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  1. #1

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    Hi

    I bought an ibanez pm35 nt and it comes with two bridges: one wooden and one with metalic sadles.
    Right now the metalic one in on it. Would it make a big difference if i replaced it with the wooden one?

    Something else: the PU is quiet hot. How close to the strings should it be? The previous owner had a pretty high action. I lowered that, but now my strings are closer to the strings obviously.
    Last edited by Marcel_A; 08-12-2021 at 02:05 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Hi Marcel happy new guitar day! Simple comparison…
    Metal bridge: accentuates the highs, an overall ‘thinner’ sound.
    Wood bridge: the more traditional jazz ‘thunk’ sound, overall fuller.
    its true a metal bridge makes accurate intonation possible, the wood bridges are always a tad out. But let’s be real wood bridges were standard for Wes, Kessel, Tal, others.
    vanilla or chocolate? It’s your own choice)))
    Yes an Ibanez pup can be a bit sharp. Regardless on my Ibanez or Gibsons I always crank the pickup down as low as it will go, then bring up only if necessary. Again, that lower pup position really helps the old jazz think sound.
    experiment and enjoy!
    jk

  4. #3

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    I agree with jazzcritter on every point. I wish to emphasize the lower pick up part. I find that in general, I get a more interesting tone with the pups lowered to more or less even with their mounting rings, or higher if the neck angle demands it. The output is lower, but that's why amps have knobs. But starting flush with the mounting rings will put you in the ballpark sooner that random twiddling. Good luck and congratulations on your new guitar!

  5. #4

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    I agree with the above. Crank that pickup down until it is flush with the pick up ring, then bring it up until you like the sound. I would tend to do that with the tone and volume knobs up to 10 and the amp as neutral as you can make it.

  6. #5

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    The bridge saddle and the pickup heght are both completely reversible. Experiment and see what you prefer. To me, really hot pickups in an archtop sound best with the volume rolled back to somewhere in the general area of 50%, give or take. So experiment with the volume up and down. It's quick, easy, and harmless. You can do the same with the tone, but I find that I almost always prefer that full up. YMMV.

  7. #6

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    Oke, so i will experiment a bit with the pu hight today.

    turning the scews counterclockwise will lower the pup i guess?

  8. #7

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    Ok, i fixed it. Now i can compare it to my ak95, which is warmer and more balanced.The PM is brighter and more mid-heavy. Not sure what i like better. The PM feels more responsive.

  9. #8

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    Another question. My pm35 sounds bright, midheavy and clear. maybe a bit 'rough'? Something like the first clip:



    In the second clip, someone managed to make that round.



    My guess is that the second one is not just an amp. But what are the differences? A compressor?

  10. #9

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    Try and find the sweet spot on your Pickup. Too low generates a dull and liveless tone, set too high it’ll turns out too harsh and with less transparency.
    Once you‘ve got it you can subtle finetune each string volume with the polepiece screws.

  11. #10

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    Setting the pick ups height is very subjective.In the case of arch-top guitars, this affects not only the sound, but also the style of play or the style of music.The lower the pick up the sound will be more "woody".The height setting of the pickups must be checked when playing live.Often, after a concert, I did a pick-up correction....also tune-o matic/metal/ in the bridge has better sustain than all wooden bridge.
    ...but...sometimes I like to play wooden bridge and sometimes I don't ...The key is to experiment with the bridges and heights of the pickups.The height of the bridge is another additional "problem"- it also influences the sound.
    Best
    Kris

  12. #11

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    Where else can you turn for thunk? You may know all this Marcel, but if not here goes. Hope it helps!

    Pick? Assuming you use a pick, it needs to be heavy. I use a plain Fender heavy, but there are all sorts of options out there. Key is it has to be heavy.

    Strings. Type, brand, size and age. Flat wounds give you “the sound”, warm round and thunky. round wounds go to an acoustic sound, bright and lively. Finger style fans tend to round, But the classic players were all on flats. (Except Joe Pass)))
    Brand of flats can make quite a difference. When I got my PM200 i went through about six months of comparisons. To my ears and playing style, some of the European strings were quite mellow (pyramid, galli) also LaBella which may be the thunkiest out there. TI to me are the best balanced, mellow yet strong and clear. Ive been using them a long time. YMMV.
    The gauge or size of the string makes a huge difference in bright to mellow. Simple: heavy string heavy sound). Tal, Wes, Barney Kessel, others used 14 sets. I knew Tal, he replaced the 14/18 top strings with 15/20! Even a 12 set will sound thin compared to 14s.
    Age. All brands when new are brighter than when worn in. To me DAddarios take forever to mellow out. TI seems to mellow quickly.

    Pickup/electronics

    The PM35 is all maple, it’s inherently on the bright side. My PM is also all maple and yes it can sound like the first example.
    The 35 is a Chinese build. Ibanez is famous for not letting on where the “custom” pups come from or what they are. So your ‘Super 58 Custom’ is probably also Chinese built. The Chinese period builds are somewhat inconsistent. I have two: one beautiful the other just average. Ive replaced the pickups on both and they came alive. You may want to consider (if strings, amp, etc dont get what you want) changing the pickup. (And that, my friend, is a very deep rabbit hole indeed!!!)
    watch the output jack, they can be shaky.
    Finally a plug for our member jazzmus and his awesome Brute EQ pedal. It is a modernized version of a Polytone preamp and can turn just about any amp into a classic polytone. I have no idea of its cost on your side of the pond, Rasmus the builder is Dutch (and one of the nicest people around). Search in the forum for more info.
    jk

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    Setting the pick ups height is very subjective.In the case of arch-top guitars, this affects not only the sound, but also the style of play or the style of music.The lower the pick up the sound will be more "woody".The height setting of the pickups must be checked when playing live.Often, after a concert, I did a pick-up correction....also tune-o matic/metal/ in the bridge has better sustain than all wooden bridge.
    ...but...sometimes I like to play wooden bridge and sometimes I don't ...The key is to experiment with the bridges and heights of the pickups.The height of the bridge is another additional "problem"- it also influences the sound.
    And as I found out to my horror, pickups too close to the strings can exert enough magnetic pull to affect both tone and intonation. Be careful when adjusting and check often during the process.
    Last edited by nevershouldhavesoldit; 08-17-2021 at 02:27 PM.

