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Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods Guitar workbench discussion such as setup, repairs, mods, installing new parts and more.

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  #1  
Old 11-19-2012, 03:15 PM
MichelIV  is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
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S5EX1 project


This arrived today. From a 2010 RG1570. MINT. No fret wear, no scratches that I could find, headstock is also mint with no dings. The back of the neck has a bit of flamey goodness happening too.






Will be attached to this body, just couldn't stand the inlays and thought it'd be cool to stick a Prestige neck on it. I have a black ZR trem going on as well in place of the chrome, should look damn fine once it's done.
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2012, 04:25 PM
LonePhantom  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


Man I love those S series, the bodies are extremely eye catching. Good luck getting it all together nicely.
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  #3  
Old 11-19-2012, 05:13 PM
D.M.RG7620  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


wesome idea! That prestige neck will be great on there! Shame you'll be losing those awesome oval inlays though!

I'd do a fretboard swap too!
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  #4  
Old 11-19-2012, 05:25 PM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


LOL, one man's treasure is another mans...One of the reasons for the swap, besides wanting a higher quality neck, is those damn inlays. They're just a bit too much (at least in person) for me. If they were solid, or a little less blue and pink, it'd work but they really seem to clash. Otherwise I would have just swapped over hardware colors (to black) and had a pro do a great fret job on it.

And admittedly, I just wanted to see if this would work, LOL.
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  #5  
Old 11-19-2012, 05:29 PM
D.M.RG7620  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


Really? Well, if I have ever have the cash for the neck, and you ever have the neck for the cash, I'd love to make a deal on it!
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2012, 06:04 PM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


Yeah I may end up selling the neck, haven't decided yet. We'll see how everything lines up. I'm willing to dowel the holes and re-drill but that's as far as I'm going to take it. If it needs any heavy modification then I'm just going to keep the stock neck on there. Going from memory, the RG neck seems to be slimmer than the neck on my S5470 and more like the original Wizzard neck. But that's just me at work, not having the guitar to compare in front of me.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:11 AM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


So, it works. I'm waiting on a few small parts to finish the installation but I did end up installing the neck this evening as sort of a test fit. I still need the correct nut and a new stud for the damn ZR tremolo. I mean seriously, they need to be of higher quality material.

I also took measurements of both necks, most of which are readily available on the internet. I also compared it to a square heel S540 neck from 89. Very similar except for the width. The S540 neck was about 55.5mm whereas the RG1570Z is 58.

One interesting thing is the Indonesian neck wood, at the heel, is 1mm thinner than the RG in the same spot. But the fret board is 1mm thicker. So it all evens out.

There's a bit of "overhang" on the high E side, on the back of the neck, where it meets the body. Not enough to be of any concern though. I pulled out my S5470 and it has the same overhang strangely enough. Cost saving measure?

Here's the neck pocket and back of the Indonesian neck.


Heel comparison, they're pretty much identical. Screw holes are in identical places on the neck.


S5EX1, 540S, and RG1570Z, notice how dry the Z's fret board is. Yes, I oiled it tonight.


Put a mirror polish on the frets.



Oiled vs. non-oiled. I use bore oil.


Power Cosmo tuners installed. This may be a temporary thing, haven't decided yet.
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:12 AM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


I transferred the Indonesian nut over just for kicks until I get the real deal. What are the specs on string height at the nut? A rough eyeballing make it look like I have about 1mm between the bottom of the V in the nut and the fret board, maybe a hair more, but definitely less than 1.5mm.


Test fit!



It's a good, solid fit. I haven't installed tons of necks but the fit seems just about perfect. That's not a neck pocket crack, it's the wood grain.



So...Black or Cosmo? I'm leaning towards black and staining the zebrawood knobs darker.



I should be getting a few necessary parts in the next day or two (thanks again Rich) and I'll finish the swap and set her up.
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:28 AM
LonePhantom  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


So, the neck fit ok, despite it supposedly being wider than the stock neck, and the screw holes lined up? That's awesome. Lucky find, that's for sure!
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:51 AM
wilch  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


wow, awesome work!

The chrome looks nice. I vote for that.
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2012, 08:08 AM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
So, the neck fit ok, despite it supposedly being wider than the stock neck, and the screw holes lined up? That's awesome. Lucky find, that's for sure!
Just wider than the original Wizzard necks on the late 80's to mid-90's necks.

