Having been inspired by the thread on the Custom/'59 hybrid and endowed with some festive season leisure time, I decided it was an opportune moment to do some pickup experimentation.
My main guitar is an Ibanez RG 320 (dark red, quilted sapele veneer), which, like other low end Ibanezes came with the notorious Powersound pickups - ceramic magnet, hotter output. There seems to be consistent hate of these, and though I haven't played enough of them to verify the claim, in this guitar they seemed fine - fairly warm in single and full settings, good snap and dynamic in single mode.
I decided to modify the neck pickup, because it was always lacking somewhat in definition when playing under heavier distortion. Lowering and angling its height did help but I wanted to see whether it could be further improved. Enter the transplant candidate:
An oldish Ibanez Infinity 2 bridge pickup. As far as I know, these were medium output, A5 (I guess) affairs, while the matching neck pickups (Inf 1) had a ceramic magnet in them. I decided to swap the neck facing coils because it was easier in terms of getting the wires separated.
I followed the basic procedure in the Custom/'59 hybrid thread (taking care to match up the wiring) and ended up with this:
As far as tone goes: a good deal cleaner and not so 'in your face', which is what I was looking for. Overtones sound more complex, and there's a bit of that 3D effect that's been described concerning the Custom/'59 pickup, particularly when playing clean. One thing that I liked about the stock Powersound pickup was the parallel mode - with the right tweaking of the volume knob, it yielded some good quack. Initially I was worried I might lose this but my concern proved groundless. I wouldn't say the quack has been augmented since the coil swap, but there's a more airy quality to it. I decided to keep the ceramic magnet; I did try the alnico with both Powersound coils but didn't like it that much.
Now, I've also got this and wonder what it sounds like: an A5 bridge pickup with one beefier coil.
In sum, it was a worth while. If I had more such generic, stock pickups lying around, I'd do more experimentation and see what the results would yield. Good practice too if one is a bit squeamish about taking the soldering iron to their better/pricier pickups.
I wonder what I should call these - the Power Infinity Frankenbucker?
Edit: I forgot to add that I also 'airbuckered' the Powersound coil.