#1
Hi guys!

I was just after a little advice. I'm currently in the market for a new guitar and I'm looking at the Ibanez ARZ 700. It's fitted with EMG pickups 81 in the bridge 60 in the neck.

I'm well aware that this is a fully metal guitar and that pretty much what i'm looking for.

But what I wanted to know is how would it handle playing blues, classic rock, punk, ska etc. Don't get me wrong I'm not expecting it to make me sound like BB King or anything like that. I just want to know if it'll give any approximation of those different type of tones or is it gonna sound completely dead unless its playing metal?

I'm gonna be playing mainly in my house and probably through a Peavey Pypyr 75. I've been out of playing seriously for a while and whilst Metal is what really floats my boat, I do want to expand my techniques and at least want to enjoy trying other styles.

Cheers for any advice
Last edited by Norm81 at Aug 27, 2011,
#2
In theory yes you could get other tones from EMGs but it would go highly unrecommended. Given how similar they are, my biggest suggestion would be to try and get the ARZ400 instead, and then use the money you save to invest in some really versatile pickups for it (all sorts of common pup combos could be suggested here - Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz, DiMarzio Crunchlab/Liquifire, D-Sonic/Air Norton, Tone Zone/Air Zone, invest in some Bareknuckle pickups, etc, etc).

In all fairness though, I should mention that I don't like EMGs for anything, as much as I almost only play metal. In my experience they sound sterile so it's only natural that I'm going to recommend against them. If you like how EMGs sound for metal you'll *probably* be able to get a sound you like for other stuff too. The key may be in rolling off the tone/volume knobs on you're actual guitar.

Good luck in your new guitar quest!
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#3
My friend has Emg's in his Ibanez, I watched him do a blues Jam and his tone was fantastic. The blues tone is more in the amp.

I'm pretty sure it could definately do classic rock.

The 60 in the neck is what James Hetfield uses for his clean tone, which is very nice if you ask me.


What I will say though is, if your guitar currently has passive pickups, dont change to active uless you absolutely want those pick ups! Even though you can get solderless Emg's, making them possible easier to install, you have to find space for the battery, which isnt always so easy.

I say it can do it, but shop a round a bit more before you do it.

Check out the Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz combo for bridge and neck respectively. They are probably better suited, are very popular, reliable, cheaper and passive.
#4
They would be fine, work with the volume knob and your Eq, you can get pretty much decent tones for everything if you like the EMG tone.

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#5
They can do other tones other than metal, just not as well as vvolverin's pickup suggestions; I can tell that my ibanez loaded with duncan blackouts (actives) and my strat loaded with duncan sh-15 and pearly gates (passives) excel at different tones. you only really notice the weaknesses in either pickup style when you have two guitars side by side to compare the two.
#6
EMG's were actually originally designed for blues players, to gain a more precise and driven tone from the amp. That said, i wouldn't reccomend them as i find them rather sterile sounding.
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#7
Thanks for all the replies so far!

Those were the kind of answers I was looking for! Like I said I'm just basically trying to get back into playing seriously. I've just been messing around on my accoustic for years now so I really want be able to blast out some distorted riffs!

I know what I'm like tho and if I really get back into it and I'm enjoying different styles I'll probably end up buying a more versitle, non-metal guitar at some point.

Right now I want a guitar thats gonna raaaaaaawk first and foremost!!

(Damn!!! I just realised I've started plotting to buy a second electric guitar before I've bought my first! I hate you guys and this site )

Any ideas it'd be worth changing the neck pick up at some point so I could still play metal with the bridge, but then have a bluesier tone from a different neck pick up? If so what make of pickup? Or would a new guitar be a better bet?
#8
Active and passive pickups don't work well together at all, so if you were to get the EMGs and then want to only swap out the neck pickup you would be pretty limited in your choices.

Again I would suggest, and still there's a lot of bias here, getting some passive pickups in there. Then you can do what you more or less have in mind which is have a really hot metal pickup in the bridge, and something totally different in the neck for versatility. I would highly recommend the DiMarzio D'Activator for the bridge, as it is basically an EMG81 in passive form, and sounds better (opinion of course, deal with it ). Then you could get something like the Air Norton for the neck for a different range of tones.
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#9
Quote by SOADriff
EMG's were actually originally designed for blues players, to gain a more precise and driven tone from the amp. That said, i wouldn't reccomend them as i find them rather sterile sounding.