The Indonesian and Prestige necks are almost identical with the Indo being a 400mm radius instead of 430 and the Indo being a bit thicker on the back side. Like at the first fret, the Prestige neck is 18mm (same as an original Wizzard) whereas the Indo is 20. If you hold both side by side, you can see quite a difference in the actual profile of the neck too.

And there's a very minor difference in the shape of the AANJ outline between the two. Yes, the screw holes line up and they're both 58mm but the outer edge carve is ever so slightly different. Looking at my S5470, it seems to be the same. I'd have to take the neck off to really check and I'm not doing that any time soon.

But all of the new stuff is about 3mm wider than the old MIJ original wizzard necks from the late 80's through the early 2000's. My super duper pair of calipers has gone missing. My backup calipers are pretty cheap so anything below a mm, I can't measure with any great accuracy.

So I'd say most of the RG Prestige 24 fret necks with 58mm heels will work on the "modern" S bodies from Indonesia with 24mm frets (all of them) and 58mm heels. If there's a body you like but hate the neck, swap it!
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  #12  
Old 11-21-2012, 08:11 AM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


Quote:
Originally Posted by wilch View Post
wow, awesome work!

The chrome looks nice. I vote for that.
I didn't capture it really well but all the saddles are like a light variation of cosmo black. They're not outright chrome and not outright Cosmo. And then the pickup rings are true chrome. So there's a bit of mismatch going on.

I may try different tuners and it'll be easiest to get them in black. I'm going to try tuners with a bit more mass than the Gotoh tuners if I can find some that'll work. I know the Schallers are pretty heavy. I used some of those on my Telecaster and they're good, solid pieces of metal.
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  #13  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:32 PM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


Just a quick update. I did a temporary installation of everything using the original Indonesian nut which I believe is a 400mm radius nut. I have a new nut coming in probably on Monday or Tuesday that's designed for a neck with a 430mm radius. I had to use the thickest shim for the current nut and I really just threw everything in there to get a rough idea of whether the neck was going to work. And it does. Just have a bit of fret buzz on the low E as is.

I installed everything, did a relatively quick setup knowing it wouldn't be perfect, tuned it and there's definitely a difference in the way it plays vs. the Indonesian neck. I can't comment too much without getting the proper parts installed along with a good setup but I think this is going to turn out really well.

The real difference between this and the S5470 prestige is the neck pocket depth. While the height of the fret board is the same with the new neck vs. the Indo neck, if you put it side by side with a Prestige, the neck pocket on the Prestige is about 2.5mm deeper just eyeballing it with a ruler. I thought about possibly having someone mill the pocket out for me but it's a finished body and it'd probably be pretty hard to do something like that without leaving a chipped, ragged edge in the clear coat at the top of the neck pocket. Probably going to be too much time, effort and money for what I want out of the guitar. You probably wouldn't be saving much money just buying a used S5470.

I will say this...the guitar does play differently from an S5470 especially in the sustain department. I need to experiment a bit more once it's set up but my initial play time didn't reveal any dead notes. Same tremolo, pretty much the same neck. I'm using the S5470 pickups in the S5EX1 body including the ST1 in the middle position. I do plan on switching over to a Dimarzio HS-3 for the middle position.

Anyway, more updates when the parts arrive and I do the final installation and setup.
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  #14  
Old 11-26-2012, 01:37 AM
LonePhantom  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


Good stuff!

I say go chrome. You can polish the hardware with metal polish like Auto-sol. A couple of hours work and you'll have a great looking chrome ZR trem. You can do the tuners and nut too.
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2012, 04:10 PM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: S5EX1 project


Lone, I know you like chrome, I'm sort of anti-chrome. Too many old farts on Harleys (or Hardley's as I like to call them) with heavy ass chrome appointments. So...I wanted to go all black on the hardware. I've been waiting for over a week for a set of black pickup rings and the US Post office lost the package.

So I've finally given up on waiting for them and I put everything together last night.

Here's what I've done so far...
-2010 RG1570Z neck
-"ebonized" fret board so it's a whole lot darker
-Swapped cosmo tremolo for black
-Zebrawood knobs stained dark
-DiMarzio PAF Joe/Fast Track1/Mo Joe pickups
-Ernie "Cobalt" strings
-VLX91 switch
-CTS brass shaft pots, 500K, 560pf cap

I have a ground issue I need to sort so I didn't get any play time with it last night. I need to sand and then wipe down the back of the pots. For some reason, these better CTS pots with the brass shafts are really difficult to solder to. Nothing sticks.

Old.....




New. My thought process was I wanted a less ornate neck, darker fret board and metal parts to highlight and emphasize the top instead of distracting from it.




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