NGD: Ibanez

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by shingh2002, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. shingh2002

    shingh2002 Squier-Nut

    754
    Sep 30, 2020
    UK
    This NGD has been a long time coming - which seems to be a trend for me now for my last two guitars! - as I originally scoped out the guitar at the end of April and bought it at the start of May.
    I had squirrelled it away for some time to avoid my wife and daughter's birthday, then waiting on a few replacement parts and finding the time to do the work. Before you know it, heck its October!


    So its an Ibanez RG550, reissued in the early 2000s. MIJ S# F0205340
    Here's are pictures of the guitar before and now. 61CEC707-F122-4092-94F3-68B0233713AE.png 654AAE3F-EB9E-4C8B-997B-B2F74AF69E2C.jpeg
    It looks exactly the same! Incredible!

    I bought the guitar knowing it has a few issues, namely the bridge was jacked way forward with action through the roof. It was a bit of a risk that there was a larger problem hidden with the Original Edge bridge but I judged that the previous owner bought it and just never had a real idea of how to set up and work a floating bridge. I'd never played one either haha but I knew the bridge should never look like THIS!
    F3031D6E-A22E-4D17-AAB0-6A1E901E2667.jpeg 4B6B2D22-427B-4623-871C-799FB433583F.jpeg
    I figured it was down to set up, and maybe the tension springs being worn out. Once I got it home I discovered the claw was almost completely screwed in to the body so there wasn't much play there.
    89A7DA0A-9EA6-4EAF-8E69-BF3CE10DD1D8.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  2. shingh2002

    shingh2002 Squier-Nut

    754
    Sep 30, 2020
    UK
    I bought a generic set of springs from eBay and replaced them but I still wasn't able to bring the bridge down to be flat. I broke the bridge apart, cleaned it down, and thankfully learnt that the Edge was all in good shape with little to no damage on the knife edges. There's a good amount of pitting on the saddles but that doesn't bother me a great deal and it doesn't affect playing (that I've noticed).
    I decided to replace the block and buy some high quality noiseless springs from FU-Tone. Main reason for the block upgrade was because it allowed me to install 3-5 springs, while the original block was limited to three. I may very well increase the gauge and downtune the guitar at some point so I want that option of installing additional springs if need be. The new FU-Tone block is also brass and about twice the size so should increase sustain, though I was obviously not able to AB test that. (Leaving a note here that there's quite a big problem with the new block that still hasn't resolved, so I'm not plugging for anyone to buy from FU-Tone just yet.)
    Good news is the block + spring change worked - I set up the guitar with the help of a few great YouTube videos on floating bridges, I installed the basic 9 gauge strings the seller threw in with the purchase and I've been able to unscrew the claw considerably from the body with just three spring. It holds tune fantastically and gives a huge range of movement. Now I've gotta learn how to dive bomb and squeal like Dimebag! Cemetery Gates, here I come!


    7761D660-8BF0-4282-AD56-20BB4DE94D04.jpeg 76296CBF-6CA0-4AAE-A3FA-27DDBA04A0C6.jpeg

    This guitar is 3rd hand now and pretty beaten up around the body but the neck is the prize, it's in great shape, hardly a mark on it and it feels really fast. I'm not sure the radius but it's the flattest fretboard I own and it's amazing the impact that has on lead playing speed.
    There is some discolouration on the maple board in the middle for the 1st and 2nd strings which I'll have to live with. Lots of life in the frets, just a few dinks in the cowboy chord area which I can't feel when I'm playing. They were really really tarnished. Not sure when they were last polished by it took a LOT of work to get them shining and feeling smooth. Well worth the effort!
    879B0A29-420A-415D-8BA9-633330E45960.jpeg 56EF9077-E155-44F0-B104-582972AC85EC.jpeg

    The Seymour Duncan pickups are not original but the owner didn't know what they were, presumably installed by the owner before him. I thought they sounded pretty good when I tested it through the previous owners Roland CUBE.. (I think it was a 20/30 watt version. I remember it had an insane setting which was my go to and I was either impressed with the guitar or the amp!)
    8542A11B-2618-4A99-8A59-BAD22399E0D4.jpeg
    Upon taking off the pickguard, I've learnt they are a SH2N Humbucker in the neck, EH15 single coil in the middle, and a TB11 "trembucker" in the bridge. According to the SD's website they're tailored to the blues/classic/hardrock player. I'm enjoying them for the time being but will probably move them on at some point. I fully intend this to a metal shredder and I"ll leave the blues and classic/hard rock to my Strats and LPs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  3. shingh2002

    shingh2002 Squier-Nut

    754
    Sep 30, 2020
    UK
    3283D616-0A1C-4B47-ABAF-D2A43122C072.jpeg 4A46A101-53DC-4BD2-AC4E-06A3E689D52B.jpeg

    I'm still in the honeymoon period as its only been set up and playable for a few weeks, but I think it's a keeper!

