Ibanez RG350DX Upgrade with EMG Pickups

I bought this Ibanez RG350DX to keep me motivated in playing guitar ( a gift to myself). I was also transitioning from acoustic over to electric and wanted something of value so I’d keep playing. I’ve always been into the color “white” so I geared my searches for a white and styled guitar. The ibanez caught my attention when I was at Guitar Center because had a fresh distinctive design to it. It also had 3 pickups with jumbo frets and the design on the fret board was to my desire. This guitar made it easy for a novice like myself to get into some solo tabs.

After about a year of playing, I notice that I couldn’t produce the sound I wanted with the factory INF pickups. The idea of tinkering with the guitar had come to mind in the past, but was never an option because of limited time. After selling my shop, I had some spare time in the evenings for practicing my rhythms and notes. I then notice, while following to some youtube “how to” that I couldn’t seem to get the sound I’m after. It has now triggered my mind to “modified” my guitar and personalize it. Within 2 weeks of reading and researching, I picked up a set of EMG active pickups. This was a tough decision because I had a set of Seymour Duncans in mind which was recommended to me. Anyhow I picked the EMG for the stylish black casing they offered and the great youtube reviews. After coming home from the guitar shop, I soon came to find out that the new Pickups were not direct replacement. In order for the pickup to work and fit inside the Ibanez, I had to gut it out and customize the insides. It took a lot of sanding to get the pickups to fit nicely on the pick guard and to get the insides rewired with the new parts but it was well worth the time and effort. I guess high school woodshop does help.

The whole process took 2 days. The hardest part here was to figure out where to place the 9v battery since I had bought active pickups. The only solution I had, without cutting anywhere else and putting in a battery pocket, was to cut the piece of wood behind the bridge pickup(in front of the 3 springs pulling back the tremolo). There was just enough space to fit the battery there. The Ibanez is now fitted with a pair of EMG humbucker 81/85 combo and an EMG strat style single coil setup in the middle. The cost: ~$320 for 3 EMG pickups and a 5 way selector from Skips Music in Elk Grove, CA.

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4 thoughts on “Ibanez RG350DX Upgrade with EMG Pickups”

  1. Hi dude, quick question. So, you basically had to cut your guitar in order to put the battery?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. Raul,

    I did. I had to cut the back piece where the 3 springs are at. That part is now exposed and the batter sits right under the 3 springs. When it needs to be changed, I just take the 3 springs out and swap the battery (9v). It worked out great and the sound is great.


  3. Hello dude. I’m thinking about upgrade my Ibanez RG 470 with the same emg active pickups , everything like you. Can you tell me please how you made this, if you have any diagram and photos will be a great help for me. Thanks

  4. Unfortunately I dont have any pictures. I gutted it once more and installed some seymor duncans.

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