#1
hey guys
should i change the bridge pickup on my Ibanez GRG170DX with EMG 81 or DiMarzio X2N?

which one is better? and is it worth the upgrade?
#2
Don't know much about the DiMarzio, but i know the EMG 81 is great. Not so good for cleans, but perfect for metal. If you want good cleans, then get a EMG 60; i mainly use it for cleans, but it can do rhythm.
"If A is a success in life, then A equals x + y + z. Work = x; y = play; and z = keeping your mouth shut."
--Einstein

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
--Einstein
#3
but should i change the pickup on this guitar? coz if i change both the pickups, it will cost as much as my guitar :P

worth putting EMG 81 in a low end guitar?
#4
I would go with the X2N if you want passive, which will preserve your natural tone better. But if you really want actives, use the the Duncan LiveWires or Blackouts, they are much better than EMGs on almost every review, and have been nicknamed the "EMG-Killers." as a matter of fact, EMG just released a whole bunch of new models to deal with their new rivals.
#6
what pickup will give me better mids? EMG81 or X2N. i am kinda leaning more towards X2N. Dunno why. but may be because people say EMG81s have high treble.

and duncan actives are not available here

EDIT:
Duncan actives are available here. the Seymour Duncan Blackouts AHB-1 ?
Last edited by polya at Sep 2, 2009,
#8
and if i were to choose between Seymour Duncan Blackouts AHB-1 and X2N?
#9
I'd forget about a single active if you are keeping the stock passive in the neck. Too much hassle rigging up separate wiring and pots, let alone putting a battery in. The X2n is a high output passive which will swap straight in.
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#10
Quote by polya
what pickup will give me better mids? EMG81 or X2N. i am kinda leaning more towards X2N. Dunno why. but may be because people say EMG81s have high treble.

and duncan actives are not available here

I don't know how good it is, but i'd say the DiMarzio. It would be easier to install and it probably costs less. If you want actives, save up for a higher quality guitar that has them, like maybe an ESP.

The 81 definitely has more treble than the 60, but if the amp is eq'ed right, it doesn't really matter. I usually run my treble almost dimmed out and my mids a little less (2-4 o'clock). It is great for what i play.

For the given situation, i'd go with the DiMarzio. But again, if you want actives, save up for a higher quality guitar; most of them have the 81/85, which is good, but i think the 81/60 is better just b/c the 60 is great with cleans. I know a few of the ESP's have this combo, like the EC-401FM.

I can't say that the Duncans are better than the EMG's; it is all just personal preference, but the EMG's are great pickups imo and get the job done. I am trying to get some Blackouts to go in my Epi SG so i can compare them to the EMG's in my Jackson. At that point, i can truly say what the advantages and disadvantages of both are.

Good Luck.
"If A is a success in life, then A equals x + y + z. Work = x; y = play; and z = keeping your mouth shut."
--Einstein

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
--Einstein
#12
okay. so if i have to go for actives, i will have to change both. then i think i will go for X2N. any other passives better than or kinda like X2N?
#14
Quote by SEALSniper1152
I would go with the X2N if you want passive, which will preserve your natural tone better. But if you really want actives, use the the Duncan LiveWires or Blackouts, they are much better than EMGs on almost every review, and have been nicknamed the "EMG-Killers." as a matter of fact, EMG just released a whole bunch of new models to deal with their new rivals.
Imo, NO high output pickup preserves the guitar's natural tone, whether passive or active.
#15
so will my guitar sound good with the pickup chance considering my guitar is a cheap one?
#16
Quote by polya
but should i change the pickup on this guitar? coz if i change both the pickups, it will cost as much as my guitar :P

worth putting EMG 81 in a low end guitar?


id say no ...


get a better guitar with better wood and everything .


i know someone who did that for a low end ESP LTD ex-50 .. he bought the low end and put a 200 $ set of active ... the result were not as good as the factory ex-400 which came equip with emg 81/60 .

low end guitar used lower quality of wood for the body : basswood , agathis etc.. and active pickup react very different than i.e a Mahogany body .

