Ibanez JEM Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided on a Lapis Blue SZ520QM from AMS, since the price was right.
However, I believe it needs some improvements, and falls somewhat short in some areas:

The pick-ups sound "decent", but very bright. I need some suggestions on a good set to warm up the tone a little. I thought of the Jazz/JB, or '59/JB route, but am also looking to see what Dimarzio might have to offer. I play mostly metal, but want a nice, clear, warm tone. I dabble in blues as well.

The tuners suck, IMO. I have some minor tuning problems, (staying in tune), I I firmly believe the tuners are the problem. A new bone, or graphite nut wouldn't hurt either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,467 Posts
Here's what I did to my SZ.... I replaced the pickups with Dimarzio virtual vintage. Didn't like em they were too bright sounding. So I replaced them with GFS boutique overwound paf's or whatever they call them. These sounded excellent. Warm and sweet. I also repleced the crappy three way switch with a good quality lever type switch, I replaced the pots with CTS and I replaced all of the wiring as well as the capacitors. The difference was like night and day. I think changing the switch and pots made almost as much difference as the pickups.
I ended up selling it because I didn't get along with the smallish frets so well but the guitar sounded great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,982 Posts
yup replace the pickups. i have duncans loaded into mine: alnico 2 and jb. sounds great, more for rock(LP) tones. the tuning issue can be helped if you get a mechanical pencil and mark into the string slots too lubricate them with the graphite between string changes. this a cheaper alternative to replacing it for the mean time. i would recommend getting a graphite nut. bone will still stick. the lsr will take a bit of modding to get it to fit properly.
for pickups, considering that you play metal: super2 and super distortion from dimarzio and the jazz/distortion combo from duncan.


rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
As far as bridge pickups go, I've tried an EMG 81, 85, JB, and DiMarzio Norton in my 520. For thick Joel Stroetzel of Killswitch Engage type tones, nothing beats the EMG 85 in the bridge, or maybe a Tone Zone. The Norton IMO is the most versatile and my personal favorite out of those. The JB is a brighter, sweeter sounding pickup and is also very versatile, but I personally like the the thicker, smoother sound of the Norton.

As for the tuning issues, mine had similar issues when I first got it, but it's pretty stable now. I didn't do any modifications to it. I think pencil lead in the saddles will help.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top