution pickups (evo2 Bridge) and a few months ago I bought a Prs Se Custom 24. The Prs sings and screams and sustains beautifully but my Ibanez doesn't seem to cut it like the Prs does nor does it sustain like the Prs. I recently tried new pots and rewiring etc etc and the exact same thing. If I hadn't played my Prs, I would never have known how poor (imo) the Evos actually are. I have a Dimarzio True Velvet in the middle which I love but I'm considering on a new bridge and Neck pickup from either Dimarzio or Seymour Duncan. The Prs is giving me sustain, easy pinch harmonics and clear power chords. Anyone know a pickup combo I could try? I think it's pretty clear now that the Evo's were an impulse purchase to compliment the jem.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-19-2021, 08:06 PM
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Re: Evolution pickups

Not sure what the set up on the JEM is like because for singing, screaming sustain with easy pinch harmonics and clear power chords, I’d normally suggest DiMarzio Evolutions...

maybe you should look at getting the same pickups that are in the PRS you have?
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-19-2021, 08:25 PM
 
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Re: Evolution pickups

To me this seems less about pickups and more about guitar A sounding/resonating better than guitar B.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2021, 10:17 AM
 
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Re: Evolution pickups

My first thought was it's probably not the pickups, but somewhere in the difference of parts or wood that's making the JEM sustain comparatively less than the PRS. I find in general that heavier & denser woods produce more sustain. Not knowing what woods are used in your guitars it may be that the PRS uses a denser wood than the JEM. Another big factor is the bridge. The type, weight, and material make a big difference. I'm assuming your JEM has a floyd on it. Floyd's do have a reputation for sustaining less than other types of bridges, that's just the nature. It helps if it's made of good quality steel vs pot metal. Another thing is the tremolo block. If you have the normal tiny one, it won't sustain as well as if you have a thick heavy brass block. Actually, you may want to start there; see if you have a big brass trem block. If not, upgrade to one of the Fat Brass Tremolo Blocks. They're about $35 give or take.... A lot cheaper than swapping pickups and should be an improvement.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2021, 11:40 AM
 
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Re: Evolution pickups

Put the ceramic 13 mV output Evolutions pick-up in your PRS and the world would collapse after first chord. Put the 8ish mV whatever AlNiCo pick-ups that are in your PRS in that Jem and it would sound even tinier. It’s all about construction. Live with it.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2021, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Some interesting points expecially this one, "It’s all about construction. Live with it". And a few others have mentioned it's all about the guitar. Now I'm not knocking any of those answers but didn't EVH prove that the guitar construction wasn't the answer to great sound and sustain? Haven't many videos on YouTube also shown you can create a guitar out of anything and still get a great sound with a good pickup selection? Evo pickups were created for Vai and his setup and this is just factual. The guitar itself was just based on the super start. It maybe worth also noting that Vai used Paf Pros prior to his Evo's when he was doing a lot of his band works, Alcatrazz, DLR, Whitesnake etc and was a much better sound imo. Even Satriani started with Paf Pros and so did Paul Gilbert. I know Gilbert always bought cheap crappy guitars and shoved Paf Pros in them to make them sound better. I'll go as far as to say Vai didn't even use Evo's until after Passion and Warfare when he had done with all the bands because Dimarzio didn't even release them until 1993.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2021, 02:53 PM
 
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Re: Evolution pickups

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Originally Posted by jamie1981 View Post
...but didn't EVH prove that the guitar construction wasn't the answer to great sound and sustain?

Not necessarily, Eddie famously trashed the tone of his 'Destroyer' after cutting a big chunk out of it. If my memory serves me correctly, he wound up retiring the instrument before recording 'Women and Children First' although he did pose with it on the cover because it looked cool.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-21-2021, 04:58 PM
 
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Re: Evolution pickups

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Originally Posted by jamie1981 View Post
Some interesting points expecially this one, "Itís all about construction. Live with it". And a few others have mentioned it's all about the guitar. Now I'm not knocking any of those answers but didn't EVH prove that the guitar construction wasn't the answer to great sound and sustain? Haven't many videos on YouTube also shown you can create a guitar out of anything and still get a great sound with a good pickup selection? Evo pickups were created for Vai and his setup and this is just factual. The guitar itself was just based on the super start. It maybe worth also noting that Vai used Paf Pros prior to his Evo's when he was doing a lot of his band works, Alcatrazz, DLR, Whitesnake etc and was a much better sound imo. Even Satriani started with Paf Pros and so did Paul Gilbert. I know Gilbert always bought cheap crappy guitars and shoved Paf Pros in them to make them sound better. I'll go as far as to say Vai didn't even use Evo's until after Passion and Warfare when he had done with all the bands because Dimarzio didn't even release them until 1993.

