#1
 I own an Ibanez GRG150DX and am not really liking the sound of it anymore.  As my first guitar, it has stock inifinity humbucker pickups that are just stale and boring which dont really give the sound I am looking for.  At the moment I play rock/metal but I want to move to blues/rock so I am looking for a pup with good cleans but can handle distortion as well.  I am swapping out both the neck and bridge and am taking out the middle single coil as it just gets in the way of my picking.  Any ideas on what pups I should get? Or should I just save my money and buy a new guitar? 
#2
Save your money and buy a new amp.

Mind you if the GIO is totally frustrating and uninspiring to play and it is your only guitar, then buy a new guitar. It won't sound any better if your amp sucks though.
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#3
Save your money and buy a new guitar. Or maybe a new amp.

You might as well just get an H-H style guitar while you're at it and sell off the GIO for cash.
If you hack up the GIO pulling pickups and putting new ones in, you'll get FAR less for it when you're tired of it (you will be) and virtually nothing for whatever pickups you'll have put in it.
#4
IMHO, changing pickups can make a good guitar sound great, but can't made a bad guitar sound good.
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#7
Quote by BlueStrat99
T00DEEPBLUE Any amps you'd recommend? Right now I have a Fender Mustang 20W which I am pretty content with but I was also thinking of upgrading amps.

Depends on your amp budget.

Quote by BlueStrat99

There's tons of those to be found on the used market, which is strongly recommended when you're on a tight budget.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
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#8
T00DEEPBLUE My amp budget would be the same as my guitar budget.  Right now i'm in the intermediate rut where I'm not too motivated to practice because everything I need to progress takes a lot of time and work, so I'm hoping a more expensive instrument will give me the push I need, but an amp would also do that. My amp budget would probably be around $700- 800
#9
Quote by BlueStrat99
T00DEEPBLUE My amp budget would be the same as my guitar budget.  Right now i'm in the intermediate rut where I'm not too motivated to practice because everything I need to progress takes a lot of time and work, so I'm hoping a more expensive instrument will give me the push I need, but an amp would also do that. My amp budget would probably be around $700- 800

You can get a used Fender Twin for $800.

But ultimately it depends on the exact sort of blues tone you're looking for. Research the amps your favorite bands use and see if you can grab something similar.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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#10
If you go for an amp, are you a combo guy, a head & cab guy, is or either fine by you?
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!
#11
A Standard Tele will be miles better than that GRG170, but keep in mind it uses single coil pickups rather than humbuckers. That might not be suitable if you play heavier types of music. 
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#13
Quote by BlueStrat99
 I own an Ibanez GRG150DX and am not really liking the sound of it anymore.  As my first guitar, it has stock inifinity humbucker pickups that are just stale and boring which dont really give the sound I am looking for.  At the moment I play rock/metal but I want to move to blues/rock so I am looking for a pup with good cleans but can handle distortion as well.  I am swapping out both the neck and bridge and am taking out the middle single coil as it just gets in the way of my picking.  Any ideas on what pups I should get? Or should I just save my money and buy a new guitar? 

Do not upgrade that guitar - buy a new guitar - an HSS Strat preferably.  Avoid Ibanez shred models if you plan on playing anything other than metal.  Even a Squier Strat will be world's better for blues and rock.


 
#14
Good, affordable combos for blues/classic rock:

The Peavey Delta Blues 115
Fender HRD
Vox AC15 or AC30
Carvin Vintage 16, Nomad, or Belair
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!
#15
To answer your first question.... The decision to change your pickups should be based on how much you like the guitar otherwise.  Is the action nice, does the neck feel good, does it stay in tune, do you like the way it feels overall?  If so and you know of a set of pups you want then go for it.  You can take them out and put the originals back in before you sell it.  Because a pup upgrade on a cheap guitar is not going to recoop the cost.  But there is no reason a cheap guitar should cancel out the benefits of the better pups, if it plays well otherwise.

I don't own a Fender Mustang, but from what I hear about them and a friend who had one, they aren't bad amps.  I wouldn't make this a choice about amp or guitar.  I have a Peavey Generation EX that has pups that are noticeably worse than my other guitars.  A good tube amp doesn't make it sound good.  I would consider this a choice between replacing the guitar or the pups.
Last edited by fly135 at May 24, 2017,
#16
I noticed in another post you are looking for a Tele.  You won't get your other guitar close to a Tele sound, so if that's what you want then it's best to looking for a new guitar.
#17
Quote by 8Len8
IMHO, changing pickups can make a good guitar sound great, but can't made a bad guitar sound good.

Seconded. If the guitar costs less than a few hundred bucks on its own, it's probably not worth putting a few hundred more into it. Personally, I wouldn't bother upgrading anything lower in quality than an MIM Fender or similar. The materials and workmanship limit the tone any nice pickups you put in a guitar. The pickups happen to be one of the most consequential elements of the overall tone, but they can only do so much. Plus, you're just not getting your money's worth from the pickups.

I would recommend to save up and get a new guitar whose sound you like as-is. Even Squiers are pretty good these days, if you're not a tone junkie or playing gigs. You'll probably be looking in the $350-600 range for something that sounds great right from the factory (used G&L Tributes go for $300-500).

And of course upgrade your amp if you don't have something decent already. You can find decent used tube amps for under $400. You should be able to find a quality guitar and amp rig for $800 or less.