#1
I have an RG2550Z and it sounds lifeless. It sounds lifeless even when I play acoustically compared to my strat and G-400. I was thinking about putting some Dimarzios in it but I feel like it'll just have higher output and have a different tone. I was originally going to change the pickups because the stock ones are very trebly. But I don't think new pickups will make it sound less dull. I also decided on my next guitar, it'll be similar to an RG with a mahogany body and a maple top with the same pickups that I was going to put in the RG. So I was thinking maybe to go with actives for the RG. I play a lot of 80s hair-metal like Motley Crue, Poison, Skid Row, and the Scorpions. I was thinking about getting a 85 in the bridge, a 60 in the neck and a S in the middle since I don't play much modern metal. The guitar is very transparent. If a play a chord, it sounds like a bridge, a nut, string, and pickups. It's perfect for solos, but it lacks character when playing rhythm. I don't know how to describe it. It's almost too clean and perfect. I just figure that pickups with a preamp in it will make it sound like it has some more life. I do like the tone of EMGs but I don't know how they will sound with less gain than I normally hear them with. I hear EMGs don't sound as organic as passives. But if my guitar already doesn't sound organic, will the preamp in the EMGs make it sound more organic? If EMGs sound like they suck tone out of guitars, would it sound like it added tone to a guitar that already sounds toneless? I play through a GT-10 and a JC120
#2
if you mean the INF pickups, i never had a complaint about the INF 3 and the INF 4 ones in my 321mh, they where extremely versatile.

if you are dead set on swapping pickups, passives are probably your best option, beyond that i would need to know what sound you are looking for to suggest the right ones.

i have EMGs on my Jackson, they are fine, but sometimes, it gets a little one dimensional with your variety of sounds.
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Pffffffft schematics


Although i guess the OP will have to get used to reading them if he's going to buy a bugera..
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along with fire escape routes...

#4
As said above, EMG's are not versatile.
It's a one trick pony.

If you're looking to play metal and that's it.
Then I'd say go for it.

But there are alot of passive pickups that you could get a nicer metal tone out of.
I just don't like the EQ in my EMG's.

I'd say look into some Dimarzio's (again).
Super 3, Evolution, Breed, tonezone. etc
#6
Quote by JELIFISH19
I have an RG2550Z and it sounds lifeless. It sounds lifeless even when I play acoustically compared to my strat and G-400. I was thinking about putting some Dimarzios in it but I feel like it'll just have higher output and have a different tone. I was originally going to change the pickups because the stock ones are very trebly. But I don't think new pickups will make it sound less dull. I also decided on my next guitar, it'll be similar to an RG with a mahogany body and a maple top with the same pickups that I was going to put in the RG. So I was thinking maybe to go with actives for the RG. I play a lot of 80s hair-metal like Motley Crue, Poison, Skid Row, and the Scorpions. I was thinking about getting a 85 in the bridge, a 60 in the neck and a S in the middle since I don't play much modern metal. The guitar is very transparent. If a play a chord, it sounds like a bridge, a nut, string, and pickups. It's perfect for solos, but it lacks character when playing rhythm. I don't know how to describe it. It's almost too clean and perfect. I just figure that pickups with a preamp in it will make it sound like it has some more life. I do like the tone of EMGs but I don't know how they will sound with less gain than I normally hear them with. I hear EMGs don't sound as organic as passives. But if my guitar already doesn't sound organic, will the preamp in the EMGs make it sound more organic? If EMGs sound like they suck tone out of guitars, would it sound like it added tone to a guitar that already sounds toneless? I play through a GT-10 and a JC120


I understand what you're trying to do but keep in mind that some guitars by nature just don't have it. Could be a $200 POS or a $2000 custom shop model and they could both sound like crap and then you could pick up a beater somewhere for $100 and it sounds great, sometimes it just clicks and sometimes it doesn't though I'm not saying yours could be a lemon. This is why I always like to play guitars unplugged at first and hear how they sound before plugging them in.

Having said that, you said the guitar doesn't sound great for rhythm but perfect for solos. Well keep in mind that the guitar you have is a lead guitar, not so much a rhythm guitar but it should still sound decent for rhythm. You could try other options in the mean time, things such as changing to a different brand of strings. I personally don't like them but D'Addario's are fairly bright and if you feel like your guitar is dull sounding well that might help, also you could try going up a gauge in string. If you're using 9's you could give 10's a shot and see how that sounds, should give you some more tone. A big draw back for me why I'm not an Ibanez fan is because the necks are way too thin and I think their guitars lose tone because of that. Its a personal opinion, doesn't mean I'm right.

Anyways EMG's are still affected by the guitar itself just not as much as passives of course. I don't know its your call if you want to give them a shot. If you do I'd run them in 18v only, I do and its much better I think but check into other things such as trying out different types of string to see what you come up with before laying down $300 on pickups.
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#7
Actually the pup combo you mentioned sounds good for the music you are playing. The S adds alot of versitility with a 5 way switch. You could consider an 89 in the neck.
Last edited by Tempoe at Jan 27, 2009,
#8
Quote by DSOTM80
I understand what you're trying to do but keep in mind that some guitars by nature just don't have it. Could be a $200 POS or a $2000 custom shop model and they could both sound like crap and then you could pick up a beater somewhere for $100 and it sounds great, sometimes it just clicks and sometimes it doesn't though I'm not saying yours could be a lemon. This is why I always like to play guitars unplugged at first and hear how they sound before plugging them in.