What you are talking about is the influence wood, materials and construction have on tone, which is a bit different than sustain. in quasi-scientific terms tone is about how the sound waves and frequencies interact with everything around it. Sustain is all about how long the string vibrates after you pluck it. This is what your question referenced & how everyone has responded... in terms of sustain. Yes, you can get good tone out of a guitar made of almost anything with the right set of pickups. In terms of sustain, all materials will absorb the vibrations and it's just the nature that some materials more readily absorb the vibrations of the string quicker than others. As I mentioned, in general terms softer materials sustain less than harder more dense ones; meaning the sting will vibrate for a lesser amount of time. This is why people will change out the bridge block for a larger heavier / more dense one; it helps the string vibrate longer; i.e. more sustain.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-22-2021, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Evolution pickups

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Originally Posted by madasahatter View Post
What you are talking about is the influence wood, materials and construction have on tone, which is a bit different than sustain. in quasi-scientific terms tone is about how the sound waves and frequencies interact with everything around it. Sustain is all about how long the string vibrates after you pluck it. This is what your question referenced & how everyone has responded... in terms of sustain. Yes, you can get good tone out of a guitar made of almost anything with the right set of pickups. In terms of sustain, all materials will absorb the vibrations and it's just the nature that some materials more readily absorb the vibrations of the string quicker than others. As I mentioned, in general terms softer materials sustain less than harder more dense ones; meaning the sting will vibrate for a lesser amount of time. This is why people will change out the bridge block for a larger heavier / more dense one; it helps the string vibrate longer; i.e. more sustain.
Isn't it Tone from your fingers and the rest is classed as sound? This is why a lot of people can get close to someone's sound but can't get the same tone.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-22-2021, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Evolution pickups

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Originally Posted by madasahatter View Post
My first thought was it's probably not the pickups, but somewhere in the difference of parts or wood that's making the JEM sustain comparatively less than the PRS. I find in general that heavier & denser woods produce more sustain. Not knowing what woods are used in your guitars it may be that the PRS uses a denser wood than the JEM. Another big factor is the bridge. The type, weight, and material make a big difference. I'm assuming your JEM has a floyd on it. Floyd's do have a reputation for sustaining less than other types of bridges, that's just the nature. It helps if it's made of good quality steel vs pot metal. Another thing is the tremolo block. If you have the normal tiny one, it won't sustain as well as if you have a thick heavy brass block. Actually, you may want to start there; see if you have a big brass trem block. If not, upgrade to one of the Fat Brass Tremolo Blocks. They're about $35 give or take.... A lot cheaper than swapping pickups and should be an improvement.
I think this option might be the best one. After more listening back and forth and double checking the wiring, I can't knock the sound and maybe a trem block would give it that extra sustain for less money than a pickup change that may not be needed.
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-22-2021, 11:29 AM
 
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Re: Evolution pickups

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Originally Posted by jamie1981 View Post
I think this option might be the best one. After more listening back and forth and double checking the wiring, I can't knock the sound and maybe a trem block would give it that extra sustain for less money than a pickup change that may not be needed.

You are probably right on the guitar construction... I'm no PRS expert, but yours is probably mahogany with a maple cap and 85/15 pickups? It is naturally going to have good sustain and those pickups sound great. I'm an Ibanez guy though and through, but still want a nice PRS after playing an S2 a couple of years ago.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-22-2021, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie1981 View Post
I think this option might be the best one. After more listening back and forth and double checking the wiring, I can't knock the sound and maybe a trem block would give it that extra sustain for less money than a pickup change that may not be needed.

