#1
I have an Ibanez S520EX that has an Air Norton neck/Dsonic bridge combo. I play through a Mesa Boogie Mark V combo and noticed that while the neck pickup sounds fantastic at higher gain the bridge D Sonic sounds a little thin and it sounds like I need to crank the gain to sound nearly as good as the Air Norton.

What could be the issue? I've never really tweaked on pickups before so I don't know if that's something I need to do or not (raising/lowering the pup?) or if its something to do with the installation of the pickup (I got it installed by someone else years ago, back in 2007). I just really noticed this issue when I got this amp a year ago and I've just dealt with it for awhile.
#2
Sounds like a wire broke off the back of the pot.
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Quote by Anonden
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.
#3
Quote by oneblackened
Sounds like a wire broke off the back of the pot.


I guess I'll take a look tonight if I can get into it myself. I have a decent soldering iron and I guess now is as good of a time as ever to try it out myself.
#5
One last effort to get another opinion lol. I've got some general diagrams of what I'm looking for but I'm about to open it up.
#6
Jesus, it's not open heart surgery, it's probably a 5 second fix.

Open if and take pics if you don't know what you're looking at.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#7
Okay guys, after a big delay I'm going to open the Ibanez up tonight and take pics of the inside to see what you guys think before I do any kind of rewiring/resoldering.

So let me reiterate: The sound is very muddy. Enough so that any presets I use on any other guitar I own sound good even on an old pawn shop Washburn jr, but not on the Ibanez S520EX.

I really think this guitar should be sounding way better.
#8
When I put a d sonic in my guitar it sounded sorta like you're describing. It was almost like a broken single coil. Turns out I wired it wrong. Changed it around and it sounds amazing.
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


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#9
Quote by ibanezguitars44
When I put a d sonic in my guitar it sounded sorta like you're describing. It was almost like a broken single coil. Turns out I wired it wrong. Changed it around and it sounds amazing.


I'll be home tonight to take pictures of how mine is wired (I had someone else do it when I got the guitar three years ago) and I got this diagram from the dimarzio website:

http://www.dimarzio.com/sites/default/files/diagrams/S520EX2DMhb.pdf

But when I had my D Sonic installed I had it flipped so the "bar" on the pickup was closer to the bridge. Would the person that wired it have to deviate from the wire schematic I listed above and go about wiring it differently or would it be standard wiring and just spinning the pickup into that position?

I ask so I know what I need to do when I open it later because if it is "wired right" like on the above diagram then I don't know wtf is causing the issues.
#10
I found this diagram also on the dimarzio site for the D Sonic pickup:


http://dimarzio.com/sites/default/files/diagrams/4Conductor.pdf

Using that and again this link to the wiring instructions for my Ibanez S520EX:

http://www.dimarzio.com/sites/default/files/diagrams/S520EX2DMhb.pdf

...and also keeping in mind that I have the D Sonic's bar closer to the bridge of the guitar: how should this pickup already be wired? Should the colors be switched around in any way and which "4-Conductor Pickup Instructions" should I be following to rewire if I need to at all?
#11
Pics needed. Does it sound thin & hollow(lack of mids and too much treble/presence)? That means it could have been wired in parallel instead of series. Still pics would help. The red wire is Hot, the green & bare wires are soldered together to the ground, while the black and white are soldered to each other & taped off. That's for series wiring a dimarzio humbucker. Now incase if it's wired in parallel then those black & white wires won't be soldered to each other, meaning they'll be used somewhere for connections(i forgot which is going where for these two). Also may wanna try flipping the bar side towards the neck instead of the bridge, that might help too.

Regarding those diagrams you linked, see which one matches the wiring inside the guitar. The new pickups were to be soldered to the same place where the old ones were before. The guy that installed them would have done it this way probably. Mostly the hot connections from both pickups is going to the switch, while their grounds are connected at one common point somewhere. But if it's not then pics would help to identify the problem if any. I haven't looked at those links myself, cause first I wanna see the pics of the control cavity
#12
Quote by steven_ferns84
Pics needed. Does it sound thin & hollow(lack of mids and too much treble/presence)? That means it could have been wired in parallel instead of series. Still pics would help. The red wire is Hot, the green & bare wires are soldered together to the ground, while the black and white are soldered to each other & taped off. That's for series wiring a dimarzio humbucker. Now incase if it's wired in parallel then those black & white wires won't be soldered to each other, meaning they'll be used somewhere for connections(i forgot which is going where for these two). Also may wanna try flipping the bar side towards the neck instead of the bridge, that might help too.

