#1
Hi there

I am kinda a single guitar guy... I am not into having multiple guitars as I am mostly a home player and don't have a space for much equipment.

I have an Ibanez RG320FM, basswood body, 3 piece maple neck, rosewood fretboard and INF pickups. The guitar actually plays very smooth but I have it for around 8 years now and I feel the need to go one step up. So I am thinking of whether to replace the pickups with DiMarzio John Petrucci set which will cost around $160 or I may replace the whole guitar with LTD EC1000S. I will lose the Floyd rose but I don't use it much in my Ibanez anyways. I played the EC1000S with EMG and it is cool.. the sound is really different. I haven't tried the EC1000S with Seymour Duncan pickups yet and I don't know how would it sound.

My question is, from your experience, which option will give me bigger improvement in sound? replacing the pickups of my existing Ibanez with above specs or having the EC1000S guitar?

I have BOSS GT-8 multi-effects and Marshall VS30R amp
#2
Someone can feel free to correct me on this but with your amp the different pickups really won't make that much of a noticeable difference.
OT: If you are happy with your guitar and want to save some cash then I would opt for the pickup change. What pickups you change to depends on what desired outcome you are after (What style you are playing). Giving us styles or artists can help.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, MIA Standard Strat, Charvel So Cal Pro Mod, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#3
Quote by bobafettacheese
Someone can feel free to correct me on this but with your amp the different pickups really won't make that much of a noticeable difference.
OT: If you are happy with your guitar and want to save some cash then I would opt for the pickup change. What pickups you change to depends on what desired outcome you are after (What style you are playing). Giving us styles or artists can help.


Is the amp considered that bad? I know it is a very old model as I purchased it more than 15 years ago but it still works very find considering my light use...

For the pickups, I use distortion much and most of my playing is similar to 80's and 90's MetallicA and MegadetH style... I came up with the choice of DiMarzio John Petrucci set after a discussion I had here and I think they are very close to what I aim.
#4
Quote by mockbel
Hi there

I am kinda a single guitar guy... I am not into having multiple guitars as I am mostly a home player and don't have a space for much equipment.

I have an Ibanez RG320FM, basswood body, 3 piece maple neck, rosewood fretboard and INF pickups. The guitar actually plays very smooth but I have it for around 8 years now and I feel the need to go one step up. So I am thinking of whether to replace the pickups with DiMarzio John Petrucci set which will cost around $160 or I may replace the whole guitar with LTD EC1000S. I will lose the Floyd rose but I don't use it much in my Ibanez anyways. I played the EC1000S with EMG and it is cool.. the sound is really different. I haven't tried the EC1000S with Seymour Duncan pickups yet and I don't know how would it sound.

My question is, from your experience, which option will give me bigger improvement in sound? replacing the pickups of my existing Ibanez with above specs or having the EC1000S guitar?

I have BOSS GT-8 multi-effects and Marshall VS30R amp


I never recommend changing the pickups in a cheap ( i.e. under $500) guitar unless the guitar itself happens to be really amazing. It's just not cost effective and you won't get any more money from a sale. I would just buy the other guitar and sell the one you have.
#5
Quote by mockbel
Is the amp considered that bad? I know it is a very old model as I purchased it more than 15 years ago but it still works very find considering my light use...

For the pickups, I use distortion much and most of my playing is similar to 80's and 90's MetallicA and MegadetH style... I came up with the choice of DiMarzio John Petrucci set after a discussion I had here and I think they are very close to what I aim.


Its not that the amp is bad but you will truly hear different pickups more effectively through a tube amp. Not saying there aren't exceptions to this rule, but tube amps tend to pick up on the dynamics of the pickup better than one with a plethora of solid state components. Once again, to each his own, I am not suggesting you run out and buy a new amp.
Like stated though, buying the EC1000 will be an upgrade. They are great guitars for the price, I have owned two.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, MIA Standard Strat, Charvel So Cal Pro Mod, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#6
Quote by bobafettacheese
Its not that the amp is bad but you will truly hear different pickups more effectively through a tube amp. Not saying there aren't exceptions to this rule, but tube amps tend to pick up on the dynamics of the pickup better than one with a plethora of solid state components. Once again, to each his own, I am not suggesting you run out and buy a new amp.
Like stated though, buying the EC1000 will be an upgrade. They are great guitars for the price, I have owned two.


To some extent, pickups don't make drastic differences.. at least when I used my Boss GT-3. Main difference was when I changed from a single-coils to humbuckers. Now that I've got Tech 21 PSA-1.1, tube-emulating, but I have no tubes in the signal path, pickups feel drastically different. I've got 3 guitars with 3 different bridge pickups and the nuances are definitely there.

