Ibanez GAX75 modding

Posted by: TCPMeta

Ibanez GAX75 modding - 02/01/08 07:20 PM

I've been playing the guitar and bass guitar for almost 10 years. I could never really afford a nice guitar so I'm stuck with a low end Ibanez GAX75 guitar. The guitar sounds great on small practice amps but it's crappy on a huge amp. The neck pickup has too much high end and the bridge pickup has a real muddy sound. If both pickups are on it sounds like trash. I finally got the nerve to open up the back and take out the pickups. Kinda funny how Ibanez has it wired up. The guitar has two humbucker pickups, for some reason it is wired up as a giant single pickup on each humbucker. This is known as a fake humbucker. Most humbuckers use 4 wires (two for each coil) and the cheapy ones use 2 wires (2 to a coil). You can modify the pickup to a 4 wire very easily as long as you know basic electronics. You take apart the pickup and there should be four wires. Two to run to the main circuit and two that connects both coils (loop) together. All you need is telephone cable (cat5 works also) and you disconnect the loop to the coils and sodier the new wire onto the two wires. Thing is with my current circuit I have to rewire the whole guitar for this to work correctly.

Heres a example.

Before{/b]


[b]After

http://www.1728.com/humbuck5.gif[/img]

The rest of the circuit is very simple. I already have the hardware, just run more telephone cable around and I got a Les Paul in a Ibanez body. Might sound different of course but if I ever upgrade my pickups I can do it as a plug and play. With doing this mod with the current hardware and pickups I have ended up with that crappy high end sound still but received a mid end that sounds perfect for my style. Basically I lost that muddy low end and with the high and mid I have a crisp clear sound running though my carvin 1000watt power head.
Posted by: BigO

Re: Ibanez GAX75 modding - 02/02/08 11:04 AM

Sweet man! I've wanted to do this to my guitar for a while. I've got an Epiphone Les Paul copy, and the body is fine, but the electronics are all crap. It's got a short in it somewhere too so it always crackles if the cable wiggles at all. I want to gut the thing and just buy better parts.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: Ibanez GAX75 modding - 02/02/08 04:34 PM

And lo, guitarmod.com was born......

Don't forget to add some CCFLs. And an Apple sticker.
Posted by: modyourmac

Re: Ibanez GAX75 modding - 02/04/08 09:56 AM

If you're looking for good upgrade and replacement hardware, Stewart-MacDonald is the place to go. http://www.stewmac.com. They're a luthier's supplier and carry all the wiring, pickups, potentiometers, switches, et al, that you could ever need. All of my guitars have been rebuilt with their products. For about $50, you can make a $100 guitar sound like a thousand dollar guitar.

Also, if you check out Seymour Duncan's website, they have tons of very decent wiring diagrams, which can be a help when wiring everything together.

BigO, your epiphone, if it has the stock hardware, has about the cheapest components known to man. When I bought my epiphone les paul custom, the first thing I did was rip out all the hardware and replace it with SwitchCraft hardware. Its not hard, and your guitar will sound tons better.
Posted by: BigO

Re: Ibanez GAX75 modding - 02/04/08 10:07 AM

Originally Posted By: "modyourmac"

BigO, your epiphone, if it has the stock hardware, has about the cheapest components known to man. When I bought my epiphone les paul custom, the first thing I did was rip out all the hardware and replace it with SwitchCraft hardware. Its not hard, and your guitar will sound tons better.


Yes, it's all stock, and you are completely right about the crappy quality. I love the body and the neck, the action is fine, and the intonation isn't perfect but it's really not that bad. My only real complaint is the electronics so I'll get around to gutting it eventually.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Ibanez GAX75 modding - 02/05/08 05:52 PM

I found the perfect circuit and have built it. Only cost me 30 bucks from the guitar store. I'm using the stock pickups and the pots. I bought a .047mfd capacitor, 2 SPDT and 2 DPDT switches.



I used extra Ethernet cable (CAT5e) and used it for the wiring.



I made a video to show off the tones it can make. I only had the bridge pickup wired up when I made it.


A few people have told me it sounds like a les paul. With the other switches including the phase switch it sounds even better then a les paul.

So in all I reused my pickups and 500k pots. If you like the sound then use the 500k pots and the .047mfd cap or if you don't like the sound try it out with the .02mfd cap or 250k pots.
Posted by: modyourmac

Re: Ibanez GAX75 modding - 02/05/08 09:53 PM

If you start mixing pots with pickups, you can do some interesting stuff. the 250K pots are typically used with single coils, and give it that brighter tone, whereas humbuckers are typically wired to 500K pots, making it a little beefier. If you want complete sonic destruction, you can get 1M ohm pots which dont dump any of the signal to ground. I have my SG wired up with Seymour Duncan distortion pickups, and 1M ohm pots. Its basically a wall of loud. For my buddy who's also the primary guitarist, he has a Washburn that I wired up with duncan distortions, and 250K ohm pots. Its warm and crunchy. When he winds it out, it tears through walls.

As far as the video goes, good stuff!

(yes, thank you for posting to Mac(Guitar)Mod.com!
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Ibanez GAX75 modding - 02/06/08 02:46 PM

Thanks, I'm currently building a tube amp now to go with my monster of a guitar.

I thought this section was meant for any kind of mods lol.