540S ? Prototype ? - Jemsite
All Other Guitars (including Prestige) Discussion about other Ibanez Guitars not covered in the above topics. Includes J-Custom, USA-Custom, Prestige subforum.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: California
Posts: 2
540S ? Prototype ?

I picked up this 540S yesterday, my first S model. It comes with an interesting story. I wonder what you all could tell me, and what you think. I've attached photos.
Found it on craigslist at a good price for an '87-88 540S. but heres where it gets weird. And the story...
His photos show super nice condition, all orig options, but the neck caused me to question. Its 3, or I guess 5 piece, maple center (18mm wide), what looks like mahogany large stringers (22mm), and not sure what on the outside very edges (at headstock). Looks to me like Ebony fretboard. and, no serial number, but the finish looks original. I'm a bit leary at this point, cause i've never seen a neck like this, and I start to haggle with him. He assures me that he's the original owner, says he doesnt know much about this model guitar, other that its a "Sabor" as he advertised it. says he got it as partial payment for work he did for Ibanez back in the day (advertisement / graphics), he says it might have been a prototype, because he got it before that model was released. Hence no serial#. He's probly 50ish, Japanese, and seemed real honest, and all sounded legit to me. I did my best to beat down the price because of no serial#, but he said he had 3 other guys calling to see it, and he stayed firm. I paid him what he asked and took it back to work with me, and couldnt wait to get the neck off. I half expected finding that it wasnt even an Ibanez piece, but then, suprise!
So here's where I need help.
Check the pics and tell me what you think/know, or if you've seen this, and if you think its all legit. or any way to get more info. I've never seen this neck and cant find any info about one like this. I've got ultra necks on my radius models, but obviously not like this. I havnt measured the profile yet but feels more like a wizard than an ultra.
Thanks a bunch for any help you can offer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg headstock back 2.jpg (23.2 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg back s.jpg (32.0 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg neck stamp 3 s.jpg (27.2 KB, 1 views)

Last edited by nvhomg; 03-09-2012 at 01:30 PM.
nvhomg is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 320
Re: 540S ? Prototype ?

Looks like an incorrect replacement neck on a regular early 540.
SP2333 is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 07:16 AM
stratoskier's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 916
Re: 540S ? Prototype ?

Yeah, I doubt it's a prototype. AFAIK, the 3-piece laminate necks came along much later. And that's not the type of neck ID stamp they used in those days -- usually it was just a series of letters to indicate the type of neck and its features. Very interesting. It looks like the heel goes all the way to the end of the fretboard, with no fretboard overhang. Is that correct?
stratoskier is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: amman
Posts: 107
Re: 540S ? Prototype ?

I think the last pic was distorted.
Anyways, if it's as good or better than the official Ibanez necks, I'm all for it.Looks pretty solid in my opinion, no matter who made it.
iced_ink is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,641
Re: 540S ? Prototype ?

Thats definitely not the original neck, nor is it even an Ibanez neck, by my reckoning. Ibanez have never used walnut strips that wide on a laminate neck.
GuitarBizarre is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: California
Posts: 2
Re: 540S ? Prototype ?

Ok, so I'm trying to add more photos, but struggling...keeps telling me I'm exceeding the limit (yes im kinda pc lame, yes this is my 1st forum post) gonna try again later to make pics work (any help please?)
hard to get better pic of the neck stamp. but, bedsides the the big Ultra stamp, its marked what appears to be ...
U - Ultra
A- angeled
L - locking
M - ?
M - ?
maple / mahagony ?
The fretboard has overhang, see pic. And the board really looks like Ebony (compared to my ebony Carvin), way dark and super tight grain compaired to any of my Ibanez rosewood boards. Havent touched/cleaned anything yet, but its freakin beautiful and laser straight.
Also no marking in the neck pocket, and by the way it came apart and all the patina, it looks all original to the time. He said he hadnt opened the case in like 10-15 years.
Anyway I'm still stumped, and doing more research.
Any more insight you guys have would be awesome
nvhomg is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: japan
Posts: 57
Re: 540S ? Prototype ?

the japanese generally dont lie about their stuff. if he said, its a good bet its legit. gratz on the proto!
nandnor is offline  

540s , prototype , saber , ultra

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New prototype Armann Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models 56 05-12-2011 07:15 PM
FS: Dimarzio PAF Joe,PAF Pro F,Dimarzio Fred prototype,Dimarzio HFH prototype. rockboy999 Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 2 01-28-2008 10:06 PM
New JS prototype? Myst and rain Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models 16 04-25-2007 10:38 AM
JBM Prototype?? AMD1014 All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 8 07-12-2005 10:22 AM
BSB Prototype or Just BS? VENOMOUS Vendors, Auction & Reseller Talk 2 12-20-2003 09:08 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome