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I said I wasn't going to buy any more cheap guitars.

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  • #31
    Originally posted by nexion218 View Post

    Try putting that piece of foam between the strings and headstock, right behind the nut.
    Thanks, Ill give that a try as well. Granted Ive only owned on other guitar with a floyd but dont recall ever having this issue. Granted I was a lot younger and probably wasnt as in-tune with what as going on at the time.
    1994 Ibanez IC500 Iceman reissue
    Jackson Soloist 7 string
    ESP LTD M-400
    Original Marshall Silver Jubilee 2553

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    • #32
      Since getting this guitar a week ago, I have tried several pickups. This guitars tone (mahogony) is different than most of my other guitars which are basswood. Something about it just didn't sound "right".

      The guitar has a very strong upper mid tone, the higher strings ring out true, but the guitar is not warm and it sounds aggressive. This is good on the lower strings as the notes have a growl, but overall the lead guitar sound is thin.

      So I tried a Dimarzio Evolution. Hotter than the stock pickups with much more mids. The playability of this pickup was great, but it's ceramic and doesn't have an extended top end. The notes sounded tight and nasally. Just missing bass and too aggressive.

      Then I swapped a ceramic magnet into the Custom 5. This was now a "Custom". This was better than the C5, but it had a bit of that nasally sound of the Evolution and wasnt as hot. It just sounded like 80s party rock, not modern.

      I put the Custom 5 back to stock and played with it again... something not right.

      So I looked through my parts box .. and the only hot pickups I had... was an Ibanez INF2 stock pickup from some old RG 4xx. This is hot but it also happens to be alnico 5.

      I must say, this pickup is absolutely the perfect match for this guitar. It has much more bass response, nice mids, and an extended top. The tightness is gone, it sings now, and its hot enough to shred. I think the INF2 is roughly equivalent to a Tone Zone; a moderately hot A5 with lots of bass. Perfect for this guitar!

      I may try some of the actual Dimarzios in this vein; Tone Zone, D Sonic, Crunch Lab, etc, but this sounds pretty great to me now.

      My feeling about these old Duncan pickups is that they assume the guitar is a great sounding instrument, like a really resonant Les Paul. IME, the Dimarzio pickups all tend to have much more bass, and my intuition is that they are mostly designed for import super strats that often aren't deeply resonant.

      IMO, the Custom 5 is absolutely the wrong pickup for this guitar. Its not quite hot enough for a shredder's metal guitar, and it doesn't have much bass (compared to Dimarzio style pickups).



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      • #33
        Sometimes, things don't work out. The Custom 5 was the right pickup for me in a mid-heavy guitar. But it took me a few tries with many pickups I thought would work out great. Funny thing is, the Custom 5 is absolutely not the kind of pickup I would normally like. So you never know!
        Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan
        Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Mincer View Post
          Sometimes, things don't work out. The Custom 5 was the right pickup for me in a mid-heavy guitar. But it took me a few tries with many pickups I thought would work out great. Funny thing is, the Custom 5 is absolutely not the kind of pickup I would normally like. So you never know!
          Everyone's guitar, amp, and ears are different.

          The takeaway (my opinion anyway) is that Dimarzios all have a particular bass-heavy sound. (The INF2 is a cheap Dimarzio copy) If your whole rig is setup around Dimarzio pickups, getting duncans to work may be difficult. Every time I have tried a Duncan, there was always a similar Dimarzio that does the same thing but sounded thicker.

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          • #35
            CHEAP GUITAR 2 WEEK UPDATE

            I'm still happy with this guitar, especially for what I paid, but there is one odd annoyance that is causing issues: The bridge pickup cavity is contour routed for a passive humbucker. Its not a manufacturing defect, as the pictured guitars on sweetwater all have the same "feature", but the picture on the ESP website shows a squared cavity.

            What this means is that to try a pickup in this guitar, I have to either grind down the corners of the pickup to fit the cavity, or I have to disassemble the pickup and reuse the base.

            I already ground down a Dimarzio Evolution to fit in the bridge, but this was not the right pickup for this guitar. I ground down an Ibanez INF2 pickup and this is a good match for this guitar, although there are a ton of other pickups I'd like to try.

            The only reason I can think they are doing this is to make the guitar less useful.. so that it wont fit EMG style pickups. This way people will be pushed into the next tier of guitar if they want EMG goodness. Its just a weird feature that I didn't expect and didn't notice in the pictures.