    CAAEE70B-92F4-41D3-BBBF-98AF361829CC.jpeg
     
  4. Robb

    Robb Squier-holic

    Jan 13, 2011
    Chertsey Canada.
    WOW GREAT story buddy !
     
    Hadronic Spin and shingh2002 like this.
  5. 65refinyellow

    65refinyellow Squier-holic

    Jun 29, 2015
    norcal
    GOLDEN ERA IBANEZ!!!!!

    Roughly (give or take) a twenty year period between early 80s through early 2000s “similar” to a 20 year stretch of Fenders from beginning in spring of 1950 with one at a time builds to twenty years later just before the bullet truss rod and full degradation of the company and dismantling of Leo Fender ideas by CBS.

    Ibanez decided to commit to many unique designs in the early 1980s planting the seeds of the RG then going RG and Jem into astounding models for the next 20 years before they started resting on their laurels and slipping like the other manufacturers.

    Japanese made Ibanezes new are far beyond my Squier price point, and even beyond the price point of Fenders like the Vinteras and Professional Series I like in the middle of their catalog from $899-$1499.

    A new Japanese RG, if I won the lottery, would be this with the rock solid trem and crossover pickups that can live easily in metal all the way to surf then to jazz and quietly operate well with floor effects:

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez...MI-8DIzYbK8wIVAhLnCh2URQ0GEAQYCyABEgIxAPD_BwE

    I don’t think any new Ibanezes, as nice as they are, compare to golden era MIJ Ibanezes like yours when top quality was the regular operating procedure of Ibanez. Little things like attention to detail in the neck right off the factory floor does not exist unless you go full J Craft level and LACS level Ibanez where they’re set up ready to play without modification.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  6. 65refinyellow

    65refinyellow Squier-holic

    Jun 29, 2015
    norcal
    Ibanez used to have all their Japanese guitars be like the setup of current J Craft guitars today, and invest time in precise setup and fretwork.

    If you do buy any factory Ibanez new today then to get that same golden era setup like and 1981-2001 Ibanez, then you have to have somebody like Rich Harris at Ibanez Rules store to add on those fine tuning duties to a new factory guitar to get it to Golden Era Ibanez playability.

    It looks like you have done all that to a vintage Golden Era Ibanez.

    FU tone is a great resource in doing a full remodel of old metal guitars to bring them back to their glory.

    For the non-metal Fender and Squier players, there’s Callaham parts to help bring guitars close to a pre/CBS standard of playability and sustain.
     
  7. shingh2002

    shingh2002 Squier-Nut

    754
    Sep 30, 2020
    UK
    I’m not sure but this RG might date to 2002 so maybe it’s just outside of this golden era. But the neck is truly wonderful.

    FU-Tone seemed like a really solid option, I’d heard a lot of good things about them, but I was disappointed to learn that despite selling and advertising a block designed and manufactured specifically for the Ibanez Edge (original) the thing doesn’t fit! It’s a full mm off of the third screw to attach it to the bridge plate!
    I sent an email to FU-Tone about it and enquired if it was a rogue manufacturing error and had a correspondence where they suggested I dremel the plate to make it fit (Excuse me, what?) but they very quickly sent out a new one to me. Given this is an international order, I thought that was really courteous. But the second block arrived at the exact same dimensions of the one before! 4F042752-2B3E-4854-8752-98993033EB46.jpeg 6FBDC743-AF30-4775-BAFC-D152BBACC1C2.jpeg 8707F465-08AF-460E-ABA4-63F638CD63DB.jpeg
    I’ve had to make do with there just being two screws attaching the block to the plate but I’m worried they could snap one day.

    Unfortunately FU-Tone haven’t been as quick to respond this time, and it has now been 2 weeks without a reply.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
    Hadronic Spin and radiotech like this.
  8. Exhead

    Exhead Squier-Nut

    750
    Jul 15, 2015
    Nevada
    Hadronic Spin, Robb and shingh2002 like this.
  9. 65refinyellow

    65refinyellow Squier-holic

    Jun 29, 2015
    norcal
    Certain Korean and Indonesian and Chinese Ibanezes take Floyd original

    ...but in your case your Edge version 1 trem is better than any Floyd save the titanium Floyd

    Pulling up on the Floyd too much damages it but the MIJ Edge trems are designed for it. Nita Strauss explains the superiority of the MIJ Edge trem at 23:35 in the video.