You are probably right on the guitar construction... I'm no PRS expert, but yours is probably mahogany with a maple cap and 85/15 pickups? It is naturally going to have good sustain and those pickups sound great. I'm an Ibanez guy though and through, but still want a nice PRS after playing an S2 a couple of years ago.
Pickups are 85/15s and it is Mahogany Flame Maple with a Maple neck and Rosewood Fingerboard in Whale Blue. Beautiful looking thing and it does sound amazing. It's shocking how many people actually want to change those pups. I love my Jem and I'll be 100% honest, I play my Prs more. Just feels and sounds great for every genre. I was going to go for the S2 but I couldn't justify the extra money. It all depends on which bridge and nut you want because I believe the S2 is more upgraded in that respect.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-22-2021, 02:47 PM
 
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Re: Evolution pickups

I've never considered pickups part of sustain, it's always more about the construction of the guitar and the connection between the string and fret/bridge that matters most. Higher output pickups can technically have more pull on the strings and lower sustain, but it's offset by the higher output anyway. The one time I had an issue with a guitar not sustaining it was a worn out old Floyd Rose bridge with heavy wear on the saddles in particular, when I replaced the bridge with a new Floyd Rose Pro (German) the sustain issue was gone, when I then gave it a fret levelling/crown it improved further.

As for the PAF Pros, I have one in my Warmoth Strat and I like it but it's nothing special and I feel like the Evo's are quite special and really are better suited to high gain stuff, if you want pinch harmonics I'm not sure if there is a better pickup out there. That said again though, I don't think harmonics have a lot to do with the pickups and have a hell of a lot to do with the guitar in particular, with the frets/setup having a big influence too. Play the guitar unplugged, listen to all the harmonics, some guitars just won't do certain harmonics very well and lower action can make that worse.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-03-2021, 06:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madasahatter View Post
My first thought was it's probably not the pickups, but somewhere in the difference of parts or wood that's making the JEM sustain comparatively less than the PRS. I find in general that heavier & denser woods produce more sustain. Not knowing what woods are used in your guitars it may be that the PRS uses a denser wood than the JEM. Another big factor is the bridge. The type, weight, and material make a big difference. I'm assuming your JEM has a floyd on it. Floyd's do have a reputation for sustaining less than other types of bridges, that's just the nature. It helps if it's made of good quality steel vs pot metal. Another thing is the tremolo block. If you have the normal tiny one, it won't sustain as well as if you have a thick heavy brass block. Actually, you may want to start there; see if you have a big brass trem block. If not, upgrade to one of the Fat Brass Tremolo Blocks. They're about $35 give or take.... A lot cheaper than swapping pickups and should be an improvement.
One way prove that the brass block suggestions is a crapola is ask yourself do people like Vai, Safraini and Gilbert, guitar gods who are obsessed with tone quality and sustain, do they use brass blocks in their Ibanez guitars?

No, that alone should tell you is a gimmick

Same for the noiseless springs
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-03-2021, 07:18 AM
 
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I don't agree with that. Brass blocks do change something. I have 3 guitars, all basswood, all the same body shape. One has a brass block out of the 3 of them... And it just sings better. I also have a mahagony body guitar I never liked until I installed a brass block. Plus anything with more mass will have a different sound. Something that changes tone isn't always drastic. Sometimes it's a subtle change in EQ... How I can explain it is it's like the tonal difference in a vowel. I don't know if that makes sense... If you're not a singer it might not. And when you have multiple guitars, you want some way of making them sound acceptable playing with the same or very close to the same amp settings.

It's a similar difference between woods. Like for example I am not a big fan of mahagony for a lead guitar because it doesn't poke through the mix with it's natural EQ. It's a warmer than basswood. It's awesome for rhythm tones... Where alder or basswood have a stronger upper midrange, they poke through the mix better while playing with a band. Basswood is nice cuz it's somewhere in between mahagony and alder... One of my mahogany guitars has a brass block and it achieved a similar sound to my basswood guitars. As you mature your ear you'll hear things differently. I learned a lot when I started to retube amplifiers... Each brand of tube has it's own character. When you mix it all perfectly... It's just so much better.

Last edited by JsXLine6; 02-03-2021 at 07:29 AM.
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