Ibanez JEM Forum banner
1 - 20 of 60 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys...
I've been reading up on the Tonezone here since I have 2 tonezones in my S520EX guitar. I realised that other than tips on lowering the TZ for more "clarity/less-boomy-bass" there's hardly any other advice for changing the tone. I've been playing around with them and I thought I should post some of my findings here...

TZ in Neck, Standard Position
Okay, for the TZ in the neck... Usual position is with screws towards the neck. Thats a very very very fat (many friends think its ridiculous) tone... and its surprisingly tight while maintaining a strong low end. I find that it still sounds pretty much as per a normal neck pup.. it has that "neck" tone.

TZ in Neck, Flipped
I tried flipping the neck TZ around (screws to the bridge) and the tone became slightly thinner and brighter. It sounded kind of un-neck like... and I didn't like the increased brightness which made it sound slightly brittle.

TZ in Bridge
My bridge TZ is with screws to the bridge, which is standard.... I liked the tone there and never tried flipping it around. But other than the usual practicing of lowering the TZ to get it less boomy, you can adjust the screws. I noted that on coil tapping a stock setup (all screws no adjustment) TZ, the coil with the flat poles sounded much louder than the coil with the screws. Now the coil with the screws has a much brighter and snappier sound than the other coil, but its less dynamic and thinner. So you can raise the screws to get an overall brighter and tighter tone!

I adjusted the screws till I had equal volume between the 2 coils and the overall tone had more treble and the booming bass sounded much tighter.

Hope this helps anyone who has PAF styled humbuckers. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
dimarzio says this about switching the orientation of certain pickups . I just copied the hole page

"Most humbuckers are symmetrical and their sound does not change at all when installed backwards, but some have a slightly different sound if you install them in the opposite direction from normal. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, but a matter of taste for such a subtle difference, if you can hear the difference at all. Those models include the Air Norton™, Air Zone™, Evolution® neck, bridge and 7-string, FRED®, Humbucker from Hell™, DLX Plus™ neck and bridge models, Virtual P-90™, Blaze™ neck and bridge models and Tone Zone 7™.
The Steve’s Special™, the Bluesbucker® and the MegaDrive™ have distinctly different sounds if you turn them around, and there is no ‘right’ installation direction. The Bluesbucker® is brighter-sounding with the adjustable screw coil towards the bridge, while the MegaDrive™ is brighter-sounding with the adjustable screw coil towards the neck. The Steve’s Special™ is brighter-sounding if the coil on the pickup’s cable exit side is toward the bridge.
I have a pickup with adjustable polepieces.

What are the adjustable poles for?

Polepiece adjustment is intended to balance the volume between individual strings. The factory setting works for most players. If you don't hear any imbalance between the strings, there's no reason to adjust the poles.
How high should I adjust my pickups for the best sound?
There is no specific distance that works best for everyone. We measure string height from the top of the polepiece to the bottom of the string when the string (usually the high or low E) is held down at the highest fret. For standard, full-size humbuckers, a reasonable starting point for the bridge pickup is at least 1/16" (1.5mm) from the high E and 5/64" (2 mm) from the low E. There are no recommended distances for the other 4 strings. Their polepieces should be adjusted (if necessary) by ear in relation to the volume established for the first and sixth strings. Once the bridge pickup is adjusted to a useful distance, the neck pickup can be adjusted by ear for a good balance.
For single-coil pickups and all hum canceling single-coil replacements with Alnico 5 rod magnets, we’ve found the following formula works very well: at the highest fret (usually the 21st or 22nd), the closest recommended distances from the top of the magnet to the bottom of the string are:
Neck and middle pickups
low E 1/8” (3.2mm)
high E 3/32” (2.4mm)
Bridge pickup
low E 3/32” (2.4mm)
high E 1/16” (1.6mm)
The Virtual Vintage® 2.1, 2.2 and VirtuAL 2® models have low magnet pull, and so do the Virtual T™ and all of the Fast Track™ models, including the Chopper™, Cruiser® and Pro Track™. They can all be adjusted relatively close to the strings. At the highest fret the closest recommended distances from the top of the magnet to the bottom of the string are:
Neck and middle pickups
low E 3/32” (2.4mm)
high E 1/16” (1.6mm)
Bridge pickup
low E 1/16” (1.6mm)
high E 3/64” (1.2mm)
These settings will provide a lot of presence and attack. For a more open 1950s sound, try adjusting the pickups 1/32” (0.8mm) further from the strings.
What happens if I adjust my pickup too close to the strings?
The closer the pickup gets to the strings, the stronger the signal that's sent to the amp. However, getting a pickup close to the strings brings the magnetic field closer, too. If the magnetic field is strong enough, it alters string vibration enough to make the guitar sound out of tune, and it can also cause string buzz and reduce sustain."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,923 Posts
Here's a little tip I picked up from pickup maker Lindy Fralin.