     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
    Hadronic Spin, Robb and shingh2002 like this.
  10. Powerstroke

    Powerstroke Squier-holic

    Age:
    45
    Feb 18, 2021
    Usa
    That maple neck. Looks great on a black guitar. Normally I don't like black guitars...Wow
    I have a rg470mhz that the guy couldn't get the bridge to play nice. For $150 I had to learn some tricks before I was able to understand setting it up properly. But once it was set up (edge 0) it's pretty nice.
    I think mine was a wall hanger because the red on the front is different from the back.
    I love Ibanez necks. Mine doesn't get played much because the stock pickups are not amazing
     
    Hadronic Spin, Robb and shingh2002 like this.
  11. Mojotone

    Mojotone Squier-Meister

    Age:
    56
    303
    Jun 5, 2021
    Chateauguay, QC
    Wow that's really awesome :)
     
    Hadronic Spin likes this.
  12. shingh2002

    shingh2002 Squier-Nut

    754
    Sep 30, 2020
    UK
    Thanks dude!

    I did upgrade the string blocks with titanium blocks from FU-Tone as well, so maybe it’s closer still! Great clip with Nita. I think my arm is a bit loose too! Will make sure to test it with the guitar strap on as well haha

    Yeah I really dig the look. One mod I see coming is some fret stickers to black pearl block inlays. I think that would look rad.

    Thanks! :cool:
     
    Hadronic Spin and Mojotone like this.
  13. Bluzy

    Bluzy Squier-holic

    Age:
    56
    Nov 20, 2017
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Nice job and congrats!
     
    Hadronic Spin, Robb and shingh2002 like this.
  14. LonePhantom

    LonePhantom Squier-Meister

    Age:
    42
    238
    Jul 17, 2019
    Canberra, Australia
    Have you tried loosening off the two screws that you have installed, line up so the third screw can go in as well, and see if tightening each one down gradually and systematically gets them all in okay?
     
    fattboyzz and shingh2002 like this.
  15. shingh2002

    shingh2002 Squier-Nut

    754
    Sep 30, 2020
    UK
    I did and I wasn’t able to get either of the outer screws in more than a third of the way.
    The screws are actually misaligned between the all three holes, but the angle is just enough where I could still get purchase for 2 screws.
    D3F67A99-7485-4D91-9027-F767ECDF00C7.jpeg
    I think they’re at risk snapping them at some point..!


    I’m currently engaged with the company on getting a resolution:
    https://www.squier-talk.com/threads/what-would-you-do.188934/#post-1120541
     
    Hadronic Spin and radiotech like this.
  16. LonePhantom

    LonePhantom Squier-Meister

    Age:
    42
    238
    Jul 17, 2019
    Canberra, Australia
    Damn that is really bad! I'm not a fan of FU-Tone, there are others making superior products for not too much more, plus, I've found that with Adam, if you're not blowing smoke up his ass then he doesn't want to have anything to do with you.
     
    shingh2002 and Hadronic Spin like this.
  17. shingh2002

    shingh2002 Squier-Nut

    754
    Sep 30, 2020
    UK
    Well ultimately it’s all cleared up - Pending the money returns my account as it should.

    In terms of customer service, Adam was pretty quick to respond (bar a 3 week gap), he sent out a replacement block fairly quickly and he’s told me to keep the blocks in the hope I’ll one day get my bridge modified to fit them. So I’ll give it a 4/5.
    In terms of their product - they say the block is designed for a certain type of bridge and it doesn’t fit! So it’ll give that a 1/5.

    Overall That takes FU-Tone to a generous 3/5 because I bought some springs and string block inserts which seem to be doing the job and at the moment I do have the block installed using just two screws, but I wouldn’t use them again, and wouldn’t really recommend them to anyone (unless you’re really local).

    I believe they do a ton of great products and I guess I was more at risk with the bridge not being as common as say a FR-1000 or something.
     
    Hadronic Spin likes this.
  18. Geetarman72

    Geetarman72 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    50
    138
    Apr 18, 2020
    Deltona
    I really hate those kind of tremolos as they take quite a bit of time to set up . True floating tremolo. The trick is to balance the string tension with the spring tension and sometimes it is a real bear . Which is why I no longer buy those sorts of guitars LOL Glad you worked it out.
     
  19. shingh2002

    shingh2002 Squier-Nut

    754
    Sep 30, 2020
    UK
    Ha thanks.
    It’s a lot of work on the front end but once you’ve got it dialed in along with the rest of your setup, as long as you stick to the same brand/gauge of strings and tuning, you won’t have to fiddle with it again. That applies to all guitars really!
     
    Hadronic Spin and Geetarman72 like this.
  20. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Dr. Squier

    Age:
    56
    Nov 29, 2017
    Newnan ,Ga.