Distinguishing S-Series Models (80s to mid 90s) - Jemsite
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-12-2002, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Distinguishing S-Series Models (80s to mid 90s)

I'm new here, but I've looked around and haven't found a thread that directly answers this. First, are there any sites that have good descriptions (ideally with pics) of all the various S-series guitars, especially those from the late-80s through mid-90s? I've picked up bits and pieces from this group and others, but I'm still a bit confused. I've been looking for S-540s and S-540-LTDs for sale around the web, but it seems like there may be a bunch of other 540-like S-series guitars that are being advertised as 540s but have cheaper features. Some have IBZ pickups, others have various other pickups (V and Q series), some have an Edge, some have a LO-TRS, some have the AANJ, some don't... So, I'm confused. How to distinguish the various S-models? I know that the 540s changed features many times, but what about these other older S-series guitars? Do I understand that the 540 was pretty much the top of the line during the period I mentioned? Any clues as to when the 540s made the transition from IBZs to other pickups, traditional neck joint to AANJ, and so on?

Thanks to all: this group is well-moderated and very helpful!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2002, 10:21 PM
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Im no expert, But I know a few things about the s series. They really started with the radius guitars. I think the 540 started with the old style neck heel around 89 or 90? H-S-S pickup setup, edge trem. in 92 they started with the AANJ. they also had he 540 LTD with the triangular inlays. with both a regular heel and the AANJ. H-S-H pickups. which continued from then on. I dont know when they started changing pickups from the IBZ to the QM's, but my '92 540 has IBZ,s and my '99 has QMs. they both have LO-PRO trems.
As far as I know, all 5XX series guitars have either the edge trem or he LO-PRO- no TRS's. I dont think any s540s' had v-series pickups. the S 470s did.
hmmm, I cant think of anything else. hopefully someone here knows more than me, and can help you out more.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2002, 10:58 PM
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So far, so good except they started with the Sabre name, not the Radius.

Also in the early 90's (91?) they started using quartersawn maple for the necks. That helps on a design as thin as the wizard.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 01:04 AM
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Thats right, Sabres!....Wasnt it the radius's (radii?) that transmogrified into the JS model? That was a big transition time there in the late 80's, early 90's
sorry, off topic, I know....
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 06:38 AM
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 02:41 PM
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Hi there, here are my .02!!

I *think* the IBZ / QM Pickup switch has been in '94, in case anyone cares. The '93 540s had the IBZ Pickups (F1, C3, F2), the '94 of my brother came with QMs (QM1, QMS1, QM2).
I've never seen 540s with the V pickups, however, the newer 520s (H-H) have them.

No 540s came with a Lo-TRS, as said before.

There was a 7-string model available around '93. Both H-S-S and H-H versions exist.

There were also versions with oval dot inlays.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 05:37 PM
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As a matter of fact, All the ones I have seen have the oval inlays and the "CUSTOM MADE" inlay at the 21st fret. (Yeah, custom made! right...) I have seen the seven strings, they have the old-style neck heel, I believe. (shame)

They are my favorite guitar! hence my posting on this thread. I think they are the best combo of quality, looks, comfort, playability and sound that Ibanez has come up with. shame they dont make them anymore. the only difference now with the prestige 1540 is the headstock, I think it has woodgrain finish or something.
ah, well, I just wish they would come out with a neck-thru version.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for all the info: now I have some quick ways to tell the 470s from the 540s (TRS trems and V-series PUPS). I agree that the 540s are way up there in terms of features for the price. I've had one for awhile and I just bought another one (after reading your posts and getting wiser). And here's one more question: anyone know what a 540SCT6 was(apparently made in 1990), and how it differed from a regular 540S? Seems like I remember seeing something in this forum about "CT" (whatever that stands for) with the RG's.

OT: [Smorg007, I'm curious about the Prestige 1540 you mentioned since it's not included on the Ibanez web site. Closest thing is the S1520, and it's a 2-hummer machine. Is the 1540 already out of production?]
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 06:26 PM
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I dont think the 1540 is available in the US. you see them on ebay once and awhile. Its a "prestige" model. You can see it on the ibanez website. go to ibanez.com, and choose "Japan" as your country. parts of it are in english. enough to get around. they have all the cool guitars over there listed. many different ones they cant or wont export for various reasons.
another good resource, when it works, is blue horizon
they have a lot of info and pics. not much on the s series, but interesting nontheless soem of the older 540 stuff
smorg007 is offline  

dot inlay , dot inlays , edge trem , neck joint , pickup switch , trs trems

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