Was my pickup installed incorrectly? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

I had d activators that installed in my RGT320... The bridge pickup won't go down very far, I took it out to see why. The wire for the pickup runs to the opposite end of the pickup (to the bass side), preventing the pickup to be lowered 100%. IIRC when I replaced the foam under the bridge on my RG3120, the wire went only directly from the treble side of the pickup into the hole of the guitar, so essentially no wire going through the cavity to interfere.
So, my issue with the RGT is that the action was good, but too close to the bridge pickup, creating a noticeable "wah" sound in the midrange. I raised the height of the bridge, and it made most of the "wah" sound go away, but now I can't get my action nice. I adjusted the truss rod but the strings are starting to buzz, and the action isn't as low as I want it yet. I think too much back bow. And if I put more relief in the neck to eliminate the buzz, I would have to lower the bridge, but if I lower the bridge the wah sound will come back b/c the strings will be too close to the bridge pickup again. So essentially I can't find the balance, I think it's because I can't lower the pickup height. I'm not an expert, but I usually adjust the action to my preference on my guitars, and this is the first time I'm experiencing this.

Is this normal? Was the pickup installed backwards? If I flip it, will it negatively affect the tone?

This is the lowest the bridge pickup will go. As you can see in the pictures, the neck goes down further.

Sorry if this is all noobish, but I'm always learning about the tech side of things, and pickups/electronics is still pretty foreign to me.




Last edited by Steveche; 05-08-2016 at 05:05 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 05:50 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: El Paso, TX
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Re: Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

installation orientation doesn't change the sound too much on most pickups. so if you needed to flip it around to get it to sit a little lower you probably wouldn't notice too much of difference.

the height is going to make a difference. It does sound like it may be too high if the half ****ed wah sound bothers you. dropping it will get a little more bass response and mellow out those mids a little.

so i'd say switch the pickup around so you can lower it.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 10:11 AM
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Orlando, Florida
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Re: Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

seems to me like they did install it backwards. I have installed dozens of pups and the wires have always come from the treble side. good luck!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

Cool, thanks for the tips guys. I looked into it a little more, it seems it makes more of a difference when flipping pickups with rails such as the crunch lab or d sonic. I guess that's why those ones have longer leads than normal.

I flipped it around and it seems to sound similar. One of the screw holes is stripped though so I still can't lower it fully lol. I lowered it more than it was, but still a cooked wah sound in the midrange with the bridge slightly lower than before as well. I'm guessing it's a little more prominent due to the maple neck-thru wood it sits in, making the pickup brighter. What's the best way to fix the stripped hole so that I can lower the pickup more? Stuff it with something like wood shavings or saw dust?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

I just finished filling the stripped pickup hole. I put some wood glue around a toothpick, and stuffed it in the hole. Made sure it was nice and snug, then broke off excess toothpick. Waiting for it to dry now and will see how it turned out.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 09:56 PM
 
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Re: Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

if the hole in the guitar is stripped then yeah filling it in and re drilling it will work. If not you could have just used a little larger diameter screw, which i have also had to do in the past on direct mount pickups.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 05:24 PM
 
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Re: Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

I have the same issue on all my direct-mount RG's. I swap the stock Ibanez pickups and replace them with DiMarzios. However, DiMarzios are apparently a bit taller than the old "V" pickups. So, the new pickups are adjusted as far down as they'll physically go, but they're slammed against the body. There's no more room to adjust them downward, so my whole setup is in the toilet.

I have a guitar shop (that I trust with my life) route the pickup cavities 1/8" deeper. They can safely remove this amount without breaking into the tremolo cavity, so it works like a charm and completely solves my issue.

However, a word of caution: no matter how skilled the person doing the work is, accidents can happen (especially when routing is involved). This is serious s*it, and you also need to consider how it might affect resale value (you really should disclose this mod to a new buyer).

Last edited by webmaestro; 05-18-2016 at 05:40 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

Thanks for the tips! Filling the hole with a toothpick and wood glue seemed to have worked, the screw feels secure now. I don't really want to get in to shimming the neck, and especially re-routing the cavities. Flipping the pickups seemed to have work good enough for me. Lowering the bridge to the max warmed up the tone a little more. Still slight cooked mids. Maybe I'm just not completely loving the activators in the RGT320Q. It must be because of the maple neck-thru design of the RGT's, instead of having the pickup sit in mahogany or basswood. Or maybe it's just the pickups...Activators are bright as is so maybe I should try something darker in it, maybe a tone zone. Or crunch lab or Illuminators since this guitar is meant for D standard for my metalcore band and they're higher output than the TZ.

I know RGTFanatic had a hard time finding pickups that he liked for his RGT3120, and still ended up selling it. Even though it was so beautiful I guess he just couldn't find the right sound with his. Finding the right tone seems to be trickier than my bolt ons.

Last edited by Steveche; 05-21-2016 at 12:34 AM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-01-2016, 02:36 AM
 
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Re: Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

If you can, try out a IBZUSA F2 in your RGT. It's in the Tonezone ballpark, but not harsh, it has incredible punch in the lowermids and smooth highs. Works as hell in my RGT3120. Much better than the tonezone. But I'm biased, I will take the F2 over anything of my box of 50 pickups.
BTW, the F2 is not as tall as the D-activator so routing is not a problem.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-01-2016, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony777 View Post
If you can, try out a IBZUSA F2 in your RGT. It's in the Tonezone ballpark, but not harsh, it has incredible punch in the lowermids and smooth highs. Works as hell in my RGT3120. Much better than the tonezone. But I'm biased, I will take the F2 over anything of my box of 50 pickups.
BTW, the F2 is not as tall as the D-activator so routing is not a problem.
I love the IBZ/USA F2 in my RG770DX reissue. Since this thread I think I have decided to sell the beautiful RGT320Q for other reasons. Much thicker neck than a typical wizard neck (and wider), very large (tall & wide) frets (extra jumbo?), and edge pro (tuning is fine but I prefer OE and LP for trem use). So I think I'll put the d activators in an RG3120 (super wizard and LP ).
Is the "ultra" neck on your RGT3120 considerably thicker than a wizard or super wizard?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 05:14 PM
 
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Re: Was my pickup installed incorrectly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveche View Post
I love the IBZ/USA F2 in my RG770DX reissue. Since this thread I think I have decided to sell the beautiful RGT320Q for other reasons. Much thicker neck than a typical wizard neck (and wider), very large (tall & wide) frets (extra jumbo?), and edge pro (tuning is fine but I prefer OE and LP for trem use). So I think I'll put the d activators in an RG3120 (super wizard and LP ).
Is the "ultra" neck on your RGT3120 considerably thicker than a wizard or super wizard?
Yes the RGT3120's ultra is thicker, more like the Jem77FP. I'm not a fan of the thin necks so the thicker ones suits me perfect.
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