Having said that, you said the guitar doesn't sound great for rhythm but perfect for solos. Well keep in mind that the guitar you have is a lead guitar, not so much a rhythm guitar but it should still sound decent for rhythm. You could try other options in the mean time, things such as changing to a different brand of strings. I personally don't like them but D'Addario's are fairly bright and if you feel like your guitar is dull sounding well that might help, also you could try going up a gauge in string. If you're using 9's you could give 10's a shot and see how that sounds, should give you some more tone. A big draw back for me why I'm not an Ibanez fan is because the necks are way too thin and I think their guitars lose tone because of that. Its a personal opinion, doesn't mean I'm right.

Anyways EMG's are still affected by the guitar itself just not as much as passives of course. I don't know its your call if you want to give them a shot. If you do I'd run them in 18v only, I do and its much better I think but check into other things such as trying out different types of string to see what you come up with before laying down $300 on pickups.

I understand it's the nature of basswood RGs. They all have that same characteristic. I've watched videos of youtube with RGs and different pickups, I can still hear it. It always sounds thin and sterile. I use D'Addario Light Top Heavy Bottom strings (10-52s). It's perfect for some applications, but sucks in others. It's a love hate affair. The thing I hate most about it is the thing I love most about it, I'm just trying to make it a little more balanced. The tone I'm going for is "Rock You Like a Hurricane" with chords that sound big and powerful. The EMG 60 sounds good in the neck for my use, but I've never heard the 85 in the bridge without crazy distortion. I don't really like it as a neck pickup, but I don't really like the 81 in the bridge either. The guitar isn't very versatile already. It's a one-trick pony right now compared to my other ones. Which EMG do you have in your Focus 1000? Would it suit my music styles?

Quote by Tempoe
Actually the pup combo you mentioned sounds good for the music you are playing. The S adds alot of versitility with a 5 way switch. You could consider an 89 in the neck.

I played a schecter with a 89 in the neck but I wasn't a fan. The Eclipses I played with 60s sounded better. Would a 5-way switch be useful? You can't split the coils on EMGs unless they're the 81TW or 89. I figured I would just change it to a 3-way switch because I thought the output differences of humbuckers and single coils would make it pointless to use the neck or bridge with the middle at the same time since you probably couldn't hear the single coil anyway.
#9
Correct me if I'm wrong,bit didn't DiMarzio create the Breed pup to add life and some fat classic chunk to the basswood JEM model that Ibanez makes for Via?

That might be worth looking into,but it also might just be your guitars wood characteristics,which is something that is really hard to change since it's so ingrained in the sound.

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#10
I have a SD Blackout pickup in my Basswood RGR08 and I can really recommend it to you. I previously had a mahogany Ltd EX400 with EMGS in it , but this RGR08 sounded so much beter and organic.
Orange Enthousiast.
#11
I was considering the Tone Zone, it's pretty much a similar concept as the Breed, I just think it sounds a little better. It's definitely the wood characteristics. That's one of the reasons I like the guitar. I want to retain some of it's lifelessness while making it sound fuller. I haven't played or heard a basswood guitar that sounds full, regardless of pickups. It just sounds weak. So I want to change the tonal characteristics of my guitar a little. I heard that's one of the things EMGs are good for. I find that EMGs are sterile but they also sound full. I also like how EMGs sound playing lead, but I've never heard them playing rhythm with moderate to little gain. I've played an 81 in the bridge, I didn't really like it. But I heard the 85 is more organic and versatile. I already liked the 60 the neck. If I do the 18v mod for increased dynamics and headroom, it could sound awesome.
#12
Quote by JELIFISH19
I understand it's the nature of basswood RGs. They all have that same characteristic. I've watched videos of youtube with RGs and different pickups, I can still hear it. It always sounds thin and sterile. I use D'Addario Light Top Heavy Bottom strings (10-52s). It's perfect for some applications, but sucks in others. It's a love hate affair. The thing I hate most about it is the thing I love most about it, I'm just trying to make it a little more balanced. The tone I'm going for is "Rock You Like a Hurricane" with chords that sound big and powerful. The EMG 60 sounds good in the neck for my use, but I've never heard the 85 in the bridge without crazy distortion. I don't really like it as a neck pickup, but I don't really like the 81 in the bridge either. The guitar isn't very versatile already. It's a one-trick pony right now compared to my other ones. Which EMG do you have in your Focus 1000? Would it suit my music styles?


I have an 81 in the bridge of my Focus 1000. I had an 85 in there before but I like the 81 better, it is you can say a one trick pony but I don't mind as my other guitar is pretty versatile. Mine sounds full but that also has a lot to do with the guitar itself because it sounds great unplugged. The 85 was a bit better on cleans but not really near if I had a passive pup in there like before.

Hmm I'm not sure if I could really help you here, my only suggestion would be check out passives also and not just think actives are the way to go. If you want a fuller sound and a more old school metal tone I'd check out pups with Alnico 2 magnets in them also as they sound much warmer.
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#13
I just saw a youtube video of this guy playing some Ratt songs and I realized that they might not be for me. They were too tight and had to much attack. I might just try a Tone Zone, Air Norton, and a Virtual Solo and hope for the best. Any other recommendations for passives?