Get Ibanez Andy Timmons or modifying my MIA strat?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by thiago_m, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. thiago_m

    thiago_m Member

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    Hello everyone!

    This is my first time posting on a guitar forum after been using them for advice for ages!

    I would like your opinion on a buying a new guitar vs modifying my existing guitar.

    I have always been after Andy Timmons tone! (like many of you). I have a BB Preamp, a fairly versatile Mesa Boogie amp (Mark V 25), bunch of delay pedals, etc.

    My next step would be to buy his signature model guitar! However I already have 3 strats (AVRI, John Mayer Signature and Am Stand Maple Fret.) and getting a new guitar would mean selling one of my guitars!

    So my idea was to just buy his pickups and put them on my Am Standard strat! How close do you guys think I would get to his tone? How good do those Dimarzio Cruisers and At-1 sound on a fender strat?

    Since my strats buzz like hell in my apartment ( single coil buzz is crazy where I live and my gear works fine in other places), I thought that these pickups would also get rid of the hum on one of my guitars! This would be cool because some moments playing single coil pickups at home is just too noisy.


    In summary, selling my strat and getting his signature model (Prestige or Premium Used) vs just buying new pickups? What do you think? Will I get closer to his tone? Or might these pickups sound strange in my strat?
     
  2. Kelly

    Kelly Member

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    Id get the pickups. I have the at-1 in my prs and like it.
     
  3. Mangy71

    Mangy71 Member

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    The Timmons guitar is constructed very much like a Strat. It has bigger frets and a narrower neck, but the tone of his guitar would be very close to your Fender. If you like the way your Strat plays and feels, then I would install the pickups.
     
  4. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    I had an AT-1 in my strat, was my favorite high output pickup ... although, I have since standardized on all PAF types.

    It's close to a JB in the voicing, and a ton of strat guys have JBs. The vibe is different than the JB, though, the JB has a sound all of its own and the AT-1 has kind of a PAF vibe ... on steroids.

    It's a cheap pickup and swapping is easy. It's a no-brainer.

    Some speed players do like a flatter radius for lower action, not sure what the differences are, but if you like the feel, that's the most important thing.

    I never tried the cruisers.
     
  5. mdrake34

    mdrake34 Member

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    Remember, Timmons has the bridge model cruiser in the middle and neck because they're a little brighter.
     
  6. Drak

    Drak Supporting Member

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    The specs between neck and bridge are almost identical.
    The bridge has .5 more bass, otherwise spec-wise the same.
    This is the only additional blurb DiMarzio adds to the bridge description, otherwise they're identical type.
    "There's also a midrange scoop that's unique to the Cruiser Bridge.
    This is really effective for getting big-sounding chords, because high and low strings sound more spread out from each other."
    I just snagged a used Cruiser bridge myself off of ebay last week for basically the same purpose.
    Already have a regular cruiser to go with it.
    http://www.dimarzio.com/pickups/strat/hum-canceling-strat

    To the OP, I would try the pickup set first and see how that goes, seems to be a much easier way to go.
     
  7. thiago_m

    thiago_m Member

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    Thank you everyone for your replies!

    I agree that changing the pickups is probably the best way to go! I was wondering that the neck on the Andy Timmons model was going to be completely different and maybe affect playability/tone for Andy Timmons style. Put i'll put the neck pickup in and the day I get a chance to play on a Andy Timmons signature model I 'll decide (and be able to compare with my modified start)!

    The only reason I posted this here is that getting my hands on a AT100CL is just impossible. I never see it in a store or anywhere I go, so I can't really know if the playability is worth it. I'll just get my pickups changed for now!

    I should also do exactly the same wiring that he does in his guitar, right? That should be different than the Am Standard wiring... Plus I plan to keep the middle position pickup stock, although that might look super ugly :D

    Thank you all so much for your help!!
     
  8. thiago_m

    thiago_m Member

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    Thanks for letting me know!! I would never have guesses that!! So I'll get the bridge pickup!
     
  9. thiago_m

    thiago_m Member

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    I have a John Mayer start with the Big Dippers sound, will the scoop mids of the cruiser sound similar in some way?
     
