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Ibanez AS103 pickup swap?

Messages
6,995
Have any of you swapped out your pups in your AS103s. If so, for what?

I like the guitar, but the pickups are just so, so for me.
 

chucke99

Member
Messages
5,121
When I got my AS103, it had GFS Retrotrons in it. I swapped them for a couple vintage Greco pickups, and then those for a pair of Ibanez Super 80 (Flying Fingers) pups, which are in it now.

In the meantime, I've bought a couple other new Ibanez guitars with stock S58 Customs in them (same as in the AS103, stock) and I absolutely love them. I'm looking to find a pair of them to put into the AS103 and bring it back to stock also. Ibanez sells them new from their Parts Catalog at about $50 each, but they're always out of stock.
 
Messages
6,995
They're okay pickups, but I'm just not completely bonding with them. I have actually been thinking about putting a couple of the Vintage Vibe CC Rider's humbucker style in there.
Am I crazy?

Has anyone else on here put them into a semi-hollow and had good luck?
 

slugworth

Member
Messages
2,608
I have an AS103 strung with 11's. Did not care for the stock pickups at all. Have tried several in there, including Lollar Imperials (standard wind), Seth Lovers, Gibson 57/57+, Dimarzio Bluesbuckers, and Dimarzio 36th/Air Classic. Probably some others I can't think of. All my guitars are pickup whores, and I'm really picky about what stays.

Ended up with the Dimarzio 36th in the bridge and Gibson 57 in the neck. This combo does absolutely everything I want it to do. The Air Classic was also excellent in the neck and maybe a bit more versatile than the 57, but it didn't capture the old school jazzy vibe I get from the 57. If I hadn't been looking for the specific tone of the 57, I would have stayed with the 36th/Air Classic set. But all the demo clips out there of 57's in 335's made me want THAT tone, at least from my neck pickup.

If I did it over again I would have tried a Lollar high wind in the bridge and low wind in the neck, but the current set does not leave me wanting in any way. However I did just get my hands on an advance demo of Kent Armstrong's new vintage '57 spec alnico 3 PAF model that I'm going to try in the neck of this guitar. I might be able to give it a whirl this weekend, even.

I mentioned that I have my AS103 strung with 11's because I did not think the pickups could get close enough to the strings on this guitar for 10's to be "picked up" enough, if that makes sense. Going up to 11's made a huge difference in tone for the better. I don't know if all AS103's are like this, whether it's due to the neck angle or the tailpiece, or if it's just my specific guitar. Mine has the fine tuner tailpiece, and later AS103's have a different one. But it plays and sounds spectacularly now. This is the guitar I just can't put down.
 
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Messages
6,995
I have an AS103 strung with 11's. Did not care for the stock pickups at all. Have tried several in there, including Lollar Imperials (standard wind), Seth Lovers, Gibson 57/57+, Dimarzio Bluesbuckers, and Dimarzio 36th/Air Classic. Probably some others I can't think of. All my guitars are pickup whores, and I'm really picky about what stays.

Ended up with the Dimarzio 36th in the bridge and Gibson 57 in the neck. This combo does absolutely everything I want it to do. The Air Classic was also excellent in the neck and maybe a bit more versatile than the 57, but it didn't capture the old school jazzy vibe I get from the 57. If I hadn't been looking for the specific tone of the 57, I would have stayed with the 36th/Air Classic set. But all the demo clips out there of 57's in 335's made me want THAT tone, at least from my neck pickup.

If I did it over again I would have tried a Lollar high wind in the bridge and low wind in the neck, but the current set does not leave me wanting in any way. However I did just get my hands on an advance demo of Kent Armstrong's new vintage '57 spec alnico 3 PAF model that I'm going to try in the neck of this guitar. I might be able to give it a whirl this weekend, even.

I mentioned that I have my AS103 strung with 11's because I did not think the pickups could get close enough to the strings on this guitar for 10's to be "picked up" enough, if that makes sense. Going up to 11's made a huge difference in tone for the better. I don't know if all AS103's are like this, whether it's due to the neck angle or the tailpiece, or if it's just my specific guitar. Mine has the fine tuner tailpiece, and later AS103's have a different one. But it plays and sounds spectacularly now. This is the guitar I just can't put down.

Lots of nice info there. Thanx!
What kind of tones were you going for? Any clips you could post?

Still doing some research. This guitar never sees high-gain. It's played usually clean or with lite gain, think Scofield. The stock pickups just don't fit me exactly. They're not bad, but the neck gets muddy and woofy quick compared to what I like, and the bridge has a bright high-end quack that I don't really care for.

And trust me, I fool with the volume and tone knobs a lot when I play.
 

rjsc5

Member
Messages
387
Try lowering the pickups, you might be surprised. Most 57's in 335's I have heard were too muddy and hot for my ideal clean, but really improved when lowered. Maybe this would help the Ibanez pu's.
 

slugworth

Member
Messages
2,608
Lots of nice info there. Thanx!
What kind of tones were you going for? Any clips you could post?

Still doing some research. This guitar never sees high-gain. It's played usually clean or with lite gain, think Scofield. The stock pickups just don't fit me exactly. They're not bad, but the neck gets muddy and woofy quick compared to what I like, and the bridge has a bright high-end quack that I don't really care for.

And trust me, I fool with the volume and tone knobs a lot when I play.
I wanted my bridge pickup to give me old school rock and twang with some nastiness, and my neck pickup to give me the jangly jazz vibe. In terms of gain, I do everything from squeaky clean to extreme. Sorry, no clips. I really should record some when I can find the time.

Your complaints about the stock pickups are similar to mine. If you're looking for a Scofield sound I would definitely recommend the Air Classic in the neck, and probably the Air Classic bridge if you don't want quite as much snarl there. Or you could try to find a set of Super 58's. That's what he uses.
 




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