Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

So, I need to clear things out, once and for all. I got this 89 Ibanez that I have put up for sale here in Sweden. It is a genuine Ibanez, no doubt about it, but I wonder if it is a USA Custom Metal Design guitar, some other rare version or, possibly, maybe someone did some alterations to it.

So, why could it be a USA Custom:
* The paint job looks like the "Silversnake" finish although the pattern doesn't quite match the ones in the old catalogues.
* The paint job looks authentic. It doesn't seem to have been applied over some other finish.
* It was made in 1989, so I guess it could be an early sort of "prototype" version with minor alterations from the final version.

So, why could it not be a USA Custom:
* It lacks either of the two different USA custom logos
* The pickups does not seem like Dimarzio or Ibz/USA. They could, of course, have been changed later.
* The fabric pattern does not quite match the "Silversnake" pattern. It actually looks more like the "Reptilian" pattern to me.

Below are some links to photos. The neck is marked "RG-750" and the body is marked "560". I would be grateful for any knowledge that could cast some light upon this mystery.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-o...o/P1070175.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-H...o/P1070176.JPG

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-U...o/P1070177.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-I...69-no/bild.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-u...25281%2529.JPG

Last edited by Lanzelot; 08-21-2013 at 03:51 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 08:18 PM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

It looks like the one from the '88 USAC flyer but in gold. The Necromancers Castle is the only one on the flyer with a full pic and it does not have the USAC logo on the headstock. Yours is probably an early '88 USAC made late in the year with an '89 serial neck. Next year necks are certainly not unheard of. I think most USAC were made with 700 series parts but that early on they could have used anything to put them together.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 10:12 PM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

I truly believe it's one of the USAC Metal Design.
Don't worry about the tiny USA custom logo that missing on the headstock.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 10:35 PM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

holy rad-ness
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 11:18 PM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

I don't think this is a UCMD for a few reasons. I think it's a 560 with a 750 neck and a pretty nice refinish. Here's why:

1. All of them would have had Bensalem neck plates that would either be stamped 88XXXX on very early models or be blank with a serial number on the headstock (usually F9xxxxx). That is a 560 neck plate on there.

2. The neck pocket should have an S&H stamp and should say 560-1H, because they were all delivered as single humbucker and then routed to order by S&H. The order number (such as 391U) should be written in there in pen.

3. Missing USA Custom logo. Those were added by S&H.

4. That finish appears to be paper that is bursted in. The actual UCMD's used metallic fabric, hence the name Metal Design. Up close you should be able to easily tell that it's fabric under the clear.

5. There is no evidence that finish was ever offered.

6. The guitar should have either IBZ USA or DiMarzio pickups. Obviously these could have been changed, but those look like 560 pickups.

7. It should have plastic control knobs and again, those look like 560 knobs.

Still a cool guitar, though!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 02:53 AM
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

The neck heel is fully recessed like a JEM, that's not something typically found on non-USA custom RGs.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 03:30 AM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jono View Post
The neck heel is fully recessed like a JEM, that's not something typically found on non-USA custom RGs.
+1

but whatever it is, you know a lot of 'weird' usa custom out there.
there is no exact formula for it.
Take example of my streetwise that has factory/ original installed right handed tuning machine on a reversed headstock and 5XX/7XX type of neck heel.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 08:13 AM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jono View Post
The neck heel is fully recessed like a JEM, that's not something typically found on non-USA custom RGs.
Good point, I missed that. Perhaps this is some kind of prototype?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 01:30 PM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

It might be an experimental paint prototype or finish trial model.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 02:10 PM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

That was my point. It looks to be an early one and could have been put together with anything. I can't tell from the pics if it is fabric or paper or what.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

Thank you all for your response. I will have some more pictures taken tonight to shed some light upon the matter.

At least it seems to be a production model, since I have found, at least, another one:

http://www.guitar-museum.com/guitar-...cans-Hard-Case

And probably another one, here (kind of hard to tell):
http://sikaudio.com/guitars_sikaudio.inc.php
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 11:07 AM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

I saw the first one and wondered if it was in fact the same guitar you have. What is the serial number on your guitar?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

hi

its a usa custom metal design serpent. 100% sure of that.
I had the same guitar too, but i had emg pickups. I have seen the neckplates can be different, and the usa on the headstock is missing so now and then too. I had about 5 or 6 usa customs in the past. There is a lot of variation in the specs of them.

I see also a lot of parts swapping, pickups hardware and so on.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

Thanks everyone for the responses. However, this guitar is most certainly a limited edition RG snakeskin. It includes a 760 neck, 560 electronics, a jem-style "cutaway heel" and a snakeskin cloth finish. This one was brought to Sweden by the swedish distributor. There probably aren't that many around.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 08:45 AM
 
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Re: Is this a Ibanez USA Custom Metal Design?

One odd thing about the USA Customs is that they often had very unusual electronics in them compared with a production guitar. For example, they usually have DiMarzio pots. They also will typically have either a DiMarzio 5-way switch or a YM-50, the same as a 500 Series. I consider this odd because they're usually closer to a 700 Series but don't use the VLX53 switch like you'd find in a 700 Series or a Jem.
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