#1
Hey guys,

I'm looking into upgrading my electric's pickups to some nicer ones.

I have an Ibanez SA 120 which currently has

IBZ AH5 (H) neck PU

IBZ AH6 (H) bridge PU

(stock).

I am completely new to guitar pickups--I have been playing acoustic all of my life, but have owned an electric. As I have gotten more into playing electric, I feel it's time for an upgrade.

What do you guys recommend?

In terms of playing style, I play everything--Steve Howe to Santana to Boston.

I was thinking about some Gibson 57 Humbuckers

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Gibson-57-Classic-Humbucker-Pickup?sku=306000

and

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Gibson-57-Classic-Plus-Pickup?sku=306012

That's a lot of money, but I hear it's worth it. I will have my local shop professionally install it.

Any thoughts? Recommendations are always appreciated!

PS: How do I know if a pickup will fit my guitar?

Thanks!
#2
the pickups on that guitar are good enough, why replace them?
HiMyNameIsMatt
#3
Maybe some Seymore Duncan Pearly Gates
Schecter C-1 Elite
Gretsch 5120
Fender Ultra-Chorus Amp
#4
I always prefer Dimarzio but Seymour Duncans are nice. Check out Dimarzio's website, they have a pickup picker that asks you a few questions and makes recommendations on which of thier pickups would work best for you. Plus Dimarzio's are good quaility and about ½ the price of the Gibsons and cheaper than SD's.

BTW, if you were going to go with SD's, I say N-59'er & B-Pearly Gates.
#5
I'd say the Dimarzio PAF pro is up your alley, it was designed after the patent on the pickup that later became the Classic '57 had expired. Dimarzio designed it to be very similar in tonal characteristics, but a little bit hotter. Great Pickup, that won't destroy your wallet!
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
#7
Quote by surge666
the pickups on that guitar are good enough, why replace them?


Are you saying that upgrading my pickups isn't worth it?

Thoughts?
#8
Quote by ValoRhoads
I'd say the Dimarzio PAF pro is up your alley, it was designed after the patent on the pickup that later became the Classic '57 had expired. Dimarzio designed it to be very similar in tonal characteristics, but a little bit hotter. Great Pickup, that won't destroy your wallet!


http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/DiMarzio-DP151-PAF-Pro-Pickup?sku=302040&src=3WFRWXX&ZYXSEM=0&CAWELAID=26021626

I am a little inexperienced with electric pickups... Do I just buy two of those, or do I need to buy a special one for the neck/body position?

Why do some pikcups use different sets for different positions?

ALSO--For the PAF pro pair, what is the difference between 'Black F-Space' and 'Black Regular'? There is a price difference, so I assume it's something.

Those Chrome ones look nice...

Let's say you had a budget of $400--would you shoot for something better, or stick with these? I don't plan on spending $400 on pickups--Hell, my Sa 120 didn't even cost that--but I'm just curious.

To be honest--I havn't found a guitar I like more than this Sa 120. Crazy, right? I've played high end strats and even a Gibson ES 175 and I still love my Sa 120. I was going to buy a Gretsch, but I just couldn't get over how much better my Sa 120 feels to me. There's something about this guitar. So now, instead of spending my money on a new guitar, I am just upgrading this electric.


PS AGAIN: What do you think is the most important thing to upgrade on the guitar? I am looking at all of the options here--some tuning locks, maybe a detuner, but what do you think makes the biggest difference? Thanks!

Sorry--more questions. Will I need to buy a new mounting ring for the pickups? I totally wouldn't mind doing so--I'm not really fond of the current rings on the guitar.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation/brackets-mounting-rings-guitar-replacement-parts?N=100001+304422
Last edited by Starguard at Jun 16, 2008,
#9
Quote by Starguard
some tuning locks, maybe a detuner, but what do you think makes the biggest difference? Thanks!



whats a de tuner?
#10
Quote by Starguard
Are you saying that upgrading my pickups isn't worth it?

Thoughts?



well, id say some PAF replica-'57, duncan '59, pearly gates, dimarzio PAF, etc.....
would be good for u but WHATS UR AMP????

new pups wont do s*** for tone if ur amp sucks.
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#11
Quote by Starguard
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/DiMarzio-DP151-PAF-Pro-Pickup?sku=302040&src=3WFRWXX&ZYXSEM=0&CAWELAID=26021626

I am a little inexperienced with electric pickups... Do I just buy two of those, or do I need to buy a special one for the neck/body position?

Why do some pikcups use different sets for different positions?

ALSO--For the PAF pro pair, what is the difference between 'Black F-Space' and 'Black Regular'? There is a price difference, so I assume it's something.

Those Chrome ones look nice...

Let's say you had a budget of $400--would you shoot for something better, or stick with these? I don't plan on spending $400 on pickups--Hell, my Sa 120 didn't even cost that--but I'm just curious.

To be honest--I havn't found a guitar I like more than this Sa 120. Crazy, right? I've played high end strats and even a Gibson ES 175 and I still love my Sa 120. I was going to buy a Gretsch, but I just couldn't get over how much better my Sa 120 feels to me. There's something about this guitar. So now, instead of spending my money on a new guitar, I am just upgrading this electric.


