So a few years ago I looked into purchasing a fixed bridge guitar. I was sick of floating bridges. When one day I happened upon a metallic dark blue RG421 in a local music store. The owner of the store had become a friend over the years, he even sold me my very first Ibanez.
Anyway, I picked the guitar off the hanger and eagerly looked behind the headstock for 3 magical little words that would mean I would allow myself to purchase the guitar. "Made In Japan", is what she said...
Stock with V7 and V8 humbuckers... No single coil... Oh well, what was the price? Not bad....Where's the nearest Dual Recto?
She played well, and felt surprisingly like my RG570 but with a slightly thicker neck. Not to bad, I thought. So I made a deal with the owner of the store. A set of Dimarzio Evolutions for the neck and bridge were ordered, and I would take delivery of my 421 w/ full setup, Evo's, Dimarzio clip-lock strap, and Ibanez hardcase within a few days.
Fast forward a few years and we're here. A while back I started looking into getting rid of my pickup rings. I got as far as pulling the pickup rings off and realizing how large (and incredibly ugly) the routed holes are.
Originally this is what she looked like
Soon after I started playing around in photoshop with different coloured pickups and knobs. I settled on black and white.
A few phone calls later, and I started to curse Australia. "There'll be a couple of months wait on the white and black Evolutions if you order them now", is what I heard on the other end of the phone.
Give me stickers... bugger it.
So I ordered a set of bobbin toppers at an extremely exorbitant price. (I took a scan though, so if I ever want another set I can a vinyl cutter here in Aus to cut them for me and less than 1/4 what I paid...*cough*)
**** found me white and black volume and tone knobs.
Still got those pickup rings though. I know people like them, and most don't mind them. I just prefer not having them.
I started having a look around the internet for pickguards for the 421. It was difficult. There were none, and those that had advertisements for them didn't have pictures, instead showing a Jem or RG HSH for direct mounted pickups....and NONE
were cut properly for the bridge.
These places were also located on the other side of the world. I didn't want to risk it.
So I turned to ETguitars and shot Ernie an email. A few emails, measurements and photographs and we were on our way. Flawless service from the man. Within the week I had this in my hands.
Cut with perfect fitment.
This is where I started to get nervous... There's a drill there... and I'm going to have to use it...
No turning back now...
All the screws in. The guitar survived, and so did I!