Ibanez Premium RG870z Custom

06/17/2012: I installed the D Activators.
All went smooth, solder joints are perfect,
I used all the original hardware that came on the rg870z, 5-way switch, and pots,
as opposed to the rg2550 hardware that was used for the DiMarzio/IBZ setup.

Ibanez Premium RG870Z Custom with Pickguard and DiMarzio D Activator Bridge and Neck pickups

Ibanez Premium RG870Z Custom with Pickguard and DiMarzio D Activator Bridge and Neck pickups

The only issue I had, is somewhere during bolting up the bridge pup, I got it spun backwards.
trying to get the springs in, is a pain in the ass…

Rather then remove all the strings, pickguard, etc.. I’ll leave it for a while, and spin on my next string change.
which may come sooner then later,

With that noted…

At first I did’nt like the sound, I was back to that bright sound that hurts my ears…
my main reason for picking these were the high output of 470 vs the super 3 in my Talon which has 435.
After playing for about 2 days on and off, I just made a new seting in my rig, to soften the harshness of these pups..
I’m using the CAP single coil with a solid cover in the middle position same as my talon.
as it does’nt sound bad at all. I really dont use it much..

At the moment selection 2 from bridge gives me the bridge coil of bridge pup, and middle singe coil. (Due to spun pup)

here’s my thought,
these pups compared to the following that I use, Keep in mind I have my ears, my rig, and my preference..
these are pups I currently use, or have used..

Compared to the EMG 81/60, I like the 81/60 better,
the D Activators are brighter and rougher, where the 81 has a smooth growl, the DP220 has more of a choppy crunch.
due to the brightness IMO.

Compared to the Super 3, same as above.
The super 3 has a smoothness to it a bit brighter then the 81, but not as harsh as the DP220

the neck pup sounds ok, but still carries that harsh choppy crunch. not as bad as the bridge model though..

Definately sounds better then the CAP-VM set, and the DiMarzio/IBZ set..
Keep in mind the bridge D Activator may sound better after I correct the installtion and use them for a while…

However, I made a great choice in upgrades, they are much better then the CAP-VM, and Dimarzio/IBZ,
Also I’ve only played with them for about 5 hours total, so my opinion may change, and it usually does.
this is just my first impression. the power is most definately there for sure..


06/12/2012: Getting ready to add these babies, Dimarzio D Activator Set to the RG870z
Dimarzio D Activator Set DP219 Neck, and DP220 Bridge

Dimarzio D Activator Set DP219 Neck, and DP220 Bridge


Custom Premium Ibanez RG870Z-BK added DiMarzio IBZ pickups & Ibanez Voltage pickguard

Stock RG870z Premium before any modifications:

A little better view, and close up of the RG 870 body

Removed CAP-VM pickups, and de-soldered all electronics:

The stock Ibanez CAP-VM pickups:

Soldering the DiMarzio/IBZ pickups into the Voltage pickguard:

Voltage pickguard and DiMarzio/IBZ pickups taken from Ibanez Prestige RG2550z:

The RG body after routing:

Project Complete!

Close up!