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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all.

I am getting an Ibanez RG370DX. Its 24frets rosewood style.
Basswood body with a Trem. Will either be the Edge 3 or 2. Dose not
Matter much as it will be swapped out at a latter stage. And I am going
To be adding a clear scratch plate, it dose not come with one. And I'm taking
out the pick up rings.

I want a pick up selection that will allow me to play heavy and be able to
bring it back up for a screaming shred style solo.

I will go with the Dimarzio X2N in the bridge. Its not changing. The choice
Was made as Chuck Schuldiner from Death used one and his crunch sound
Is what the basis for the guitar build is going on.

Now here is where I need the help. I was thinking of slamming a D Activator
In the neck. Herd it has got some screaming power behind it. And it is
Good for a metal guitar.

The big thing is the middle pick up. I was looking at the Dimarzio The Chopper.
I won't be playing to much on just the middle pup. I want something that
Is going to push the neck pup even further for that little extra wail when need be.
The D Activator on the Dimarzio site has some nice highs, but just under average mids and bass.
I do turn my mids back a tad on the amp as I find the sound is a lot cleaner that way
And its just generally more pleasurable to listen to that way. So The Chopper
Comes in. It has an even higher treb output but slightly more mid and bass levels.

So theoretically that should give it that boost I am looking for when playing the higher
Strings. And all that extra body and weight when wanting to play a "heavier" Shred riff.

Dose that sound right.

The music I listen to is a lot of the band Death.
Vai and Satch play all the time in the shop.
Dreamtheater and Spocksbeard are top artists to.

I want to play a Prog style heavier than Dreamtheater.

I'm not big on the chugging styles of todays metal, I prefer the thrashier
Technical stuff. But I do want something that can be a driving force when I need.

I play a Randall RG75. Its solid state. Will get a valve amp when I can afford it witch
Will also be a Randall. The only other amp I can see myself owning will be a Krank.

The final note is I will be setting the neck and bridge pick up in a middle height. And the middle pup will be sunk in a little to pick up abit more tone from the body. And to keep it off the strings
For when I rely bang on it. Plus it will in theory take some magnetic pull off the strings
Increasing vibration. Hope that's all the info you guys will need. Just ask if there's something more I could fill in for you.
 

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Well, i have some things to correct about your plans.
First, why buy a 370, you can have a used 550 or so for the money, and it will serve you way better.

Replacing tremolo, is expensive and if you can't change your mind about that, you would have to look for one with the EDGE III, which can be changed for a Edge Pro(not available in black though) or an original Floyd Rose. The Edge Zero II, which is found on newer models is of good quality and doesn't need a replacement, and the only possible one (Edge Zero) would require routing.

Replacing the pickups rings with a CLEAR scratchplate. I feel dumb that I have to point out the screwholes of the pickup rings. Also you would have to buy new long shaft pots and either install them yourself or pay someone to do it.

Pickups are your own choice and you should know best what you like.

You should check out Bugera amps, I am saving for a Trirec right now.

Just something i want to add. If your mind is set, do what you want. Have fun with whatever you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The prices for guitars in South Africa are very steep. And I don't want to spend to much on a guitar that I plan on using as a base to test different hardware and components.

The other reason I want to get the 370 is that I work admin in a music store and get a decent staff discount.

We get the standard premium and prestige range here. The 370 is the better of the standard range. So while it isn't a prestige it is a nice guitar.

Everything I build into it will be taken out and placed into the prestige I do plan on buying. And then it will be used to test and set up a new build that will be transplanted into the next guitar and so on and so forth.

As it is a cheaper guitar I don't have a problem modding the body to fit different trems until I have one that I enjoy.

All bits and pieces I need can be put on my account and payed off. So its a lot easier for me to go about this hole thing.

The holes from the pick up covers will be filled and I'm going to have a swirl paint job, that's why I want the clear scratch plate. Suppose I should have mentioned that.

Also going to be testing some scalloping on the higher frets. And building in different electronics. Like a mini pre amp.
All pots and electricle work I will be doing myself.

The X2N is the one pick up I am sure on. The others I just needed some advice on. I have not had a chance to play The Chopper or the D activator. And while the people I work with are good for sum general advice, they don't have much experience to rely give me an opinion. I don't work with people who share my joy of "custom". Was just looking to see if my pick up choices would work together and if my simple theory of how I need to boost the neck when I need it with The Chopper was a viable option.

I have played on loads of different amps and just enjoy the tone of Randall and Krank. But as my guitar sound preference has changed quite a bit I can't say my amp sound won't.

I have heard the Bugera amps. They are very cool. Enjoy it when you get your hands on it.
 

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With you choice of the X2N in the bridge (great choice) your going to need a pickup with a TON of beef in the neck to keep up with it. The D Activator neck pup definitely has the output your looking for, but can be VERY shrill with the high end....it's VERY prone to feedback. You may want to look at the D Sonic instead (DP207). It still has the output you need (390mV compared to the D Activator's 385mV) but it has a MUCH more balanced EQ curve.