Regarding those diagrams you linked, see which one matches the wiring inside the guitar. The new pickups were to be soldered to the same place where the old ones were before. The guy that installed them would have done it this way probably. Mostly the hot connections from both pickups is going to the switch, while their grounds are connected at one common point somewhere. But if it's not then pics would help to identify the problem if any. I haven't looked at those links myself, cause first I wanna see the pics of the control cavity


Thanks for the reply steven!

I will be home and able to open it up in about 3 hours.

Also I forgot to mention that the sound is just muddy. Like TOO much mids. Its not sharp at all and sounds like its farting kind of when I have any higher gain rhythm sounds.
Last edited by MegaDTSX at Jul 25, 2013,
#13
Okay I finally got home and time to start this up. Here's images of how the pickup sits currently and the inner wirings:














I'm not really understanding which wiring is to which pickup either..


Any help would be appreciated!!!! Hoping to get this done tonight.
#14
Are you taping off/soldering together two of the wires? If so, check the connection. I had that problem two ago. Drove me nuts till Offworld told me check that. I secured that connection and it worked like a charm.
#15
It doesn't look like it. The only taped off wire is the white one with the red wire going to the switch connector thing and the green going to the pot or something. It looks just like it does in the pics.
#16
Anybody have any input? I tried just flipping the bridge pickup last night to see if that would clear it up and it was either the same or worse.
#17
Are your pickups 2 conductor? Just Red, Green & Bare?

Your ground connection on the back of your pot (Green+Bare) doesn't look great. Try resoldering that, see if it makes any difference.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#18
Quote by Offworld92
Are your pickups 2 conductor? Just Red, Green & Bare?

Your ground connection on the back of your pot (Green+Bare) doesn't look great. Try resoldering that, see if it makes any difference.


Lol I don't know man. I just know it HAS a white or white/black wire that the guy who installed them just capped off with electrical tape (as the diagram above showed to do).
#19
If the white and black aren't soldered together, you need to solder them together. Sometimes taping them together works, but sometimes it doesn't. Just solder them to be sure.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#20
Quote by Offworld92
If the white and black aren't soldered together, you need to solder them together. Sometimes taping them together works, but sometimes it doesn't. Just solder them to be sure.


Will try that tonight man. Thanks for the input!
#21
I tried the suggestions in the past few posts and still have a muddy tone guys

Any other suggestions based on the pics?
#22
Can you record a clip?
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#23
I didn't get around to recording a clip, but trust me the problem is there.


I decided to get a new bridge pickup tonight since I'm satisfied with the neck tones the Air Norton gets me. Its looking like either the Crunch Lab or D Activator are probably best, but I would love some input on what I should switch to knowing my situation.

Its an Ibanez S520EX all mahogony guitar and again I play lots of progressive metal and thrash.
#24
I believe you that it's there, I would just like to hear it myself so I can try to help you better. There are different kinds of hiss, hum and buzz, and they are usually caused by different things. Audio is much more helpful than trying to explain the sound in words.

I would get a Super Distortion rather than either of those. More specifically, I wouldn't want a CL or a DA for thrash, while I wouldn't mind using a SD for prog.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#25
Quote by Offworld92
I believe you that it's there, I would just like to hear it myself so I can try to help you better. There are different kinds of hiss, hum and buzz, and they are usually caused by different things. Audio is much more helpful than trying to explain the sound in words.

I would get a Super Distortion rather than either of those. More specifically, I wouldn't want a CL or a DA for thrash, while I wouldn't mind using a SD for prog.



Got you, and I agree giving a clip would help....its just that I'm at work and haven't had time lately :p

It sounds like this: Like the a mic that is recording an amp from 5 feet away. And this is when I go direct into my Eleven Rack or I use my Mark V and not when micing, but its how my ears are hearing it from 1 foot away. It just sounds very scooped and like its muffled under blankets.

I heard the Super Distortion can be overkill, but I wouldn't know as I havent tried any other Dimarzio pickups. Are the Super Distortions clean on the attack? The biggest thing I like about a bridge pickup is a super sharp clean attack, especially on palm muted riffs, but I don't want to sacrifice too much mid for some regular rhythm licks at the same time.