As we all (more or less) already know that we can decrease the amount of booming from the Tone Zone, all pickups with adjustable pole pieces can be lowered to get less bass/less output, but if you lower the pickup and raise the poles you get less bass but more top end. The opposite is also true. Raising a pickup will increase the output, but raising a pickup and lower the pole pieces results in a pickup that's got some more bottom end.

Another tip that I picked up over the years working as a guitar tech was that you can usually make pickups more efficient by cutting off pats of the pole pieces that stick out of the bottom of the pickup. This removes additional eddys in the magnetic field. Mind you this doesn't work with (most) Dimarzio pickups as the the screws do not stick out the back, but Seymour Duncans and most Gibson Style PAF pickups do.

Other pickups tweaks that you could do include changing magnets types (Alnico and Ceramic types) as well as changing the screw types. There's also a whole bunch of other things you can do, but it's almost like rewinding/rebuilding a pickup.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
451 Posts
Shredcows said:
Hey guys...
I've been reading up on the Tonezone here since I have 2 tonezones in my S520EX guitar. I realised that other than tips on lowering the TZ for more "clarity/less-boomy-bass" there's hardly any other advice for changing the tone. I've been playing around with them and I thought I should post some of my findings here...

TZ in Bridge
My bridge TZ is with screws to the bridge, which is standard.... I liked the tone there and never tried flipping it around. But other than the usual practicing of lowering the TZ to get it less boomy, you can adjust the screws. I noted that on coil tapping a stock setup (all screws no adjustment) TZ, the coil with the flat poles sounded much louder than the coil with the screws. Now the coil with the screws has a much brighter and snappier sound than the other coil, but its less dynamic and thinner. So you can raise the screws to get an overall brighter and tighter tone!

I adjusted the screws till I had equal volume between the 2 coils and the overall tone had more treble and the booming bass sounded much tighter.

Hope this helps anyone who has PAF styled humbuckers. :)
i have tried all the things you can do to a pup with the TZ
everything from swapping the magnet to making one coil a air bucker
here is what i have found out,

1.stock TZ= this sounds best when set a little further away from the strings than usual and like you said with the screw poles raised up.

2. TZ with a different magnet= a TZ with a alnico II is very cool indeed it takes on a double whammy on steroids tone
i like it much more than a double whammy model
with a ceramic magnet it is a lot tighter,brighter and has more output
sounds a lot like the duncan distortion this way but is better overall with better dynamics and bass

3. WITH ONE COIL MODDED TO BE A AIR COIL= the tone zone sounds almost exactly like eddie vanhalens custom wound dimarzio
to hear this version just listen to "judgement day" on the F.U.C.K disc.

it seems that the TZ has many options with slight tweaks such as yours and mine
what i love about the tone zone even in stock form is that it stays thick and has real good depth even when i play all the way up the neck on the high E .
i also think the TZ has the most MOLTEN sounding harmonics of any passive pup i ever heard
the only other pup that has these type harmonics is the EMG 81 but that one is active.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
Here's a little tip I picked up from pickup maker Lindy Fralin.

