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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I got an RGA72 ~6 months ago, I'm still dead chuffed with it, but the pickups (Ibanez CAP LZ-10/20) are definitely muddier than those in my RG and the Evolutions in my sold JEM555, so it's time to replace :)

This is my first guitar with active pickups and an active on-board pre-amp EQ though, and I'm not too clued up on wiring in new pickups anyway, so I have a few questions to make sure I'm not overlooking anything before I bust out the soldering iron.

I only stumbled on the info recently that active pickups usually use ~25k pots instead of 500k, and on checking the back of the pot sure enough there's a "25kΩ" marking, so I'm ordering a DiMarzio 1000k pot (yeah twice normal, but I believe this is what the JEM has(?) and I loved the roll-off of the volume on that).

So since I almost overlooked that important detail, what else may I be missing? Would I be able to wire the new passive pickups through the active pre-amp EQ on the RGA72? Or if I ditch the active pickups, would the active pre-amp not be usable/not be worth the hassle of wiring up? Looking in the back, there are four wires that go into a little wire socket into the magic pre-amp box. Does anyone have experience with working with this?
It's not a disaster if I have to bypass it entirely tbh, the new pickups will be good enough to sound "right" on their own.

I think I read somewhere that when replacing active EMGs with passives, you have to change the jack? Is this also the case when changing from the Ibanez actives?

I was considering a DiMarzio Pro Track in the neck (through a humbucker-to-single-coil adapter ring) and a Bare Knuckle Nailbomb in the bridge (yeah odd mix and I may have trouble with output and "cut" levels mis-matching...)

Anyone done this and have thoughts/caveats?
Cheers!
 

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You won't need to change the jack but it'll have one more wire than you'd need. I believe the preamp in that model is designed to work with the Ibanez active pickups, so it wouldn't work so great with the new passives.

You can buy complete Ibanez wiring harnesses on certain auction sites etc which give you everything you need: switches, pots and jack, all wired up and ready to go. And I'd recommend a 500k pot rather than 1000k. Jums typically have 500k pots. Some pickups like the Seymour Duncan JB work great with 250k pots too because this tames their high end a little bit.
 

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You won't need to change the jack but it'll have one more wire than you'd need. I believe the preamp in that model is designed to work with the Ibanez active pickups, so it wouldn't work so great with the new passives.

You can buy complete Ibanez wiring harnesses on certain auction sites etc which give you everything you need: switches, pots and jack, all wired up and ready to go. And I'd recommend a 500k pot rather than 1000k. Jums typically have 500k pots. Some pickups like the Seymour Duncan JB work great with 250k pots too because this tames their high end a little bit.
What's a "Jum"? ;)
J/T
 

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Remove the preamp, as Petie already said.
From what I understand; active pickups are actually very low output in front of the preamp and the preamp has quite a gain boost that will most likely make a set of passive pups sound like a distorted mess, and not in the good way. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You won't need to change the jack but it'll have one more wire than you'd need. I believe the preamp in that model is designed to work with the Ibanez active pickups, so it wouldn't work so great with the new passives.

You can buy complete Ibanez wiring harnesses on certain auction sites etc which give you everything you need: switches, pots and jack, all wired up and ready to go. And I'd recommend a 500k pot rather than 1000k. Jums typically have 500k pots. Some pickups like the Seymour Duncan JB work great with 250k pots too because this tames their high end a little bit.
Ok thanks, I'll leave the jack, and the seller of the 1 meg pot was out of stock anyway, so I'll go for the DiMarzio 500k (I should have taken note of what make was in the JEM555, the volume roll-off was lovely, I stopped using amp switching entirely and done my tone changes with the guitar volume).

Remove the preamp, as Petie already said.
From what I understand; active pickups are actually very low output in front of the preamp and the preamp has quite a gain boost that will most likely make a set of passive pups sound like a distorted mess, and not in the good way. ;)
I think in the RGA72 it's just a little EQ shaping it adds. But yeah it's the kind of thing I'd ultimately want to do with a discrete pedal or plug-in ultimately I suppose.

I suppose I should put something else in the hole the pre-amp toggle switch is in then - I have a kill-switch sitting around if I wanted to go all Buckethead, but a red arcade button would kind of miss-match with the visuals of a purple flamed maple top :p
 
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