What to do, what to do...? - Page 2
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Thread: What to do, what to do...?

  1. #9


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Glasgow - Scotland
    ME: Suhr M5
    MB: Squire Jazz
    Rig: Mesa Mk V + Axe FX II

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    Actually both songs I've posted in the song a week threads are those pickups.

    What sort of tone are you trying to get?

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  3. #10


    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
    ME: Jackson AT Pro
    Rig: Rivera K Tre

    iTrader: 15 (100%)

    1) You're making it harder on yourself by not buying a soldering iron, and that's limiting your options. But if you are adamant, you don't strictly need one. You can pay for pickup installs, and you can connect wires with other methods or even jury rig it with a lighter and shit like that, but buying a soldering iron is really your best bet. You can get a nice one for the cost of labor of one pickup install.
    2) That being said, plenty of pickup installs are solderless. Big fan of EMGs, I would say they are a good choice. Both their passives and their actives sound great. Actives won't need solder, although you will need to use the stock switch and will probably need to strip wires.
    3) I googled your guitar model, and it looks like the bridge is a flatmount thing, correct? On ones like that, it's going to be grounded like a bass, the ground wire is going to making contact with the bottom of the bridge. So you can take off the bridge and check that connection. If the wire is stranded, you don't actually need solder there, although it's of course a better idea to solder it, but splaying out the strands and making sure they are making contact with the bottom of the bridge should be enough. You don't strictly need solder there, the force of the bridge screwed down on it will hold it. Solder is a better idea, but it's not necessary. If you have stranded wire, just make sure a large enough section is stripped and plenty is making contact with the bottom of the bridge.
    4) On some models, depending on how the metal of the bridge is painted, the bridge being covered with paint can interfere with grounding. On trem guitars you can definitely create grounding issues by doing things like buying Floyd Upgrades noiseless springs, because those are so heavily coated they aren't conductive enough for the standard way of grounding a tremmed guitar at the claw to work.

    BKPs aren't really better than the ones you mentioned. Nice pickups, sure, but not better than EMGs or Dimarzios or SDs.

    It sounds like you already know what your best option is though. Replacing the stock pickups with actives that have a quick connect install. EMGs for sure have that. Never bought a new set of Blackouts, so I wouldn't know, but I am pretty sure they also have solderless installs. If you aren't happy with the sound of the pickups anyways, and there are issues, that's a good first step. Then take it from there.

    I wouldn't pay for a tech to install passives. That's $40+, for a little more than that you can get a nice soldering iron that will last you for fucking ever. I mean, it's your call, but it's a waste of money IMO.

    Technically, you don't *have* to solder. There are other ways of connecting wires. You can theoretically do twist off connections or crimp them, but there is definitely a reason why soldering is the standard for guitar pickup installs.

    If you fix the ground issue, all you have to do is clip the wires a bit higher up than removing them at the tabs on the pot (you could do it there, but soldering is a better idea there) and splice them.

    I mean yeah, nearly everyone (including me) will tell you soldering is a better option, but as long as you do it right and do a good job and have a sufficient gauge of wire it won't make a difference. Guitar wiring is so small that soldering is obviously the best choice, but I've used twist offs or crimp splices a couple times if an iron wasn't handy or I didn't feel like soldering and it works fine. (Edit: On something with a gauge as fine as four conductor pickup wire, I would definitely solder though. Anything that small really calls for it.)




  4. #11


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Tokyo
    ME: Ibanez RGIXL7-ABL
    MB: Ibanez SR505
    Rig: Fractal Audio AX8

    iTrader: 0

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdave View Post
    Have you tried other power outlets? It gould be a bad ground at the power source.
    I have tried 6 different outlets in 3 different buildings. And the main outlet that I use in my own apartment is with a huge heavy duty surge protector. Lots of noise when my fingers are not touching the strings (unless the noise gate is silencing that noise, but the stock noise gate settings would still let some noise through the gate). One of those buildings was in a dedicated music studio that I used to use almost every week for years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Actually both songs I've posted in the song a week threads are those pickups.

    What sort of tone are you trying to get?
    A very focused and aggressive high gain tone (I could give examples of bands, but at this point, I'm not being picky. I just want a tone that I can be at least remotely satisfied with). But no matter what amps or cabinets I use, no matter what EQs I use, I find the tone to be kind of muddy, not at all focused, and lacking any serious "oomph." The AX8/Axe-FX II sound I spent the most time on has me drastically shaping the tone through the amp, the cabinet, and the overdrive pedal and it's using one of my favorite Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier amp models, but I still find it muddy and unfocused. Even the Powerball-based model (which I typically find to be one of the clearest and most focused high gain amp models, though definitely not my favorite) sounds kind of muddy.

    If Soundcloud hadn't changed their platform to requiring you to pay money to use their service, I'd post a clip.