As we all (more or less) already know that we can decrease the amount of booming from the Tone Zone, all pickups with adjustable pole pieces can be lowered to get less bass/less output, but if you lower the pickup and raise the poles you get less bass but more top end. The opposite is also true. Raising a pickup will increase the output, but raising a pickup and lower the pole pieces results in a pickup that's got some more bottom end.
... I know this is an ancient thread, but this is an awesome tip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Well as I read these posts I set here waiting to receive my Tone Zone. I had got a Evolution(bridge) for my Ibanez, Rg4EX1 and I just couldn't cope. It sounds great in a few others I have but not this one. It is much too shreil and thin sounding. And yes I had it hooked up properly. So the guy at Dimarzio suggested the ToneZone. Now Im hearing how boomy it is. I hate that crap.Hope it dont in mine. The RG4EX1 does have a maple top that could explain the high's issue just hope it will balance with the Tone Zone. Please give me opinions from experiance. I am starting to wonder if this is a Dimarzio guitar or something else. I have always liked the Dimarzio/Ibanez combo but man that EVO just was awful in this one. Honestly the INF4 that came in it is real good maybe I just need to leave it alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
The Evo isn't made for Basswood; it's really made for Alder and works perfectly there.

ToneZone is a nice pickup,but, it's sensitive to height adjustments and it's like the "Thor's Hammer" of the Dimarzio line. Great for certain rigs.

The cool part is you can "Air or Half Air" mod it and it softens the bass alittle along with giving it more focus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
How do I "Air or Half Air" my TZ? I've read about swapping the screw pole pieces for allen head type pole pieces.Where can I get some allen type pole pieces? How would changing the pole pieces alter the sound of the TZ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
dimarzio says this about switching the orientation of certain pickups . I just copied the hole page

"Most humbuckers are symmetrical and their sound does not change at all when installed backwards, but some have a slightly different sound if you install them in the opposite direction from normal. It's not a matter of right or wrong, but a matter of taste for such a subtle difference, if you can hear the difference at all. Those models include the Air Norton™, Air Zone™, Evolution® neck, bridge and 7-string, FRED®, Humbucker from Hell™, DLX Plus™ neck and bridge models, Virtual P-90™, Blaze™ neck and bridge models and Tone Zone 7™.
The Steve's Special™, the Bluesbucker® and the MegaDrive™ have distinctly different sounds if you turn them around, and there is no 'right' installation direction. The Bluesbucker® is brighter-sounding with the adjustable screw coil towards the bridge, while the MegaDrive™ is brighter-sounding with the adjustable screw coil towards the neck. The Steve's Special™ is brighter-sounding if the coil on the pickup's cable exit side is toward the bridge.
I have a pickup with adjustable polepieces.

What are the adjustable poles for?

