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> Replace Stock Pickups Or Replace Guitar?
Vulpine
post Feb 21 2015, 08:21 AM
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Hey GMC

So recently I bought a guitar being on a budget only had like 200$ to spare

bought a Jackson JS22 Dinky!!! played it and the Stock Pickups Sound Awful makes me lose faith in the guitar itself.. but dont really wanna buy another guitar after I just bought this one. I planned on buying Dimarzio Pickups too so wondering... If I put those pickups in this current guitar would it be a waste or if that would solve my problem lol

anyway if i should wait n get another guitar my budget is 300$ am open to any suggestions



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Mertay
post Feb 21 2015, 08:52 AM
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Can you describe what it is that you don't like about the pup's?


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Vulpine
post Feb 21 2015, 07:14 PM
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the tone sounds bad , playing powerchords or even lead stuff it just sounds unpleasant
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klasaine
post Feb 21 2015, 07:19 PM
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Does the guitar play well/comfortably?
Does the guitar sound full and resonant when played acoustically?

If yes to both these questions then a new/better set of pkups will most likely help.
If you answered no to one of these, especially the second question ... get a new guitar.


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 21 2015, 07:49 PM
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Well said!! smile.gif If you like the way it plays, keep and upgrade. If not, sell.

I have yet to be impressed with any of the Js22 series so far myself. The necks are seemingly not completely done when they leave the factory. The ones I've played, had frets sticking off the side a bit that sort of dug in to my hand running scales up the neck. It's their "starter line" so it's not meant to be an heirloom.

Realize that you won't be able to get the money back out of it for the pickup upgrade if you sell it later. You may want to keep the stock pickups if you do upgrade just to put them back in before selling.

So if you found a well finished starter dinky keep it smile.gif If it's plagued by the issues most in the line are plagued with (won't intonate properly, poor fret work) just sell it and start over.

Those guitars cost about $200 brand new. That's before you have it setup/intonated and replace the pickups. By the time your done, it's nearly double that. This is why I always suggest buying used if possible. If you did buy that one new, and you decide you don't like it, is it too late to return it? The trade in value is usually a bit over half what they think they can sell it for. So trade in value is probably $100 or so. Combine that with the $300 if I heard you correctly and you can get a nice used axe smile.gif


QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 21 2015, 02:19 PM) *
Does the guitar play well/comfortably?
Does the guitar sound full and resonant when played acoustically?

If yes to both these questions then a new/better set of pkups will most likely help.
If you answered no to one of these, especially the second question ... get a new guitar.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Feb 21 2015, 08:35 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 22 2015, 04:14 PM
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Great suggestions here! I also think that unless the guitar feels good in your hands and sounds full when you play it without an amp, I wouldn't invest more money on it. If you can sell it for around 100/150 and add it to your 300, you can get a nice guitar, and as Todd suggested, the best would be to get an used one.

And remember to always try before buying your next guitar. There are some basic things that you need to check:

- Is it comfortable to play? Do you feel it yours?
- Does it have a good wood resonane?
- Does it keep in tune?

Never say, well this is ok, if I change tuners and pick ups it will work, because you can' be sure of it.


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GeneT95
post Feb 22 2015, 05:22 PM
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Or just stick it out and save for a better guitar. It may take 6 months or a year, but in the long run you'll be glad in the end by waiting until you have the funds to buy something better.

There are some good guitars in the less than $400 dollar price range, but you have to have some luck in finding them. They're not a specific model but a chance guitar in that line. The moons of Venus all have to be in line when the last fret is laid. They're great for starting out before spending more money.

I just started playing again after more than a decade and I have a number of guitars that I should have never bought. I should have waited and invested in something better early on. In my opinion, there are some great guitars out there but there is a price range when that really starts to make a difference. I think that price range is around $400-600 (at least in the US), depending on your style. Others may not agree. Guitars in this range play well, feel good, sound good, stay reasonably in tune etc, etc.

You can find a guitar in that range that you can use for a long long time and not need another if you research and test the model out. And, if you look for a used one, like posted above, you can likely find one in the upper end of the range for much cheaper. Although, you need to go over that guitar closely and look at the neck, tuners, frets wear, etc..... Buying used from a music store may cost a little more but if it is a fair music store they've already checked it out for you if you don't know what to look for in a used instrument.

