#1
I have two guitars at the moment, one Ibanez RG2550Z Prestige and one Ibanez RG321MH.

I have always wanted to change pickups in one of my guitars. My cheap RG321MH has a set of stock INF3 and INF4 pickups and my prestige model has the stock DiMarzio/ibz pickups in it. What I want to do is to change the pickups in my RG321 because they are pretty bad. However I am also thinking about changing the pickups in my Prestige model to more of a metal sound.

My questions are:

1) What pickups would you reccomend me to get for my Prestige Ibanez if I 80% of the time play metal music. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and stuff like that. Obviously I play some other genres every now and then but I don't really care for the sound in those cases as long as it doesn't sound crappy as hell. Suggestions?

2) Is it possible to put my current DiMArzio/ibz's in my RG321MH if I buy new ones for my main Prestige guitar? My plan is to save the single coil in my Prestige and just change the bridge and neck pickups. Is this possible?

3) I want to be able to get a noticable difference in my metal sound when I record on my computer with Amplitube 3 + Reaper. Will the pickups make a difference in this case or will the difference be noticable only through an amp? My current amp is a Roland Cube 30X which I have for practice only. Given this gear, is it worth getting new pickups or is it just a waste of money?

Basically I want to change pickups in my cheap Ibanez RG321 but then it struck me that I could just get new ones for my main guitar and put my stock Prestige pickups (which I guess are better than the INF's) in my cheap guitar.

What do you think, is this a good idea? I don't really dislike the sound I'm getting from my prestige now but I guess it could get better as well.

Thanks!
#2
Cube 30? yep, new amp.
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#3
just to clarify, I know that my amp is not a good one. However, I live in an apartment and wont be able to play loud with speakers. Therefore I am now currently almost only playing with AMplitube 3 amp simulators and use earphones. Will this sound be improved with new pickups or are the amp sims available at the moment not good enough to tell the difference.

As an extra question then. What amp would you suggest for bedroom practice with earphones (I can get earphones for 1000$/euro if that would be needed). I will only be able to play through speakers at pretty low volume. Is my Roland cube 30X still that bad? Are there other better amps available for my purpose?
#4
I actually like the Roland Cubes as a practice amp. Very versatile and they sound pretty good at any BR volume. They are what a good practice amp should be... not really designed to be a gig rig.

Pickups? I think the Dimarzios are probably very close to what you are looking for so changing PUs might be a disappointment. Getting great Metal tone with Reaper amp sims should be pretty easy with that guitar. I don't know the other axe well enough to judge.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#5
Quote by xaedon

What do you think, is this a good idea?


Yep, absolutely. I had a similar idea myself for my kramer, it would probably make more sense to swap the pickups in my "better" guitars to something I really liked, rather than cheap out for cheaper pickups for a guitar I don't like as much (and which is a cheaper guitar) and then put the pickups from them into the kramer (as they're a lot better than the kramer pickups).

The only problem with that plan is if you really like the prestige pickups in the prestige. From the sounds of it you don't care that much, but it's worth pointing out. As cajundaddy said, the stock pickups in your prestige are probably (more or less, at least) aimed at those type of tones already. You could end up swapping them for something which is little better... or if you use your rg321 for different tones it might make more sense to get pickups for it instead. You have several options, really, as you're well aware. of course, you can totally overthink this too, and I'm definitely guilty of that

Also a new amp would likely help even more. But it's up to you, if it'd take you forever to save up for a better amp that might not be a viable option. EDIT: ah you explained about the amp. Ignore what I said, then. There might be things which would sound better than your cube at the volume levels you need, but I don't have much or any experience with that type of stuff, so I'll leave that to the others.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jul 14, 2014,
#6
well, to be honest I cant say if I "really like them" or not since I haven't tried anything but stock pickups --> I don't know what a really expensive set of pickups will sound like. I notice a difference between my DiMArzio/IBZ and the INF's where the INF's sound a little more muddy on power chords for example.

That's why I asked here to get some insight on what pickups that generally are popular for heavy music
#7
That's a fair point

I'd say the dimarzio/ibz pickups should be a pretty decent step up from INFs. They're a pretty decent step-up from the V-series pickups in the cheaper prestiges, which are themselves a step up from INFs.

A lot of players don't consider the Dimarzio/IBZs to be "real "Dimarzios. They are, they're made by dimarzio. However, they're ceramic, and a lot of players prefer alnico, so that might have something to do with it.