Polepiece adjustment is intended to balance the volume between individual strings. The factory setting works for most players. If you don't hear any imbalance between the strings, there's no reason to adjust the poles.
How high should I adjust my pickups for the best sound?
There is no specific distance that works best for everyone. We measure string height from the top of the polepiece to the bottom of the string when the string (usually the high or low E) is held down at the highest fret. For standard, full-size humbuckers, a reasonable starting point for the bridge pickup is at least 1/16" (1.5mm) from the high E and 5/64" (2 mm) from the low E. There are no recommended distances for the other 4 strings. Their polepieces should be adjusted (if necessary) by ear in relation to the volume established for the first and sixth strings. Once the bridge pickup is adjusted to a useful distance, the neck pickup can be adjusted by ear for a good balance.
For single-coil pickups and all hum canceling single-coil replacements with Alnico 5 rod magnets, we've found the following formula works very well: at the highest fret (usually the 21st or 22nd), the closest recommended distances from the top of the magnet to the bottom of the string are:
Neck and middle pickups
low E 1/8" (3.2mm)
high E 3/32" (2.4mm)
Bridge pickup
low E 3/32" (2.4mm)
high E 1/16" (1.6mm)
The Virtual Vintage® 2.1, 2.2 and VirtuAL 2® models have low magnet pull, and so do the Virtual T™ and all of the Fast Track™ models, including the Chopper™, Cruiser® and Pro Track™. They can all be adjusted relatively close to the strings. At the highest fret the closest recommended distances from the top of the magnet to the bottom of the string are:
Neck and middle pickups
low E 3/32" (2.4mm)
high E 1/16" (1.6mm)
Bridge pickup
low E 1/16" (1.6mm)
high E 3/64" (1.2mm)
These settings will provide a lot of presence and attack. For a more open 1950s sound, try adjusting the pickups 1/32" (0.8mm) further from the strings.
What happens if I adjust my pickup too close to the strings?
The closer the pickup gets to the strings, the stronger the signal that's sent to the amp. However, getting a pickup close to the strings brings the magnetic field closer, too. If the magnetic field is strong enough, it alters string vibration enough to make the guitar sound out of tune, and it can also cause string buzz and reduce sustain."
I tried this setting, It is too close , When I palm mute the Low E touches the Pickup and I get additional scratchy sounds
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
i have tried all the things you can do to a pup with the TZ
everything from swapping the magnet to making one coil a air bucker
here is what i have found out,

1.stock TZ= this sounds best when set a little further away from the strings than usual and like you said with the screw poles raised up.

2. TZ with a different magnet= a TZ with a alnico II is very cool indeed it takes on a double whammy on steroids tone
i like it much more than a double whammy model
with a ceramic magnet it is a lot tighter,brighter and has more output
sounds a lot like the duncan distortion this way but is better overall with better dynamics and bass

3. WITH ONE COIL MODDED TO BE A AIR COIL= the tone zone sounds almost exactly like eddie vanhalens custom wound dimarzio
to hear this version just listen to "judgement day" on the F.U.C.K disc.

it seems that the TZ has many options with slight tweaks such as yours and mine
what i love about the tone zone even in stock form is that it stays thick and has real good depth even when i play all the way up the neck on the high E .
i also think the TZ has the most MOLTEN sounding harmonics of any passive pup i ever heard
the only other pup that has these type harmonics is the EMG 81 but that one is active.
Two Q's about the EBMM EVH Pickup.

Since the TZ is the "closest" pup to the EBMM EVH, do you think the Slug Coil [Different Wire gauge/Diffrnt # Turns] is wound down closer to the Screw Coil spec?
OR
Is the EVH pup using Two Screw Coil Spec'd[Same wire gauge/Same # Turns] Coils?

Same Coils[Wire/Turns] or Diferrent Coils[Dual Resonance][Different Wire/ but same amount of turns]?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Read LonePhantom's post on TZ and 0.047uF here. We did a lot of experiment on TZ. Air-dification, 0.022uF or 0.01 in series. These change the TZ to a very nice pickup.

The two coil of the Dimarzio Air Bucker don't sound the same. I have the Air Classic on neck of my Strat, the slug coil sounded stronger!!!

Honestly, TZ is not my pickup of choice. I have this for many years. I only use it because I read LonePhantom's post on Air-dification and put caps in series. That make it quite good for bridge. I actually set out to buy the Seymour Duncan SH11 Custom Custom. I really like the sound of that. But now it will do. I bought the Air Zone and put on the neck. Only took me 2 minutes of playing to decide to take it out and get the refund!!! It is so so muddy and bassy, it is not usable. Maybe adding cap will help, but it has long way to go. It is designed for bridge. SH11 actually sound very nice on the neck. Only thing is the Air Classic have a better Strat sound on single coil.
 
1 - 20 of 60 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top