The guitar would be a complete upgrade, if you like it's playability more to your Ibanez. Then again, if you like the Ibanez otherwise, but could do without floating tremolo, Ibanez has a lot of models to offer without the floating tremolo in the same price range as the EC-1000. In that price range you've got a dozen of choices... it's so amazing to be a guitarist these days, I think it's absolutely wonderful to have so many choices and the choices usually got a lot of colors to choose from too.
Gear pics

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#7
Quote by reverb66
I never recommend changing the pickups in a cheap ( i.e. under $500) guitar unless the guitar itself happens to be really amazing. It's just not cost effective and you won't get any more money from a sale.

That's basically my position as well.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
Not to brand push, But, Dragonfire pickups have active pickups that are 81 85 clones and theyre 80 bucks. I love a Ibanez wizard neck and if you wired actives in it thatd be fun and different. but they have sweet passive pickups for cheap as hell too.
#9
Personally, I actually quite like the stock Ibanez Infinity pickups. They do sound smooth, like you said.

Anyway, the LTD would make the biggest difference in sound. I'd take the SDs over the EMGs, EMGs can be a bit harsh and sterile, but everyone has their own opinion on that.

Upgrading the amp will always have the biggest effect on sound though. I'd consider that.

On another note, if you like the guitar and are willing to do the work yourself, you won't lose any money from switching pickups as you can put the old ones back in in the event of a sale, but the money would probably be better invested in completely new gear.
#10
Oh, just to add onto that, since you mentioned being a single guitar guy, the stoptail bridge might be better for you than the Floyd for purposes of switching tunings. Though having multiple guitars for different tunings is even more convenient; I have one for E/Eb, one for D, and another for everything else, typically C, C#, and drop C.
#11
For those of you who don't believe in swapping pickups in a cheap guitar, I have a different take on that. I agree that you don't recover the cost, but you can replace the cheap parts if you want to sell it, and I see the body and neck as just lumps of wood. If they work for you ergonomically and aesthetically, they're good enough.

Dragonzmetal. You could always block the floating trem, but intonation could be a problem with changing tunings, especially if you use highly distorted compressed sounds.
#12
My concern was less about recovering costs at resale- I've never sold a guitar in my decades as a player- and more about polishing a turd.

If the guitar is under $500, it likely has other issues besides bad pickups: badly set frets, neck warping, bad wiring, not holding tune...

If it doesn't, and you like it, swapping pickups makes sense.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#13
New amp, dude. That needs to be your biggest priority if your guitar's tone isn't satisfying you.

Pickups are going to make a relatively marginal change in the grand scheme of things. If you really, really feel you need new pickups and you want EMG's. Go used. People sell full sets all the time and very little goes wrong with pickups in general provided people don't mess with them internally.

Try and get the same set of Dimarzios you're looking for used as well.
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#14
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
New amp, dude. That needs to be your biggest priority if your guitar's tone isn't satisfying you.


+ a gazzilion!
#15
Quote by mockbel


My question is, from your experience, which option will give me bigger improvement in sound?


No guarantees that the quality of your sound won't go DOWN with a newer, more expensive guitar.

From my experience, simply adding money has nothing to do with improving sound.


That goes for amps as well.
#17
Quote by dspellman
No guarantees that the quality of your sound won't go DOWN with a newer, more expensive guitar.

From my experience, simply adding money has nothing to do with improving sound.


That goes for amps as well.


This is a deal breaker answer So what shall I do to improve sound quality if replacing the pickups, the guitar, or even the amp is not guaranteeing anything ???
#18
I see a new suggestion is heavily coming which is the replacement of the amp... This would be a significant shift from what I was thinking about but seems like I have to consider this option.
And I believe when you all talk about a "good" amp you are talking about tube/valve amp. I googled it and came up with dozens of makes and models !!! The Mesa Boogie is on of the most famous names I hear of course.. there are plenty more... Blackstar and VOX and even Marshall has valve series amps. My question is that considering the Boss GT-8 which has some decent pre-amps including tube and rectifier... wouldn't that compensate the need of a tube amp? In other words, can I overcome the solid state amp with multi effect pre-amp ?
#19
Quote by mockbel
This is a deal breaker answer So what shall I do to improve sound quality if replacing the pickups, the guitar, or even the amp is not guaranteeing anything ???


You missed the point. I said that simply throwing MONEY at the problem isn't the answer.
And this isn't something that an Internet Forum can fix for you, either.

You actually have to go and FIND the various pieces, try them out and put YOUR ears to work. I have $6000 guitars and I have $200 guitars and I have Variax guitars that I can pretty much tweak to sound like anything.

I have handwired tube amps, ordinary production tube amps and modified tube amps, and I have multi-FX (mostly Pods, and an Axe-FX Ultra). One of my favorites is a resurrected eBay-sourced Carvin Belair (2x12 50W EL-84-based) that has the Stage II Hasserl Mods added. And I actually prefer a Pod HD with a Two-Notes Torpedo C.A.B. to the Axe-FX Ultra.

One of my nicest sounding and playing guitars is an Agile AD-2300 (out of production at the moment) with a $200 set of Mike Reilander's hand-wound P90's aboard. A friend found it for me earlier this year in Vancouver, and I paid $130 plus shipping all up.

