#1
I recently got a new ibanez s570dxqm, its got the infinitys in it which from what ive read, are pretty bad.

How much will it affect my sound if I upgrade, which if I do I'll probably be going all out and getting Bare Knuckles because im looking for that Muse sound, I'll probably actually get Manson humbuckers in the bridge and BKP Mississppi Queens in the neck and im not really concerned about the middle because i don't use it.

Guitar/amp/effects are fine only discuss pickups please
#2
Well that depends on the amp you are playing through. What amp is it?
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#4
You really won't notice much of a change at all. BKP pickups are diecent, but for the price I don't think they are worth it. You can find great pickups from Dimarzio/Seymour Duncan and for the price of a set will be cheaper than 1 BKP.

I know you don't want to hear this, but a new amp will serve you better than pickups at this point.
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#5
Impossible discussion to have. Pickups don't "do" anytning on their own, you can only assess their impact when you take into account the other parts of your rig that they'll be interacting with.

However, you never change pickups because you've "read they're prety bad".

You have ears, you need to use them and form your own opinion - if you don't like the sound of your getting from that guitar then yes maybe it's time to look at pickups in amongst all the other possible solutions. Until you've got it though you can' even begin to make a decision - and once you've got it if you can't tell whats wrong with the sound or even if there's anything wrong then a pickup swap is way down on your list of priorities.
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#6
Quote by steven seagull
Impossible discussion to have. Pickups don't "do" anytning on their own, you can only assess their impact when you take into account the other parts of your rig that they'll be interacting with.


+1

fwiw infinities are pretty mediocre at best. that being said, whether it's worth swapping to bareknuckles when you could get a far better amp for not much more is debatable. BKPs are pretty dear nowadays. and there are some pretty decent deals on amps currently as well.
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#7
It sucks that you've heard that the pickups onboard aren't ideal because that's probably going to be the only thing on your mind every time you play that guitar. We're all guilty of catching GAS from time to time.

If you absolutely love the guitar, investing in new pickups, whether it's high dollar BKPs or some average priced Dimarzios, Duncans, or even EMG's definitely won't hurt your tone.

Yes, pickups can alter your tone somewhat, but the feel of the guitar is what I notice much much more with better pickups. Good pickups have rich harmonics, somewhat improved sustain, possibly less feedback and interference, and can change the shape of your overall tone.

That being said a new amp will do more to improve your tone, but the Peavy Vypyr is by no means a bad amp without tone. For the money, they're a great amp.
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#8
Quote by MESAexplorer

If you absolutely love the guitar, investing in new pickups, whether it's high dollar BKPs or some average priced Dimarzios, Duncans, or even EMG's definitely won't hurt your tone.

Yes, pickups can alter your tone somewhat, but the feel of the guitar is what I notice much much more with better pickups. Good pickups have rich harmonics, somewhat improved sustain, possibly less feedback and interference, and can change the shape of your overall tone.
Sorry but no.

A pickup swap—to any pickup you can name—could be just as much of a downgrade as it is an upgrade.

If somebody wants to play blues and they replace their stock Epiphone pickup with a high-output Bare Knuckle pickup, they're going to find they've become worse off. If you want to play metal and you replace your stock Ibanez pickups with a DiMarzio Humbucker From Hell, you're going to be in for the shock of your life.

Change the guitar brand and pickup model to anything you like, the point is the same with all genres and all brands. There is no magic pixie dust in any brand of pickup that guarantees you will improve your tone. Tone is not some linear progression or percentage to max out. Tone is entirely subjective. Saying a change of pickups will improve your tone without being very specific and having a psychic insight into exactly what the player wants is simply utter gibberish. The idea that, for sake of argument, a pickup from Bare Knuckle Pickups has a better sound than a stock Ibanez pickup is like saying blue is a better colour than green.

Same when people describe some part as being 'toneless' or having intrinsically better 'tone'. Tone is not something that can be measured and quantified. Different things can have different tones. Some things can be more or less appropriate for the intended use than others. No part of a guitar or amp can be 'better' or 'worse'. Just different. It is an incredibly important distinction to make and one that I'm shocked so few grasp.


Will changing your pickups improve your tone? Yes. No. It might make it better to your ears. Might make it worse. Might not make any difference at all as far as you can tell. You can probably buy pickups that will be more appropriate for your needs and playing style than your stock pickups and you can also buy thousands of pickups that will be more inappropriate and useless for your needs. You can even buy pickups that are absolutely identical to your stock pickups but you'll tell yourself they sound better because they have a name printed on them and a large price tag.

And hell, you're chasing a Muse sound, which has virtually nothing to do with pickups and everything to do with amp and effects. Matt Bellamy can get the same sound out of any guitar you hand to him, so long as he's got his pedal board, rack effects, processors and amps. Guitar, least of all pickups, mean sod-all to his sound.
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#9
Quote by MrFlibble
Sorry but no.

A pickup swap—to any pickup you can name—could be just as much of a downgrade as it is an upgrade.

If somebody wants to play blues and they replace their stock Epiphone pickup with a high-output Bare Knuckle pickup, they're going to find they've become worse off. If you want to play metal and you replace your stock Ibanez pickups with a DiMarzio Humbucker From Hell, you're going to be in for the shock of your life.

Change the guitar brand and pickup model to anything you like, the point is the same with all genres and all brands. There is no magic pixie dust in any brand of pickup that guarantees you will improve your tone. Tone is not some linear progression or percentage to max out. Tone is entirely asubjective. Saying a change of pickups will improve your tone without being very specific and having a psychic insight into exactly what the player wants is simply utter gibberish. The idea that, for sake of argument, a pickup from Bare Knuckle Pickups has a better sound than a stock Ibanez pickup is like saying blue is a better colour than green.

