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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys.. I recently aquired my first Ibanez with a real edge.. (RG550BK 1998 Model")

Well, I'm of course excited, and I'm trying to get it set up to exactly my liking.. I'm somewhat of a tone nut it seems as I get older..hehe..

Anyway, I thought I'd try a Duncan Distortion as I had always liked it a great deal in my old Gibson's with short scales, and mahogany guitars, etc.. and it's way too bright.. God it has the output, but just way too bright.. Not bad in the icepick in the face way, just not what I'm after..

I'd tried the Tone Zone in another Ibanez I used to have as a backup which was the model 470 I think.. It had the same specs almost, except a cheap trem (TRS2) and rosewood board.. I blocked the trem and then installed a Tone Zone in it and it sounded great for metal, etc.. but I coudln't get it to clean up enough.. but god what tone! It sounded great for grinding rhythm tone. Man I loved it.. Now, I want that same tone again, but I need to be able to clean up using the volume knob by just rolling it back if possible. At least clean up to the "Just breaking up" type sound.. if possible with a pickup! I guess I can always split whatever pickup I end up with in the bridge with the mid single coil, or use the single coil alone, as I like to be able to do all the adjustments from the guitar..

I really want a Tone Zone type tone.. but I'm thinking it won't clean up enough? I loved the crunch and the chunk, etc.. and the harmonics, and it just rang and rang and sustained for what seemed like forever.. I guess because it drove the amp so hard.. I loved it.. The only thing I didn't like was that it wouldn't clean up, and in a perfect world, it would have had just a tad more treble, but that's a minor point.. So, should I think about the Air Zone? What about the Breed ?

Also, recommend a single coil for the mid if you can to go with the bridge pickup you recommend, and a humbucker for the neck if you don't mind.. Please keep in mind that I need the f spaced pickup for the bridge..

Thanks guys..
This site / forum rocks!
Tim
 

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Dimarzio offers all of their pickups in either regular or F-spacing so that shouldn't even be an issue. If you loved the TONE of the Tone Zone so much, then you should go that route and just get a single coil that will split well with it. The single coil most recommended for a standard setup is the reverse polarity Blue Velvet. It'll get the job done, no doubt about it.

As for the neck pickup, it really just depends on what kind of specific tone you're looking to get. The best pickup to start off with is the PAF Pro just because it's versatile as all hell. But then, a lot of people swear by the Tone Zone/Air Norton combo (and since those are the stock pups in J-customs, one must not overlook their worth). If you want more of a single coil-ish sound out of your neck then you may want to try a Humbucker From Hell. It's not exactly like a single coil, but it has an awesome clean tone to it and a very unique sound.

But if you want to do a little more wire-work, then I might suggest getting a hum-cancelling single coil like a Chopper and a multi-pole switch so that you can wire the guitar like it has an HHH pickup config. This is my favorite option and what I opted to do with my RG370DX and the tonal possibilities are just beautiful. I love having a guitar that doesn't hum....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks man.. Yeah, I think I'll go with the Tone Zone, and if I can find the right pickguard, I'll probably do away totally with the single coil and use only the bridge and neck pickup.. and I think for the neck pickup I'll go with the Humbucker from hell.. I love the Paul Gilbert tone on the song BRO which I guess was used with the Humbucker from hell in the neck spot of his guitar.. which of course is exactly like mine as far as build goes, except his guitar has a fixed bridge.. I noticed that when I looked at his guitars on his web site, or what he used to show on his web site, that he had all of his Trem guitars converted to fixed bridge.. It looked like they did a pretty good job. I could even see where the paint job was added, etc.. I also saw it on a video of him that he did for instruction.. Then I saw him play on a video of him live and he just rocked .. on a solo.. God I love his tone too.. I'm even thinking of totally ripping him off and buying an ADA 1 preamp, and / or a Laney as he uses those too I guess.. Check out his site if you like him.. Back to pickups though.. If I don't like the Humbucker from hell, then I'll go with the Air Norton probably as it seems that this is a good combo..
Thanks man.. It's the Tone Zone!
Tim
 

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DotNetTim said:
Hi guys.. I recently aquired my first Ibanez with a real edge.. (RG550BK 1998 Model")

Well, I'm of course excited, and I'm trying to get it set up to exactly my liking.. I'm somewhat of a tone nut it seems as I get older..hehe..

Anyway, I thought I'd try a Duncan Distortion as I had always liked it a great deal in my old Gibson's with short scales, and mahogany guitars, etc.. and it's way too bright.. God it has the output, but just way too bright.. Not bad in the icepick in the face way, just not what I'm after..

I'd tried the Tone Zone in another Ibanez I used to have as a backup which was the model 470 I think.. It had the same specs almost, except a cheap trem (TRS2) and rosewood board.. I blocked the trem and then installed a Tone Zone in it and it sounded great for metal, etc.. but I coudln't get it to clean up enough.. but god what tone! It sounded great for grinding rhythm tone. Man I loved it.. Now, I want that same tone again, but I need to be able to clean up using the volume knob by just rolling it back if possible. At least clean up to the "Just breaking up" type sound.. if possible with a pickup! I guess I can always split whatever pickup I end up with in the bridge with the mid single coil, or use the single coil alone, as I like to be able to do all the adjustments from the guitar..

I really want a Tone Zone type tone.. but I'm thinking it won't clean up enough? I loved the crunch and the chunk, etc.. and the harmonics, and it just rang and rang and sustained for what seemed like forever.. I guess because it drove the amp so hard.. I loved it.. The only thing I didn't like was that it wouldn't clean up, and in a perfect world, it would have had just a tad more treble, but that's a minor point.. So, should I think about the Air Zone? What about the Breed ?

Also, recommend a single coil for the mid if you can to go with the bridge pickup you recommend, and a humbucker for the neck if you don't mind.. Please keep in mind that I need the f spaced pickup for the bridge..

Thanks guys..
This site / forum rocks!
Tim
the air zone has the tone of the TZ but has more headroom, meaning it will do better cleans and not be as aggressive
the air zone still has that real big tone though just not as hot
 
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