On the other hand, I have a $4K Gibson Axcess Custom (multi-layer white binding, big headstock, ebony fretboard, all that) that has $1500 worth of modifications including sustainer, completely different pickups, Schaller Floyd, big brass block, PLEK, fret superglue, Chandler Tone-X, relocated controls, etc. While that guitar is superb, it's the second fiddle to another guitar with the same set of modifications that has a thicker and heavier solid body, a different neck profile and larger frets.

Simply moving up the product line, or taking the advice of folks who mostly sit three feet from the speaker in their 10x10 bedroom and use only three strings of a 7-string guitar is unlikely to get you where you want to be. It's not about simply tossing money out there.
#20
Pickups typically make the least difference in guitar tone so that is the last thing I change on an otherwise totally awesome guitar. A real amp would make more difference than anything at this point. It is the weak link in your tone chain. JMHO
"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
#21
Quote by dspellman
You missed the point. I said that simply throwing MONEY at the problem isn't the answer.
And this isn't something that an Internet Forum can fix for you, either.

You actually have to go and FIND the various pieces, try them out and put YOUR ears to work. I have $6000 guitars and I have $200 guitars and I have Variax guitars that I can pretty much tweak to sound like anything.

I have handwired tube amps, ordinary production tube amps and modified tube amps, and I have multi-FX (mostly Pods, and an Axe-FX Ultra). One of my favorites is a resurrected eBay-sourced Carvin Belair (2x12 50W EL-84-based) that has the Stage II Hasserl Mods added. And I actually prefer a Pod HD with a Two-Notes Torpedo C.A.B. to the Axe-FX Ultra.

One of my nicest sounding and playing guitars is an Agile AD-2300 (out of production at the moment) with a $200 set of Mike Reilander's hand-wound P90's aboard. A friend found it for me earlier this year in Vancouver, and I paid $130 plus shipping all up.

On the other hand, I have a $4K Gibson Axcess Custom (multi-layer white binding, big headstock, ebony fretboard, all that) that has $1500 worth of modifications including sustainer, completely different pickups, Schaller Floyd, big brass block, PLEK, fret superglue, Chandler Tone-X, relocated controls, etc. While that guitar is superb, it's the second fiddle to another guitar with the same set of modifications that has a thicker and heavier solid body, a different neck profile and larger frets.

Simply moving up the product line, or taking the advice of folks who mostly sit three feet from the speaker in their 10x10 bedroom and use only three strings of a 7-string guitar is unlikely to get you where you want to be. It's not about simply tossing money out there.


Man.. you seem to be 100 times experienced than me and have a BIG collection of instruments so you can try and pick best instruments yourself... This is not the case for me and that's why I joined and post on this forum... The most correct answer of "No one can choose for you, you go try instruments and pick what is best for you" won't be that helpful for someone like me... I need the advice of experienced people like you and other gentlemen here to make my decisions easier... I hope I delivered my point !
#23
Just let us know what you are after. I think amp, as well as others on here, but it is your money. If you give us a max budget and location and whether you would be able to go new or used then you will get a lot of info for you to use.
We do have to defer to you because it is your money and where we might think an amp/guitar is perfect for you it truly depends on you. Many people just don't bond with specific amps or guitars, so ideally we will give the suggestions but you'll have to try them out. Hope that helps.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, MIA Standard Strat, Charvel So Cal Pro Mod, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#24
Quote by bobafettacheese
Just let us know what you are after. I think amp, as well as others on here, but it is your money. If you give us a max budget and location and whether you would be able to go new or used then you will get a lot of info for you to use.
We do have to defer to you because it is your money and where we might think an amp/guitar is perfect for you it truly depends on you. Many people just don't bond with specific amps or guitars, so ideally we will give the suggestions but you'll have to try them out. Hope that helps.


Thank you.. of course this helps and of course I know I will have to try before any purchase... overall for sure I got some real useful ideas regarding the minor expected outcome of replacing the pickups and that mainly the problem may be in the solid state relatively cheap amp I have... my budget is around $900 and I live in Egypt which means that I have very limited options if I decide not to buy anything without trying it.. we have dealers for some brands but not all.. I was lucky I tried my BOSS GT8 before purchase and also I tried the LTD EC1000 guitars as they have a dealer in Egypt.. More limited choices for amps the only tube amps I found where VOX and Blackstar.. No MESA BOOGIE here at least in the shops I know...

Thanks you all for the rich info you provided
#25
Quote by mockbel
and even Marshall has valve series amps.


Had to laugh at that one ;-)

I'd listen to the advice on here but then go and try one at your local store if possible. Don't just go for a name without trying it though.....I can already see that you seem sold on a Mesa but it might not be for you.
#26
As the main problem we are talking about now is the amp... I am thinking of replacing the amp with a cabinet for time being so I have a setup of
Guitar >> GT8 >> Mini Mixer >> Speakers Cabinet
When I have some good amount of money, I will buy a tube head and plug it to the cabinet and stop using preamp simulators on my GT8... Would that be a good approach?