#1
While doing all the research for my recent purchase I ran into a situation that I never expected and that was looking heavily at what kind of pups everything came with. I was mainly doing this because although I'm ampless now, I have a loathing for Ibanez's Infinity stocks that is pretty bad. Please note this is just my opinion and my feeling about a product. What I noticed while doing research is that with a few exception of some DiMarzio's and a few sets of EMG's Ibanez tends to use their own electronics except for on the most high end models.

I also looked at several other companies and most of the other"metal" guitar makers tend to forgo their own brands of passives into EMG's after about $500 or so. I know ESP, Schecter, Jackson and to some extent BC Rich just tend to put EMG branded pups into everything after a certain price point, and Dean seems to do something similar along with some companies do use some Duncans (both passive and actives).

Is there a reason that Ibanez seems to not touch more "aftermarket" pups for their own stuff except for on the really higher end models, when everyone else seems to dump their own electronics after a much much lower point?
#2
It's because when other companies put aftermarket pickups on their guitar they're limiting the audience that those guitars can go out to.

There's also adding the cost of said pickups to the total price.

If I wanted a specific set of aftermarket pickups in my guitar, I'd rather pick the ones I want then try to find a guitar that already come with them.
#3
I wish every guitar came with SD Pearly Gates or 59's. I just figure out a budget for a guitar with new pups included. But yeah, limits the options for many potential buyers, as stated above. And besides, they rope you in with a basic model, then you want the next best one, which is at a higher price point because it has EMG's or SD's in it.
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#4
Because ibanez is cheap and would rather put garbage into there guitars. But seriously they sell guitars that are nearly 2 thousand dollars that come with garbage pickups. They could at least throw in some halfway decent pickups. And as to what he said, I think you can buy a pretty awesome ESP LTD (1000 series) and get Seymour duncans or EMG's, or I can buy a 800 dollar Ibanez that is built no better but comes with worse pickups.
#5
A lot of their top shelf guitars have dimarzio pickups..

But many of your high end guitar companies make their own pickups. Fender, Gibson, and PRS put their own pickups in all the non-special edition guitars. It's not necessarily a bad hing.
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#6
it's all about cutting costs, especially for cheap guitars, less so as you get more exspensive.
---
#7
I would like to think it's because they put the money into the parts that can't be upgraded.
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#8
It's cheaper. And they know people are going to put different pickups in them, anyway. They're versatile guitars, and no pickup choice is going to suit everybody. So why put expensive brand-name pickups in guitars that won't fit everyone? Better to go the cheaper route with less-expensive pickups to lower the cost.
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#9
Here's an idea.... play the guitar before you buy it and see if you like it.

I think people get too caught up in this name brand pickup hysteria. Just because you know it's not a Duncan or Dimarzio you expect it'll be bad. I agree that Dimarzio and Duncan's are better than your average stock pickup, but you need to hear and play with a average pickup before you can identify or even recognize the difference.

On top of that there are a dozen other things that define a tone other than a pickup. You have to choose carefully and research what pickups work best with what tone woods and setups... ect.

-Tony
#10
My opinion on the Inf 3 and 4 set is based on not only owning a guitar with a set in it, but on trying multiple other guitars with them in it. My purchase of the guitar wasn't based solely on the pups, but every time I try them (different amps, woods, etc) I just don't see the big pull of them. I know you can replace, but it seems that other companies are more based on giving you a better pup for your buck for the same price.
#11
Ibanez uses a lot of in house stuff most likely (with pickups, anyway) to keep the cost down (though I do wish they'd stick decent pickups in their prestiges, it seems odd that a 1300 dollar guitar uses the same pickups as a 300 dollar one). Their tremolo bridges are considerably different from more traditional Floyd Rose tremolos (what with the Zero Point system and (on the ZR trems) ball bearing pivot points), so that's why they use those.
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You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#12
That, and Ibanez bridges are incredibly sexy. My fixed Edge III-8 is so attractive with a side-on view. It looks like a sleek starcruiser.
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#13
When I first got my Ibanez S2170FB Prestige, I was always irked that my 1000 dollar instrument was adorned with non-name brand pickups. It has grover tuners, it has a meticulously crafted neck and frets, and it has an excellent tremolo system with a body that was crafted with care and consideration. What I didn't realize though was that they actually sound rather good... people fail to realize that the DiMarzio/Ibz pickups are actually USA wound DiMarzios that are made in the same factory as every other DiMarzio pickup. I never understood why people talked down to them so much and, as a matter of fact, they are very closely wound to existing DiMarzio pickups so they're not bad per se.

