540S refinish and build - Jemsite
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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540S refinish and build

I have it in my head that I need to create my own version of an S series so I purchased what's supposed to be a mid 90's AANJ body. The shop said it was routed for a lo pro, I won't have the chance to check this til tomorrow.

The only worry for me was the wiring had a 9V hookup for EMG's and there weren't any EMG equipped S540's in the 90's. I can't quite tell if the stock wiring is intact as the pickups were pulled.

There's no neck pocket stamp or any indication of the year, model or where it was made. Overall the finish is good. I figure because it's routed for the lo pro (yet to be confirmed) that is is a mid-90's. Anyone know if the Lo TRS II uses the same route and stud spacing?

Anyway, I'll update things periodically as I stumble through this process. I've never refinished a guitar but I'm really looking forward to it.

A few photos of the body in question...





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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 08:56 PM
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

I think that's an Edge/Lo Pro routing. From memory the TRS II sides were angled with the baseplate. Stud spacing was about the same for both of them.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 09:17 PM
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

With that VLX-91 in it, I have to believe that a real '94-'96 Lo-Pro equipped S540 body


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

Right. That was my other concern but if it is indeed a lo pro route, (I'll compare them today) then it couldn't be anything of a later, non-Japanese vintage. The seller, who parts out guitars on the bay, said a S540 neck came off of it and there was indeed one on the bay for sale about the same time as this body, from the same vendor.

But you're right. The VLX91 is definitely not original on any S540 from around that time, nor is the 9V lead.

Man I wish Ibanez would stamp everything with some form of identification.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

Had a chance to compare it to a 2000 S1520 today and the routing is identical. I took measurements and everything is exactly the same. Sort of a bonus getting the VLX switch as they're not cheap and I have a ton of extra 5-ways lying around. Gives me options.

I did drop a lo pro in there (posts) and it fits fine and lines up with the studs so I'm pretty sure that it's a J model and not a later Korean model. The neck was a LTD with sharkfin inlays. The original owner must have had EMG's in there at some point.



S1520 back route


Original neck that came on the guitar...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1995-Ibanez-...vip=true&rt=nc

Last edited by MichelIV; 11-06-2012 at 04:31 PM.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 11:40 PM
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelIV View Post
Right. That was my other concern but if it is indeed a lo pro route, (I'll compare them today) then it couldn't be anything of a later, non-Japanese vintage. The seller, who parts out guitars on the bay, said a S540 neck came off of it and there was indeed one on the bay for sale about the same time as this body, from the same vendor.

But you're right. The VLX91 is definitely not original on any S540 from around that time, nor is the 9V lead.

Man I wish Ibanez would stamp everything with some form of identification.
The VLX-91 was original to the S540LTD's from '94-'96. That's an original LTD body, I can't imagine why there's no pocket stamps, It doesn't look like the pocket has been worked on.


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

I did not know that! Cool, thanks!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 11:47 PM
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

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I did not know that! Cool, thanks!
No problem man, if you need the original wiring diagram.....here it is:



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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

That'll help. I haven't decided what I'm doing pickup wise yet. But I'll keep this in my file for future reference.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

I started to strip the body a few days ago. Pulled out the heat gun and it's just popping right off. I started on the back to experiment. I know when people use torches it leaves marks and I'm getting faint marks from the heat gun. Really hoping these'll sand out. I'm going for a solid finish on the front but was hoping for a natural finish on the back. But stripping it isn't a huge chore, just have to go slow. I'll sand it down a bit after I get all the paint off.

What I really find amazing is how thick the finish is around the edge of the guitar. And hot paint chips burn when they fly off the guitar and hit you in the arm.

So I found a neck. I blew an auction on Ebay for an FGM100 neck in blue. Really wanted that puppy but I unfortunately missed the end of the auction (why won't ebay send you text alerts!) due to getting distracted (playing guitar actually). Man was I upset last night.

Well, I found a new neck. FGM400. Attached to a guitar at some point but pretty much unplayed and within my budget.




I'm going to go for something similar to the FGM400 with a few twists. First, Edge Pro trem. Second, cosmo instead of black, third, binding that matches the neck around the body, and fourth, a natural clear finish on the sides and back.

I'm open to suggestions or ideas. I know the FGM neck supposedly mounts deeper in the body. I'm not sure if this is a difference in the neck pocket depth or the depth of the neck. I plan on routing the area under the mounting rings so they sit more flush like the real FGM and also mounting the pickups solidly to the body. Here's a "real" FGM400. I want to make mine different enough that there's no confusion, ever, as to whether it's a real FGM or not. Not that I'll ever sell it once done!


What do you guys think?
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 05:28 PM
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

I was planning on bidding on that fgm100sb neck as well, I got distracted too. And it finished at only $150! A good deal for somebody, I guess it would have gone a lot higher if we had both remembered to bid.

I was surprised to see it, and I'm more surprised to see that you found an fgm400bb neck, they are really uncommon and not the kind of thing that gets parted out.

I haven't measured, but I think the FGM necks are the normal thickness. The pocket is routed deeper.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

LOL, too funny. I figured it was someone on the site I was screaming at my own stupidity, especially when I saw what it went for. So upset...And yeah I was willing to pay more definitely but probably wouldn't have gone much above $200.

Good to know about the pocket. I'll get everything test fitted and see where it stands. Routing for the pickup rings and body mounting the pickups is more work but might be a fun project.

I really had someone come through for me with the FGM400 neck. It was probably a take-off of a guitar body that came in damaged. I plan on sending him a little thank you gift after it arrives safely. More details to come about that later.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

Here's a few digital renderings. They don't have an S body so I used the JEM and removed the grip. I'm considering leaving the middle pickup out and filling it in on the body. Haven't decided yet. If I can truly mount everything almost flush with the body, I may keep the middle position.





And one using the Jackson builder. Color isn't as close.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 04:37 PM
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

I like the one with just 2 white humbuckers. Throw in some white knobs and you're set!
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 540S refinish and build

The wiring would definitely be easier. Let me tell you how much I hate wiring up three 4-wire pickups.
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