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Golden Goddess Guitar Leaderboard

Bridge Pickup Replacement

Nero Shredder

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
7
0
Hello guys.
I’d like to ask for your tips regarding the bridge pickup replacement. I own an old Ibanez RG350EX with Edge III tremolo and HSH pickup layout. It’s body is made of basswood. I know that I’m probably better off just investing in a better guitar but that’s not an option for me at the moment. So I’d like tu upgrade this one a little bit. I want to install a Seymour Duncan Invader instead of stock Ibanez INF-4 bridge humbucker. Now I can choose either the original Invader Humbucker, or the Syn’s signature invader trembucker, which is also cheaper at the moment. Could anyone help me with this choice? I’ve never used a trembucker before.
I’ve also measured the length between the two E strings and it is 52mm. The same length is recommended for a trembucker but I find it weird that Ibanez would ship this guitar with a humbucker instead.
 

Ed Seith

Supreme Galactic Overlord
Staff member
Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    “Trembucker” is really just a brand name. It’s a humbucker, and since it’s all magnetic, it’s not exactly precision about spacing. Yes, an F-spaced pickup will probably line up slightly better (I have 3 Ibanez, two with Edge tremolos), but it won’t make a noticeable difference in tone or volume or clarity or anything. Either pickup will do the job just fine.
    Nothing wrong with a 350EX, except the pickups. You’ll notice a difference and it will shred!
     

    Kevin Kwasneski

    Free Bird Player
    Nov 11, 2019
    90
    0
    I agree with Ed above. Edge III is somewhat like a Floyd Rose I think, and that requires F Spaced pickups in the bridge because of the wider string spacing. But on the flip side, I have the wrong spacing in one of my guitars and it doesn’t make any difference in sound. It just looks a bit ugly.
     

    Nero Shredder

    New Student
    Nov 11, 2019
    7
    0
    Thanks for the quick replies guys. You’ve clarified a lot. I went with a Syn’s signature trembucker, since it was cheaper. Can’t wait until it arrives!
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    Nero Shredder

    New Student
    Nov 11, 2019
    7
    0
    Yeah, Im going to try. I have a wiring diagram from Ibanez site and I’ve also checked the info regarding Seymour Duncan wiring. I wanna learn to do this myself properly. Are there any particular things I should keep in mind ?
     

    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Learn how to solder properly BEFORE you do the pickups. Get your soldering gun ahead of time and practice soldering two wires together. Follow instructions on that diligently, including tinning both sources, etc. There are lots of videos about it. A bad solder WILL negatively affect your tone in ways most people can hear. I learned that the hard way.
    It’s not that it’s HARD, but you have to be careful to do it RIGHT.
    Also, there is nothing you will hate more in all human life than trying to mount pickups to pickup rings with those FUCKING springs. If it helps, snip a 1/4 inch off the springs if you have to, to save your sanity.
     

    Kevin Kwasneski

    Free Bird Player
    Nov 11, 2019
    90
    0
    My best piece of advise would be, pay attention to where you set your soldering iron down. And don’t grab it from the wrong end (And yes, I am speaking from experience) lol.
     

    Nero Shredder

    New Student
    Nov 11, 2019
    7
    0
    So I’ve received my Invader today. As expected, being a noob in pickup replacement, I probably fucked up the wiring, since my tone still sounds like ass, but a less muddy one and with more sustain 😀 I’ll try to figure out what I did wrong.
     

    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
    2,553
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    I assume other guitars sound good through the same setup?
    Because pickups are a lot less responsible for large-scale tone changes than you would think. They’re a bit more subtle.
    If you’re unhappy with tone overall, start with the amp settings.
     

    Nero Shredder

    New Student
    Nov 11, 2019
    7
    0
    I’ll fiddle with the amp settings, thanks for the tip. Regarding the wiring, here’s what I did: stock Ibanez pickup (INF-4) had three wires. Black was connected to the back of the volume pod, red and white wires were connected to the 5-way pickup switch. So when replacing it with an Invader, I soldered together red and white wires and taped them off ( it said to do so in a diagram and a few videos ). Then i soldered together green and bare wires and soldered them to the back of the volume pod (where the stock black wire used to be), and then soldered the black wire of the invader to the same place, where the stock white one was. Maybe my faulty wiring is the problem?
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    Kevin Kwasneski

    Free Bird Player
    Nov 11, 2019
    90
    0
    I may be wrong, but if your 5 way selector does what I think it does, then it’s a coil split. What you did was correct for a 3 way switch.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_OuB_mNRgKuQzRTzthOlD7L1J04BiThg/view?usp=sharing
    So solder together red and white from Duncan, solder to blade switch where i have marked in red
    Solder black from Duncan to where blue is in diagram
    Solder together green/bare and ground to volume pot.
    If you havent already, as a best practice always take a pic of the original wiring before taking anything apart so you can use it as a reference.
     

    Nero Shredder

    New Student
    Nov 11, 2019
    7
    0
    Yes, that’s exactly what was wrong. All I needed to do was to solder together Invader’s red & white wires to the same place where the stock red one was (instead of taping them off like the fucking diagram suggested). Thanks for pointing that out, Kevin! And also, thanks to you too, Ed. You guys really had my back all the time and now I’m finally happy with my Ibanez again. Cheers!