That said, no Prestige should have INF pickups in it... but I'd rather it have INF's than Ibanez sell me the same guitar for more money with no other option than EMGs in it so I could inevitably put a good set of passive pickups in it. That's the point... does it at first seem like a cheap move? Yeah, but then you have to realize not everyone likes EMGs and not everyone likes passives or, hell, one pickup over another. It's about appealing to the consumer base as a whole, not the individual consumer. I'd much rather buy a 1000 dollar prestige with INFs and put 100 dollars worth of pup in it than spend 1,100 dollars on the same prestige with EMGs just to put 100 dollars worth of pups I was going to put in it anyway. The only people who benefit are those who actually wanted the name brand pups in the first place. I usually, at the very least, swap out the bridge anyway so I'd rather a cheaper guitar. At the end of the day, the pickup defines very little of your overall sound comparatively speaking to your amp, your pedals, your effects, and your playing style. It's a minor gripe with Ibanez, but I don't even bother and at the very least, the higher end Prestiges come with DiMarzios anywho
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#14
people don't understand a lot of things. first off the prestige are japan. i am sure 99% know it. it costs more to manufacture there. tune up lock the nut down and beat the living hell out of the tremolo bar, you will still be in tune. that bridge isn't cheap to manufacture, especially because it is unique to thier guitars. next see how nicely fretted they are and how everything is pretty much flawless.

i have a 2570EVSL and a 3550MZ,

got the 3550MZ first. 3000 comes with real dimarzios, tone zone, air norton and true velvet.

the 2570EVSL has "Dimarzio/IBZ" written on front, they are different from the inf pickups, they aren't bad, a little dark if anything, maybe a tad muddy, but nothing a knob cant change.

i agree with a lot of people that would prefer guitars with cheap pickups and buying what you want, as opposed to buying what ibanez buying what they want to put into your guitar, ibanez did great with the selection on my 3550MZ as far as pickups go and it is a great guitar.

________________________________

ibanez puts their quality where they want to.

BC rich is selling a EMG equipped guitar for $500 and you don't like EMGs, you do pay for them, if not there likely somewhere else where you don't want it. maybe you don't like EMGs? so you take them out and spend $200 on new pickups. also BC rich isn't producing in Japan either, i don't recall there though

that is not a fair comparison due to price, but take anything similar price and i don't think you can get much better quality wise for the money you spend. that is IF you like the style of guitar, etc.
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Last edited by trashedlostfdup at Feb 27, 2012,
#15
i don't even understand why guitars come with pups.
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#16
I just bought a Prestige S5470q (oh my gawd what a nice guitar) and It's got Ibanez's Hot Grinders for the neck and bridge and a short tracer (single coil) in the middle. I've been experimenting around with what tones and styles it play best. They seem to have a very middy/trebley response to them, but they're not super bright either. Their good 'all around' pickups with maybe a touch of emphasis on metal and shred/fusion type stuff. They're just okay for jazz and cleans, although the short tracer has good clarity for cleans. My only gripe with it is the single coil settings have far less output than the hums, and yeah I know that's just the nature of singles vs HBs. But I have a Dimarzio Injector single coil in my strat and that thing has almost as much output at one of the Hot Grinders.

The point is, that this guitar doesn't really have a definitive set tonal direction. It's good for pretty much anything. If I wanted to model it just for jazz/fusion or just for metal I could swap the PUs out accordingly.

Personally I'll probably get a brighter single coil just to replace the low output Short Tracer. But I'll stick with the hot grinders for now. Later I may decide to change them out. We'll see.
#17
Quote by X-plorer88
I just bought a Prestige S5470q (oh my gawd what a nice guitar) and It's got Ibanez's Hot Grinders for the neck and bridge and a short tracer (single coil) in the middle. I've been experimenting around with what tones and styles it play best. They seem to have a very middy/trebley response to them, but they're not super bright either. Their good 'all around' pickups with maybe a touch of emphasis on metal and shred/fusion type stuff. They're just okay for jazz and cleans, although the short tracer has good clarity for cleans. My only gripe with it is the single coil settings have far less output than the hums, and yeah I know that's just the nature of singles vs HBs. But I have a Dimarzio Injector single coil in my strat and that thing has almost as much output at one of the Hot Grinders.