+ most of the time you dont have the same feature : set thru neck instead of Bolt on , better nut , bridge etc...


ive compared a cheap esp ltd ex-50 w emg 81/60 with a factory emg/60/81 equiped ltd ex-400 . and it sounded and play were different .


save a good guitar .. one that already come factory equipped with the emg you want ) .

but high end pickup in low quality is not a good move . the guitar will still remain low end ( neck , bridge , tuners , nut )
Bedroom rock star :

- Gibson Les paul Standard 2001 Honeyburst .
- Agile 3200 Slim
Last edited by Skysc at Sep 2, 2009,
#17
Quote by polya
so will my guitar sound good with the pickup chance considering my guitar is a cheap one?


Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Maybe, it's all sort of a matter of opinion, generally switching out stock pickups in any entry-intermediate level guitar will result in an improved tone but it all depends on what you yourself are looking to get out of the guitar.
#18
i just want my guitar to do good harmonics. i cannot do harmonics easily with my current pickups. i tried my friend's guitar ESP Viper 10 with the pickups upgraded to some Seymour Duncans on my RP350 with same settings and i found out that i could do harmonics extremely easily without any effort. so thats the reason i am considering the pickup change. also my current pickups are too noisy on high gain.
#19
Quote by Skysc
id say no ...


get a better guitar with better wood and everything .


i know someone who did that for a low end ESP LTD ex-50 .. he bought the low end and put a 200 $ set of active ... the result were not as good as the factory ex-400 which came equip with emg 81/60 .

low end guitar used lower quality of wood for the body : basswood , agathis etc.. and active pickup react very different than i.e a Mahogany body .

+ most of the time you dont have the same feature : set thru neck instead of Bolt on , better nut , bridge etc...


ive compared a cheap esp ltd ex-50 w emg 81/60 with a factory emg/60/81 equiped ltd ex-400 . and it sounded and play were different .


save a good guitar .. than put great pickup ( if it dont already come factory equiped with the emg ) .

but high end pickup in low quality is not a good move .


Almost everything in this post is a matter of opinion and ignorance. EVERY Guitar will sound different, even if it's the exact same model. No two pieces of wood will resonate in the exact same way, just as no two pickups will be wound in exactly the same way. It's just not possible.

Basswood is NOT a bad tone wood, in fact it is very similar to mahogany, just light weight, too fugly for trans finishes and generally associated with entry level guitars such as Squiers and no-name knock off brands. For reference, Jackson Dinkys are made of basswood, and they generally run from $500-$900+

Using the type of neck joint to judge the quality of a guitar is like looking only at the headlights to judge the quality of a sports car. A bolt on neck doesn't equal inferior quality, last time I checked Fender Deluxe Stratocasters used bolt on necks and they are some of the nicest non-custom shop Fenders out there.
#20
and what difference will it make if i change the volume and tone pots to 250k?
#21
ok i was jsut saying that throwing 200 $ on a 200 $ guitar .. is not a good move . the instlalation of active pickup cost a couple bucks that should'nt be spend on a low end guitar .

the low end will remain low end .

change the whole guitar and youll get everything better + ( if it matter to you ) a better resale value in case you decide to sell it .
Bedroom rock star :

- Gibson Les paul Standard 2001 Honeyburst .
- Agile 3200 Slim
Last edited by Skysc at Sep 2, 2009,
#22
well only 2 tube amps are available here in india. the line 6 one and Laney. and those two are uber expensive like $1000. so can't really invest in a good amp coz i have got no choice.

and i am gonna use the pickups with my RP350 direct into the mixer.
#23
Quote by polya
well only 2 tube amps are available here in india. the line 6 one and Laney. and those two are uber expensive like $1000. so can't really invest in a good amp coz i have got no choice.

and i am gonna use the pickups with my RP350 direct into the mixer.


k ... well if you tried your friend guitar who has EMG in the SAME SETUP that you use and find it really better . than go for it .


but putting 200 $ pickup + installation on a 250 $ , i wouldnt do it but if you can afford it , go for it .

and yes most low end guitar that are built for metal playing put crappy noisy pickup , you end up strumming and not hearing the other note you play . but the amp has a big part to do with that also .

a noise gate could be a great improvement .
Bedroom rock star :

- Gibson Les paul Standard 2001 Honeyburst .
- Agile 3200 Slim
#24
well i have not tried EMGs in ibanez grg170dx. but the seymour duncans in my friend's viper 10 sounded better than his stock through my RP350.

and i am going for X2N finally decided
#25
what about volume and tone pots? will there be any difference if i change them to 250k?