Help me put my 540S under the knife! - Jemsite
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Denver
Posts: 1
Help me put my 540S under the knife!

Esteemed Ibanez Mod Gods,

Back in 1993/94, my dear grandmother, before she passed, when upon hearing that I had joined the HS jazz band, offered to buy me a guitar. Well, at the store, they wouldn't even let me touch Les Paul Black Beauty with gold hardware that I wanted. So, I ended up with my second choice - which was I beleive an Ibanez 90-94 "custom shop" 540S.

Sorry, I can't post a link or pic - this is my first post.

Pretty sweet guitar, except it developed a nasty buzz around the 1st fret. Plus, the switch and knobs are noisy/scatchy. I took it to a "tech," cus I was too dumb to know otherwise and he shimmed the nut with a little metal strip, but that created about a 1-2mm is a gap between the nut and the fret board. I ended up selling it to my buddy, with a buy-back clause, in 2001. Even then, I was mostly playing my Gibson Explorer and neglecting the Ibanez.

Well, now its mine again, and I'm ready to fix it up. I think I'll name her Jewel, because of her iridescent-purple look and she's precious.

I feel like I can do the work myself if I can find the right instructions. I've never modded a guitar, so I could use some pointers (gotchas, pitfalls).

This is what I'm thinking:
  • Neck: Humbucker From Hell (DP156)
  • Middle: Fender 099-3115-002 Single N3 Noiseless Strat Middle Pickup
  • Bridge: Super Distortion (DP100)
    • I might consider the John Petrucci Crunch Lab DP228 if someone can recommend it over the DP100 (for my style, see below).
  • Electronics:
    • 5-Position Strat®/Tele® "Super Switch" (they say is good for a 4-conductor pickup, which the DP100 is)
    • DiMarzio 500K Custom Taper Split Shaft Pots and/or Dimarzio 500K Push-Pull Pot (I'll explain below)
    • I'd like recommenations concerning wiring, capaciters, shielding, etc.
There is a little too much buzz around the 1st fret, 5th string. The nut is sitting on a small metal shim - if I remove it, it will surely buzz worse. The sitar sound is cool for a while, but starts getting old!

I'm thinking of buying a little Floyd nut shim adjustment package and replacing the crap that's in there. Maybe a shim that actually fits, is all that's needed...

Is it possible to get a custom a locking bone nut? I'd love to hear other suggestions.

My first thought was using Seymore Duncan Pearly Gates/Screamin Demon in the neck/bridge, but I might try the Dimarzio's (cus they are cheaper and lots of Ibanez dudes swear by them). But I'll probably save the Duncans for my Gibsons. I don't know, what do you think?

My style ranges from Flamenco, to Jazz, to Metal - Influences ranging from Paco de Lucia, Stunz & Farah, to Slayer, Metallica, Pantera. I'm trying to create a Flamenco/Metal style, perhaps Metalenco, but definetly not Flametal cus that sounds poofy!

Serious though, my style is kinda thrash metal with flavor, I like the textured tight and articulate distorted but sweet sounding chords Opeth gets. I get pretty close to that with my '78 Gibson ES-335 => Boss Chorus Ensemble => Tonebone Hot British distortion => MXR EQ => into a '76 Fender Twin.

I'd like my Ibanez to get nice texture and articulation in the upper mids/highs but more ballsy when chunking on those power chords, or pull a coil-tap and get a spanky-bluesy-chiming sound, using this same rig.

Speaking of coil-tapping. I think the stock setup for each position in the 5-way switch is:
  1. Neck humbucker
  2. Neck coil-tapped
  3. Middle Single Coil
  4. Bridge coil-tapped
  5. Bridge humbucker
But I would like to have the tone knob pull out to coil tap both humbuckers and have the switch operate as:
  1. Neck humbucker (tapped or not)
  2. Neck/Middle combo
  3. Middle single coil
  4. Middle/Bridge combo
  5. Bridge Humbucker (tapped or not)
Is this possible with the hardware line-up I listed? Does anyone know of a guide I can follow?

So what do you think? Was I an idiot/jerk for almost parting with such an awesome gift from my dear grandmother? What should I do with this axe?

I'm thinking all white pickups with a white switch tip would be pretty striking, but black would be awesome too. Also, as I understand it, with the Floyd Rose, I should go with F-spaced pickups (or trem-spacing for Duncans).

I look forward to the pearls of wisdom - even the flames of wrath from you - deities of the 6-string - exaltations of Hoshino Gakki! Even from those who swear by those crappy Asian 5-way switches that look like a they belong in a dang toaster! Bring it on!

Thanks a lot - Cheers!
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