Same when people describe some part as being 'toneless' or having intrinsically better 'tone'. Tone is not something that can be measured and quantified. Different things can have different tones. Some things can be more or less appropriate for the intended use than others. No part of a guitar or amp can be 'better' or 'worse'. Just different. It is an incredibly important distinction to make and one that I'm shocked so few grasp.


Will changing your pickups improve your tone? Yes. No. It might make it better to your ears. Might make it worse. Might not make any difference at all as far as you can tell. You can probably buy pickups that will be more appropriate for your needs and playing style than your stock pickups and you can also buy thousands of pickups that will be more inappropriate and useless for your needs. You can even buy pickups that are absolutely identical to your stock pickups but you'll tell yourself they sound better because they have a name printed on them and a large price tag.

And hell, you're chasing a Muse sound, which has virtually nothing to do with pickups and everything to do with amp and effects. Matt Bellamy can get the same sound out of any guitar you hand to him, so long as he's got his pedal board, rack effects, processors and amps. Guitar, least of all pickups, mean sod-all to his sound.


EDIT: I'm in complete agreement, at the time i posted I had just got off a 14 hour shift where I had to count literally every item in 2 depts at Best Buy today.

I really didn't word that right, sorry. Basically where I was getting at was that if you identify what tone you're going for, and acknowledge the construction of the guitar, tendencies of your setup and your ideal setup, and tone you want to achieve, installing pickups that meet all of those needs will improve your sound or feel...unless of course you want pickups which would do the opposite.

That being said, determining the right pickups can be a challenge and that right pickup won't be 100% ideal for every single scenario. And as many pickup companies there are out there, there is likely a better pickup out there for anyone.
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Last edited by MESAexplorer at May 28, 2013,
#10
First off, much as I bash Ibanez's stock pups, the Infinity pups are relatively good in comparison to their PowerSound. Those.. are just horrible.

Two, when playing through a practice modelling amp, you don't necessarily need top of the line pickups.

I personally think that BKPs are nice when you get their high gain pups. Their low-gain pups can be meh to some people... and while their hotter pups (hotter than low gain, but not from the Contemporary range) are nice, I've heard nay-sayers as well.

I've heard BKPs through Vypyrs and I've heard SDs and DiMarzios. I personally couldn't really make out drastic differences in the tone between BKPs and the mass market brands. BKPs are known for their scatter wound tone, which I found a little muted through a Vypyr.

Is BKP worth the money? In your position, I say get a similar SD or DiMarzio.

However, whether or not you think its worth it is something only you can decide. Like MESAexplorer said, if you get it through your mind that the pups are crappy, then that'll be what's going through your mind every time you plug in. So only you can decide whether you wanna make the plunge.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at May 28, 2013,
#11
Quote by MrFlibble
Sorry but no.

A pickup swap—to any pickup you can name—could be just as much of a downgrade as it is an upgrade.

If somebody wants to play blues and they replace their stock Epiphone pickup with a high-output Bare Knuckle pickup, they're going to find they've become worse off. If you want to play metal and you replace your stock Ibanez pickups with a DiMarzio Humbucker From Hell, you're going to be in for the shock of your life.

Change the guitar brand and pickup model to anything you like, the point is the same with all genres and all brands. There is no magic pixie dust in any brand of pickup that guarantees you will improve your tone. Tone is not some linear progression or percentage to max out. Tone is entirely subjective. Saying a change of pickups will improve your tone without being very specific and having a psychic insight into exactly what the player wants is simply utter gibberish. The idea that, for sake of argument, a pickup from Bare Knuckle Pickups has a better sound than a stock Ibanez pickup is like saying blue is a better colour than green.

Same when people describe some part as being 'toneless' or having intrinsically better 'tone'. Tone is not something that can be measured and quantified. Different things can have different tones. Some things can be more or less appropriate for the intended use than others. No part of a guitar or amp can be 'better' or 'worse'. Just different. It is an incredibly important distinction to make and one that I'm shocked so few grasp.


Will changing your pickups improve your tone? Yes. No. It might make it better to your ears. Might make it worse. Might not make any difference at all as far as you can tell. You can probably buy pickups that will be more appropriate for your needs and playing style than your stock pickups and you can also buy thousands of pickups that will be more inappropriate and useless for your needs. You can even buy pickups that are absolutely identical to your stock pickups but you'll tell yourself they sound better because they have a name printed on them and a large price tag.

And hell, you're chasing a Muse sound, which has virtually nothing to do with pickups and everything to do with amp and effects. Matt Bellamy can get the same sound out of any guitar you hand to him, so long as he's got his pedal board, rack effects, processors and amps. Guitar, least of all pickups, mean sod-all to his sound.


Nailed it.

Think about it another way: gear is like food ingredients for cooking.

You're going for a Thai dish—so things like peanuts, seasme, soy, noodles are going to be pretty expected staples of Thai cuisine. Putting a pinto-bean dish with it doesn't mean that your meal will now suck, it'll just be different; harder to work with, but not totally unworkable.

Thing of tone building as cooking. It's a very subjective thing (to a degree). Having an idea about what you like is an important place to start.

On another note, in regards to Matt Bellamy, I myself invested in the Manson MBK-2 pickup for my bridge. It's a hot pickup, but not excessively so. It has a nice breakup range when the pots are turned back and when I dig in to the strings. Pots full, it sears. But even with that and a Zvex Fuzz Factory doesn't let me sound like Muse. I just have a unique sound that is my own.
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