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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Guitar: RG2560ZEX. Ash body w binding. 5-piece maple/walnut neck. Rosewood fingerboard. 24 fret. Edge Zero Trem.

Current pickups: H-S-S Dimario IBZ RG

Gear: Fractal Audio Axe-FX III

Reasons for changing: I like mellow lead tones, not harsh. I find the current Dimarzio/IBZ a bit on the bright side, and lack of body at the mid frequencies. Highs can be shaped with EQ, but there is some character missing at the mids

  • For the neck position I believe that the Air Norton S DP180 is a good option. I like how Satch makes it sound.
  • For the bridge I was initially thinking about the Fred. I had one at my basswood RG550LTD for several years (now replaced with a Suhr Doug Aldrich) and I loved how it handled the mid range. But legend says that Ash is brighter than basswood, so I am also considering Air Norton or Tone Zone because they have more bass and mid than the Fred. Any thoughts there?
  • What Mid pickup would you recommend to combine with these two? The classic True Velvet?

I had a RG8550MZ with ToneZone-Bridge, TrueVelvet-Mid, AirNorton-Neck. I found it very balanced with these pickups, but that was mahogany.
 

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I have a 540r with true velvets and an air classic in the bridge, very nice combo. It's a basswood guitar as well. The true velvets are very well balanced. I wasn't aware that Satriani used an air Norton in anything? I know he uses the paf pro in the neck, PAF Joe... And the satch track for neck pickups. And the Fred, mo Joe, and satchur8 for bridge pickups. The Fred is a nice pickup... It sings with nice feedback and harmonics and isn't too hot. I found it a touch dark sounding in my basswood guitars... Which may be exactly what you're looking for. It isn't super bright but still punches in the mix. Read about the satch track if you need a single coil sized humbucker. I happen to really like that pickup. It's warm but super clear... And splits really nice for a small humbucker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Holy smokes! This guitar with the Gravity Storm / Blue Velvet / Air Norton S is a monster. The Dimarzio/IBZ are not bad at all, but this is in another league.

And all the 10 combinations of the super-switch plus the push-pull pot are extremely versatile. A wide range of different tones, from round and mid-focused to crispy and strat-quaking

I don't understand why all the Ibanez hi-end range, like the j.customs, do not come with the VLX-91 switch and the push/pull pot (not just for coil-splitting, but for more pickup combinations).
 
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