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Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

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  • Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

    Hey all.. I have been doing some track, DI tracks for some projects to go back and reamp. I borrowed an Ibanez SZ520qm (the blue one) from a friend. I bought the guitar in '03-'04 when they first came out, then sold it (now regretting it) to a friend back in 2010. Of all the track I've been doing, the one with this guitar are about the only ones that do not need "pre-eq" before reamping, and honestly I dig the tone of the guitar. I know that after a couple of years the guitars came with a Duncan Designed that was akin to a Distortion, and the prestige series had real Duncan specially for these. I am curious if anyone knows what would be the closest equivalent in the Duncan line to the stock bridge pickup in the originals (not the DD ones).

    I have 3 Ibanez SCA 220's that play very well that currently have Dimarzio Tone Zones in them and are very muddy. The SCA's have the thinner saber style bodies made out of solid mahogany with maple necks and rosewood fingerboards, no trem. I know due to body thickness, the SZ has mahogany and maple bodies, different neck joints etc so they wont sound the same, but if I can find what SD is most like the stock pup on the SZ and replace the TZ's it will get me closer, and then the added benefit of clarity that SD's will bring over the stock or Dimarzio pups.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  • #2
    Re: Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

    Ibanez branded pickups (except for budget models) are made by DiMarzio. Not exactly any particular DiMarzio model, but thatís who makes them.


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    • #3
      Re: Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

      Usually that is the case but in this instance it was an Ibanez/Duncan Partnership. The pic below is an example of this partnership but I am looking to see if anyone knows what stock SD would be closest to the pickup before this.

      Click image for larger version

Name:	Duncan IBZ.JPG
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      Last edited by stm113; 05-31-2020, 04:43 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

        I have to admit, I didn't read all that.

        According to the Ibanez Wikie, one of the pickups used on that model was a Duncan/Ibanez with around 17K resistance and ceramic magnet. Before that was an Ibanez pickup called the SZ2. A similar model (different cosmetics)used an Ibanez pickup called the Ibanez ND1-B (H), but they don't list spec's for it.
        2003–2004: SZ2 (H)
        2005–2007: Duncan/Ibanez (H)



        Here's a link to the first:https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/Seymo...uncan.2FIbanez


        Larry

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        • #5
          Re: Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

          Originally posted by larryguitar View Post
          I have to admit, I didn't read all that.

          According to the Ibanez Wikie, one of the pickups used on that model was a Duncan/Ibanez with around 17K resistance and ceramic magnet. Before that was an Ibanez pickup called the SZ2. A similar model (different cosmetics)used an Ibanez pickup called the Ibanez ND1-B (H), but they don't list spec's for it.
          2003Ė2004: SZ2 (H)
          2005Ė2007: Duncan/Ibanez (H)



          Here's a link to the first:https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/Seymo...uncan.2FIbanez


          Larry
          Thank you for sharing the information, I've actually researched and read this before I posted. I asked the question in here though because it never ceases to amaze me the depth of knowledge in this forum. I am hoping someone knows.

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          • #6
            Re: Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

            Originally posted by stm113 View Post
            Usually that is the case but in this instance it was an Ibanez/Duncan Partnership. The pic below is an example of this partnership but I am looking to see if anyone knows what stock SD would be closest to the pickup before this.

            [ATTACH=CONFIG]105136[/ATTACH]
            Right, but I said Ibanez branded. If it says Ibanez or doesnít say anything, itís made by DiMarzio. Same with Ernie Ball.

            I based that on having worked at DiMarzio and working on hundreds of pickups for both of those companies.

            The pickups didnít even use the same color wires as DiMarzio.


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            • #7
              Re: Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

              Originally posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
              Right, but I said Ibanez branded. If it says Ibanez or doesn’t say anything, it’s made by DiMarzio.
              Not true at all. Only the old "IBZUSA", "IBZ" F-series pickups and newer "DiMarzio/IBZ" pickups were made by DiMarzio and it's easy to tell. The larger majority of Ibanez pickups have been made by Maxon, Gotoh, Artec, and, more recently, by other south Asian manufacturers.

              I am not sure what pickup is comparable to the ND-1 pickups that came in the first year SZ520, but the later Duncan Designed (i.e. "Duncan/Ibanez") were generally seen as an improvement by most who have played both.

              The "Seymour Duncan/IBZ" shown above was part of a tweaked Distortion and '59 set that Duncan made for Ibanez as OEM. They are USA-made, different than the Asian-made "Duncan/Ibanez" pickups that look similar, and were only found in SZ2XXX and SZ4XXX Prestige series guitars.

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              • #8
                Re: Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

                Some good information. Thank you all for sharing.

                Does anyone have a suggestion for a pickup for the 3 Ibanez SCA guitars I have? Priomarily bridge.They are saber style mahogany bodies, wrap around bridge, bolt on maple neck/rosewood finger board, 25.1" scale. I have Tone Zones in 2 of them and and they are mushy and mud. I think that first just switching from Dimarzio to SD I should see a big improvement in clarity but tone wise... My 2 primary 220's I have tuned in Drop B and Drop C#, with those guitars I play kinda Modern Heavy Rock/Metal, and some good old rock n roll. I want to be able to wire the guitars to coil tap as well. When I say modern there are 2 "modern" tone attributes I do not want 1-buzzy bottom end and 2-that klangy Djent sound thats become popular.

                I very much appreciate any recommendations.

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                • #9
                  Re: Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

                  Well, as I mentioned above, the Distortion and '59 were top choices by Ibanez for similar guitars and offer a lot of versatility. Based on what you described, that would be my suggestion. Tight, clear, and covers a lot of ground. If you want a tighter neck, try the Jazz or even the matching SH-6n Distortion "neck" model

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                  • #10
                    Re: Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

                    Originally posted by stm113 View Post
                    Some good information. Thank you all for sharing.

                    Does anyone have a suggestion for a pickup for the 3 Ibanez SCA guitars I have? Priomarily bridge.They are saber style mahogany bodies, wrap around bridge, bolt on maple neck/rosewood finger board, 25.1" scale. I have Tone Zones in 2 of them and and they are mushy and mud. I think that first just switching from Dimarzio to SD I should see a big improvement in clarity but tone wise... My 2 primary 220's I have tuned in Drop B and Drop C#, with those guitars I play kinda Modern Heavy Rock/Metal, and some good old rock n roll. I want to be able to wire the guitars to coil tap as well. When I say modern there are 2 "modern" tone attributes I do not want 1-buzzy bottom end and 2-that klangy Djent sound thats become popular.

                    I very much appreciate any recommendations.
                    I had an SCA420, but don't play heavy music. I ended up with a DMZ PAF Pro in the bridge, since I found most of my favorite pickups sounded thin (or lacked body or depth, however you'd say it) in that guitar. I always assumed it was because there was so little mass in the body, but have no proof of that at all.

                    Larry

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                    • #11
                      Re: Which Duncan is closest to stock Ibanez SZ520? Not the Duncan Designed.

                      That's just a Distortion with hex screws instead of slugs. I've got the set in my Ibanez RG570. I bought them used. The bridge pickup sounds like a Distortion to me. It even reads TB-6 on the label at the bottom.

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