The point is, that this guitar doesn't really have a definitive set tonal direction. It's good for pretty much anything. If I wanted to model it just for jazz/fusion or just for metal I could swap the PUs out accordingly.

Personally I'll probably get a brighter single coil just to replace the low output Short Tracer. But I'll stick with the hot grinders for now. Later I may decide to change them out. We'll see.


that is one thing i forgot to mention on the 3550MZ for sure, don't remember on the 2570EVSL

+1 to AM or make it an option in or out. if you want what it comes take it, if you don't get something else. that would be the only way it could be done. i would order every guitar pickupless as well.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
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#18
Ibanez probably asks the same question, but still sells the same amount of guitars, so they could probably care less.
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#19
I think it'll be good if manufacturers offered their guitars without pickups, but even if they did I doubt it'll cut the price by much.

Besides, you sort of have to first hear the wrong pickups in order to know where you want the tone to go. At least in my experience having the stock pickups reenforces my choice when I decide to change.

It's a tricky business. I played that guitar for hours in Guitar Center and I was sold on it. But when I got it home it sounded a little different. Pickups are just one element when it comes to tone.

Just looking at the guitar, in order of influence:

Pickup location
Pickup
Body tone wood
Size of the body/neck
Electronics (pots and cap values mainly)
Gauge of strings
Nut & bridge setup

Not to mention the way you fret effects your tone quite a bit. You could go to Eric Johnson's house and pay through his gear and still not sound like him.

This may sound weird, but I don't think tone comes from your amp. The amp is just how the tone is voiced. It's just the medium though which the tone is delivered. It can vary quite a bit, obviously, and it can augment or diminish it. But it doesn't make or define your base tone, which is all in the guitar. In any case it's always better to get your tone dialed in your guitar rather than try to make it in your amp.
Last edited by X-plorer88 at Feb 27, 2012,
#20
Some companies use generic standard bridges and tuners but fancy pickups; Ibanez uses boring pickups but spends a lot on creating new hardware. Pretty simple trade-off. If they were to do both, you'd see the prices of Ibanez guitars skyrocket and the 'metal guitar' market (which Ibanez is relies on) already has so much competition and is so dependant on teenagers with limited funds that they can't afford to suddenly become the most expensive kids on the block.
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#21
Whats the difference is pickups besides the design anyway?I cant imagine making one kind of magnet is incredibly more expensive/different than another raw material wise.
How hard is it for a company thats been making guitars for decades to make a decent 'home brand' pickup?

I made/modded a few pickups and pedals myself, they dont sound much different than crappy generics and I have 0 clue on what I'm actually soldering half the time.
#22
Quote by Strats&Cats
It's because when other companies put aftermarket pickups on their guitar they're limiting the audience that those guitars can go out to.

There's also adding the cost of said pickups to the total price.

If I wanted a specific set of aftermarket pickups in my guitar, I'd rather pick the ones I want then try to find a guitar that already come with them.


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#23
Quote by ATLstang
A lot of their top shelf guitars have dimarzio pickups..

But many of your high end guitar companies make their own pickups. Fender, Gibson, and PRS put their own pickups in all the non-special edition guitars. It's not necessarily a bad hing.


Fender, Gibson and (especially) PRS stock pickups are quite good, nothing like the shitty v7/v8 or the infinity pickups by Ibanez.
#24
Quote by hyper5
Whats the difference is pickups besides the design anyway?I cant imagine making one kind of magnet is incredibly more expensive/different than another raw material wise.
Actually the differences can be huge and expensive. For example, the CuNiFe magnets used in original Fender Wide Range humbuckers simply became so expensive to use in mass quantities that now nobody uses them, and original Wide Range pickups now go for over £300 even if they're not in terribly good condition. Then there's the Seymour Duncan silver zephyr pickups which cost over a gand per set because guess what, silver is expensive and so is cyrogenically freezing them.

Meanwhile you've got the ceramic shite that Ibanez plops out from factories in China that cost barely a couple of quid to make, if that.

It's also not just a question of materials, although that does play a huge part. Pickups like Irongear and ToneRider are made in Korean factories on a production line using not-the-best parts, but they still cost more than your typical stock pickup because of all the research that went into getting them sounding right; the costs of making a guitar do not solely rest in how much a piece of wood costs or how many magnets you can buy for a tenner.
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#25
Maybe, they think their pick-ups stack up well enough with the competition? More likely in some fiendish ploy ibanez are trying to make money.

