Hey guys I have an Ibanez RG2EX2 and had it for 5 years. This is the 2007 edition. I enjoy this guitar but seems like the pickups are not as strong as they used to be. The guitar has EMG H1 Bridge and Neck humbuckers. For a reasonable price, I want to get 2 new Passive pickups that are of course EMG. What are some good choices instead of the H1's? Thanks for advice.
If you used to be happy with the pickups it might be worth trying new pots first. It'll cost peanuts compared to new pickups and might just do the trick. If not, well, you've not really lost anything.

And just to be sure: you have changed the strings, haven't you? You may laugh, but I've seen people with guitars strung up with what looked like velvet rope. They're definitely in the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" camp.
Of course lol i change my strings every 2 weeks. Maybe it could be the pot because when I turn the tone knob, I don't see a difference. If it is the pickup that's going out, im only gonna replace the bridge one first.
Hey I bought EMG H4 and H4A pickups. Do I need a new tone knob or lever? Can I reuse the those pieces for my new pickups? Im new at this but it cant to too difficult.
Quote by Weezlexx89
Hey I bought EMG H4 and H4A pickups. Do I need a new tone knob or lever? Can I reuse the those pieces for my new pickups? Im new at this but it cant to too difficult.

Seems to me like you should have changed your pots and your switch before you went out and bought a new set of pickups,.

Especially since one of the only ways a pickups can go bad is for it to degauss, which is sudden and dramatic, not a slow loss of luster like what you have described.

Did you try contact cleaner in the pot and switch? Did you replace the pot and switch? These are places to check before you just go out and buy a new set of pickups

The H1A and the H4A are almost the exact same pickup, with them both using alnico steel magnets and having similar impedances. The H1 and the H4 are just a touch different, though their specs are also relatively similar.

I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just giving you advice seeing as you might have just gone and spent $150 when you only needed to spend like $10 at most
Quote by R45VT
Well what happened is I was in a difficult situation where I had to leave my belongings in California. I find out that my guitar was sitting in a trailer where moisture was present. After receiving the guitar it didn't sound the same. There was rust on the screws where the pickups are held in place. So I figured that the pickups went to crap. The volume Pot works perfect and the tone turning the tone knob, I cant even tell the difference.
I looked at the wiring and the the tone pot has a big blob of solder as the ground with the capacitor but the capacitor lead isn't touching the ground only the blob is touching. Can this crappy soldering job screw up the tone pot if its not directly touching the surface? Also I tested the Pot with a Multimeter and the Tone pod got 560. The volume pod got such a super low rating but the volume works though. I wonder why the volume didn't get 500k
Last edited by Weezlexx89 at Jan 28, 2014,
Is it possible that some time away has allowed you to see it in a different light? I've spent some time not playing and went from thinking my tone is great to thinking it was ice picky and awful, that was before I bought myself a new amp though.

The screws that hold the pickups serve little to no purpose in the sound of the pickup. The actual wire wound around the bobbins, and the pole pieces are the important parts, and the wire wound around the bobbins is all coated, so moisture shouldn't kill it, and it would take a significant layer of rust on the pole pieces to matter since pickups can be put into a metal case with minimal effect on the tone.

I would assume that something has gone wrong with the tone pot if you can't tell the difference while turning it, my advice would be to cut the wire to the tone pot, and try it like that and see if that returns the guitar's old luster.
Quote by R45VT
I had a similar problem with pickups in my old Ibanez RG a few years back (Dimarzio pickups).
I tried a solution similar to what Viban suggested.
What I did (and I think it's the easiest and the cheapest way to troubleshoot it) was: unsolder the tone pot (wire the pickups to the switch, the switch to the volume pot and the pot to the output jack); then, since that didn't solve it, I removed the volume pot in the same way.
I my case the switch turned out to be the cause.
If you just want to check the pickups, wire one at a time to the output jack and see how they sound. If they still sound weak then change them.
Well I installed the EMG HZ H4A in the neck and the H4 in the bridge and i love the new sound. These pickups help harmonics and it was a solder-less project which I got new pots and love the new feel. It sounds like I bought it new. The Ibanez RG 2EX2 was a pain in the ass. I had to drill bigger holes and it was worth the trouble. My tone is crisp and clear. The only thing I had to solder was the Pick up selector switch. The ibanes made room very difficult to fit all the new equipment. I just fit all the stuff in carefully. I love having a new guitar sound and thanks guys for your help Ultimate Guitar Rocks!!!
It does sound like the moisture would have been the culprit for wrecking your pots. I'm pretty sure that the H1 is potted in epoxy, just like the actives, so the chances of anything damaging them are pretty slim. I also second what's been said about the tone blindness we can all get with new gear - sometimes it takes a while to realise the limitations of gear, and time away from it can do that.

The most important thing here though, is that you weren't happy with your guitar then and you are happy now. If the H4 set is blowing your mind right now, the H1's wouldn't have done anything for you even if they were perfect (and the pots etc).

UG win.