Since you already have $300. I'd tell you to save a couple months, hold off the gear gremlin, research different guitars in the $400-600 range and get one that Really feels right. New pups may not make your guitar sound better or feel good.

Just my dirty nickel of advice.

This post has been edited by GeneT95: Feb 22 2015, 05:44 PM
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Vulpine
post Feb 22 2015, 07:14 PM
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yea thanks guys i will take all of this into consideration

to answer a question earlier yes it feels fine to play and the sound is full yes

so I'll do some research n see whats the best option for me right now whether to wait n save for a better guitar or install dimarzio pickups in this one
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 23 2015, 01:33 PM
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So, if both answers are yes, I would go for a good pair of pick ups! If you feel that this guitar has been done for you, keep it. You'll regret selling it in the future. I recommend you to google for the best pick ups for the type of sound that you are looking for. There are many options, and my favorites are Seymour Duncan.


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Bossie
post Feb 24 2015, 12:35 AM
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My experience in my older days was quite simple ....putting fancy upgrades in a low budget guitar was extremely disappointing ..couldn't believe why i bothered???. Even nice fat dimarzio's changed almost nothing ..then i started to understand all those stories about the importance of wood and construction etc etc ...

There was one exception i remember when i changed everything on a LP style guitar....i took everything out and replaced it with a Dimarzio pre- wired kit..so new pots,pickups, wirings,switch and jack ..etc...and that was worth the effort!

But i'd be carefull with the pick -up upgrade myth....maybe pick up height can be changed too?
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jstcrsn
post Feb 24 2015, 01:41 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 21 2015, 07:19 PM) *
Does the guitar play well/comfortably?
Does the guitar sound full and resonant when played acoustically?

If yes to both these questions then a new/better set of pkups will most likely help.
If you answered no to one of these, especially the second question ... get a new guitar.

I have a jackson dnky, above all else it has to "fit" you, if it doesn't get rid of it.Mine fit me, I put a Dimarzio super distortion in it(there are probably better dimarzio pups these days) and it became my standard tuning gigging guitar
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Blavod
post Feb 24 2015, 11:09 PM
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QUOTE (Vulpine @ Feb 22 2015, 07:14 PM) *
yea thanks guys i will take all of this into consideration

to answer a question earlier yes it feels fine to play and the sound is full yes

so I'll do some research n see whats the best option for me right now whether to wait n save for a better guitar or install dimarzio pickups in this one


Hi Vulpine! I am myself looking to do the same thing with a js32! Going for a set of seymour sh2 at the neck and tb4/jb at the bridge is a very good "allaround" solution and cheap! Thats what they put on the us model...even the custom shop one!

The js22 is a very surprising guitar: for its price it offers a lot! For no more than 150$ u can change pickups, switch, jacks and internal cabling and it will sound pretty good, no matter what people with a 2000$ jackson will tell you! And the neck is quiet good as well!

Regarding the discussion about the importance of wood, the hardware on low end guitars, etc... Thats a long topic with lotttsssss of opinions that youll find on the net. My personal experience: mixed! A cheap entry level axe connected to a SLO100 with matching 4x12, i swear youll like it! Try a lespaul custom plugged in a 15watts ibanez transistor amp and it might sounds pretty thin... Then the lespaul on the SLO is just out of this world! cool.gif

Always keep in mind that you will sound as bas as the weakest link on your signal chain, so always try to divide your budget in order to "level" every part of the chain. In this sense, i remember a topic in the web The Gear Page where a guy was explaining that, for playing hard-rock and metal, the contribution to the tone was a lot higher from the pickups and the amp that from the wood, the bridge or the cables, so he recomended to spend the $$$ accordingly! I think ill agree on this one! (now for other styles like jazz, blues, country,etc that might not be the same percentage wink.gif )

So definately go for it and save bucks for other parts of your gear too!


