Hi everyone, I'm getting an Ibanez S7420QM-TRB somewhen the upcoming week. It's going to be my first 7-string. I'm currently playing on the setup and guitar in my signature. My Ibanez S57DXQM-BBB is a great lead guitar with a focus in the mids and highs. Now while the S7420QM-TRB is technically a similar guitar but with a 7th string an with no singlecoil, I don't want to have the exact same sound. I was planing on using it more as a rhythm-guitar with a bit more focus on the lows and the mids, but still being able to play great leads.

I usually have my amp set up at max gain, lows at 10-11o'clock, mids at 13-14 and highs maxed out. My tone pot is usually turned 100° counter clockwise. I aim for an agressive sound for rhythm using my bridge pu, with focus on highs and mids and for leads I prefer a creamy, singing sound with more lows and less highs. You get the image? Something quite similar to Steve Vai on his EVO, but with little more lows in the bridge.

Now as the title says, I don't quite know which set of PUs to chose for the 7-string. I definitely want to pick high-output Dimarzios, which narrows the options to either:
1) Crunch-Lab / Liquifire
2) Blaze Bridge / Blaze Neck
3) D-Activators

So far I'd probably go for the classic CL/LF-combo, but I'd like to hear what you guys think. My main fear of the Blaze-combo it that the scooped character do well in the slim S-series, which lacks a bit of mids anyways. I mainly play metal, with a focus on power-, speed and symphonic, so I'm not sure whether the scooped sound would actually suit my playstyle.

I'd be gratefull for all kinds of input!
Ibanez S570DXQM-BBB
DiMarzio Evolution HSH
Ibanez RG927WBBZ-TGF
DiMarzio Evolution 7 & DiMarzio LiquiFire 7
Peavey Valve King 112, Peavey Vypyr 15
Harley Benton NG-100, Ibanez Weeping Demon

Quote by metalmingee
In fact, wanting different tunings is one of the best reasons to convince others that you need more guitars.
Play the guitar first and see what it's lacking in before dropping 200$-300$. For all we know the guitar could sound great out of the box and not need the customizations. By the way avoid signature pickups it takes a lot more than those pickups to get John Petruccis tone. Some guys on here say the liquifire and crunchlab sound similar to infinity pickups. So this can be a good thing or a horrible thing haha.

anyways.. 3 suggestions
the d-activators tend to sound like the 707 set without the sterility
the seymour duncan naguzel / pagasus or sentient set
EMG 57 / 66 - the 7 string set

if the bridge on your 7 string has a tremolo get the brass big block upgrade and it'll sound so much better. It makes the guitar louder, more tone , sort of like if the edge in the guitar didn't have all the wood cut out of it so a lot more sustain.

if you're an ernie ball fan the cobalt strings will make the guitar louder as well. I'm not a fan of ernie ball strings myself though. More mids and bass dunlop heavycore 10-60 I am liking a lot they are one of the harder to break strings out there.

copper shielding doesn't hurt - you get more clarity

if you never use the tone knob and there isn't enough "tightness" like say the Inf-4 which I think is the hotter of the two pickups in the set try the fender greasebucket mod. It gives you more clarity. It's a passive mod that you don't have to go out of your way to do.

that and gotoh , schaller or grover tuners - locking or not your goal is 18:1 tuners

and of course a guitar processor goes a long way. Line 6 pod X3 , Eleven rack or if you've got a lot of money kicking around a used fractal Axe FX ultra. But I have a deep hatred for the axe fx.

this is to compare a few seymour duncans. The naguzel / sentient or pegasus set are mentioned in this
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Dec 27, 2014,
Don't buy pickups until you get the guitar. Better yet, don't buy pickups until after you've got both amp AND guitar and have had some time to break both in a bit. Also worth noting that Carvin will be introducing a brand new line of pickups at NAMM in January that should be available in February. First sets will be for 7 and 8-string guitars. One more suggestion -- beg, buy or borrow a graphic equalizer like the GE-7 and put it first in your pedal string before everything else. In effect, EQ your pickups. You may find that's all you need to do. At the very least, you'll know what you really want in a new pickup, and you'll be able to explain accurately to a pickup company what you're looking for.