Did not know this. Interesting info.
#10
Quote by SOADriff
EMG's were actually originally designed for blues players, to gain a more precise and driven tone from the amp. That said, i wouldn't reccomend them as i find them rather sterile sounding.


sorry but it was jazz not blues. they aren't the best for blues at all however they will function for just about any style provided your amp is set correctly. having said that modeling amps don't always sound good with active pups so be aware that your sound might suffer for this reason.
#11
Quote by VVolverin3
Active and passive pickups don't work well together at all, so if you were to get the EMGs and then want to only swap out the neck pickup you would be pretty limited in your choices.

Again I would suggest, and still there's a lot of bias here, getting some passive pickups in there. Then you can do what you more or less have in mind which is have a really hot metal pickup in the bridge, and something totally different in the neck for versatility. I would highly recommend the DiMarzio D'Activator for the bridge, as it is basically an EMG81 in passive form, and sounds better (opinion of course, deal with it ). Then you could get something like the Air Norton for the neck for a different range of tones.


It can be done, I used the stock neck single coil + emg81 in my strat. Just need to be creative with the wiring

But like others have said, EMG81s are more focused & sterile compared to passive pickups. Not that it's a bad thing, but don't expect a huge spectrum of dynamics. Love them for metal, but not great when you are trying to play some squawking Satriani style. But for that type of stuff, I'll use my s540 with Mo'Jo and PAF Joe combo.
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#12
:barf: TS, no.

I play Classic Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, Blues, and Country. There are always better choices than EMGs, and quality passives are cheaper anyway. I've played EMG loaded guitars and found their tone rather atrocious for anything besides Ultra High gain chugga chugga.
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#13
Quote by VanTheKraut
:barf: TS, no.

I play Classic Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, Blues, and Country. There are always better choices than EMGs, and quality passives are cheaper anyway. I've played EMG loaded guitars and found their tone rather atrocious for anything besides Ultra High gain chugga chugga.


Thats sort of the problem I've got. The "ultra high gain chugga chugga" is what puts the biggest smile on my face whilst I'm playing, sorta the exact opposite to playing on an accoustic for years. But I'd like some versitility.

Any suggestions for a good metal guitar with a budget of £550 that would be more to any of you guys tastes based on what I've mentioned in this post? (I'm looking for a Les Paul style shape)
Last edited by Norm81 at Aug 28, 2011,
#14
Country players swear by EMG's telecaster pickups. Plenty of blues and jazz players use their Strat pickups. Their original active humbucker was designed for jazz playing.

So long as you have an amp with enough headroom then actives can be used for anything. The only problem you run in to is if you're using a weak amp that starts to clip from the output.
#15
It could work. IT might be some really heavy sounding blues, but it would work. I'd listen to it.
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#16
There are high gain passives you know. A mid- high gain passive with a decent amp could get you a wide selection of tones.

I use the Pearly Gates for all of my stuff, but I wouldn't recommend it for Chugga Chugga, they're kind of expensive but for everything from Jazz to Brootz, I think you need a Bare Knuckle. I usually hesitate to recommend them because of the price (~$140) but you're asking for a lot.

Another alternative would be to play Metal in the bridge position with a mid- high gain pup, and blues and jazz in the neck with a low gain pup. I did that for a little while.
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#17
Your tone's gonna be whatever you make it. Actives are very sterile, and I'm assuming the Ibanez is basswood, so the guitar's really designed to not get in the way of your amp's true sounds. How you EQ and how you play will really be the biggest determining factors in your tone.
#18
Quote by VanTheKraut
There are high gain passives you know. A mid- high gain passive with a decent amp could get you a wide selection of tones.

I use the Pearly Gates for all of my stuff, but I wouldn't recommend it for Chugga Chugga, they're kind of expensive but for everything from Jazz to Brootz, I think you need a Bare Knuckle. I usually hesitate to recommend them because of the price (~$140) but you're asking for a lot.

Another alternative would be to play Metal in the bridge position with a mid- high gain pup, and blues and jazz in the neck with a low gain pup. I did that for a little while.


I'm know I'm clutching at straws trying to find a do everything guitar/pickup. I'm not adverse to picking up a guitar with the intention of modding it later on. If I really get serious again I'd have not probs paying the equivellent of $150 on a pick up, or indeed buying another guitar, so its something for me to think about.

Thanks for the suggestions!
#19
Quote by JustRooster
Your tone's gonna be whatever you make it. Actives are very sterile, and I'm assuming the Ibanez is basswood, so the guitar's really designed to not get in the way of your amp's true sounds. How you EQ and how you play will really be the biggest determining factors in your tone.


It's Mahogany actually.
#20
Quote by grohl1987


So long as you have an amp with enough headroom then actives can be used for anything. The only problem you run in to is if you're using a weak amp that starts to clip from the output.


Any chance you could ellaborate? I'm a bit out of touch so I'm not totally sure what you mean. Cheers