I would also consider the Tone Zone S (DP189) over the chopper in the middle. At 300mV and a mid heavy curve, it makes the middle position on a basswood Ibanez useable for once!!!
It has GREAT sustain, and great clarity especially when it's lowered away from the strings. I know the DiMarzio site says that it has as much low end as it does mids, but it really doesn't. This is a VERY strong pup in the middle position, so much so that you'll be soloing with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply. I will seriously consider your advice. Shrill is not what I'm looking for. Although a pup that you could make feedback very easy could be something to have some fun with.

Are there very big differences between the D Activator and the D Activator X. Is it still a shrill pup.

D Sonic. Don't know why I missed that one. Didn't even have it on my preliminary list.

Herd good things about the Tone Zone S. But as you said, the do look Bass heavy on paper. And I'm just very cautious about going with one as I have to special order them since I'm going with odd colours. And have to hold out for 6 months for them to get here. A lot to go through for a pup I mite not use.

Has anybody else had good experiences with the D Sonic and Tone Zone S.

Getting a solo out of it would make it more useful, but I am looking for something more focused in the job of beefing up my neck picking in its support position for a different but still high output solo. If the Tone Zone S can still handle that without making the neck pick up sound muddy in a solo then it will go onto my list of things to think about.

A lot to consider as it is a mission to get these pups in pink and green in South Africa. So just wanting to make sure.
 

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id go for a d-activator X (neck model obviously) in the neck for 2 reasons.

1. it is the very opposite of shrill and the mid/bass will really balance out and get a good mix of screaming highs and punchy lows
2. it will look the absolute best with the X2N (they actually look the same haha).

and i also vote for the tone zone S in the middle. its a very versatile pickup and can handle any kind of music you play
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the help. Will see if the suppliers. Have any demo models of the D Sonic and D X I can listen 2.

But I'm still rather sceptical about the Tone Zone S. Dose anybody know any songs I can listen to where there is some decent stuff been played on the TZS.

The guy was amazing. Don't know what happened to Death Metal after him. It all went the way of Chug Chug Chug. Hard to believe he had such a sick sound with one pick up and a solid state amp.

Solid state for the win.
Xcept for tubes. They for the win 2.
Suppose Valve state blend amps have their purpose to. Making them kinda winnish.

Screw it. A big thumbs up to amps and the torture they put anybody who wants me 2 turn it down through.
 

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Thanks for the help. Will see if the suppliers. Have any demo models of the D Sonic and D X I can listen 2.

But I'm still rather sceptical about the Tone Zone S. Dose anybody know any songs I can listen to where there is some decent stuff been played on the TZS.

The guy was amazing. Don't know what happened to Death Metal after him. It all went the way of Chug Chug Chug. Hard to believe he had such a sick sound with one pick up and a solid state amp.

Solid state for the win.
Xcept for tubes. They for the win 2.
Suppose Valve state blend amps have their purpose to. Making them kinda winnish.

Screw it. A big thumbs up to amps and the torture they put anybody who wants me 2 turn it down through.
sounds like you need a Randall V2 for your amp. half tube, half solid state. and theyre cool as s**t!!
 

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I'll put my tone zone S in the middle of my RG770 and do a test vid for you. mind you that I can not shred OR play death metal, but it should give you a nice taste of what the tone zone s can do in the middle. I'll try to put it in tomorrow night (monday)

The DAX is a completely different beast from the DA neck pup. It has nearly the same output as the X2N and the same HUGE magnetic field...... you'd need to sink it WAY down in the body if you want to avoid string pull and oscillation (sustain killers), especially considering your going to have an X2N in the bridge and a stacked rail in the middle.......... you'll need to be using bass strings to break through that field....LOL. I can't find a single clip with the D sonic in the neck, but I know it's the right pup for you........ I'll see if I can drum one up to try out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice that would be a killer favour. Thanks in advance for anything you can do.

Point taken about all the string pull that would be going on, kinda dose go against the point
a tad.

You guys have been a real help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So the good news is I've gone and muddled up my mind all over again.
Was all set on going with the D Sonic, till I looked around at what people on the site are into.

Paf Pros and Evos is it. Hahahaha.

So did a little searching around and found a review stating that the PP was capable of
putting out some nice 80's style shred sounds. Witch is appealing.

But the EVO seems a lot more sharper and precise. With a bit more power output, but not as
ruff as the DAX. Thus reducing the string pull but still being nasty little bugger.

This now raises 2 new questions.

1... What are the differences between the EVO and EVO2.

2... How do they compare to the D Sonic.

RGT you have been a major help. Looking forward to the vid.

Hmmmm, all this hard decision making. And you would think it would be an easy choice.
With there only being a handful of pups or so. Hahaha. Right.
 
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