But yeah... you can probably get "better" pickups than your stock Dimarzio/IBZ ones, but the Dimarzio/IBZ ones are towards the better end of things- the fact you only hear a slight difference might sort of let you know what we mean when we say that you ideally need a new amp before worrying about pickups.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
Quote by xaedon
1) What pickups would you reccomend me to get for my Prestige Ibanez if I 80% of the time play metal music. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and stuff like that. Obviously I play some other genres every now and then but I don't really care for the sound in those cases as long as it doesn't sound crappy as hell. Suggestions?


EMGs, basically. Specifically, check out:
The Het Set
81 (or 81X) Bridge / 60 or 60A (or 60X or 60AX) Neck
57/66 Set

Any of these will get you right where you want to be tonally. Also note you'll need to replace your output jack and your pots to 25K pots. If you buy new, everything you need should be included. If you buy used, try to find pups that come with the pots and output jack.

Quote by xaedon
2) Is it possible to put my current DiMArzio/ibz's in my RG321MH if I buy new ones for my main Prestige guitar? My plan is to save the single coil in my Prestige and just change the bridge and neck pickups. Is this possible?


Yes. However, I've read that even the DM/IBZ aren't all that great. If you don't mind dropping the money, I'd recommend upgrading to legit aftermarkets in the 321 as well. However if you just want something a bit better and aren't too fussed, the DM/IBZ will certainly sound better than the INFs.

Also I didn't realize that your Ibby had a SC middle. In that case, you won't be able to keep it if you switch to actives. But EMG SCs are pretty fantastic, check out the S and the SA.

Quote by xaedon
3) I want to be able to get a noticable difference in my metal sound when I record on my computer with Amplitube 3 + Reaper. Will the pickups make a difference in this case or will the difference be noticable only through an amp? My current amp is a Roland Cube 30X which I have for practice only. Given this gear, is it worth getting new pickups or is it just a waste of money?


Yes, the pickups will make a difference. Quality aftermarkets compared to cheap stocks can make quite a big difference, actually. At least in the case of the INFs, certainly.

Quote by xaedon
I am now currently almost only playing with AMplitube 3 amp simulators and use earphones. Will this sound be improved with new pickups or are the amp sims available at the moment not good enough to tell the difference.


Yes the sound will be improved. Though the price you pay for the improvement may not be a very good ratio. But it is what it is, basically. At least with the pickup upgrade, your guitar will be where it needs to be if you ever upgrade your other gear.

Quote by xaedon
As an extra question then. What amp would you suggest for bedroom practice with earphones (I can get earphones for 1000$/euro if that would be needed). I will only be able to play through speakers at pretty low volume. Is my Roland cube 30X still that bad? Are there other better amps available for my purpose?


If you only use headphones, seriously look into a Line 6 POD HD500X. It puts out a professional sound for recording through the PC. And if you want to hear it without headphones, you can always run it through monitors or PC speakers, or you can get a powered monitor which is always useful for a musician to have. I know Nady makes a really cheap one, no idea how good it is though. But Studio Monitors are definitely worth looking into. KRK is extremely popular, I'm a fan of Presonus myself. Yamaha always makes good quality stuff at great prices.

For headphones, I like Audio-Technica. The M50s are really popular, I have the much cheaper M30s and even they're good (compared to random in ear earbuds).
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
#9
thanks for all the answers!

A question regarding the POD or other digital multi effects. I currently have a Focusrite 2i4 DAC to connect my guitar to the PC. Then I run Amplitube 3 to get some digital amp models. It sounds OK with my Audio Technica ath m-50 earphones.

What studio monitors would suit me to get the best sound in a bedroom?

If I get the Line6 POD or similar, will that be a better sound than what I get from Amplitube or is it basically the same thing (except for the actual pedalboard with the POD for example)?
#10
How much are you thinking about spending?

Generally good monitor pairs start around $500ish.
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
#11
Quote by Offworld92
How much are you thinking about spending?

Generally good monitor pairs start around $500ish.


i got my jbl lsr305s for $300 and they are very good. of course an 8 inch driver would be better. but they take up a shitload of space.
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#12
Quote by xaedon
thanks for all the answers!

A question regarding the POD or other digital multi effects. I currently have a Focusrite 2i4 DAC to connect my guitar to the PC. Then I run Amplitube 3 to get some digital amp models. It sounds OK with my Audio Technica ath m-50 earphones.

What studio monitors would suit me to get the best sound in a bedroom?

If I get the Line6 POD or similar, will that be a better sound than what I get from Amplitube or is it basically the same thing (except for the actual pedalboard with the POD for example)?


I use these jbl lsr305s and amplitube 3 rivals my vypyr tube 60. i think the price has even dropped on the jbls. very great for the price. alot more bass response than you would think for sure.
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A