Perhaps less likely option is the pick-ups don't suit your playing style particular well so as a result you think there poor, this happened to me I replaced two stock single coils in my Yamaha for Seymour Duncan's and I was disappointed and switched them back, turns out the single coils I bought were designed with metal/hard rock in mind while I wanted a standard strat sound, I gave the pickups away and my metal minded friend swears by them
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#26
One of the reasons why I love Ibanez so much as a company. It's a very smart business move. They put in their own crappy pickups to keep the cost of their high quality guitars down. That way you get a high quality guitar for a low price, and you can put in whatever pickups you want to. I honestly wish every brand did this. I can't even imagine how many crappy JB's I'll have to sell on Craigs List once I start buying more guitars.
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#27
Quote by Strats&Cats
It's because when other companies put aftermarket pickups on their guitar they're limiting the audience that those guitars can go out to.

There's also adding the cost of said pickups to the total price.

If I wanted a specific set of aftermarket pickups in my guitar, I'd rather pick the ones I want then try to find a guitar that already come with them.
Right, because a guitar with Seymour Duncans can't have the pickups changed. Ever.
#28
It's probably cheaper for them and if it's a guitar manufacturer who really cares, they can voice the pickups to suit the guitars better (which isn't really the case with Ibanez pickups).

As already said, Fender, Gibson, PRS, Godin, G&L, Epiphone and many others also stick their own pickups on the guitars. Some of them are better, some worse, some are a matter of preference. Most Gibson and USA Fender pickups are pretty good, PRS pickups as well, while for example Epiphone pickups are pretty crappy.

That said, I'd personally rather have a set of Burstbuckers on a Les Paul than a Duncan JB set and I don't see any need of changing the Texas Specials in my Strat (while the Atomic humbucker will go as soon as I have some money for guitar stuff).
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#29
Quote by al112987
Right, because a guitar with Seymour Duncans can't have the pickups changed. Ever.
It's a valid point. Most people will not think to change pickups. Hell, a lot of players can't really justify the cost of new pickups even if they wanted to change them. We're in a bit of a bubble here. A lot, if not most, people who play guitar like to go into a shop, pick something off the shelf and buy it and that's that. Remember, Marshall MGs and Line 6 Spiders are some of the best-selling amplifiers ever, yet if you look around here there's not many people who own them and those that do quickly get told to change them. Far more people in the world have Epiphones than Gibsons and Squiers than Fenders, but if you were to only look here and on other forums you'd think the split between the brands was much more even.

The vast majority of guitar players do not particularly know the difference between speakers, different types of valve, woods, magnets, wire, pot values or anything else. They go "I want one of those ones with a whammy bar".
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#30
Ibanez cuts corners on their cheaper guitars. The better prestige models will come with Dimarzios, and a few of the cheaper ones(I believe one of the iceman models has D'Activators).

I look at it this way, a cheap guitar is cheap for a reason. Something has to give for that price to be so low. Outsourcing to Korea and Indonesia makes up for some of that, but sometimes it's not enough to get that price lower for a different market.
#31
Quote by al112987
Right, because a guitar with Seymour Duncans can't have the pickups changed. Ever.


Yes, but then I have to try and sell them, and I guarantee that I probably won't get as much as they marked up the guitar for them.
#32
While we're relaying personal stories, I kind of wish my RG2228 didn't come with EMG808s. I could have saved money, because I ended up swapping them out for EMG808Xs. Now I have a pair of 808s that I'll never sell and will probably never get used. Then again they did sound great, so who knows.
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#33
Quote by Dayn
While we're relaying personal stories, I kind of wish my RG2228 didn't come with EMG808s. I could have saved money, because I ended up swapping them out for EMG808Xs. Now I have a pair of 808s that I'll never sell and will probably never get used. Then again they did sound great, so who knows.

Just a thought, but doesn't the 18v mod essentially do what the X series does?
#34
Quote by W4RP1G
Just a thought, but doesn't the 18v mod essentially do what the X series does?


The 18V mod adds headroom. The X pickups have a whole new preamp design. Essentially the X series build on top of what people wanted to do by doing the 18V mod. The X's have better cleans, better more powerful distortion than the 18V mod.
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