PS AGAIN: What do you think is the most important thing to upgrade on the guitar? I am looking at all of the options here--some tuning locks, maybe a detuner, but what do you think makes the biggest difference? Thanks!

Sorry--more questions. Will I need to buy a new mounting ring for the pickups? I totally wouldn't mind doing so--I'm not really fond of the current rings on the guitar.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation/brackets-mounting-rings-guitar-replacement-parts?N=100001+304422


buy two, some sets use different pup[ps for flexibility of tone.

F-space is for a trem (whammy bar), normal is for hardtail

no, id buy either duncans or dimarzios, they are a good choice

LOCKING TUNERS FTW!!!!!
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#12
I'd say go seymour duncan if you have the money. a pearly gates does sound good for your application, I'm not a big fan of gibson's pickups.
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...
#13
^gibson pups only in gibson guitars.....never in anything else......ever

TS, WHAT IS UR AMP????????? <that question is crucial!!!!!!
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#14
Quote by rancidryan
whats a de tuner?


http://www.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=7

They aren't really common at all. They are just used for dropping into, say, drop d, really fast.

Quote by AngusJimiKeith
well, id say some PAF replica-'57, duncan '59, pearly gates, dimarzio PAF, etc.....
would be good for u but WHATS UR AMP????

new pups wont do s*** for tone if ur amp sucks.


That's something I'm working on. I run all my electric stuff through a Podxt, and I use mostly digital recording. But what's a good amp you would recommend for home use? I don't even know what price range I will be looking at. I'm not looking for something to play at a gig--just a nice amp for personal use. Let me hear your recommendations!

Quote by AngusJimiKeith
buy two, some sets use different pup[ps for flexibility of tone.

F-space is for a trem (whammy bar), normal is for hardtail

no, id buy either duncans or dimarzios, they are a good choice

LOCKING TUNERS FTW!!!!!


See, I just don't have problems with my tuners. I tune maybe twice, three times a month--it's not a big deal to me.

So what do I need? I still don't understand the difference.

Quote by THE Saint Jimmy
I'd say go seymour duncan if you have the money. a pearly gates does sound good for your application, I'm not a big fan of gibson's pickups.


Which pair of Seymour Duncans? Would you say the Dizmarzio PAF is the best right now?
#15
okay, for the amp, a small tube amp is always nice, maybe the peavey valve king royal 8....

do u have a whammy bar? if so get f-spaced, if not get normal

The pearly gates....or do a dimarzio PAF and a pearly gates.

EDIT: o and the locking tuners thing kinda hit me the second u said d-tuner......my bad..
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#16
Quote by AngusJimiKeith
okay, for the amp, a small tube amp is always nice, maybe the peavey valve king royal 8....

do u have a whammy bar? if so get f-spaced, if not get normal

The pearly gates....or do a dimarzio PAF and a pearly gates.

EDIT: o and the locking tuners thing kinda hit me the second u said d-tuner......my bad..


http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Seymour-Duncan-SHPG1-Pearly-Gates-Pickup?sku=301100

These guys? Would you really advise mixing and matching? If the Pearly Gates are the best for my style, I'll just buy two of them (a bridge and a neck).

And in terms of amp--you'd recommend this guy?

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Peavey-ValveKing-Royal-8-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=481661&src=3WFRWXX&ZYXSEM=0&CAWELAID=128866062

With my Pod, I'll still be able to get a decent distortion out of this thing, right?

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Marshall-MG10CD-Combo-Amp?sku=482798

That is the amp I have right now. I am looking for a significant improvement...
#17
yes about the pups

and any tube amp will blow that marshall away!!!!!!!!!! only the expensive marshalls are good however, if u can, i recommend trying that amp out before buying. u will get excellent distortion tone out of most tube amps, thats just the nature of tube. the peavey just seems the best tube amp for that price- anything decent bigger than that and ur talkin about a $200 price jump...
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#18
Quote by AngusJimiKeith
yes about the pups

and any tube amp will blow that marshall away!!!!!!!!!! only the expensive marshalls are good however, if u can, i recommend trying that amp out before buying. u will get excellent distortion tone out of most tube amps, thats just the nature of tube. the peavey just seems the best tube amp for that price- anything decent bigger than that and ur talkin about a $200 price jump...


Alright--so I won't be using any of the on board effects. I'm using a digital effects processor (the Pod XT)--does it really matter how the tube is? Couldn't I just stick with some studio monitors?

So should I buy the Pearly Gates Pair? Thoughts?
#19
trust me, the tube will destroy studio moniters tone wise. the pod is an excellent little effects processor, but it is not meant to support an electric on its own....even if u ran the tube into the moniters (via built in output jack) it would make ur guitar sound drastically better.

personally, i love the pearly gates, so my opinion is a bit biased, but they are excellent pups, and i think u should definately get 'em
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#20
Quote by AngusJimiKeith
trust me, the tube will destroy studio moniters tone wise. the pod is an excellent little effects processor, but it is not meant to support an electric on its own....even if u ran the tube into the moniters (via built in output jack) it would make ur guitar sound drastically better.

personally, i love the pearly gates, so my opinion is a bit biased, but they are excellent pups, and i think u should definately get 'em


Alright, sounds good.

