NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989 - Jemsite
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

I've been looking for one of these for a while. Then it popped up on eBay - price was right and I took the bait. What did these go for back in 1989 when they came out?

Got the guitar, in fantastic shape! No dinks on front, small one on back. Then trem is smooth, the fine tuners and lock nuts are all almost new and she plays real well. I got it from a shop so they set it up and threw on some new strings before shipping it out.

I have a couple of questions:

a) what are the pickups on this? I like 'em, but the seem a little 'twingy' on the upper frets on the high e string. I like my RG's cause they have a little more 'crunch' but I'll find my tone on this one.

b) what is the trem version?

Any other information anyone could provide about this guitar would be greatly appreciated. I might not play like Joe Satriani, but at least I have a guitar that looks good doing it.

Last edited by windycitycane; 01-08-2014 at 09:11 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 08:39 PM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Well the pickups are exactly what's written on them. They are USA made DiMarzios made especially for Ibanez back then, they are very good. Do a search on each pickup to read the details on then.

The photos are a bit rubbish quality, I think it's a Lo Pro Edge.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 07:19 AM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Hell yes *hip thrust*. I'd like to have a Radius in my collection.

Nah, the trem is an Edge, you can tell by the string lock bolts which go through the 'whale tail'.

Not sure what they cost new, but these days they're appreciating in value. Wish Ibanez would reissue them, like a Genesis type version...

As for the 'twingy' sound on the upper frets of the high E, I had this issue with my old RG, I never quite figured it out. Not the pups, and I don't think it was the frets because I swapped a neck and made no difference; my other theory was the dissonant resonance between the neck and the body was somehow cancelling out the fundamental overtones.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 07:44 AM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Nice guitar! I don't feel like the H-S-S Radius gets enough love.

The sound you're getting on the upper frets may be a setup issue or may be a fret wear issue. I had an older neck where there was some fret wear in the middle of the neck but virtually none up high. When you'd play the guitar up high, it didn't sustain that well and you'd sometimes get some resonance from the strings partially fretting out. Since this is a very old guitar, I'd get the frets crowned and leveled and you should have a real winner there.

Pickups are F1-C1-C1. Picture below gives good explanations of the various pickups.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 03:23 PM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Yeah don't know why more ppl don't love the R's, + you can't go wrong with an F1 in the bridge. Nice score
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

thanks for the information everyone - much appreciated. I've included a close-up of the trem just to make sure which one it is. Is this the Edge?

Interesting how its on an angle of around 30 degree on the top. Does Ibby make any other trems like this?

Also, does anyone have any experience with the Ibanez Backstop they made for this guitar? I was thinking about getting one, not sure where to obtain it.

thanks again in advance.

and I do agree with everyone, maybe its time for a Radius 25th Anniversary Guitar!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 02:18 PM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Quote:
Originally Posted by windycitycane View Post
I've been looking for one of these for a while. Then it popped up on eBay - price was right and I took the bait. What did these go for back in 1989 when they came out?
Here is a scan of a catalog shot from '90 that someone wrote "879.95" and "660" next to a red 540R.

http://www.ibanezrules.com/catalogs/us/1990/r.jpg

I bought a Jewel Red SSH one in '89 and remember it being over $500. That was the first guitar that I spent my own money to buy.

Interesting tidbit, they brought out a big black rectangle Ibanez case for the guitar. I wrinkled my nose and looked unhappy. When I asked if they had a smaller case, the sales dudes quickly looked at each other in that "hey we know something that you don't" way and then the one dude brought out a "chainsaw" Ibanez case. That case got a smile from me and I bought it. Officially, at least according to this one Ibanez dealer in 1989, the case was referred to as an "Ibanez Shark Skin case". That's what it said on my receipt anyway.

Last edited by ashbass; 01-09-2014 at 02:27 PM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2014, 12:09 PM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Cool guitar, congrats. It looks like, I may be wrong, but it looks like the level indicator on your trem is telling you to tighten up your plate screws a tiny bit - but it's hard to see if it's level or not in that pic.

