Ok bought a 2001 Ibanez RG with a floyd rose. This is my first floyd and want to see if I would enjoy it. Guitar itself is in great shape, pickups are OEM Ibanez. So when playing it sounds like **************** to say the least. I have to turn my bass all the way down. Its fuzzy and undefined. Tone knob does nothing and volume is scratchy and sometimes when turned kills all sound.

So needless to say it need to be cleaned or replaced. So opened up the back and here is what I found. I an no expert in pickups but I have installed a few in the past and looking at the this setup it would be hard to believe that this was factory. It is a true birds nest, wires are so tight and soldering to the vol pot is nasty Pots are 500k.

I am going to pull them this weekend and see if I can't clean the wiring up. Will this schematic work? The setup is 2-HB and 1-Single in the middle

My question is why is there no cap on the vol pot and only on the tone? What effect would this have?
A volume knob shunts signal to ground, which of course makes the output quieter. Adding a capacitor creates a filter that allows only certain frequencies to be shunted, which is why you get less treble when you turn down the tone knob. So the volume pot doesn't have a cap because it doesn't need one. A volume pot and a tone pot, by themselves, are actually the same part. It's the capacitor itself that turns a volume pot into a tone pot.

The reason there is one on the schematic, though, is to give a tiny bit of filter effect (hence a much smaller capacitor) so that the guitar's tone stays bright when the volume is turned down. It's not a necessary part, and you may or may not like the result. Most factory guitars omit it because it saves money and is not something most people would notice or care about.
if you don't like the sound of the guitar acoustically I'd sell it honestly. Pickups get too much of the blame when the guitar doesn't sound good plugged in yet so much more goes into it.

this schematic will work. However Seymour Duncan has the best diagrams to use I find. Just remember to use Ibanez wiring color codes for the pickups.

firstly. clean the electronics if the guitar is used
WD-40 inside each of the volume / tone pots

the moderator has a point use a treble bleed mod. The best one I've found is the Kinman style treble bleed it's not too difficult to make either but you retain highs as you roll down. It's about a 2$ mod. A 130k resistor and a 0.001 capacitor.

for the pickups though if they are too muddy lets say try another capacitor on the pickups and it filters out resistance and so forth to a certain degree. It's something I use when pickups are too high in output.

some other things to consider
height adjustment of the pickups
string material (not brand, actual material like steel vs nickel)
pick material and thickness

I re-wire the tone knobs on all my guitars to the fender greasebucket mod so I can get this sharp aggressive treble attack but then roll off just the right amount with that modified tone knob that probably costs 2-3$ to make.

if you're hell bent on getting a new set of pickups though remember to consult tone charts to see what works best for you. Avoid signature series stuff and just get excited about something. Tone charts provide us with insight in how loud a pickup is, what it tends to sound like. Say for example more highs would be a good thing for your guitar and so forth. But I despise basswood to the point I refuse to play guitars made of it.
Quote by Tallwood13
clean the electronics if the guitar is used
WD-40 inside each of the volume / tone pots

I don't recommend using WD40 for pots as this will deteriorate the carbon film and gum up the pot wiper. The residue will also attract and stick minute dust particles. Possibly the tiniest amount in the sleeve between pot shaft and where it enters the body from the top of the shaft if the shaft sticks or is hard to turn is all I would consider WD40 for. But if its doing that, a new pot would be the better solution

For the pot internals, always, always use a reputable electronics component grade contact cleaner, non residue type.
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Last edited by Phoenix V at Jan 22, 2015,
I agree with Phoenix, never squirt WD40 inside the pots. Use contact cleaner.

Also agree with whoever said it, if the guitar doesn't sound good unplugged, the greatest pickups in the world won't make it a great sounding guitar. It might sound better, but nothing sounds as good as a guitar that sounds good unplugged to begin with. I'm still using the factory pickups in my Korean made Squier Strat, a guitar player in the audience last weekend at a gig told me he'd never heard a Squier with tone that good He was actually surprised when he found out it was a Squier and not a true Fender Strat...good sounding guitar to begin with and I'm still using whatever el cheapo pickups they put in at the factory. And a tube amp...that helps too...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...