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  6. #12


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Tokyo
    ME: Ibanez RGIXL7-ABL
    MB: Ibanez SR505
    Rig: Fractal Audio AX8

    iTrader: 0

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    3) I googled your guitar model, and it looks like the bridge is a flatmount thing, correct? On ones like that, it's going to be grounded like a bass, the ground wire is going to making contact with the bottom of the bridge. So you can take off the bridge and check that connection. If the wire is stranded, you don't actually need solder there, although it's of course a better idea to solder it, but splaying out the strands and making sure they are making contact with the bottom of the bridge should be enough. You don't strictly need solder there, the force of the bridge screwed down on it will hold it. Solder is a better idea, but it's not necessary. If you have stranded wire, just make sure a large enough section is stripped and plenty is making contact with the bottom of the bridge.
    4) On some models, depending on how the metal of the bridge is painted, the bridge being covered with paint can interfere with grounding. On trem guitars you can definitely create grounding issues by doing things like buying Floyd Upgrades noiseless springs, because those are so heavily coated they aren't conductive enough for the standard way of grounding a tremmed guitar at the claw to work.

    BKPs aren't really better than the ones you mentioned. Nice pickups, sure, but not better than EMGs or Dimarzios or SDs.

    It sounds like you already know what your best option is though. Replacing the stock pickups with actives that have a quick connect install. EMGs for sure have that. Never bought a new set of Blackouts, so I wouldn't know, but I am pretty sure they also have solderless installs. If you aren't happy with the sound of the pickups anyways, and there are issues, that's a good first step. Then take it from there.

    I wouldn't pay for a tech to install passives. That's $40+, for a little more than that you can get a nice soldering iron that will last you for fucking ever. I mean, it's your call, but it's a waste of money IMO.

    Technically, you don't *have* to solder. There are other ways of connecting wires. You can theoretically do twist off connections or crimp them, but there is definitely a reason why soldering is the standard for guitar pickup installs.

    If you fix the ground issue, all you have to do is clip the wires a bit higher up than removing them at the tabs on the pot (you could do it there, but soldering is a better idea there) and splice them.

    I mean yeah, nearly everyone (including me) will tell you soldering is a better option, but as long as you do it right and do a good job and have a sufficient gauge of wire it won't make a difference. Guitar wiring is so small that soldering is obviously the best choice, but I've used twist offs or crimp splices a couple times if an iron wasn't handy or I didn't feel like soldering and it works fine. (Edit: On something with a gauge as fine as four conductor pickup wire, I would definitely solder though. Anything that small really calls for it.)
    Yeah, it's a flatmount. The guitars I've owned in the past that had grounding issues were all pretty old when I bought them, but I bought this one new, which makes me wonder why it has grounding issues from the very beginning.

    At the moment, I'm leaning more towards EMGs or blackouts, since my main guitars that I used to record and play live with were: 1. Blackouts, 2. PAFs, and 3. EMGs. If I go with that, though, I will have someone else install them for me, since I'd need a cavity for the 8 volt battery installed and potentially I might need the pickup area made a bit bigger.

  7. #13


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Santa Clara, CA
    ME: Rich Mahogany
    MA: Godin A6 Ultra
    MB: SR500
    Rig: Massive/Boobies

    iTrader: 16 (100%)

    If you're short on time, I'd drop it off at a tech shop, and have them order/install some Blackouts (so they won't need to route your guitar, or has EMG fixed that nonsense yet?), and then they can worry about the grounding issue as well.

  8. #14


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Tokyo
    ME: Ibanez RGIXL7-ABL
    MB: Ibanez SR505
    Rig: Fractal Audio AX8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    If you're short on time, I'd drop it off at a tech shop, and have them order/install some Blackouts (so they won't need to route your guitar, or has EMG fixed that nonsense yet?), and then they can worry about the grounding issue as well.
    I'm actually not sure if I'd need to route my guitar or not with EMGs. If EMG hasn't fixed that nonsense (I'd hope they have by now, considering it's been a complaint for how many decades now? Two? Three? Ha ha), then I'd definitely go with the Blackouts. I mean, as mentioned above, I've always preferred Blackouts to EMGs, but I like EMGs a lot too.

    I definitely am leaning most towards your approach at the moment, though they'd have to route the back of the guitar with any active pickups since they'd need to add space for the 8 volt battery. With Blackouts, I wouldn't need to route the front. And HOPEFULLY EMG has gotten their shit together by now so I wouldn't have to route the front (my RG7EXFX2 came stock with EMG707s, so it technically didn't need to be routed, but the size was non-standard from the start).

  9. #15


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Santa Clara, CA
    ME: Rich Mahogany
    MA: Godin A6 Ultra
    MB: SR500
    Rig: Massive/Boobies

    iTrader: 16 (100%)

    I actually took my last Warmoth build to a local shop to have it finished. I had all the parts, just had zero time to assemble it. And I love doing that stuff and feel a lot of personal pride in doing it all myself, but I was tired of looking at a pile of beautiful guitar parts as the wife and I were getting ready for our daughter to come along, so I swallowed that pride and dropped it off

  10. #16


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA
    ME: ESP Baby Metal
    MB: ESP Horizon 5
    Rig: KR7, 5153, MKIV, UL

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    EMG does sell normal sized 7-string picksup now fortunately. I have soap-bar 81-7 in my arrow 7 and it is pretty nice, I like the distortion 7 in my DK7 as well.

    I think I might take my quilt ninja v and falcon to the store to have them finish wiring them up I hate wiring guitars now


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