Help me get some METAL! Pickup suggestions for an Ibanz RG550

leftyaxeslinger

Silver Supporting Member
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1,221
I've got this old Ibanez RG 550 I'm going to resurrect for a project. I know mostly these come with a maple neck, but the one on mine is rosewood. Basswood body I'm guesing too, locking nut, trem, etc.

I'd need to put heavier strings on it and and tune it in D or drop C or something.

It's a HSH guitar. Do I even bother with the single coil when this is going to be a metal machine?

What are some inexpensive passive pickup/wiring choices for something like this?
 

Atomic Punk

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1,740
I put a Duncan JB into my RG550 and stopped there. It needed nothing else.
The most versatile guitar I own. The JB does straight up rock in roll to speed metal and everything in between.
 

ungarn

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3,251
Buy one Dimarzio D-Sonic...and leave it at that...

Either that or a set of those Seymour Duncan Metal Live Wires...
 

leftyaxeslinger

Silver Supporting Member
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1,221
Thanks for the suggestions!

So what about wiring? Do I leave the middle single coil pu out? The original sounds pretty good but I've had problems with not mixing too well with anything but the original pickups.
 

jcoggins7

Member
Messages
1,197
Get something by Dimarzio. A D-Sonic (bar towards neck) in the bridge position and an Air Norton in the neck and don't wire the middle pickup in at all (but leave it there for looks). That would be sweet.
 

leftyaxeslinger

Silver Supporting Member
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1,221
Cool suggestions. That drop sonic looks cool, it's 4 conductor too so I can experiment with the middle pickup.

What about strings? Do I go with something like the Zakk Wylde set that has thick strings for riffing (.60!) and then .10, .13, .17 for easier soloing? Are there certain strings better for lower tuning?

For all you Floyd Rose users ou there - how do you maintain it? I've had this thing since '89 and the locking nut screws and some of the smaller parts and screws of the bridge are mucky and rusty. What's the best way to clean and maintain this type of trem system?
 

Mudder

Member
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3,824
For pickups I've used the d-sonic and jb, I like the d-sonic better in that its not as abrasive on the high end.

I'd also take a look at Bill Lawrence L500xl, Duncan Custom Custom, or perhaps Bareknuckle Nailbomb.

I've been using Rotosound strings lately and they're pretty dang good. I like the light top, heavy bottom set, .010-.052.
 

Mudder

Member
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3,824
For metal the L500xl bridge and L500c neck would be the way I go. The xl has enough punch to knock out the front row while the c retains a lot of string to string clarity even with high gain. A great combo.

Be sure to order directly from Bill and Becky or you might get a copy pickup. billlawrence.com.
 

rooster

Member
Messages
2,119
Bill Lawrence just re-issued the original L-90. That one is very similar to the L-500 series, but a tighter bottom end, less sweetness than the L-500's (which I consider indespensable in my setup; I use the L-500C and L-500L). They might be perfect for you. Otherwise, I'd recommend the L-500L with a boost pedal (tube screamer works very well) into the front of a good, crunchy tube amp.

rooster.
 

ChrisB

Member
Messages
621
What about strings? Do I go with something like the Zakk Wylde set that has thick strings for riffing (.60!) and then .10, .13, .17 for easier soloing? Are there certain strings better for lower tuning?
Would those string guages put uneven tensions on the neck? If so, I would be worried of it twisting as the Wizard neck is so thin.
 

Gordon

Silver Supporting Member
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842
Just some food for thought guys.

The JB is a pretty hot pup with a lot of mids. When I've used them, they get excessively fat and mushy under some gain.

When i think metal, I think fast, crunchy, crisp, aggressive and tight rhythm and lead sounds.

My way of getting that would be a lower output pup and a hot front-end on the amp. That will keep you from getting too loose and indistinct.
 

leftyaxeslinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,221
Would those string guages put uneven tensions on the neck? If so, I would be worried of it twisting as the Wizard neck is so thin.
I was thinking that too. Maybe the GHS TNT set (.10-.52 I think?) might be a bit less stress on the neck.

I checked out the bridge last night. Not as bad as I thought. The main problem is the little metal blocks that hold the string onto the bridge get stuck and I have to sort of pry them around with a little screw driver.

I decided I'm going to use the middle pickup. It's just so cool sounding. So in deciding on pickups I need something that's going to sound decent mixed with that middle pu.
 

rooster

Member
Messages
2,119
I think I might go with some Bill Lawrences. L500R neck, L500L bridge.

Anyone have any experience with these?
You can't go wrong, other than I like the C in the neck for the Fender-y cleans. Works great for the clean, introspective, melodic metal stuff.

rooster.
 

Sir M

Member
Messages
333
I've got this old Ibanez RG 550 I'm going to resurrect for a project. I know mostly these come with a maple neck, but the one on mine is rosewood. Basswood body I'm guesing too, locking nut, trem, etc.

I'd need to put heavier strings on it and and tune it in D or drop C or something.

It's a HSH guitar. Do I even bother with the single coil when this is going to be a metal machine?

What are some inexpensive passive pickup/wiring choices for something like this?
Lundgren... 'nuff said.
 




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