Last edited by Dexter Morgan; 01-10-2014 at 12:18 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2014, 12:34 PM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Quote:
Originally Posted by windycitycane View Post
thanks for the information everyone - much appreciated. I've included a close-up of the trem just to make sure which one it is. Is this the Edge?

Interesting how its on an angle of around 30 degree on the top. Does Ibby make any other trems like this?

Also, does anyone have any experience with the Ibanez Backstop they made for this guitar? I was thinking about getting one, not sure where to obtain it.

thanks again in advance.

and I do agree with everyone, maybe its time for a Radius 25th Anniversary Guitar!
Don't measure by the top of the bridge. What needs to be level with the guitar top is the little rectangle that you see on the side of the bridge about where the body posts are. This rectangle is one side of the knife edge insert that rocks on the post. That should be level.

It looks like it is a little high on the right side in your photo so you'd want to do a combination of loosening the strings at the headstock or bridge fine tuners, and tightening the screws that hold the spring claw in the rear cavity. Back and forth, back and forth, until you get that knife edge level and the guitar is in tune. It's a PITA when you first get a guitar that wasn't set up with the same string gauge you use. But once you get it set with the strings stretched and in tune you shouldn't need to worry about it again unless you change string gauge.

Back Stop units were on the '87 and '88 540R guitars only. There were two for sale very recently in the jemsite classifieds for $155 each. That was a great price and those two are sold. On ebay when they come up they are now in the $200-$250 range.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 10:10 AM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

540R are lovely. I got a 1988 and it instantly became my main guitar after a pup change. Not because the original pups weren't good, but because I had different ideas of the sound I wanted. The originals are safely stored though

And I second the motion of a 25th anniversary edition. I would have to find a way to buy at least a couple of them.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbass View Post
Don't measure by the top of the bridge. What needs to be level with the guitar top is the little rectangle that you see on the side of the bridge about where the body posts are. This rectangle is one side of the knife edge insert that rocks on the post. That should be level.

It looks like it is a little high on the right side in your photo so you'd want to do a combination of loosening the strings at the headstock or bridge fine tuners, and tightening the screws that hold the spring claw in the rear cavity. Back and forth, back and forth, until you get that knife edge level and the guitar is in tune. It's a PITA when you first get a guitar that wasn't set up with the same string gauge you use. But once you get it set with the strings stretched and in tune you shouldn't need to worry about it again unless you change string gauge.


Back Stop units were on the '87 and '88 540R guitars only. There were two for sale very recently in the jemsite classifieds for $155 each. That was a great price and those two are sold. On ebay when they come up they are now in the $200-$250 range.
I do see what you are talking about now with the rectangle. It is slightly lower towards the knifepoint. The thing is, the saddles are completely parallel with the body. I haven't messed with a trem like this before. So the spring claws have an effect as well as the fine tuners with each string? Could I mess with the springs and tighten the trem up and loosen things at the headstock?

thanks again for the information.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 06:59 PM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

The rectangle knife edges do need to be parallel, as already mentioned. If it's slightly lower at the knife point then yes tighten the spring claw a little and retune until the balance is correct.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
The rectangle knife edges do need to be parallel, as already mentioned. If it's slightly lower at the knife point then yes tighten the spring claw a little and retune until the balance is correct.
thanks for the insight... I altered the trem via adjusting both the headstock and claws to keep her in tune and got the action lower and the rectangle is now level.. much appreciated
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 09:44 PM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Quote:
Originally Posted by windycitycane View Post
thanks for the insight... I altered the trem via adjusting both the headstock and claws to keep her in tune and got the action lower and the rectangle is now level.. much appreciated
It's always a pleasure to help anyone better appreciate a 540R (Edge equipped!).
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 08:41 PM
 
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Re: NGD! - Ibanez 540R Jewel Blue 1989

Where's the obligatory NGD pics? LOL!
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