            Otherwise, the fretwork is great. All it took was a small truss adjustment and I'm shredding it up. Didn't even need to adjust the action which is a first on any guitar. Action at 12th fret was < 1.5mm. The guitar was built nearly a year ago and there is some tarnish on the frets, so they need a polish.

            Another annoyance is upper fret access. If the body carve was just another 3mm and if the bout was wider, there would be excellent upper fret access, but it feels like a 23 fret body with 24 frets. I can play up there, but it takes an adjustment.

            The Pau Ferro fretboard is like a dark rosewood and I suspect they dyed it to make it more dark or uniform. Its not as attractive as a Rosewood board in all its glory. Its dark but not quite as dark as Ebony.

            Tuning stability is great. Guitar didn't need any neck or nut tightening or any other remedial BS. (I did add an OFR block). However the FRS trem arm was a little loose even when fully tightened. I fixed this by using teflon tape on the threads, but its clear the maufacturing tolerance of the bushing and bar is not on par with OFR parts. I will probably order an OFR bar and bushing when/if the teflon tape stops working.

            So overall, its a well manufactured guitar with excellent fretwork and tuning stability, but the bridge pickup route is a PITA, and the Pau Ferro fretboard is not as attractive as Rosewood. I definitely think its worth the $450 I paid, but because of the bridge pickup rout, I would not recommend this guitar to anyone who is not handy modifying pickups to fit.
            Last edited by Top-L; 08-05-2020, 08:59 AM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Top-L View Post

              Everyone's guitar, amp, and ears are different.

              The takeaway (my opinion anyway) is that Dimarzios all have a particular bass-heavy sound. (The INF2 is a cheap Dimarzio copy) If your whole rig is setup around Dimarzio pickups, getting duncans to work may be difficult. Every time I have tried a Duncan, there was always a similar Dimarzio that does the same thing but sounded thicker.
              You are either propagating malicious lies intended to mislead people, or have tried the entire Dimarzio catalog and analyze them with spectrum analyzer or oscilloscope of some sort, to come up with that conclusion.

              And INF2 is the copy of Dimarzio, which one? Cause this is the first time I encounter that statement or anyone actually liking INF2.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Top-L View Post
                CHEAP GUITAR 2 WEEK UPDATE


                Tuning stability is great. Guitar didn't need any neck or nut tightening or any other remedial BS. (I did add an OFR block). However the FRS trem arm was a little loose even when fully tightened. I fixed this by using teflon tape on the threads, but its clear the maufacturing tolerance of the bushing and bar is not on par with OFR parts. I will probably order an OFR bar and bushing when/if the teflon tape stops working.
                ????????? You mean your guitars necks regularly need tightening? As in the screws become loose over time? Never had that before.

                Also, the nut needs regluing/ tigthening the screws? (lol) every now and then?

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                • #38
                  A neck that is not fully tightened down can be a source of tuning instability with a Floyd. I had a Prestige Ibanez that needed tightening of the screws. Also the floyd nut can potentially move. I had a cheap guitar where the two screws weren't holding it perfectly in place. It was for this reason that many Ibanez guitars were designed with a nut that bolts through the neck.

                  This guitar is solid, no problems.

                  Regarding your comments on Dimarzio pickups, yes I have tried over half of their humbucker catalog. Please go be a kook in someone else's thread.

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                  • #39
                    The INF set with the magnets reversed is a great match for this guitar!

                    The INF2 with a ceramic magnet sounds like a Petrucci pickup. Hot ceramic, dark but with great harmonics and note definition for speed runs. Because of the pickup rout I can't easily try all the JP pickups to find my favorite, but it doesn't matter because this is right up my alley and its working for my style. A metalhead might think it is too thick or has too much mids, but I like it.

                    The INF1 neck with A5 magnet is more versatile with a big sound, but I'm going to scare up a ceramic magnet and put it back to stock. With a ceramic magnet its a great neck shredder's pickup.

                    I removed the slug pole pieces and sanded them to a shine, but I'm going to order some silver slugs so they look perfect and don't rust. The allen screws were swapped from another pickup.

                    Last mod for this guitar will be a push/pull volume to split the humbuckers so the guitar has six sounds.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    • #40

                      This is it. D-Sonic + PAF Pro.

                      The INF2/ceramic was good, but it didn't have a well defined and tight bottom like the D-sonic.


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                      Last edited by Top-L; 08-08-2020, 08:58 AM.

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