Need some pickup suggestions for a S540 - 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 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 269
Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

Got my first S540 and I'm really digging it but want to change the pickups. With that said I'm kind of lost as for what would be the best sound for this type of Ibanez (mahogany body, 22 fret rosewood/maple neck) since I've only used RGs until now.

Tone wise I'm seeking seeking something in the bridge that'd give me some meat and bottom without being so dark/pushed/distorted it loses chord/note clarity. Neck pickup I want something that can give me excellent clean/jazz and a juicy shreddy sound when I kick it on my amps drive channels.

I play a lot of stuff but mostly Metal (tech,prog stuff), rock, and dabble with jazz as well as funk. Guitar will be pretty much always be tuned to standard. My rig is a Mesa Dual Rec.

Only pickups that have interested me were maybe SD Alternative 8 in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck or Dimarzio PAF Joe in the neck but have yet to decide on a bridge with that.

Any suggestions or previous pickup experiences in a 540 would help! Thanks!!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 05:51 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Melbourne, FL 32940
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Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

The best combo I ever had in my S540LTD was a FRED in the bridge and a PAF Pro in the neck, both F-spaced.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 09:30 PM
 
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Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

It seems to me that you are under the impression that the type of wood used for the body/neck/fretboard has some sort of bearing when it comes to tone on an amplified electric guitar. It does not. If you were talking about any guitar unamplified, then yes there is tonal difference. The real components that effect tone on an amplified electric guitar are as follows.
1. The strings
2. The pickups
3. The type of fretwire.
4. The bridge type.
5. The nut material
6. The Amplifier

Having said that, if you like the pups in the rg, then put the same ones in the S guitar. As long as you wire the pups properly, and the afforementioned components on the S are fairly similar to the RG, which they should be, your going to get very very close to the same tone.

In closing I have to tell you that the way you play the guitar, (fingering,pressure,articulation ect) have more to do with tone than any other variable. Wood is not a material that generates magnetism or has anything to do with inducing electricity to produce a "tone"

Hope you understand this and it helps clear up your thoughts about the myths of wood in relation to amplified electric guitars.

Last edited by cryptonet; 10-01-2013 at 09:34 PM. Reason: add component
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 10:34 PM
 
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Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

Quote:
Originally Posted by cryptonet View Post
It seems to me that you are under the impression that the type of wood used for the body/neck/fretboard has some sort of bearing when it comes to tone on an amplified electric guitar. It does not. If you were talking about any guitar unamplified, then yes there is tonal difference. The real components that effect tone on an amplified electric guitar are as follows.
1. The strings
2. The pickups
3. The type of fretwire.
4. The bridge type.
5. The nut material
6. The Amplifier

Having said that, if you like the pups in the rg, then put the same ones in the S guitar. As long as you wire the pups properly, and the afforementioned components on the S are fairly similar to the RG, which they should be, your going to get very very close to the same tone.

In closing I have to tell you that the way you play the guitar, (fingering,pressure,articulation ect) have more to do with tone than any other variable. Wood is not a material that generates magnetism or has anything to do with inducing electricity to produce a "tone"

Hope you understand this and it helps clear up your thoughts about the myths of wood in relation to amplified electric guitars.
Wrong! You may not be able to hear the differences, but many can. Wood does have an impact, and pickups in different woods do sound sometimes subtly different, sometimes dramatically so.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 10:47 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: El Paso, TX
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Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
Wrong! You may not be able to hear the differences, but many can. Wood does have an impact, and pickups in different woods do sound sometimes subtly different, sometimes dramatically so.
I have found in most cases changes in body neck and fretboard wood usually subtle. Except ash, i am not a fan of ash body guitars.

If you are looking for a traditional pickup set that is really clear, full and thick i would suggest the crunch lab, d-sonic, or transition bridge.

For a traditional neck pickup i would go air norton, liquifier, paf classic or transition neck.

For non traditional i would say go with a lace deathbucker bridge and regular alumitone neck.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 11:33 PM
 
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Posts: 808
Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

To lend a bit of perspective to what you term myth. I had 6 rg 20ths at the same time. Completely identical except for 2 had rosewood boards. They all sounded different both unplugged and amplified. Not vastly different but enough to notice. One sounded better than the other 5 both unplugged and amplified. These days I buy a guitar by how it sounds unplugged. I used to think how could this evolution not sound the same in this 1990 rg550 as this 1991 rg550. They should be the same. But experience has shown only one thing. No 2 guitars are exactly the same. Some are similar. And some just sound really good. To the OP, I have probably had 30 or so s540's over the years and have had good results with evolutions, freds, breeds etc. I currently have a paf 36th anniversary in my mahogony jcustom and even though its low output it does the guitar justice. But it is a really good sounding guitar unplugged also.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 10:04 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 117
Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
Wrong! You may not be able to hear the differences, but many can. Wood does have an impact, and pickups in different woods do sound sometimes subtly different, sometimes dramatically so.
Thats pure poppy****!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 10:27 PM
 
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Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

Quote:
Originally Posted by cryptonet View Post
Thats pure poppy****!
I'm sorry, I didn't realise that my ears were lying to me...

