I've never installed custom pickups before and I don't even have the guitar yet, so bear with me:

I'm going to buy an Ibanez S520EX guitar and rip out the stock pickups for some Dimarzio's but my question is: which type of Dimarzio pickups would be best for Progressive Rock/Metal (stuff like Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, Symphony X, Evergrey, Stratovarius, etc)? I know nothing about how to switch pickups for custom ones or even who to go to to get it done if I'm too scared to do it, so please fill me in with info on what I should do.

Also, if this all sounds like it's not worth it for a progressive rock playing style, please shed me some light on another guitar to look at in the 600-650 dollar range (and that includes tax/shipping so you might as well limit it to $599 on whatever websites you guys look at)

Thanks guys.
According to www.dimarzio.com, John Petrucci uses Virtual PAF and D Sonic, among other pickups. Not sure about the people int those other bands, though. You should check out the website and read the specs of the different high output humbuckers and see which one seems right for you.

When it comes to actually switching the pickups, it's actually easier than you'd believe. I seriously didn't think I was going to be able to do it myself, but I tried (figuring I'd have to go to a guitar shop and have them do it properly afterwards) and it worked. I was really surprised when I plugged in the guitar and it worked.

Oh and btw, the S520 is pretty cool. I like the "Ox Blood Flat" colour.

edit: vvv Yeah, I've got almost the same setup in my RG (albeit with a Classic Air instead of the Norton). Very versatile. vvv
Last edited by kyrreca at Sep 6, 2007,
ToneZone/Air Norton combo. It's sweet And I think you don't need another guitar, the S520EX with a pu swap is great!
Last edited by Op3a at Sep 6, 2007,
i gots a 520ex with dimarzio breeds in it. prettty sweet, i think their pretty good alround pickups but extra good for shred imo.
Quote by devilscruffs14
once i banged a 5 year old chick, i love banging older women.

I decided on to still get the S520EX with a D Sonic on the bridge and an Air Norton on the neck