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I picked up my first Ibanez last year and now I have another. I am loving my Ibanez and want more =D.

My only gripe is that I am disappointed in the direct mount system. Maybe system isn't the right word, the pick ups are simply screwed into the body. However, it doesn't take much to widen the hole just a bit and this makes the screw not take if you are replacing pick ups. This is somewhat of an easy fix by just putting a toothpick shaving or piece in the hole, but I still am a bit shocked that Ibanez wouldn't have a better process, especially on higher end Prestige or J Customs. (Like a little brass fitting for the screw or something) Maybe they don't think folks swap out pick ups very much, and some probably don't. But I know many of us do.

I just thought I'd share my frustration and see if others have had the same experience =D.
 

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Some people think the direct mount setup offers better tone and sustain. I can't say I can tell. I have guitars with both types, with the same woods and same pickups. There is a difference but there are so many small things that can change tone slightly.

I haven't had any issues with my direct mount guitar when it comes to the pickup mount holes wearing out. That may have something to do with the wood. Like basswood is particularly soft compared to mahogany.

I've seen guys having a issues with the trem post inserts egging out in basswood bodies from use over the years, and the wood being soft. So far my 88 540r hasn't had any problems (thank the Lord).

One of the more knowledgeable guys on here Rich, has pointed out to use some CA (high quality super glue) to fix the trem post issue. But I have used your tooth pick fix with something like, strap button screws that won't tighten up anymore. Once you know what you like and have your pickup height right, I would think you wouldn't have to ever touch it again. Unless you have a microphonic pickup or something.
 

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Eh, I'd argue this is probably a "technique" thing honestly. I've got numerous direct mount guitars, never had any issues. Theres no sheer stresses being applied to the pickups either. Make sure you are using the proper size screwdriver, and make sure youre not angling the screw in. Should never be an issue if properly done; on any guitar. The one thing I personally do dislike about direct mount is adjusting the pickup heights is a pain, and you can only "lower" them so far too. For strats and stuff with single middles, I like them almost all the way down flush, cant do that with direct mount.
 
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