  10. mdrake34

    mdrake34 Member

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    For the full Andy setup, you'll need two Cruiser bridge pickups, one for the neck spot and one for the middle, and his signature humbucker for the bridge. You'll also want 500K volume and tone pots, that will be a key to getting those pickups to sound correct.
     
  11. UncleLarry

    UncleLarry Member

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    Cruisers are great pickups and very underrated. I have two bridge models in my HSS Parker NiteFly and they sound great. It's a fat, warm, almost Hi-Fi single coil sound that works really well with distortion. And since they are actually humbuckers, make sure that you change your pots to 500k or the pups may sound too dark.
     
  12. SRVYJM

    SRVYJM Member

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    I have the AT100-CL Signature with the correct wiring (which means it has a treble bleed circuit installed that did NOT come from the factory at Ibanez- installed with correct values according to Andy's Tech who I heard from directly). Believe me, if you don't install the treble bleed circuit in either your Strat or a Ibanez AT100 you won't really get his tone. I did the "Andy Timmons Strat" thing as well before I finally broke down and just bought a real AT100, I even did an Ibanez RG (nearly identical body but in basswood instead of alder) with a maple neck with the installed pickups. Both came pretty close, but now that I own the AT100, neither really sound quite right to me. They're good, but there really is something great sounding about the AT100. I have over 18 guitars, all pretty high quality, and the AT100 is in my top 5, maybe top 3. It's strange because there really isn't anything very "special" about it, but who knows!?!?

    if you're chasing Andy's tone, I'd also recommend making sure you get a really good analog delay with the ability to create tape warble/chorus- like the Strymon Timeline (which is what Andy currently uses) and PUT IT IN THE EFFECTS LOOP! That's where a lot of Andy's tone comes from. I found the new Wampler Tape Echo is really good too. His amazing "halo" around the notes is from the chorusing in the echo. I own pretty much all the gear necessary to duplicate his tone, a Mesa Lone Star, BB Preamp, AT100, Tube Driver, Strymon and even a Deluxe Memory Man, but at the end of the day if you want to sound like Andy, learn his songs note for note. I have to say, after hearing "Day In The Life" off the new album, his tone still is the benchmark. Just glorious.
     
  13. Surfreak

    Surfreak Member

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    I think it's the other way around. Bridge pickups tend to sound darker, to compensate the fact that the acoustic tone at the bridge is brighter, and viceversa.

    A neck pickup in the bridge position sounds very bright, in an ice-pick kind of way.
     
  14. customguitars87

    customguitars87 Member

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    The magic of the AT model is the neck. I have an AT and it's an absolutely amazing guitar. It gets wayyyy more play time than my strat. Not a bad looker either...

    [​IMG]
     
  15. jordans0nly

    jordans0nly Member

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    I've heard of Andy for years. Never heard him play. Until today. Wow. Amazing. Plus, I like strats, but the singles never had enough beef to them for me. For the AT10P, is it "too much money" for a Super Strat? But sounds great.
     
  16. thiago_m

    thiago_m Member

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    I just pulled the trigger on a At-100CL ! Bought it from Rich at ibanez rules!
     
  17. thiago_m

    thiago_m Member

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    Thanks for your comments! I bought the guitar and now I am waiting for Rich (at ibanez rules) to set it up and ship it to me!

    I have the BB preamp. I had the lonestar special and sold it for the Mesa Mark V 25, because the special wasn't quite there and the LoneStar Classic is just too big for my home.

    I am thinking about getting the Strymon Timeline. I played one at the Chicago Music Exchange and with the dual delay mode got instantly Timmons'vibe!

    Learning his song is the tough part. I know bits of various songs, but playing one entirely is just very very hard!!!

    What value of the cap did his tech say? Was it a 331pF?
     
  18. thiago_m

    thiago_m Member

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    Just beautiful!
     
  19. Surfreak

    Surfreak Member

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    actually they are not, they are a little darker than a neck pickup. A neck pickup tends to be voiced brighter, to compensate for the naturally darker string tone at the neck.
     

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