Ibanez pitched the '87 neck as an Ultra. The '87 necks say "Roadstar Series" on the headstock. Check out the liner notes for the Flying in a Blue Dream album. In the photo of Joe kicking back with his feet on the table you can somewhat make out that his headstock has Roadstar Series on it. But that neck's headstock is not tilted back. I think Ibanez made the non-tilted headstock Roadstar Series neck for one year only (these necks were Falbo's holy grail a few years ago--might still be). The Ultras in the early part of '88 are the same except for some codes on the heel and no Roadstar Series on the headstock. These necks for both years match their specs. By '89 the specs were tossed and the necks are very noticeably thicker. And its a weird thicker, too. They're like the original spec at fret 1 but then get thicker and thicker as you move up the frets. IMO anyway.
These fatter necks I can understand someone comparing a JS
neck to. The JS
neck is way thicker than an in spec Ultra neck. I always thought that the fat Ultra necks and the JS
necks felt wrong on such a sleek body as the 540R. However, I don't believe the sleeker '88-'91-ish 540Rs were the 540Rs that Joe based his JS
on. Somewhere it says that Joe's guitar was like a 540R but with, among other things, a deeper cutaway on the lower bout. Side by side, a JS
has a deeper cutaway than an '87 540R. But an '88 540R has a deeper cutaway than a JS
. The '87 guitar is also noticeably thicker than the JS
and '88 models. Somewhere it also says that Joe's guitar is a slimmer 540R. Yes, compared to the '87 version. No, compared to the '88 version.
The ultra-sleek '88 version 540R was gone somewhere in '91-'92. Before, Ibanez had two sets of tooling. One was for the sleeker 540R and the other for the JS
. Now, they just had the JS
. As far as body shape is concerned, these 540R bodies and the JS
bodies are the same.
So what was this thread about again? Oh yeah, price. The 700 and 800 listings for Radius guitars on ebay have been sitting there for several weeks. But, those sellers don't appear to need money in a hurry. I think that 450 - 600 is a fair range. I bought a frankenstein '87 Blue Burst the other day for $525 shipped. That was too much I think but I'll recoup by selling off most of it. I only wanted the body and the neck if the neck was to spec (it had an '88 neck on it).
More 540R info is here:
My favorite paint job is CF3.