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Pickups don't sound right

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  • Pickups don't sound right

    I bought a pair of seymour duncans to go in a project guitar that doesn't seem like it'll ever get finished, so I put them in my Ibanez RG320 to test them out for a while. (JB Bridge, Distortion Neck)

    The pickups sound awsome clean, but at high gain they sound pretty muddy in the bottom / midrange. I put new strings on thinking that might be the problem but they still sound muddy. This can't be right can it?
    I've compared them to the Dimarzio PAF in my strat and the PAF is much clearer and harmonics also come out better.
    Could it be anything to do with the cheap pots & selector switch in the Ibanez? (I know the strat definately has high quality pots & switch)
    Both ibanez pots are 500k, and the volume is a mini pot.

    I've got new good quality pots & switch here waiting to go in the project guitar, but I could put them in the ibanez if it would make any difference.

    Thanks in advance,

  • #2
    Re: Pickups don't sound right

    A lot of people find the JB too "loose" on the bottom end, most of those can be easily helped with a Duncan Custom.

    Id wait for the project to be done before treading on, though
    Zerberus Industries: Where perfection just isn't good enough.

    Listen to my music at and


    • #3
      Re: Pickups don't sound right

      Ok thanks.

      I'll consider sending it back and swapping for a duncan custom then! (Do companies take them back? I've only trimmed an inch or so off the end of the wires. Only had them a few weeks)
      I was tied between a custom and a JB when I first started looking but in the end I leaned towards the JB.


      • #4
        Re: Pickups don't sound right

        I have a JB bridge and Distortion neck (back when it was called the Seymourizer II) in the neck of my 80's Kramer. The DDn can be very boomy compared to the JB bridge. I had to lower the bass side of the pickup all the way to the pickguard so it wouldn't overpower the JB.

        Also, for what it's worth, that guitar came with 250k pots.
        This machine kills fascists


        • #5
          Re: Pickups don't sound right

          Would it be any better if I swapped them round with the distortion in the bridge? I know they are calibrated for their positions, but I (accidentally) swapped the bridge and neck pickups in my other strat (both single coils) and it sounds better than it ever did.


          • #6
            Re: Pickups don't sound right

            Most people find the JB too bright if anything, too muddy might indicate other issues. It can't hurt to meter your pots but I dont think that is your issue. You state that the Dmz PAF has more clarity and that tells me a little something about your rig. To get a PAF type pickup to sound good under a lot of gain you normally have to beef up your settings to get the mids and bass right. Using those settings with the far hotter JB and DDN you may very well get muddiness because the Dmz PAFS are a far brighter pickup.

            I'd suggest metering the pots and working your amp settings first. To my ears the Duncan Custom is a thicker sounding pickup with far more bottom end thump. If you are muddy now the Custom may make that worse. The Custom is pretty thick tonally.

            T4D got a new gig!

            (Please send sig worthy material!)


            • #7
              Re: Pickups don't sound right

              I didn't think of messing with the EQ
              Yeah I got a line 6 spider, and I just set it to pretty much default settings on the higher gain modes because the levels are nicely balanced for my other guitars.

              Thanks Robert!

              I'm thinking of buying a new (well, second hand) amp:
              Marshall JMP-1 Valve Midi Preamp
              Marshall 100Watt valve power amp
              Delay unit (I think)
              Midi foot controller

              All for 500 - is it worth it? I'm not really into the spider any more and I've been thinking about getting a new amp for a while and this has just popped up. But then thats all my money spent :\
              Last edited by Cyrus; 10-17-2004, 09:17 AM.


              • #8
                Re: Pickups don't sound right

                Originally posted by Zerberus
                A lot of people find the JB too "loose" on the bottom end, most of those can be easily helped with a Duncan Custom.

                Id wait for the project to be done before treading on, though
                the term is not 'full' enough bottom end.. loose is quite a diferent term the JB by far aint loose. it's tight as a virgin :X

                and muddy doesnt fit with the JB at all. your issue is somewhere else and not the pup. some people said that the spider is a bit bassy, but i have no 1st hand experience.. plus if you can get those things you listed for 500$ you'd be a fool not to go for it


                • #9
                  Re: Pickups don't sound right

                  Yeah I guess the spider is pretty bassy.
                  I hardly ever play at high volumes (Not in a band) so I dont usually do much messing with EQ cos its all fine when its quiet.

                  I'll try and buy the rig... Just hope he hasn't sold it yet *fingers crossed*

                  Thanks for the help guys