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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jesus, it has been several years since I visited this forum, let alone post here. Last post is from 2014!

In the time in between, I took a long break from playing consistently, maybe would do it a few times a year, just focused on other stuff. But during this pandemic, I slowly began to pick the guitar again, and a few weeks ago I got full into it as it's much easier to record for fun these days.

The long break also allowed me to mature some things in my head, which is the point of my post. I have an 88' Ibanez 540r HSS with a maple fretboard that I bought several years ago. Back then, I wanted to try out the Petrucci Crunch Lab, so along it I also installed a Chopper in the neck and a Fast Track 1 in the middle. It's a great setup for metal, but I've been playing a lot more of just classical rock, hard rock and blues as well as a lot of Joe Satriani, so the setup makes a little less sense. I've been going to my Saber when recording more these days as the Fred in the bridge position is a lot better for that stuff. I want to be able to record with the radius properly, so would like some input from you all.

I think I'll just drop in a Fred at the bridge, cause I really like the lead sound it produces as well as all the harmonics. What I'm looking for is some input in the middle and neck positions. The Fast Track 1 and Chopper are nice, but they are really more like full on humbuckers, meaning less treble and a lot of mids than a regular single coil. The Chopper specially. I want my neck position to be a bit more like a Strat sound. My initial thought is to drop another Fast Track 1 in the neck and see what happens. But, another issue I have is that the 540r isn't routed properly for Dimarzio single coils as they are very tall. The middle position specially is super close to the strings which I think is killing my sustain a bit. I still have the original pickups of the guitar here, so here are my ideas:

  • Drop the original single coils that came with her, alongside a Fred. Anyone able to tell me if the originals can get me that strat sound? It doesn't have to be perfect, just closer than what I have now.
  • Put the Fred and a Fast Track 1 to replaced the Chopper. This won't solve the sustain though
  • Try a different combo of single coils. Any suggestions? Remembering that ideally I need the shorter pickup heights like a Fender. I even thought of maybe getting a Fender set, but I don't think they do any hum cancelling singles, do they?
 

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I have 2 different radius guitars, hss, hsh, and a custom js100 (essentially a radius HH) with a warmoth neck and a gotoh floyd. The Dimarzio mo joe is in the bridge of all of them. It's a beefer better Fred.

The hss has fender hot noiseless single coils, the combination is excellent. They are the same pickups that Jeff Beck uses. They are thick but still twangy... they can scream with gain and retain glassiness when clean. With a trebble bleed circuit it's just sick because with high gain, then dial down the volume knob the twang sparkles through.

The HH setup has a mo joe and a paf joe. Very nice combo. They split nicely have have an all around awesome bluesy rock tone and sustain is superb.

The hsh I just got, I am waiting on a capacitor to complete the circuit. I have a mo joe in the bridge and a paf joe in the neck and an injector (noiseless paul gilbert single coil) in the middle. I'll let you know what I think of the combo when I finish the circuit this weekend. The circuit is the same as guthrie govans charvel but with different pickups. That's what wiring diagram is (attached). The mini toggle splits the humbuckers, with those resistors and capacitors it prevents the output from dropping... Super cool idea. I am really excited to get it finished.

But if you like the Fred you'll love the Mo joe... It's simply a better version of the Fred. I had a Fred in my hss for a while, when I put in a mo joe it was just bad ass... I was so happy with it that I started to put it in all my radius(ish) guitars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I might grab a Mo'Joe instead of the Fred to test it out. I think I'll plug the original single coils back in to test them again. I only played with them back when I originally got the guitar about 5 years ago I think. So memory is quite hazy. If they are not satisfactory, I'll look into other options. I did like those Fender Hot Noiseless pickups you mentioned from videos I found. Might be worth trying them out. If I get the full set I might even drop the bridge one on my strat :)
 

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Two things to consider. The original single coils may be a bit lower output compared to the mo joe. Also, the fender hot noiseless are great, but they are 2 coils stacked. You have a full sized coil on top, and an almost full size underneath. I had to route my single coil cavities deeper for them to fit. Not hard to do if you own a dremmel and are willing to remove material. This injector is also 2 stacked coils but it's the same height as a normal sized single coil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If I can avoid routing the cavities that would be good. So I'll keep that in mind. Did you apply anything to protect the wood inside after routing? That my actual worry.
 

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Yeah, you can use shielding paint, it's the same stuff they use in your electronic cavity. I just used acrylic craft paint from like AC more or michaels to protect the wood.
 

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So I got that radius circuit finished. Sounds really nice. Though my middle position is different because it is the neck and bridge with coils split, rather than using only that injector single coil on it's own it's a little tele-ish. But It's definitely a super strat fusion allotment of tones. I'll have to see if I can get a sound clip up.
 
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