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Blavod
post Mar 5 2015, 10:56 PM
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So Vulpine, what did you do finally? rolleyes.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 6 2015, 12:23 AM
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Did you not find the frets poking in to your hand a bit? I had a js32 jackson Kelly and took it back to the store the next day. It was just slightly crap. The pickups were just awful and it was very lightweight and had very little resonance. Also, it just would not intonate. At all.

However, this is just one guys experience on one guitar. But it really turned me off of the super cheap jacksons.

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QUOTE (Blavod @ Feb 24 2015, 06:09 PM) *
Hi Vulpine! I am myself looking to do the same thing with a js32! Going for a set of seymour sh2 at the neck and tb4/jb at the bri.ll find on the net. My personal experience: mixed! A cheap entry level axe connected to a SLO100 with matching 4x12, i swear youll like it! Try a lespaul cust. other styles like jazz, blues, country,etc that might not be the same percentage wink.gif )

So definately go for it and save bucks for other parts of your gear too!


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Mar 6 2015, 12:26 AM


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Blavod
post Mar 6 2015, 05:38 PM
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mmm, are you sure it's a JS32? Looks like a JS30 (no sharkfin inlays, covered pickups), these were the indian's ones which had a pretty bad reputation... in fact some says that Jackson changed factory and ended up in China due to the quality issues they had in India regarding woods... who knows... Anyway they had to do something cause since 2006 their JS line was really tearing apart Jackson's image. The big change came in 2010 with the Fresh blood 2 line! Quality wise the improvement has been noted, although you can always have surprises...

The differences between the 30 and 32 that i know of: neck (32 has the compond radius, sharkinlays, graphite reinforced), body wood type (indian cedro vs basswood), pickups, hardware. New 32 also have the archtop finish and transparent quilted top which looks nice.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 7 2015, 01:42 AM
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I think you are correct! This was a JS30 and wow it was BAAAADDly done. Sounds like the js32 adds some features, but I'm still curious about the "fit and finish" of the frets? Those cheapy jacksons all seem to have frets sticking off the fretboard everytime I pick one up at Guitar Center. sad.gif


QUOTE (Blavod @ Mar 6 2015, 12:38 PM) *
mmm, are you sure it's a JS32? Looks like a JS30 (no sharkfin inlays, covered pickups), these were the indian's ones which had a pretty bad reputation... in fact some says that Jackson changed factory and ended up in China due to the quality issues they had in India regarding woods... who knows... Anyway they had to do something cause since 2006 their JS line was really tearing apart Jackson's image. The big change came in 2010 with the Fresh blood 2 line! Quality wise the improvement has been noted, although you can always have surprises...

The differences between the 30 and 32 that i know of: neck (32 has the compond radius, sharkinlays, graphite reinforced), body wood type (indian cedro vs basswood), pickups, hardware. New 32 also have the archtop finish and transparent quilted top which looks nice.



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Blavod
post Mar 7 2015, 10:19 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 7 2015, 01:42 AM) *
I think you are correct! This was a JS30 and wow it was BAAAADDly done. Sounds like the js32 adds some features, but I'm still curious about the "fit and finish" of the frets? Those cheapy jacksons all seem to have frets sticking off the fretboard everytime I pick one up at Guitar Center. sad.gif


You are absolutely right Todd, fret job is one of the main problem i see in entry-level guitars, with most of the brands i've tried... The only logical reason i can see for this is that, well, to do a proper fret job you still need some job done by hand, and that's a problem when you are on an automatic production line (it costs $$$). I think that even for automatic fret machines or the plek machine you need a proper cross check performed by hand. Now i guess higher end models are more expensive for a reason, and this type of manual attention given to the guitar will be one of the reason why (among others of course!).

I recently leveled and re-crowned the frets on my old Samick acoustic (from 91! the axe itself is not worth 20$ but it's kind of sentimental...) and it does take some time and patience... protect the neck and fretboard, mark the higher/lower frets, , level them, crown them one by one, sand them one by one with sand paper of 220/400/600/800/1000/1500&2000, polish them... Here a guitar tech might charge you half of the js32's price to perform this! On the other hand all the sweat you spent fixing your guitar creates a deeper bound between you and the axe tongue.gif


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