Just because YOU can't hear the differences doesn't mean that others can't.
Tone Meister likes this.

Last edited by LonePhantom; 10-03-2013 at 06:16 PM.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 09:30 AM
 
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Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicdr View Post
To lend a bit of perspective to what you term myth. I had 6 rg 20ths at the same time. Completely identical except for 2 had rosewood boards. They all sounded different both unplugged and amplified. Not vastly different but enough to notice. One sounded better than the other 5 both unplugged and amplified. These days I buy a guitar by how it sounds unplugged. I used to think how could this evolution not sound the same in this 1990 rg550 as this 1991 rg550. They should be the same. But experience has shown only one thing. No 2 guitars are exactly the same. Some are similar. And some just sound really good. To the OP, I have probably had 30 or so s540's over the years and have had good results with evolutions, freds, breeds etc. I currently have a paf 36th anniversary in my mahogony jcustom and even though its low output it does the guitar justice. But it is a really good sounding guitar unplugged also.
How are the PAF 36ths? I'm thinking for my next pickup change next year for my rg2550mz and Have been thinking about Mo Joe/PAF Joe, but I'm also curious about PAF pro and 36th.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 269
Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

I would say the scale length and woods definitely have an impact. Currently I've been playing 3 different Ibbys which are the 540LTD, a 550, and a XPT700. All 3 sound completely different to me and I'm playing through the same rig each time. Then again sometimes it just depends on the player and what they feel attributes to their sound/tone/playability/etc.

Anywayyy, I took a shot in the dark and went with a Gravity Storm bridge, Pro Track in the middle, and PAF Joe in the neck. Sound wise it should be kind of all over the place but I had an urge to experiment with each then just take it from there if I'm gonna swap or keep. Probably put up a NGD once I get her set up.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 11:20 AM
 
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Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy5150 View Post
I would say the scale length and woods definitely have an impact. Currently I've been playing 3 different Ibbys which are the 540LTD, a 550, and a XPT700. All 3 sound completely different to me and I'm playing through the same rig each time. Then again sometimes it just depends on the player and what they feel attributes to their sound/tone/playability/etc.

Anywayyy, I took a shot in the dark and went with a Gravity Storm bridge, Pro Track in the middle, and PAF Joe in the neck. Sound wise it should be kind of all over the place but I had an urge to experiment with each then just take it from there if I'm gonna swap or keep. Probably put up a NGD once I get her set up.
Sweet, I'd love to hear how they sound. If you can, post a video
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

Will do!
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 02:36 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy5150 View Post
I would say the scale length and woods definitely have an impact. Currently I've been playing 3 different Ibbys which are the 540LTD, a 550, and a XPT700. All 3 sound completely different to me and I'm playing through the same rig each time. Then again sometimes it just depends on the player and what they feel attributes to their sound/tone/playability/etc.
The number of frets and the distance between the pickup and the bridge tail has a big impact on the sound (mostly for the neck pickup): I made some experiments with a paf joe and air norton between 2 guitars (1 w/ 22 frets and the other one w/ 24 frets): the closer to the frets, the warmer the sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy5150 View Post
Anywayyy, I took a shot in the dark and went with a Gravity Storm bridge, Pro Track in the middle, and PAF Joe in the neck. Sound wise it should be kind of all over the place but I had an urge to experiment with each then just take it from there if I'm gonna swap or keep. Probably put up a NGD once I get her set up.
The Paf Joe in mahogany: will sound awesome!
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 12:59 AM
 
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Posts: 808
Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

The paf 36th is just a good sounding and balanced pickup. Not too bright and not to
dark. I have an air classic in the neck and it is really a good sound also, no mud. I have them wired with a super switch to get coils from each and parallel. Definitely a versatile
combination but low output. You have to let the amp do the heavy lifting.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 01:04 AM
 
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Re: Need some pickup suggestions for a S540

The mo joe is a great sounding neck pickup too.
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