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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got an all original 1989 540R in Jewel Blue. HSS version. The same model that they featured in the old Ibanez catalogs next to a picture of Joe Satrian (at least until he had his own signature model).

It has the original DiMarzio-made F1 + C1 + C1 pickups. I like the way they sound. A little hotter output than what my my vintage-style Strat and Les Paul can put out.

But, being a Satch fan, I'm thinking of putting in the Mo'Joe + Fast Track + Satch Track combo. What differences would I expect to hear if I made this swap?

Another option I've considered is keeping the pickup compliment more historically close to what would have been available when the guitar was new. So maybe a FRED + HS-2 + HS-2.

Thoughts?
 

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I have the same radius! Different color though. I put a mo joe in it and love it. Loved it so much I put it in my '91 540RLTD. Though my middle and neck pickups in the HSS radius are fender hot noiseless. I have the satch track in another guitar in the neck position. The mo joe gave a bit more body... It's fuller sounding with better harmonics. Similar output to the stock pickup. And the mids are... Better. Not drastically 'more' but... More defined, it pushes through the mix.

The satch track is similar to the PAF Joe. It was designed to be... I have the PAF Joe in the LTD... The satch track has a classic bluesy smooth tone that isn't too boomy or too thick. Sounds perfect for a neck position. It's even really nice split as well. I do not prefer the PAF Joe or the satch track more than the other.

Putting a humbucker in the middle position I feel would not be as tonally beneficial... You will lose the classic strat 2 and 4 position character that the middle pickup offers... Unless you are going after something specific.
 

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I had put the FRED in the guitar before the mo joe... It sounded dark to me in comparison to the mo joe. I used to have a js24p to compare when I had the FRED in the HSS radius. The mo joe just sounded fuller. The harmonic character between the moe joe and Fred are essentially the same. They are from the same family of pickup.
 

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The PAF Joe is a neck pickup, it would be wayyyy too bright for a bridge position pickup. I would recommend the mo joe and the satch track. They are excellent together. As for the center pickup, I've never heard a hs-2, the output is not too low, which is good because that will give it a nice tone. singles that are too hot tend to not retain that classic single coil sound.
The EQ according to dimarzio's site looks perfect. Soooo adding that with the moe joe and the satch track sounds like a nice combo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The PAF Joe is a neck pickup, it would be wayyyy too bright for a bridge position pickup. I would recommend the mo joe and the satch track. They are excellent together. As for the center pickup, I've never heard a hs-2, the output is not too low, which is good because that will give it a nice tone. singles that are too hot tend to not retain that classic single coil sound.
The EQ according to dimarzio's site looks perfect. Soooo adding that with the moe joe and the satch track sounds like a nice combo.
Thanks for the clarification. I didn't realize the PAF Joe was designed as a neck pickup, or that the Satch Track was essentially a single-coil sized version of it.

Not sure if you are familiar with the IBZ/USA F1 and C1 pickups that originally came on the Radius series guitars, but am I safe to assume that any of the Satriani DiMarzio pickups would be hotter output?
 

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I am not 100% sure about the c1, the f1 I had in my 540rltd and the moe joe was a bit hotter. I would compare it to... Somewhere near a PAF or a PAF pro... but the mo joe isn't hotter in a bad way, it's just slightly hotter. The moe joe has great dynamics if the pickup height is adjusted properly. And if you have the 330pf capacitor wired into you volume pot circuit as a treble bleeding effect, like satriani's JS guitars have, it is even better. That capacitor essentially makes the guitar feel like you are slowly rolling off the hotness/output of your pickups as you turn it down. The mo joe is only a little hotter than a FRED and the FRED is just a PAF pro with the mids boosted.
 
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