I'd love to hear more on what pickups I should be looking at, and amps.
#21
^hope u find somthing that suits u perfectly

and about amps, u will hear many suggestions, but try them out before u buy them, cause they may not be as good as u thought. i spent two hours in a music shop before deciding which amp i want next (peavey valve king 112-50w big brother of the vk royal 8)
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#22
If you're going to continue using the POD, I'd skip the pickups for now.
You should be able to dial in anything you need out of the POD.

Focus on getting a better amp.

Perhaps look into an amp that will use your POD to it's fullest potential, like one of the amps from Atomic Amps.

EDIT: fixed!
Last edited by forsaknazrael at Jun 16, 2008,
#23
Quote by forsaknazrael
If you're going to continue using the POD, I'd skip the pickups for now.
You should be able to dial in anything you need out of the POD.

Focus on getting a better amp.

Perhaps look into an amp that will use your POD to it's fullest potential, like one of the amps from Atomic Amps.

fixed

...rough night?
Actually called Mark!

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#25
Quote by forsaknazrael
If you're going to continue using the POD, I'd skip the pickups for now.
You should be able to dial in anything you need out of the POD.

Focus on getting a better amp.

Perhaps look into an amp that will use your POD to it's fullest potential, like one of the amps from Atomic Amps.

EDIT: fixed!


Woah, those look badass. Exactly what I need--hell, it even has a template thing for a PODxt pro. $500 is pricey, but this thing will give my guitar legs I assume.

Basically, what this is turning into is--I want to upgrade my guitar. What should I do? This looks like a good answer. Where should I buy these guys from?

Christ, this thing is 45 lbs. I wish they offered a smaller option... oh well. Might as well have big for when you need it.
Last edited by Starguard at Jun 16, 2008,
#26
I didn't read all the posts, but did someone mention the blackheart as an amp. $300 1/2 stack 5 watt or 3 watt mode, loud enough to keep up with a moderately loud drummer and sounds AMAZING! Plus I would assume you could put your POD in front of it and have some killer tones!

Use the headphone out and connect it to an amp. Then you have a killer setup assuming you use a small overdriven tube amp
Last edited by ESP_Shreder at Jun 16, 2008,
#27
Quote by Starguard
Woah, those look badass. Exactly what I need--hell, it even has a template thing for a PODxt pro. $500 is pricey, but this thing will give my guitar legs I assume.

Basically, what this is turning into is--I want to upgrade my guitar. What should I do? This looks like a good answer. Where should I buy these guys from?

Christ, this thing is 45 lbs. I wish they offered a smaller option... oh well. Might as well have big for when you need it.

Tube amps are going to be heavy, no matter what. Sorry, mate.
You looking at the 18 watt model? I'd aim for the 50, for the clean headroom. The 18 watt amp will be loud enough for a drummer, though.

Quote by ESP_Shreder
I didn't read all the posts, but did someone mention the blackheart as an amp. $300 1/2 stack 5 watt or 3 watt mode, loud enough to keep up with a moderately loud drummer and sounds AMAZING! Plus I would assume you could put your POD in front of it and have some killer tones!

Use the headphone out and connect it to an amp. Then you have a killer setup assuming you use a small overdriven tube amp

I disagree. With that 1 speaker, which isn't even that efficient, it's not going to be THAT loud. Drummers are fairly loud.
#28
Quote by ESP_Shreder
I didn't read all the posts, but did someone mention the blackheart as an amp. $300 1/2 stack 5 watt or 3 watt mode, loud enough to keep up with a moderately loud drummer and sounds AMAZING! Plus I would assume you could put your POD in front of it and have some killer tones!

Use the headphone out and connect it to an amp. Then you have a killer setup assuming you use a small overdriven tube amp


What--should I be using headphone out right now? I have just been using the left output.

Anyway--I guess I will shoot for an Atomic Amp.

Any more recommendations if you were going to upgrade your guitar?
#30
Quote by forsaknazrael
Maybe take it in for a professional setup at a trustworthy guitar shop? That can seriously improve the playability.


Oh yeah. I have already done that. The action on this guitar is simply incredible... Very, very fast play.

I tried playing out of the phones out--great treble increase, but noticeable clipping and distortion.
#31
Quote by Starguard
Are you saying that upgrading my pickups isn't worth it?

Thoughts?



im not saying that. i love to put dimarzio super distortions in basicaly anything but sometimes you have to wonder if its truly the pickups or the amp or something else. replacing pickups is slightly annoying and if its a guitar like a gibson or american fender, replacing pickups isnt going to help you when you go to sell it
HiMyNameIsMatt
#32
Alright, I think for now I am going to buy an Atomic Amp.

But once I buy that amp--what should I upgrade on my guitar?
#33
pups....once u have a tube amp, then start tweaking ur sound with pups.
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#35
only if the playability of the guitar is really bad. otherwise, i dont see any real reason to.
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#36
Quote by Starguard
Would upgrading my guitar's nut/saddle do any good?



if it needs to be replaced
HiMyNameIsMatt