  14. #13

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    After a while i come to some conclusions.

    The PM has a great playabillity. It feels far better than the AK95 (which i sold recently because of this). I don't really know what is it is or how to call it, but i feels responsive.

    The sound of the PM is just different from the AK95. Don't really know which i prefered. I like both i guess. It is bright and midheavy. No problems with that. I am not really searching for that traditional dark tone.

  15. #14

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    Just to (possibly) make you feel better about your choice: I used to own an PM35 plus, at the same time, an AK105 and an AF105. So I was able to compare all three of them side by side quite extensively.

    Eventually I sold the AK105 and the AF105 to keep the PM35 (got sold later on a whim, but I may well have kept it to this day). I thought the AK105 definitely looked nicer, but the PM35 both sounded noticeably better than the other two guitars and also featured a slightly beefier neck, which I much preferred.

    Another reason was that I found the bridge pickups on both the AK105 and the AF105 utterly life- and useless, so I figured if there was no added value in this kind of bridge pickup anyway, I'd much prefer a neck pickup only.

    None of the three had a particularly smokey sound, but the PM35 did sound nice. It did have "substance", for lack of a better expression, which I found to be satisfying.

    Going back and forth repeatedly between wooden and metal bridges (I had a bunch of either) for comparison, although slightly preferring the sound of the wooden ones, they invariably made any "dead" spots (or spots that, to my ear, would decay slightly prematurely) even "deader". That, plus the adjustable intonation, overruled the "slightly" better sound by 2:1 as far as I am concerned.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Where else can you turn for thunk? You may know all this Marcel, but if not here goes. Hope it helps!

    Pick? Assuming you use a pick, it needs to be heavy. I use a plain Fender heavy, but there are all sorts of options out there. Key is it has to be heavy.

    Strings. Type, brand, size and age. Flat wounds give you “the sound”, warm round and thunky. round wounds go to an acoustic sound, bright and lively. Finger style fans tend to round, But the classic players were all on flats. (Except Joe Pass)))
    Brand of flats can make quite a difference. When I got my PM200 i went through about six months of comparisons. To my ears and playing style, some of the European strings were quite mellow (pyramid, galli) also LaBella which may be the thunkiest out there. TI to me are the best balanced, mellow yet strong and clear. Ive been using them a long time. YMMV.
    The gauge or size of the string makes a huge difference in bright to mellow. Simple: heavy string heavy sound). Tal, Wes, Barney Kessel, others used 14 sets. I knew Tal, he replaced the 14/18 top strings with 15/20! Even a 12 set will sound thin compared to 14s.
    Age. All brands when new are brighter than when worn in. To me DAddarios take forever to mellow out. TI seems to mellow quickly.

    Pickup/electronics

    The PM35 is all maple, it’s inherently on the bright side. My PM is also all maple and yes it can sound like the first example.
    The 35 is a Chinese build. Ibanez is famous for not letting on where the “custom” pups come from or what they are. So your ‘Super 58 Custom’ is probably also Chinese built. The Chinese period builds are somewhat inconsistent. I have two: one beautiful the other just average. Ive replaced the pickups on both and they came alive. You may want to consider (if strings, amp, etc dont get what you want) changing the pickup. (And that, my friend, is a very deep rabbit hole indeed!!!)
    watch the output jack, they can be shaky.
    Finally a plug for our member jazzmus and his awesome Brute EQ pedal. It is a modernized version of a Polytone preamp and can turn just about any amp into a classic polytone. I have no idea of its cost on your side of the pond, Rasmus the builder is Dutch (and one of the nicest people around). Search in the forum for more info.
    jk
    Johnny Smith used half wounds. My personal fav.
    And Tal Farlow used telephone cables

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    Johnny Smith used half wounds. My personal fav.
    And Tal Farlow used telephone cables
    I tried D’Addario half rounds for the first time a few weeks ago. I know many like them. But they actually seemed rougher than the Stringjoy RWs they replaced, and I removed them after one gig.

    Telephones don’t have cables. You must mean charging cables…..

    .

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by palindrome
    None of the three had a particularly smokey sound, but the PM35 did sound nice. It did have "substance", for lack of a better expression, which I found to be satisfying.
    i play the guitar strictly solo, but in a band situation i would probably really love the PM. Its sound is very 'present' and cuts through very well.
    I make it sound that i don't like the PM, but i do.

  19. #18

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    Tal’s cables in 85-97:
    D’Addario flats heavy set, add
    15 and 20 for E and B

    Thunky!

  20. #19

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    Marcel, changing the bridge can have a great effect. Like 15 years ago I put a wooden bridge on a humble AG75 and very much liked the effect it had. To me ist made the tone more acoustic and "airy".
    Strings and picks also have a huge impact on tone. For a mellow sound I'd use flatwound strings. Thomastik Infeld Swing are very good and affordable (at least in Europe). D'addario Chromes are also nice.
    Picks are always a compromise between tone and playability – a very personal choice. Fortunately trying different picks is not too expensive and it's fun.