Ibanez RG550RFR – new pickup install

DiMarzio Tone Zone and PAF Pro, classic combo

I’ve mostly been an EMG pickup user over the last 5-6 years. I decided that when I got my Ibanez 20th Ann RG550RFR that  I wanted to load up some passive DiMarzios for something different.

I started off with a DiMarzio PAF Pro in the bridge position, and whilst I liked the tone, it just didn’t hit my amp hard enough to get the crunch I wanted. I tried some magnet swaps to get a little more out of it, but it just never made the mark. That was OK though, as I could try it in the neck position.

I had been reading of a number of people playing Tone Zones in their basswood-bodied Ibanez RGs and thought I should give it a go. I tracked a second hand one down and it arrived this week.

Upon installation it just blew me away with the power it had. I loved the mid-range and highs that the pickup had, and it hit my amp just the way I wanted it to. The only issue I’m having currently is trying to tame the infamous monstrous low-end that the pickup has.

It does sound amazing when playing on the A string and higher, but notes on the low E are just a little too fat for my liking.

I will be playing with it a bit more over the next week or so, trying parallel wiring, maybe changing the magnet, or performing the half-air mod. I’ll be reviewing the Tone Zone here soon, and I will also update my PAF Pro review based on it’s use in the neck position.

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