Jackson DK2M vs. Ibanez RG1570 vs. Ibanez RG2550E (Part III)

Ibanez RG2550E Galaxy Black:
Ibanez RG2550E Galaxy BlackSince I have already talked a bit about the RG2550E-GK here, I’m going to make this a quick subjective review about why this guitar was worth every £ I spent on it.

What I liked (besides the great build quality):
– Perfect fretwork: Supposedly same frets as the RG1570 but for some reason this guitar had better fretwork
– Acoustically sounded better than the RG1570 which has the same basswood body
– Pickguard mounted pickups: I was concerned how this would affect tone, but it has worked out better than the rear-routed pickups of the RG1570. In fact, the DiMarzio Evo pair will not fit an RG1570 without modding the body because of the increased pickup height
– Stock DiMarzio/ibz pickups sounded good, not as hot as I’d like them, but they’re way better than the V7-S1-V8 pickups on the RG1570
– Cosmetic: Ghost sharkin inlays, Cosmo hardware, Bound rosewood fingerboard Continue reading

Jackson DK2M vs. Ibanez RG1570 vs. Ibanez RG2550E (Part II)

Ibanez RG1570 Mirage Blue:
Ibanez RG1570 Mirage BlueMirage Blue is truly an eye-catching finish and just like other Prestige guitars it is well built but slightly over-priced in the UK :) The Prestige 5-piece Wizard maple/walnut neck was a welcome change from Jackson and Fender necks. The RG1570 is clearly built for shredding but too bad the biggest letdown with this guitar was the terrible fret buzz of the wound strings in the lower frets (including open string buzz). The action was set quite low by the store, which accounted for some of the buzz, so I added some neck relief to reduce the fretted buzz and shimmed the nut to resolve open string buzz. Continue reading

Jackson DK2M vs. Ibanez RG1570 vs. Ibanez RG2550E (Part I)

Jackson DK2M Snow White
Ibanez RG1570 Mirage Blue Ibanez RG2550E Galaxy Black
Among all the guitars I received in the last two months, these were my top three. The one thing they had in common was the exceptional build quality and a very good finish. It was tough choosing one but I eventually had to so I could get on with my recording projects.

At first I was really tempted to buy a used JS1000 or EBMM JP6, not because they’re my favorite guitarists’ signature models but because both guitars are well crafted, play like a dream and are bloody brilliant in general. However, I didn’t think it was a good idea because I knew I’d be experimenting a lot to get the sound I want out of it. Continue reading

Upgrade time… DiMarzio Evolution and Evo 2

DiMarzio Evolution & Evo 2 I bought these DiMarzios a while ago waiting to install them in the right guitar, and when I started to like the RG2550E I had to pop the Evo/Evo2 in right away.

The Evolution neck has been nothing short of impressive with it’s aggressive yet smooth/balanced tone, and maintains great presence even at high volumes. It also produces cool harmonics, which is unusual for a neck pickup. I doubt I’ll ever change this pickup but I’d love to try an Air Norton someday.

The Evo2 bridge does have serious scream and it’s great for instrumental rock, but sounds a bit too thin compared to the high output Evo neck. I have a Tone Zone coming in next week, so I’ll see how well that pairs with the Evolution.

I was surprised that the stock IBZ mid pickup produced nice strat-like tone, but it will be replaced with a Blue Velvet as soon as that arrives from the US. Not sure whether I’ll retain the H-S-H configuration though, since I like to keep it simple with dual humbuckers coil-tapped with a 3-way switch.

Under the hood:
Stock pickups before surgery Wiring after pickguard removal Evo & Evo2 installed

Ibanez RG2550E – an end to guitar woes

I spent the last couple of months looking for my next guitar, primarily for rock but capable of handling some blues and metal too. After going through a string of Jacksons and Ibanez guitars, an RG2550E-GK arrived 2 days ago. It wasn’t perfect (hey, no guitar is!), and the factory setup was a bit sloppy, but I started to like her within a few minutes of playing.

Continue reading

Update on website relaunch…

I’ve canned the old guitar site that I started back in ’99 because it is too much work to clean up, and a large percentage of the information I shared then may not be interesting or relevant anymore.  Technology has evolved so much in the last couple of years, especially for music production, where the line between home studio and a professional recording den is starting to blur.

The quality and cost of instruments, effects units and other hardware have moved firmly in favor of musicians. Besides, computing has also advanced dramatically.  Anyway, I’ve decided to resurrect the site and keep it updated with good information to serve as a handbook or FAQ for any musician. While many topics will revolve around guitar I will try to cover home recording and production in general.